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The Nazi, the Princess, and the Shoemaker

Narrated by: Benjamin G. Powell
Length: 10 hrs and 54 mins
Categories: Biographies & Memoirs

Non-member price: $34.76

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Publisher's Summary

Have you ever heard of a Jew who saved a Nazi's life? Who evaded capture by pretending to be a Polish peasant, a communist spy, a partisan, and a rabbi? Who spent months starving in the woods, sleeping in haystacks in the freezing cold, only to finish off the war in a luxurious palace as the guest of a Polish princess? 

Over 30 years in the making, this unique and extraordinary account was recreated from cassette tapes which were recorded in the early 1980s and later found in the bottom of a closet as well as videotaped interviews by Steven Spielberg’s Shoah Foundation.

The book describes Binem's childhood in the rural Polish village of Radziejow and details how his family and community were devastated by the trauma of the Nazi invasion and unimaginably cruel occupation of Poland. 

At the age of 24, Binem escapes a German forced labor camp and struggles to survive the harsh Polish winter by sleeping in haystacks during the day and begging food from peasant farmers at night. Through a chance encounter with a former schoolmate, Binem is taken in by the Osten-Sackens, an aristocratic Polish woman (the “princess”) and her ethnic German husband, who Binem later learns is a secret Gestapo agent. 

When Germany begins to lose the war, their son, an SS officer (the “Nazi”), forces Binem to vow to protect his parents from inevitable attempts at retribution. Binem makes good on his promise (three times!), saving the Osten-Sackens twice from Russian soldiers and later by testifying on his behalf in a Polish court.  

The book describes Binem’s holocaust experience in harrowing detail, from its lows, including a suicide attempt in the Jewish graveyard where his parents were buried, to its highs, such as finishing off the war as an honored guest at the Osten-Sacken mansion and his celebratory speech to the Russian Jewish officers who liberated him.

©2018 Adi Neuman (P)2019 Adi Neuman

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  • Jan
  • 30-10-2019

Amazing!

Poland, escape, horror, nazis, family, community, Jewish ***** The begats in the beginning were as confusing as those of any family, but I really appreciated the insight into life in Poland before the invasion by Hitler (my people got to the US years before WW1). The escape of the author's father implemented by some very unlikely individuals is astounding! The publisher's blurb covers much, but you really need to read it to fully understand. I kept reading into the night it was so compelling. The excellent narrator is Benjamin G Powell. I won this audiobook in a giveaway!

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  • carman
  • 24-10-2019

Just can't get in to this book

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review. This is normally the type of book I would enjoy, but unfortunately I just can’t get in to this book. Probably won’t finish the book.

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  • The Den
  • 18-10-2019

Amazing, Miraculous

Although it gets off to a slow start, as Neuman explores what may be deemed unnecessary details of Jewish traditions, with a little time and patience, The Nazi, The Princess and the Shoemaker turns into a fast paced intriguing story of how one Jew survives the holocaust, against all odds. 4.5 stars.