email Sidney Iwens.
Read an Excerpt: Wednesday, July16, 1941 and Thursday, July 17 1941
This material, copyright 1990 by Sidney Iwens, is excerpted from hisprize-winning book "How Dark the Heavens". This material may not bereprinted or reproduced in any form without the expressed written permission of Sidney Iwens.
You can order your own hardcover copy of "How Dark the Heavens",autographed by the author, for $21.00, which includes shipping costs. You can also order online right now. Click here for HowDark the Heavens : 1400Days in the Grip of Nazi Terror, available from out associate, Amazon.com Bookstore.
June 22, 1941 -- the first day of SidneyIwens's long nightmare. The night before, he had been at a dance, enjoyinghimself with the other Jewish boys of his small Lithuanian city. Now he stoodwatching a dogfight between two distant planes. Tomorrow he would be fleeing forthis life -- a flight that would last for nearly four terror-filled years.
Lithuania, Latvia, and White Russia, directly in the path of the invadingGermans, fell into the murderous clutches of the first SS Einsatzgruppen, theSpecial Action Groups whose only missions was to kill Jews. In four months,aided by virulent anti-Semitic Latvians, Lithuanians, Ukrainians, and othernative peoples, they shot 250,000 Baltic Jews. And that was just for starters.Sidney himself, herded together with other boys and young men in a city prison,reached the very gates of the killing ground, only to be reprieved temporarily --because the SS had run out of ditches.
Thereafter, his life became a patchwork of hiding, pretending to be a skilledworkman (and thus worth the Germans' while to preserve for a time), fleeing tothe partisans, returning to the ghetto, and finally being shipped west to Dachau.
Sidney tells his story in diary form, reconstructed from memory of the diaryhe actually kept during the Holocaust years. he tells of his bittersweet romancein the shadow of betrayal and death, of the horrendous experiences of his friendsand fellow survivors, of having every hand against Jews, even fellow enemies ofthe Nazis, of the occasional acts of generosity -- usually from the mostunpredictable source, German soldiers themselves -- of his slow starvation andfinal rescue (like his first) at the gates of death.
This vivid and dramatic story of a Holocaust survivor is in a class by itself-- a day-by-day recounting of murder, heroism, stoic endurance, good luck, badluck, love, intrigue, and humanity.
This material, copyright 1990 by Sidney Iwens, is excerpted from hisprize-winning book "How Dark the Heavens". This material may not bereprinted or reproduced in any form without the expressed written permission of Sidney Iwens.Note: Once you hit send, the message has been sent. Sometimes it doesn't clearthe form, but we will receive it.
Go to the Top of the Page