There are no words to describe Thomas’ experience in the holocaust other than to agree with the title he places on himself when he says he was “A Lucky Child.” Before the war, a fortune teller predicts that Thomas will survive a great tragedy because he is a lucky child. He will hold onto that prediction for the next several years. Thomas believes he is the recipient of such luck when he arrived at Auschwitz on a day the infamous selections that sent the elderly, sick, and children straight to the gas chambers did not take place. What sets apart this story from so many others is Thomas’ youth, which makes his journey of survival that much more incredible.
Of the memoirs I have read, this one was especially well done. The writing was casual but clean, and the events are described with a lot of detail. The honesty of Thomas’s tale is clear from the very first page of the book. Thomas ends up separated from his parents, but manages to survive death camps, death marches, liberation, and an orphanage on his own. The many tales of adversity and Thomas’ impossible survival make this an amazing story. What I really liked about Thomas was that he was very honest about how the war impacted him. For example, he was truthful about his initial hatred toward the Germans after the war, which he soon overcomes. The story also provided a gritty description of the society in Germany after the war. What is so astounding about Thomas’ tale is what he accomplished in his life. After becoming a lawyer, he devotes his life to squelching inhumanity and injustice on an international level.
The perspective of a young boy during WWII gave this memoir a unique angle that was very intriguing to me. I highly recommend this to anyone interested in this genre.