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1 Burnside Judaism- Holocaust

The Mascot: Unraveling the Mystery of My Jewish Father's Nazi Boyhood

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The Mascot: Unraveling the Mystery of My Jewish Father's Nazi Boyhood Cover

ISBN13: 9780670018260
ISBN10: 0670018260
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Less Than Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

One ma‛s struggle with memory and prejudice on the way to recovering his past

Mark Kurzem was happily ensconced in his academic life at Oxford when his father, Alex, showed up on his doorstep with a terrible secret to tell. When a Nazi death squad raided his village at the outset of World War II, Jewish five-year-old Alex Kurzem escaped. After surviving the Russian winter by foraging for food and stealing clothes off dead soldiers, he was discovered by a Nazi-led Latvian police brigade that later became an SS unit. Not knowing he was Jewish, they made him their mascot, dressing the little“corpora” in uniform and toting him from massacre to massacre. Terrified, the resourceful Alex charmed the highest echelons of the Latvian Third Reich, eventually starring in a Nazi propaganda film. When the war ended he was sent to Australia with a family of Latvian refugees.

Fearful of being discovered—as either a Jew or a Nazi—Alex kept the secret of his childhood, even from his loving wife and children. But he grew increasingly tormented and became determined to uncover his Jewish roots and the story of his past. Shunned by a local Holocaust organization, he reached out to his son Mark for help in reclaiming his identity. A survival story, a grim fairy-tale, and a psychological drama, this remarkable memoir asks provocative questions about identity, complicity, and forgiveness.

Synopsis:

The ?spellbinding? (The New York Times) true story of a Jewish boy who became the darling of the Nazis

When a Nazi death squad massacred his mother and fellow villagers, five-year-old Alex Kurzem escaped, hiding in the freezing Russian forest until he was picked up by a group of Latvian SS soldiers. Alex was able to hide his Jewish identity and win over the soldiers, becoming their mascot and an honorary ?corporal? in the SS with his own uniform. But what began as a desperate bid for survival became a performance that delighted the highest ranks of the Nazi elite. And so a young Jewish boy ended up starring in a Nazi propaganda film.

After sixty-three years of silence, Alex revealed his terrible secret to his son Mark. With his son?s help, Alex retraced his past in search of answers and vindication. His story is at once a terrifying account of survival and its psychological cost as well as a brutally honest examination of identity, complicity, and memory.

Synopsis:

A survival story, a grim fairy-tale, and a psychological drama, this remarkable memoir about a Jewish boys Nazi past asks provocative questions about identity, complicity, and forgiveness.

About the Author

Mark Kurzem studied at Melbourne, Tokyo, and Oxford universities. He served as international relations adviser to the mayor of Osaka in Japan. This is his first book.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

FUBSY , September 8, 2011 (view all comments by FUBSY )
A five-year old Jewish boy escapes a village massacre by a Nazi death squad and survives the winter cold by taking the uniform of a dead Nazi soldier. Found by Latvian Nazi soldiers he becomes their mascot and eventually lives with a high ranking Nazi family where he stars in a propaganda film. The story begins when, as a man in his seventies, he comes to his scholarly son and finally reveals the secret he has been keeping from his loving wife and family for almost his whole life. He fears being known as either a Jew or a Nazi, but asks his son to investigate his vague memories and uncover the startling truth of his young years. A mystery, and a search for identity and redemption, told through the memories of a little boy, with a surprising twist. An extremely moving memoir of a haunted man.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780670018260
Subtitle:
Unraveling the Mystery of My Jewish Father's Nazi Boyhood
Author:
Kurzem, Mark
Publisher:
Plume
Subject:
Holocaust
Subject:
Personal Memoirs
Subject:
Jews
Subject:
World war, 1939-1945
Subject:
Holocaust survivors -- Australia.
Subject:
Kurzem, Alex
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
20080826
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Illustrations:
b/w photos throughout
Pages:
432
Dimensions:
9.24x6.48x1.38 in. 1.34 lbs.
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
History and Social Science » Europe » Germany » Nazi Germany
Religion » Judaism » Holocaust

The Mascot: Unraveling the Mystery of My Jewish Father's Nazi Boyhood Used Hardcover
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$4.50 In Stock
Product details 432 pages Viking Books - English 9780670018260 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
The ?spellbinding? (The New York Times) true story of a Jewish boy who became the darling of the Nazis

When a Nazi death squad massacred his mother and fellow villagers, five-year-old Alex Kurzem escaped, hiding in the freezing Russian forest until he was picked up by a group of Latvian SS soldiers. Alex was able to hide his Jewish identity and win over the soldiers, becoming their mascot and an honorary ?corporal? in the SS with his own uniform. But what began as a desperate bid for survival became a performance that delighted the highest ranks of the Nazi elite. And so a young Jewish boy ended up starring in a Nazi propaganda film.

After sixty-three years of silence, Alex revealed his terrible secret to his son Mark. With his son?s help, Alex retraced his past in search of answers and vindication. His story is at once a terrifying account of survival and its psychological cost as well as a brutally honest examination of identity, complicity, and memory.

"Synopsis" by , A survival story, a grim fairy-tale, and a psychological drama, this remarkable memoir about a Jewish boys Nazi past asks provocative questions about identity, complicity, and forgiveness.
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