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Survival in the Shadows: Seven Jews Hidden in Hitler's Berlin Paperback – CX Encoding, February 1, 2003

131 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

An astonishing tale of lives lived in the lion's den. -- The Jewish Chronicle, London, March 29, 2002

The courage of the protectors renews one's faith in the survival of altruism and integrity. -- The Sunday Times, London, April 28, 2002

From the Publisher

When Red Army Soldiers discovered the Arndt, Lewinsky, and Gumpel families in April 1945, there were seven survivors —the largest known group of German Jews to survive in hiding in the heart of the Third Reich. In January 1943 the four Arndts went into hiding to avoid deportation and were soon joined by Ellen and Charlotte Lewinsky and Bruno Gumpel. For two and a half years the group survived in the shadowy underworld of Berlin—without food ration cards or secure accommodation —protected by more than fifty non-Jewish Germans. This is not only a story of tremendous courage and stamina during the darkest days of Hitler's rule, it also shows that anti-Semitism was not as ubiquitous among ordinary Germans as is commonly thought. Ellen and Erich Arndt and Ruth Arndt Gumpel, who live in the U.S., here reveal their story in detail.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Jewish Community Fedn of Rochester; First Edition edition (February 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0971068631
  • ISBN-13: 978-0971068636
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (131 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,232,383 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 35 people found the following review helpful By SeattleBookMama on April 26, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition
At one point I promised myself, no more Holocaust memoirs! I can’t change history, and I know enough. I am retired. Why make myself feel worse? But then this wonderful biography became available, thanks to Net Galley and Open Road Integrated Media; thank you to both of them for the free DRC. Not only was it worth delving back into this difficult period in history, but it kept me awake till 2 AM because I could not put it down unfinished. What a terrific story!
Many of those of us that have studied the Holocaust, whether for reasons of family and culture, historical interest, or something else, have maxed out on the horror, the numbers, the gut-wrenching details. This book isn’t more of that. Instead, it is the remarkable true story of Jewish Germans that found a way to conceal themselves, not only in Nazi-occupied Europe, but in Berlin itself. Within the belly of the beast, there were still some good people left. There were people that would house the Arndt family members; there were those who had no space or were too afraid to do that, but who would provide food; and there were those who took no active role, but were willing to see, and to say nothing. And perhaps more than anything, there were seven really smart people who were determined not to die, and who beat the odds by surviving till the Russians came in to rescue them.
Young people are often the quickest to respond appropriately when big changes occur quickly, and so it was with the Arndts. Dr. Arndt had grown up in Germany as a member of a respected family, and he was reluctant to give up on the German government as a source of justice and order. He had fought in World War I, and didn’t think his country would allow him or his loved ones to be hurt. Erich, his son, thought differently.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Pamela Katz on April 8, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition
Barbara Lovenheim’s amazing book, SURVIVAL IN THE SHADOWS, tells the story of an ordinary family hiding in Berlin during the extraordinary circumstances of World War II. As they manage to survive the most wretched historical tragedy of the 20th century, we learn in precise detail about what this nearly impossible feat required. Washing clothes, eating food, using the bathroom when the slightest sound might have led to their discovery and demise, the reader has the remarkable opportunity to discover the mechanics of heroism when performed by people who were not heroes. They were just a family whose love for each other, and whose individual and collective bravery, gave them a unique chance to survive impossible conditions. The contrast between the banality of every day life — family quarrels, an unexpected pregnancy, or a normal illness — and the extreme danger — certain death — that such ’normal events’ could cause, makes for a gripping read, as suspenseful as it is meaningful and moving.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Diane Seebach on January 9, 2007
Format: Paperback
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Also, I might add that I cared for the main character in the book - Ellen Arndt - in her last days in Hospice last year. A lovely lady! Also met her husband Eric and the author of the book, Barbara Lovenhiem; therefore, the book had a special meaning for me.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Mark H. Schwartz on June 2, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I finally finished cousin Barbara's amazing account of these Jewish Berliners who went underground and through the aid of righteous Gentiles, they were able to see the light of day in May, 1945. Love survived, nuclear families survived and this my friends, is the last nail in Hitler's coffin.

Maybe I am a bit biased because the author is my cousin, but I am a fan of this subject, have read many books with similar story lines, and hers is stunningly written.
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Format: Kindle Edition
SURVIVAL IN THE SHADOWS: Seven Jews Hidden In Hitler's Berlin

Author: Barbara Lovenheim

Genre: Non-Fiction, History

Publisher: www.openroadmedia.com

Release Date: March 2, 2015

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

* I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*

This is a true account of seven Jewish adults who were hidden by non-Jewish Germans in the heart of Nazi Berlin during the Second World War.

It is too easy for people nowadays to look back upon this bleak time in human history and think that all Germans were evil people who eagerly supported Hitler and his policy of genocide. This is quite simply not true.

Berlin was the heart of Nazi Germany during the second world war and initially had a large Jewish population. During Hitler's rise to power he instituted ever harsher rules and regulations that Jewish citizens were required to follow. Those that refused to follow those rules were arrested and killed or sent to concentration camps. After his power was firmly established all those of the Jewish faith were scheduled to be sent to and exterminated in the concentration camps.

But Hitler and his followers did not take into account the fact that many Germans did not agree with his policies. Some (in fact, many) helped their Jewish friends and neighbors hide from the Third Reich. If these ordinary citizens had been caught aiding and abetting a Jewish person they would have been arrested as traitors to the cause. While fear of punishment was enough to deter some people from offering aid, there were a large number who risked their lives to do what they felt was the right and moral thing to do. These brave people need to be remembered and should be celebrated.
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