Theodore H. Lehman
Defying Odds is a compelling historical novel about the experience of a teen-age Jewish prisoner in Auschwitz who was sent into the SS slave labor system. It is written for adult and young adult readers and tells the dramatic story of how this young man was not allowed to complete elementary school, have a Bar Mitzvah, nor attend high school.
This is a story of hope by a teen-ager who defied the odds and lived even though he was a prisoner in the political whirlwind of one of Europe's most powerful and sophisticated countries losing its sense of moral direction. This moving story narrates his life as a laborer in a Krupp Industries' artillery factory, as he learned to survive constant SS brutality and death threats.
Ted Lehman spend his high school years in concentration camps where he learned to cling to life even as the last of his family was send to the gas chambers; instead of going to school and reading literature, he was learning to read and navigate the language of SS death threats.
Lehman lived that experience, survived the camps, and eventually arrived to the United States where he has lived his adult life. He pushed these near death experiences in the Nazi netherworld to the back of his mind for decades until he received a letter from a German commission inquiring information about the death of prisoners that he might have observed. As Lehman went back into his memories of this time period to tell what he knew, he began to relive the concentration camps, and he had the idea of writing this chronicle of those events. In Lehman's narrative the Nazi demonization of the Jews is palpable, and the destructive psychology of the constant threat of death demoralizes Jew and non-Jew alike.
Lehman originally wrote a longer version of his story, published as Herr Krupp's Berthawerk by Gaon Books. This re-writing of the story is prepared with the young adult reader in mind. Lehman has a secure sense of story telling and builds vivid characters in a realistic narrative style. The novel leaves the reader wanting to read more about this story of courage.
ISBN: 9781935604631. Paper. $18.95. 202 pages
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Distributed by Ingram.
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