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Sevek and the Holocaust: The Boy Who Refused to Die

14 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0976356202
ISBN-10: 0976356201
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Editorial Reviews


"You know how deeply I feel about memory. Many readers will thank you for yours. -- Elie Wiesel, author of “Night”

I always felt that (Sevek's story) ought to be... published for as wide an audience as possible -- Sir Martin Gilbert

Sidney has found a way of teaching us much about human endurance and hope. -- Dr. Kenneth Waltzer

About the Author

Sidney’s story is an inspirational testament to the power of courage, hope and forgiveness. This inspiring memoir provides readers with a poignant look at the Holocaust through the eyes of a young boy. Sidney Finkel, then known as Sevek Finkelstein, was only seven years old when Nazi tanks rolled into his boyhood home of Poitkrow, Poland. Between ten and thirteen, he was in slave labor camps in Piotrkow, Czestechowa, and Buchenwald. He was liberated in Theresienstadt and later flown to England after having lost his mother, his father and two sisters, not to mention his youth and his innocence

At the age of 13, Sevek finds himself in a strange country with only a first grade education struggling to learn a new language and begin a new life on his own.

In this moving and memorable memoir, Sidney Finkel takes readers on a courageous journey of remembering as he vividly describes the ordeal that he survived and the difficult journey of healing that he has taken to face and make peace with his past.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 106 pages
  • Publisher: Sidney Finkel (January 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0976356201
  • ISBN-13: 978-0976356202
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 5.8 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,602,683 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Kenneth Waltzer on April 10, 2007
Format: Paperback
Sidney Finkel, Sevek and the Holocaust: The Boy Who Refused to Die (2005) Paperback, 104 pp. ISBN: 0-9763562-0-1

Reviewed by Kenneth Waltzer, Michigan State University

Sidney Finkel, who remained silent about his youthful experiences during the Holocaust for nearly fifty years, and who, since the mid-1990s has become one of the most accomplished speakers appearing in schools and universities in and near Chicago, has published a memoir - Sevek and the Holocaust: The Boy Who Refused to Die. The book is a stirring, quick read, written in a voice that accesses the fright and fearful growing independence of a small boy who, from 1939 to 1945, was in the Piotrkow ghetto, in slave labor camps in central Poland, and then in Buchenwald concentration camp in Germany. On the day before Buchenwald was liberated, Sevek was marched out with hundreds of other youth and placed on a train to nowhere, and was not freed until nearly a month later when the train came to Theresienstadt. Sidney was among those who were sent thereafter to England and about whom Sir Martin Gilbert has written in The Boys (1995). He was thirteen years old and had lost nearly all his family. He was now told, as others were, simply to forget his pain.

Sidney Finkel has never forgotten his pain, although he long refused to address it. Nor has he forgiven himself for his wish at Buchenwald to be free of his father, who was also in the camp. Like many survivors whom American Jewish writer Meyer Levin, traveling with the U.S. Third Army as it reached the camps, came to know "had somewhere to have betrayed someone, through leaving" [In Search (1950)], Sevek had in a brief encounter at Buchenwald separated himself from his father in order to be spared.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Sidney Finkel on March 31, 2005
Format: Paperback
Kirkus Reviews | Kirkus Reports | Kirkus Literar

March 2005 Vol 1 / Issue 1

Related Product

Klrkus Reviews Kirkus Reports Kirfcus Literary Awan The Book Standard

Since its launch in September 2004, Kirkus Discoveries has received hundreds of submissions, from self-published books to books from large publishing houses to out-of-print titles from corporate imprints. From poetry to novels to children's books to academic treatises, the variety of books flowing into the Kirkus Discoveries offices seems to be limitless.

Many of the books that Kirkus Discoveries has reviewed so far have not been "discoveries" so much as, well, disappointments. Our hope is that our reviews of those have at least been constructive. Within the rough, though, we're gratified to have found several diamonds. Thus, here, in the inaugural Kirkus Discoveries monthly newsletter, we present 15 of the books we're happy to highlight. They include a book that a major publisher bought after it was reviewed by Kirkus Discoveries and an unpublished manuscript that we hope will not go unpublished much longer." SEVEK" IS ONE OF THE 15

After years of self-repression, Finkel, formerly Sevek Finkelstein, now tells his powerful story of survival in early-1940s Poland. Prompted by his daughter and feeling a need to exorcize his demons, Finkel presents his (and his family's) experiences before, during and after the Holocaust. His straightforward manner, told in raw, spare language, renders his memories all the more affecting.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By K. Marcotte on April 12, 2006
Format: Paperback
Mr. Finkel's story is one that each and every one of us should read. For the last four years, I've had the honor of hearing him talk to my 8th graders. This gentle man tells his story of lost youth, survival, and recovery. Please, read this story.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By ellafan on January 11, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This gentleman has written the very gut-wrenching story of his experience during the Holocaust. This one is true,unlike the recent Angel at the Fence "bio" which proved to be a hoax.Why anyone would lie and embellish his or her story of the Holocaust is puzzling to me. There are many legitimate stories,biographies,of the horrors that were seen and committed during the worst time in human history.To lie is a slap in the face of all who perished and all who fought their way through their days in the camps.
This is one we should all read. His will to live,despite the surrounding hell he is living in,is powerful reading.
That he has chosen to share his story with students of various ages proves that his spirit has remained noble all these years later.He understands first-hand how easy it would be for another Holocaust to happen,and he wants young people to be on alert to fight all bigotry which they encounter.I think the recent,horrible news from Darfur is in the minds of many of us today,and we do all we can to help.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By AlyssGrey on August 30, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I loved this book, and it sits with my other holocaust books. His view point is so unique and his writing so solid but yet emotional that you are transported with him.
It was also quite an honor to meet the man and have my book signed by him. He is such an amazing person who has gone through so much and despite it all, he is brave enough to reveal his horrifying story. To have to revisit horrifying memories most would never want to revisit, not for fame but to help future generations. His story isn't a voice you've heard before, it's one that adds a layer to an event that one knows was already horrific.
If you liked Elli Wiesel you'll defidently will find Sevek's one of courage, strength and fortitude.
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