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  • The Escape Artist

  • The Man Who Broke Out of Auschwitz to Warn the World
  • By: Jonathan Freedland
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Freedland
  • Length: 11 hrs and 47 mins
  • 4.9 out of 5 stars (113 ratings)

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The Escape Artist

By: Jonathan Freedland
Narrated by: Jonathan Freedland
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Publisher's Summary

The astonishing, forgotten story of the hero who escaped from Auschwitz to reveal the truth of the Holocaust.

In April 1944, a teenager named Rudolf Vrba was planning a daring and unprecedented escape from Auschwitz. After hiding in a pile of timber planks for three days while 3,000 SS men and their bloodhounds searched for him, Vrba and his fellow escapee Fred Wetzler would eventually cross Nazi-occupied Poland on foot, as penniless fugitives. Their mission: to tell the world the truth of the Final Solution.

Vrba would produce from memory a breathtaking report of more than thirty pages revealing the true nature and scale of Auschwitz—a report that would find its way to Roosevelt, Churchill and the Pope, eventually saving over 200,000 Jewish lives.

A thrilling history with enormous historical implications, The Escape Artist is the extraordinary story of a complex man who would seek escape again and again: first from Auschwitz, then from his past, even from his own name. In telling his story, Jonathan Freedland—the journalist, broadcaster and acclaimed, multi-million copy selling author of the Sam Bourne novels—ensures that Rudolf Vrba's heroic mission will also escape oblivion.

©2022 Jonathan Freedland (P)2022 Hodder & Stoughton Limited
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A very important book about the Holocaust

informative, well researched, balance reporting of what happened to the Verba Report. I am the child of Holocaust survivors, my father from Auschwitz and have grown up with stories of what happened and yet I learned so much. it also gave me tremendous insight into the post Holocaust behaviour of many survivors, my parents and their contemporaries. it really added to my understanding of this period in History and I'm so glad I read a newspaper review about it because the title alone would not have drawn me.
the fact that it was read by the author was the icing on the cake for me.

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3 people found this helpful

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What a journey

I knew this book would provide a great insight into a man’s escape from Auschwitz, but the surprise message of this story is mankind’s incredible capacity to do nothing in the face of evil.

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2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Moving, Epic, Heartbreaking

Must read. History made plain and brutal. What a stunning piece of writing. Thank you.

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1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good historical narrative

I discovered new things. I found it a bit repetitive at times. Fascinating overall and worth the listen.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

if there was a 6th Star I would give it......

An amazing story expertly told and beautifully read by Jonathan. Could not put it down.
The attention to accuracy and detail while contextualising the narrative delivers a thoughtful account of a challenging subject.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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What an incredible book

This book was very hard to listen to - so harrowing. What an amazing story of courage and survival, against all the odds. And to think people didn’t believe him!!

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    4 out of 5 stars

Fantastic But Not 100% Accurate

Wow! What a roller coaster of a read. Walter/Rudolf’s story was gripping and I’d recommend that anyone and everyone give this book a read. My only annoyance is that Walter/Rudi was not actually the first Jew to escape Auschwitz. Saying he was (unnecessarily) immediately makes one question whether some of the events outlined as facts/events in the story are totally accurate. That being said, it is a brilliant story that is wonderfully narrated and a sobering reminder of the cruelty we are capable of.

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    5 out of 5 stars

a Must read to understand

the narrator is very easy to listen to.
a history that is shocking but can't be ever forgotten.
acute history, amazing detail.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Profoundly shocking, detailed story of human evil.

Brilliant book for anyone interested in man's capacity to inflict unimaginable pain & suffering on fellow humans. We mostly all know about Auschwitz and Nazi Germany's other concentration camps; well, here is a surviving insider's moment by moment tale of the way Nazis perpetrated one of history's worst, most profoundly chilling and inhuman mass killings. It describes how millions simply obediently walked to their deaths, despite sometimes having been warned about what awaited them. Brilliantly written, and also brilliantly read by Freedland, this is a book for history buffs.
What it leaves me with, however, is the question as to how Israel - having experienced this mountain of blood-curling evilness - can today be determined to inflict the same fate on Palestinians. It bombs them indiscriminately, steals their 'disputed' lands, displaces them and steals their possessions, exactly as Germans did to Jews during WWII. Has Israel forgotten? I'm sure not. How then can they perpetrate the same attempted genocide on Palestinians? Sadly, there is no clear answer. That takes nothing away from this book, which I recommend.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A wonderful book

LOVE this narrator … his warm accent along with the powerful story provided an account of WW2 that I have not heard before.

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