Tracks to freedom follows three different prisoners that ultimately are given positions in the interment camp to position them to help their fellow Jews. Agnes is a nurse that cannot stand to see the horrible experiments the doctors put her fellow juice through and risks her life to help them. Joel was in present after being ratted out by a fellow Jew. He was made a mechanic and hates knowing how he contributes to the deaths in the camp and then there’s Sampson, he was falsely accused of missing mandatory work days and when the garden showed him such a lack of respect he could no longer take it he beat him over the head with the zone night stick. He to worse in the prison. They all feel guilty having positions that help hurt or killed their fellow Jews unlike other Jews who want to prove to the Nazis how much they agree with them they willingly hurt in strong-arm their own brother in. This was a good book but I do fine it’s so hard to take reading about the atrocities visited on undeserving people. I know this has been a trend through history but it is one thing to talk about it in the abstract and I told another to read about it in the book. I think the author did a great job bringing you to the deepest lows and then the greatest highs. I couldn’t wait to see how it ended and I totally and thoroughly enjoyed it. I received this book from NetGalley and a publisher but I am leaving this review voluntarily please forgive any mistakes as I am blind and dictate my review.
Follow the fictional account of a few of the people who spent years at Auschwitz and Birkenau in Tracks to Freedom by Michael Reit. There is Samson, who is assigned to work the crematorium. Roza has her women steel gunpowder from the factory. Agnus is a nurse who is witness to the experimental surgeries going on. Kaminski is a block leader, who quietly keeps the underground going. Joel is the repairman who is allowed to travel between the various parts of the camps and keeps information flowing.
This is a long and sometimes tedious book, but it is well researched and gives the reader a look into what took place in the concentration camp. May we never forget what happened there.
With a perfect mix of both fact and fiction the story told is both beautiful and heart wrenching. We follow the lives of some of those imprisoned in Aushwitz and the uprising and destruction of a few of the crematoriums. Their will to not be defeated and to take a stand is inspiring. May we never forget the horror of such injustice. I will be reading more of this author’s books.
Tracks to Freedom takes place mainly in Auschwitz-Birkenau during WWII and is absolutely crushing in every way. Oh, how my heart ached! Humankind can be impossibly brutal and cruel but it can also be indescribably merciful. The anguish suffered by the characters in this story and those around them is hellish. Death usually came after prisoners served their purpose. Most were too destroyed mentally and physically to rise up but a few who managed to survive resisted in their own ways...and every way counted from standing up to Sonderkommandos to smuggling medication and morsels of food to treating corpses with dignity to miraculously obtaining and hiding firearms.
The main characters were forced to perform in horrendous conditions, including Samson Tarski who was tasked with crematoria work. For him working with the dead was marginally better than working with living corpses. What he lived is incomprehensible. But the Nazis made it impossible to oppose...not only were the prisoners' lives constantly on the line (death was rampant) but others would get punished for one's disobedience in deplorable ways. Agnes Marx and her sister faced the selection upon arrival at Auschwitz. As a nurse Agnes worked in the terrifying Block 10 where she was forced to help doctors with experimenting on women. She risked her life to show compassion and to stockpile and administer medications taken from luggage and clothing of the dead. As an engineer Joel Kozak used his skills and ability to work in any department in the camps to help where he could, hiding tools and obtaining information, bravely fighting. All three of the main characters showed spirit and kindness though they faced moral dilemmas in working where they did.
This gut wrenching book is perfect for Historical Fiction readers who are intrigued by WWII and the Holocaust in particular. It is unputdownable yet it was crucial for me to do so more than once to catch my breath and stop the tears. It is obvious that writing this thoroughly-researched book was almost unbearable for the author, too. The stories are excruciating and the author took great care to capture them from true accounts. His other books are all outstanding and written with the same thoughtfulness and anything he writes will be an automatic read for me.
My sincere thank you to Michael Reit and NetGalley for the absolute honour of reading this powerful and unforgettable book. My feelings about it are impossible to convey. Kudos to the author for recognizing the importance of the Resistance and horrific aspects of WWII and having the courage to write about it.
This gut-wrenching and gripping WW11 historical novel is the sequel to “Beyond the Tracks” follows Agnes Markx, a nurse assigned to Block 10 where she became an unwilling accomplice to the Nazi doctor’s medical experiments. The horrors there aren’t exaggerated...We also see what electrician Joel Kozak faced in the gargantuan camp while Samson Tarski, a stoker in the crematoria witnessed more death each hour. These three strangers needed to survive the horrors in order to tell the world about it....
Based on actual events and people, this novel recreates in a vivid language the lives of prisoners incarcerated at one of the most dangerous place to be held during the 1940’s. Mr. Reit acknowledges he took some liberties to bring his story to our ears.
I have read multiple stories during this terrible time Auschwitz is one of the most notorious camp and through recent years people have voiced their experiences. I never get tired of listening or reading what they went through. Their story is one of bravery and highlights the battle to retain one’s humanity. The author did excellent recreation of the terror, the suffering, the hunger, the fear the prisoners faced each day...To situate us better we have quite a bit of backstory in the lives of these three characters till ½ through they met...and their join effort to survive crisscrossed.
There are a few more people that crossed the pages especially when the underground camp resistance reached out and shared a bold plan to rise and destroy the crematoria.....as a reader I wanted so much for all involved to come out in one piece....not to be as we well know...
“Tracks to Freedom” is well-written: lively and interesting.
This was truly one of the best books I have read about the Holocaust and of Auschwitz. I have read many and in each one I always learn something new. This story was heartbreaking yet powerful and should be read by all. Highly recommend.
“Tracks to Freedom” is a WWII historical fiction book by Michael Reit. This is the second book in a series, but it can be read as a stand-alone. What I liked was Mr. Reit’s historical research - just when you might think you know the majority of stories about Auschwitz, there is always another one to discover. Mr. Reit does acknowledge, in his afterward, where he took liberties. There is a lot of back story for all three characters - at times a bit too much (the characters’ stories don’t start intertwining until about the 50% mark), but do continue on. I found the build up to the plan tense and rather liked the abruptness of the ending - and it makes me wonder if there will be another book written with these characters. I do have the first book Beyond the Tracks on my TBR and this book has made me nudge the first book up a bit.