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The Forger: An Extraordinary Story of Survival in Wartime Berlinby Cioma Schonhaus
Synopses & Reviews
In Nazi Germany, 20-year-old graphic artist Cioma Schönhaus found a unique outlet for his talent: he forged documents for people fleeing the Reich, ultimately helping to save hundreds of lives. Yet, even as the Gestapo posted his photo in public, he lived a daringly adventurous life, replete with fine restaurants and beautiful women, all the while managing to elude the Nazis. Breathtakingly bold, Schönhaus talked his way out of an arrest, defended Jewish diners being harassed by the police, and ultimately fled Germany by bicycling to Switzerland. Schönhauss story-his courageous exploits that saved so many, as many others around him were deported, one by one, to the concentration camps-is an astonishing tale of wartime heroism and survival.
"This memoir of a Jewish man's experience in wartime Berlin is less a tale of suffering than of courage. By 1942, Schnhaus's family had been deported; the 20-year-old was spared because he worked in an arms factory. In that year, he began using his graphics background to forge IDs for Jews in hiding, and eventually went underground himself. His efforts, aided by anti-Nazi Germans, saved the lives of hundreds of Jews. He maintains a determined tone about the war — 'At last, I didn't have to just look on helplessly at what they were doing to us,' he writes about being asked to forge documents — but Schnhaus's account has all the elements of a thriller. (In fact, Schnhaus's story is being made into a film.) Despite the doom around him, he lives boldly, enjoying sailing escapades and sexual encounters with women, seemingly defying the Nazi authorities to find him until he flees over the border into Switzerland. While adding to our knowledge about wartime Berlin, this work also tells us something about how the human spirit can thrive amid destruction and tragedy. (Feb. 1) " Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
The amazing account-soon to be a film-of Cioma Schönhaus, the Jewish Schindler who evaded the Nazis and forged life-saving documents in wartime Berlin
About the Author
Cioma Schönhaus was born in Berlin in 1922. While on the Gestapos wanted list, he escaped, with forged papers, to Switzerland, where he still lives.
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