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In the Sewers of Lvov: A Heroic Story of Survival from the Holocaust Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 202 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner; 1st American ed edition (September 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684193205
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684193205
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,422,597 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

The author of All the King's Men here collects the memoirs of survivors from the Ukrainian city of Lvov and combines them with his own research. The result is a trying account of a group of Jews who spent 14 months in 1943-44 hiding in the city's sewer system. Twenty people, including two children and a pregnant woman, descend into their own Inferno--the ledges, caverns, and underground rivers of the catacombs beneath the city streets. How they coped with the feces, the rats, the darkness, the deaths of half their numbers, even with delivery and infanticide, makes cruel reading. Marshall dedicates this book to the memory of Leopold Socha, a former criminal who became a Ukrainian sewer worker and made it his life's atonement to save a few Jews out of the murdered millions. Tragically, soon after he was able to bring "his Jews" back to daylight, Socha was killed in an accident.
- Gerda Haas, Holocaust Human Rights Ctr. of Maine
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews

A stirring tale of survival against overwhelming odds, based on oral and written testimony and recounted with novelistic intensity by documentary filmmaker Marshall. Recording unforgettable characters and startling scenes, Marshall explains how a small group of Jews managed to escape the liquidation of the Lvov ghetto by hiding within the city's elaborate sewer system. Living for over a year amid rats, filth, and the constant pounding of rushing water, the ten survivors--from an initial 21--find an unlikely savior in a seemingly ordinary Polish sewer worker made extraordinary by his devotion to the dangerous task he embraces as his ``mission.'' Also a worthy counterpart to his varied flock--including a beautiful, pregnant widow, an energetic Hasid, and two young children--is a daring former black-marketeer who actually smuggles himself into the local forced-labor camp in an attempt to rescue the sister of the woman he loves. Relying on straightforward accumulation of day-to-day detail (crawling through 16-inch pipes to get water; picking off each day's lice; coping with dysentery and spoiled food), heightened by chilling vignettes (the camp commandant having children ``thrown into the air while he took aim and shot at them from the veranda''; mothers wordlessly jumping off roofs after their children are taken away), the narrative renders its nightmare world in brilliantly sensory and emotional terms. Unrelenting and powerful: a notable addition to the crowded field of Holocaust studies. (Eight page photo insert--not seen.) -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Linda C. Davis on November 13, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Astonishing story of the lengths to which people were forced to go in order to survive the holocaust. A hopeful story of the unexpected kindness of one man who by society's estimation was a criminal. This story of the sewers is a rather obscure piece but it is a vital addition to any Holocaust library.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Reader on April 2, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book is a powerful and moving testimony to both the goodness and evilness found in mankind. Marshall has written a book that is profound, while at the same time simple. I found myself wanting to know these people who had survived such an inhumane ordeal. When I come to the end of a book and find myself wishing it would go on and on, I know I have found a winner. In the Sewers of Lvov is that kind of book!
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Richard A. Truman on August 22, 2003
Format: Hardcover
An incredible, true story of Jews who lived for over a year in the sewers of Lvov in order to survive from the Nazis. The story tells how they all escaped the Nazis and deals with their fears, hardships, philosophies while in hiding. Socha, the hero sewer worker who risked his life to save them was genuinely a righteous gentile.
A great book, well-writen, a must for all interested in Holocaust survivor stories.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Veronica White on January 14, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Having recently seen the movie "In Darkness" and noting that it was based on 2 books, I purchased both, namely "The Girl in the Green Sweater" and this book. Reading these books makes one realise how fortunate one was to be born at the end of 1945 and never to have experienced the horror and fear that these people experienced. These are stories that everyone needs to hear/read about as they not only tell of the people in the sewers spirit of survival and endurance but also the courage and risk that others took to help and save them.
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Format: Paperback
My daughter read extensively about the Holocaust. I purchased this book at a GARAGE SALE because of her interest. She read it and it became the book that undoubtedly moved her in a way that no other holocaust had done before. She asked me to read it. It is the one and only book that I will NEVER forget. A story of courage, victims, and some survivors, that to this day, is the truest testimony of the power of determination. I read this book 15 years ago, and I have been so moved by it, coming across it while cleaning out some stuff, that I am still moved to right a review. It is a book that WILL NOT disappoint.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This a fascinating story of the ends that ordinary people will go to in order to survive their the Nazi's aim of there destruction. I don't think it is possible to understand how human beings can survive under the circumstances that the subjects of this true-life story. It also shows that there were indeed righteous people among the non-Jewish Poles who willingly risked their lives to save Jewish strangers. The book is suspenseful and fast paced.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The people who want to deny the Holocaust ought to read this book. I was impressed with the amount of suffering those Jews were willing to endure for freedom and safety for their children. It is an example of how very important it is to defend liberty and a democratic way of life.
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