Thursday, February 13, 2014

By Shawn Hoffman

I literally could not put this book down!

This book tells the story of Samson Abram, a Jewish man who was imprisoned in Auschwitz during World War II, who is forced to box every Saturday night for Nazi brass entertainment. If he wins, he receives extra food but if he loses then he is sent to the gas chambers. But Samson is a fighter. He was a 1936 Olympic boxer who was robbed of his medal because of his nationality.

This book tells of the cruelty of man in the horrors of the Holocaust while at the same time portraying the courage of man in struggling for honor and dignity in these circumstances. I was immediately drawn into Samson’s story as one act of kindness throws him and his family into the eye of the SS and gets them all shipped off to the concentration camp. I walked through the petrifying moments when they arrive at the camp and the days which followed as the rumors are all confirmed in their living nightmare. But then, as I read, hope began to grow like a lone yellow flower Samson found growing in the changing room outside the boxing ring. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough as I raced to keep up with this phenomenal story of one man who would just not give up in the face of unimaginable cruelty and brutality.

Everything in this book actually happened to real people during the Nazi invasion of Poland in the early 1940’s. As you read through it, there are side notes detailing the actual facts this story is based on.