In the summer of 1941, eleven-year-old Wolf is growing up amid the rubble and antisemitism of war-torn Nazi Berlin. Destitute and facing deportation, he must leave behind his sister and travel with his family across a continent entrenched in war. With nothing in hand but expired visas to the US, Wolf and his family must figure out how to sneak aboard the Spanish freighter the Navemar, a ship that would gain its reputation as the “Hell Ship of Death.” But this is only the beginning of Wolf’s saga.
American Wolf is a heart-stopping true story full of last-minute rescues, near-death encounters, and survival against untold odds. It is also a story about coming of age, family dysfunction and national identity, and is a resounding testament to the triumph of the human spirit.
Using the notes compiled by her father, Audrey Birnbaum vividly retells a poignant account of Wolf’s childhood in Berlin, his riveting escape from Nazi Germany, and the continued challenges he faced even as he reached freedom.