A Lucky Child: A Mem­oir of Sur­viv­ing Auschwitz as a Young Boy

Thomas Buer­gen­thal; Elie Wiesel, fwd.
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By – December 22, 2011

In this grip­ping mem­oir, Thomas Buer­gen­thal, now an Inter­na­tion­al Court Judge at the Hague, tells his mov­ing sto­ry of sur­vival as a child in the Holocaust. 

Bereft of the secu­ri­ty of his ear­li­er child­hood before the war in Ger­many, Thomas is vic­tim­ized dur­ing some of humanity’s dark­est hours. From the Kielce ghet­to, Auschwitz, labor camps, a Nazi death march, and being sep­a­rat­ed from his par­ents, Thomas’ deter­mi­na­tion to sur­vive is a tes­ta­ment to the resilience of the human spirit. 

From play­ing with chil­dren out­side of the Pol­ish orphan­age where he lived post-war, to enjoy­ing the adven­ture-filled life of being befriend­ed by the Pol­ish army, Thomas still man­aged to embrace the won­ders and joys of child­hood amidst the hor­ror of the Holocaust.

It was more than luck and the good for­tune of his Aryan” fea­tures that enabled him to sur­vive the war — it was his strength, wis­dom, and enor­mous faith that he would one day sur­vive and be reunit­ed with his parents. 

Amaz­ing­ly, Thomas was reunit­ed with his moth­er short­ly after the war and then moved to the Unit­ed States and began a career as lawyer and then as a judge. He has ded­i­cat­ed his career to fight­ing against the human rights vio­la­tions that he expe­ri­enced as a child.

Lau­ren Ski­ba grad­u­at­ed from Emory Uni­ver­si­ty in 2006 with a BA in Jew­ish and Mid­dle East­ern Studies.

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