Epic in scope, Joel Rosenberg’s “The Auschwitz Escape” is a work of historical fiction that is both breathtaking and heartbreaking. Young and naïve Jacob Wiesz, guided by his beloved Uncle Avi, joins the Resistance movement in Belgium after he is forced to flee his native Germany. Meanwhile, Jean-Luc Leclerc, an assistant pastor in Vichy France, answers God’s call to love his neighbor and the Jewish people by helping as many of them escape to safety as possible. Unfortunate circumstances land both men in the Auschwitz death camp, and while their approaches differ, they end up interacting in an unexpected and potentially dangerous way. Jacob has never been religious and cannot fathom how a loving God could allow such widespread genocide, and he makes it his mission to survive and try to help his people in any way possible, while Jean-Luc never questions his faith in God or his calling to help the Lord’s chosen people. Together, can the two men make a difference in this place of hellish devastation?
With “The Auschwitz Escape,” Rosenberg crafts an incredible thriller that readers will not be able to put down. Despite its sordid subject matter, Rosenberg handles the story with grace and clean language, drawing upon true accounts and several historical figures. The narrative focuses mostly on Jacob and his experiences, and despite the plethora of Holocaust books already published, this one is unique in its focus and approach. It teaches that even in the darkest hours, there is hope and a place for miracles. Anyone who enjoys historical fiction, Holocaust and WWII literature, and heart-pounding suspense will find “The Auschwitz Escape” a must-read.