Author: Mietek Pemper

Category: Biographies & Memoirs

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The deeply moving Holocaust memoir of the Polish Jew who the extracted and shared the valuable Nazi intel later compiled in ‘Schindler’s lists.’ Steven Spielberg’s Oscar-winning film Schindler’s List popularized the true story of a German businessman who manipulated his Nazi connections and spent his personal fortune to save 1,200 Jewish prisoners during the Holocaust. But few know those lists were made possible by a secret strategy designed by a young Polish Jew at the P?aszow concentration camp. Mietek Pemper’s compelling and moving memoir tells the true story of how Schindler’s list really came to pass. Pemper was born in 1920 into a lively and cultivated Jewish family for whom everything changed when the Germans invaded Poland. Evicted from their home, they were forced into the Krakow ghetto and, later, into the nearby camp of P?aszow where Pemper’s knowledge of the German language was put to use by the sadistic camp commandant Amon Goth. Forced to work as Goth’s personal stenographer from March 1943 to September 1944—an exceptional job for a Jewish prisoner—Pemper soon realized that he could use his position as the commandant’s private secretary to familiarize himself with the inner workings of the Nazi bureaucracy and exploit the system to his fellow detainees’ advantage. Once he gained access to classified documents, Pemper was able to pass on secret information for Schindler to compile his famous lists. After the war, Pemper was the key witness of the prosecution in the 1946 trial against Goth and several other SS officers. The Road to Rescue stands as a historically authentic testimony of one man’s unparalleled courage, wit, defiance, and bittersweet victory over the Nazi regime.

Review The New York Times Book Review“A deepening of the story. . . . Pemper argues that the 'crucial accomplishment' was not the list itself but 'the multifarious acts of resistance that, like tiny stones being placed into a mosaic one by one, had made the whole process possible'…Pemper devotes most of his carefully written book to the numerous small initiatives that, in his telling, played a part in the rescue effort."Kirkus Reviews“A former inmate of the concentration camp that provided slave labor to Oskar Schindler’s factory informatively recounts the compilation of the businessman’s famous list….Compelling.” Booklist“Pemper’s memoir is the powerful story of one man’s stand against the slaughter of Jews.”  Publishers Weekly“Suspenseful…Pemper’s book is careful and sad, telling of both triumph and the inability to get over the grief.”  From Publishers Weekly This is a suspenseful account of how Metek Pemper, the Jewish secretary to Amon Göth, the commandant of Plaszow concentration camp, saved not just his own life but that of his family and other inmates, finally giving the damning testimony that helped convict Göth of war crimes. Steven Spielberg drew from the stories of Pemper and his friend Izak Stern for his movie Schindler's List (based on Thomas Keneally's book Schindler's List) but omitted Pemper's character from the film. After being made secretary to the commandant, Pemper lived in constant fear, but collected information and ensured that the camp would continue to operate. Some Jews were kept alive by Pemper providing fabricated figures to persuade high command that the camp was vital to the war effort. A bookish young man with a gift for languages and guile, Pemper was the only witness who could give a complete and accurate overview of Schindler's operation. Pemper's book is careful and sad, telling of both triumph and the inability to get over the grief. Illus. (Oct.) Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. From Booklist Spy, businessman, Nazi Party member, and “righteous gentile”—this was Oskar Schindler, the controversial German who saved 1,200 Jewish prisoners during the Holocaust. He put the prisoners on the now-famous “Schindler’s list” and transferred them to his factory in the Czech Republic. Pemper, a Polish Jew, spent 540 days in the Plaszow concentration camp, working as a stenographer to Amon Goth, the camp commander. Pemper was able to pass on secret information to Schindler so he could compile his list. After World War II, Pemper was witness for the prosecution in the trials of Goth and other SS officers. Pemper’s memoir is the powerful story of one man’s stand against the slaughter of Jews. --George Cohen --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. About the Author Mietek PemperMietek Pemper was born in Krakow in 1920. He studied law and economics, and, after 1945, sociology at Krakow's Jagiellonian University. Between completing his master's degree and leaving in 1958, he held a leading position in the office for auditing state-owned companies. He now lives in Augsburg, Germany. David DollenmayerDavid Dollenmayer is Professor of German at Worcester Polytechnic Institute and the author of The Berlin Novels of Alred Doblin. He is the recipient of the 2008 Helen and Kurt Wolff Translator's Prize. He lives in Hopkinton, Massachusetts. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.