Slave Labor
-12 %

Slave Labor

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Joel Berman
445 g
229x152x14 mm

This chilling book is based on the true story of Adrian Van De Ree, a Dutch/American forced into slave labor at the age of 19 by the Nazis during World War II. Beginning with events around the time Holland was invaded, it takes us into the home of an average Dutch family-Adrian's family-and describes their desperate efforts to survive in those terrible early years of occupation. But then life takes a frightening, unexpected turn for them when Adrian is betrayed by his Dutch/German employer, soon finding himself facing a grim future of forced labor. And we are jarred, unnerved by his recollections: an hour-by-hour history of one day among many in the experiences of a slave laborer, bringing clearly into focus a vivid picture of the horrors to which the young man and his fellow prisoners were subjected. It is reminiscent of similar circumstances that have been so well documented in countless books and films about the Holocaust, including such seminal works as Night by Elie Weisel, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexandr Solzhenitsyn, and The Diary of Anne Frank. However, the awful fate that befell many non-Jewish citizens of occupied Europe as a result of Nazi brutality has often been overlooked in accounts of that long and terrible war. But unlike so many stories of those who suffered in that conflict, this one leads to a renewal of life, with Adrian describing the last days of his imprisonment, liberation by the Allies, return to freedom in Holland, and later his emigration to the United States. Slave Labor unflinchingly discloses the indignity and the savagery imposed by one group of people on another, but in the end it is shown to be that most hopeful of all tales, for ithas become-as its subtitle declares-a Meditation on Humanity.