Review: The Man Who Broke Into Auschwitz

The Man Who Broke Into Auschwitz-cover - cover Author: Denis Avey Publisher: Hodder Published: 2011 Pages: 276 The internment camps of Nazi Germany are a well-known and reviled part of recent human history. Of those, Auschwitz is particularly notable. This book recollects the story of a young man who went to war, and wound up, bizarrely, breaking in to a prison camp.
* * *Denis Avey is both the book’s author and main character. The book is his way of retelling his experiences going into the war across the Atlantic, of battle in North Africa, and of life inside one of the internment camps. The journey starts off as expected, but eventually he switches places with a prisoner (this happens around halfway in). More accurately, he as a British

POW switches places with a Jewish prisoner (so the book’s title is slightly misleading, yet memorable). Avey recalls the treatment the Jewish prisoners received, the little food they received, and the work they were forced to do. Eventually Avey was able to escape the camp and after another harrowing journey found rescue. It took Avey a long time to be able to tell his story. Yet it has turned out quite illuminating of the conditions inside the camps. For anyone with an interest in World War 2 battles and in particular life inside internment camps, this book is worth a read. It is a bit slow sometimes, can be rather grim at other times, and yet in the end is very educational and moving.