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The 23rd Psalm: A Holocaust Memoir [Kindle Edition]

George Lucius Salton , Anna Salton Eisen
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)

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Book Description

In September, 1939, George Lucius Salton's boyhood in Tyczyn, Poland, was shattered by escalating violence and terror under German occupation. His father, a lawyer, was forbidden to work, but eleven-year-old George dug potatoes, split wood, and resourcefully helped his family. They suffered hunger and deprivation, a forced march to the Rzeszow ghetto, then eternal separation when fourteen-year-old George and his brother were left behind to labor in work camps while their parents were deported in boxcars to die in Belzec. For the next three years, George slaved and barely survived in ten concentration camps, including Rzeszow, Plaszow, Flossenburg, Colmar, Sachsenhausen, Braunschweig, Ravensbrück, and Wobbelin. Cattle cars filled with skeletal men emptied into a train yard in Colmar, France. George and the other prisoners marched under the whips and fists of SS guards. But here, unlike the taunts and rocks from villagers in Poland and Germany, there was applause. "I could clearly hear the people calling: 'Shame! Shame!' . . . Suddenly, I realized that the people of Colmar were applauding us! They were condemning the inhumanity of the Germans!" Of the 500 prisoners of the Nazis who marched through the streets of Colmar in the spring of 1944, just fifty were alive one year later when the U.S. Army 82nd Airborne Division liberated the Wobbelin concentration camp on the afternoon of May 2, 1945. "I felt something stir deep within my soul. It was my true self, the one who had stayed deep within and had not forgotten how to love and how to cry, the one who had chosen life and was still standing when the last roll call ended."


Editorial Reviews

Review

"A powerful, searing recollection of the past, telling George Salton's story with a fierce integrity that is both descriptive and introspective."—Michael Berenbaum, author of The World Must Know and former consultant to Steven Spielberg's Shoah Foundation Project

From the Publisher

Outstanding University Press Book Citation, American Association of School Libraries

Product Details

  • File Size: 1952 KB
  • Print Length: 240 pages
  • Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press; 1 edition (September 4, 2002)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002ACPHCM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #463,202 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Personal and eye-witness accounts March 9, 2003
Format:Hardcover
The 23rd Psalm: A Holocaust Memoir is the chilling personal testimony and memoir of the daily life of George Lucius Salton, a Jewish man who survived the living hell of a Nazi concentration camp. An intense, gripping tale of hatred and power used as a brutal club to perpetrate atrocity, and the author's witness and narration of the unspeakable, The 23rd Psalm is an welcome and invaluable contribution to the growing library of Holocaust Studies. Providing powerful refutations of anti-semitic revisionist historians, these personal and eye-witness accounts are all the more significant in view of the holocaust generation now reaching an age where they are rapidly passing from among us.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A moving tale October 9, 2002
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
This book captures you, your heart and mind, in its honesty and realism. It brings you through the dark passage of a young teenager from a small village in Poland, through the ghetto, into the concentration camps and to light of liberation. This book brings you into the storm, not as a mere observer of history; it engages your heart in its complete honesty. George Salton does not portray this path with the hindsight of history, rather throughout his journey he maintains his perspective as he experienced the coming storm. Neither he nor his family knows that they have entered into the valley of death. They hold onto hope of an end to their suffering like a life raft. The reader's own knowledge of the unfolding Holocaust makes the innocence and naivety of Salton and his fellow inmates so much more heartbreaking.
Most important, Salton recalls the fragments of his fellow Jews' humanity that survive the fire of the terrible hell that was the camps. Here are tales that illuminate the power of the human spirit in the face of the worst human evil. For me there are several such incidents in this book that will never leave me and I have gone back to read them again. In the end Salton has achieved his goal, for this book and his story is one I will never forget.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Survivor Skills Then, Courage Now December 27, 2006
By Renee
Format:Hardcover
It must have taken the author a great deal of inner strength and pain to come to terms with these horrible happenings and be able to put them down on paper to share with all those that read this book. It was amazing that one so young would be quick enough to call on survival skills at the right moment. Though some, of course, was luck, this author displayed a natural instinct to survive throughout his nightmare.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating story, misleading title September 5, 2010
Format:Paperback
I won't go into the content of the book, as other reviewers already have covered that better than I ever could. Let me just say that it is a profoundly heart-wrenching story, like so many others in its genre. Any book that directs you into the authors shoes has been at least partly successful, and this book does just that. Reading of the grief of the author when he saw his respected parents humiliated under the Nazis forced me to envision my own parents in that same position. I could feel the same heartbreak that the author's mother did when her husband was arrested and imprisoned, as I imagined losing my own spouse. And so on. The author writes in a way that captivates your heart, and allows a unique glimpse into the horrors that so many experienced.

One complaint: Although the book is titled "The 23rd Psalm," it never mentions this psalm anywhere in the book. The 23rd psalm is written before the story begins, in a sort of prelude, but the author never mentions it. I was expecting a story of a Jew who endured because of his trust in God and his enjoyment of the comfort of the 23rd psalm, but it just isn't there. I had to wonder why the book even earned that title, when it really isn't explained or developed in the story.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Facebook page for George Salton October 15, 2002
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
[...]
An incredible, heartbreaking and courageous story of the struggle to survive the Nazi reign of terror. I couldn't put the book down as I read of the authors early years, suffering in 10 concentration camps and ultimate liberation by American soldiers! A must read for history buffs and anyone interested in the power of the human spirit to survive tragedy. The characters in the book will continue to live on in my memories.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars an endearing, emotional and inspiring story October 10, 2002
By Pat
Format:Hardcover
I really was touched by this book, it's the story of a boy who life is ripped apart, who faces tribulations that most of us can never imagine and who emerges as a testiment to our ability to survive and succeed. It was spellbinding, calling for constant attention in my waking hours and invading my dreams at night. The writing invokes intimations of our childhood -- the things we hold close, the family we take for granted all takes on a new significant meaning. The authors idyllic childhood life is displaced with feelings of helplessness, frustration and despair. The inability to change the course of the his life, and the profound sense of loss he feels is one we can all relate to, a kind of existentialist nightmare. But his ability to retain his connection with what is human and good remains a beacon of life that transcends the darkness and transforms this story into one of great emotional beauty. This is a must read for everyone...
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book stole my heart! April 30, 2010
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Ten stars!!!! Wow! Just wow! This book touched me like no other book I've ever read in my life. My heart aches every time I think of George Salton's story and his horrific and inhumane experience of the Holocaust. I can't even imagine!! It will remain with me forever. As a pianist, I dedicated a beautiful but sad piece (Prelude in b minor; Op. 32, No. 10 - Rachmaninoff) to Mr. Salton and all the Holocaust survivors and for the families they lost. I will be re-reading this book and I have encouraged others to do so. Mr. Salton had a tremendous spirit to be able to live through what he lived through. Brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars must read
This book shows the horrors of German rule in WWII through the eyes of a Jewish survivor. We have all heard that it was horrible, but through his story we see for ourselves just... Read more
Published 20 days ago by Miss Mia
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended.
Captivating tale of love, loss, and survival. This book had me in tears. I have collected many holocaust memoirs and this one is by far one of my favorites.
Published 3 months ago by Katherine Lopez
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Wonderful and insightful!
Published 3 months ago by Linda Mauskopf
5.0 out of 5 stars A story you won't put down until the last page
I have an entire bookshelf of books written by Holocaust survivors and this is by far one of the best. Well written and amazingly detailed. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Janet Prevost
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping, authentic
This is one of the most realistic retelling of a Holocaust survivor I've yet to read. At time, it was as though I were going through what he had. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Good book
I can not imagine anyone going through something like Mr. Salton did. Every young person should read the story at least once.
Published 13 months ago by LuEtte
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read
It has been awhile since I read this book but I remember it was a very good read. I could hardly wait to get back to it whenever I had some time to read. Good story told well.
Published 16 months ago by Janelle E. Bohrod
5.0 out of 5 stars Riveting and gut-wrenching memoir of young polish survivor of multiple...
This book is worth reading even if you think you know what happened to the Jews in the concentration camps in Poland and in the slave labor camps in Germany. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Mark Twain
5.0 out of 5 stars Poignant and compelling.
I've read many books on the Holocaust, but this one and "I Shall Survive" by Henry Orenstein, have definitely made a lasting impression on me. Read more
Published 18 months ago by SB-9
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Book
This book will carry you to a childhood of family unity, joy and peace, until things change for the Jews. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Debra S. Powers
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