MLA Platinum Award Press Release

Summary and book reviews of The Man Who Broke Into Auschwitz by Denis Avey

The Man Who Broke Into Auschwitz

A True Story of World War II

by Denis Avey, Rob Broomby

The Man Who Broke Into Auschwitz by Denis Avey, Rob Broomby X
The Man Who Broke Into Auschwitz by Denis Avey, Rob Broomby
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Jun 2011, 288 pages
    Paperback:
    Aug 2012, 288 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Kim Kovacs
Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

The Man Who Broke into Auschwitz is the extraordinary story of a British soldier who marched willingly into the concentration camp known as Auschwitz III, to testify at first hand the atrocities occurring in the camp.

The Man Who Broke into Auschwitz is the extraordinary true story of a British soldier who marched willingly into the concentration camp, Buna-Monowitz, known as Auschwitz III.

In the summer of 1944, Denis Avey was being held in a British POW labour camp, E715, near Auschwitz III. He had heard of the brutality meted out to the prisoners there and he was determined to witness what he could.

He hatched a plan to swap places with a Jewish inmate and smuggled himself into his sector of the camp. He spent the night there on two occasions and experienced at first-hand the cruelty of a place where slave workers had been sentenced to death through labor.

Astonishingly, he survived to witness the aftermath of the Death March where thousands of prisoners were murdered by the Nazis as the Soviet Army advanced. After his own long trek right across central Europe he was repatriated to Britain.

For decades he couldn't bring himself to revisit the past that haunted his dreams, but now Denis Avey feels able to tell the full story - a tale as gripping as it is moving - which offers us a unique insight into the mind of an ordinary man whose moral and physical courage are almost beyond belief.

Editor's note: There has been some debate among critics and historians as to the accuracy of Denis Avey's account of his experiences in Auschwitz III. To find out more, check out the video interview with Avey in which he defends his work.

Chapter 1

I never joined up to fight for King and Country, though I was patriotic enough. No, I enlisted for the sheer hell of it, for the adventure. I had no idea how much hell there would be.

There was no sense of heroic departure when I went off to war. We left Liverpool on the troopship Otranto on a bright August morning in 1940 with no idea where we were headed.

I looked at the Royal Liver Building, across the broadening strip of brown Mersey water and wondered whether I would ever see the green Liver birds crowning it again. Liverpool had not seen much bombing then. It would get its share a month after I left, but for now it was largely a peaceful city. I was twenty-one years old and I felt indestructible. If I lose a limb, I promised myself, I am not coming home. I was a red-headed soldier with a temperament to match and it would get me into lots of trouble but that is just how I was.

I joined the army because I was in too much of a rush to join the RAF. The ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for a year or $39 for 3 months
  • More about membership!

Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

The Man Who Broke into Auschwitz has an eye-catching title and jacket copy, but each does the author a disservice. The exchange highlighted so prominently encompasses only 15 pages of the narrative, and it's a bit of a letdown compared to the rest of the author's experiences. This is a fascinating memoir that certainly engages the mind, if not the soul; it answers the question, "What happened?" as opposed to "What was it like?" Those who enjoy wartime chronicles will undoubtedly find much of interest in its pages. Is it a stand-out example of its genre? Not necessarily, but it is definitely an excellent addition to it...continued

Full Review (759 words).

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access, become a member today.

(Reviewed by Kim Kovacs).

Media Reviews

Deseret News
Simple, moving, and gripping story that puts one into the death camps and on the death march.

Press Association (UK)
There are some who doubt his story but don't let that ruin this extraordinary book.

News of the World (UK)
His descriptions are terrifyingly vivid. His bravery in saving the life of a Jewish prisoner is inspiring

Publishers Weekly
An excellent memoir of survival.

Kirkus Reviews
[A] plainspoken, moving story… a unique war story from a brave man.

Canberra Times (Australia)
[A] strange, brave and bracing story.

Author Blurb Sir Martin Gilbert
This is a most important book, and a timely reminder of the dangers that face any society once intolerance and racism take hold.

Author Blurb Henry Kamm, New York Times correspondent and Pulitzer Prize winner
Denis is a hero in time of terror, a man of limitless moral and physical courage.

Reader Reviews

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for a year or $39 for 3 months
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked The Man Who Broke Into Auschwitz, try these:

  • The Volunteer jacket

    The Volunteer

    by Jack Fairweather

    Published 2020

    About this book

    Winner of the Costa Book of the Year Award. The incredible true story of a Polish resistance fighter's infiltration of Auschwitz to sabotage the camp from within, and his daring escape to warn the Allies about the Nazis' true plans for a "Final Solution."

  • Zero Night jacket

    Zero Night

    by Mark Felton

    Published 2015

    About this book

    On August 30, 1942 - 'Zero Night' - 40 Allied officers staged the most audacious mass escape of World War II. Told with a novelist's eye for drama and detail, this rip-roaring adventure is all the more thrilling because it really happened.

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member
Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for a year or $39 for 3 months
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Join Now!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Master Class
    Master Class
    by Christina Dalcher
    Christina Dalcher's Master Class shows America sleepwalking into a perfectionist eventuality not ...
  • Book Jacket: How to Pronounce Knife
    How to Pronounce Knife
    by Souvankham Thammavongsa
    Many examples of immigrant fiction dedicate a portion of their storytelling to exploring details of ...
  • Book Jacket: The Easy Part of Impossible
    The Easy Part of Impossible
    by Sarah Tomp
    Teenager Ria Williams is a skilled diver. She is on track to compete at the Olympic level, but ...
  • Book Jacket: Fire in Paradise
    Fire in Paradise
    by Alastair Gee , Dani Anguiano
    On November 8, 2018, a fire started in Northern California's Butte County after 50-70 mph winds ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Prisoner's Wife
    by Maggie Brookes

    Inspired by the true story of a courageous young woman who enters a Nazi POW camp to be with the man she loves.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Daughter of the Reich
    by Louise Fein

    A spellbinding story of impossible love set against the backdrop of the Nazi regime.
    Reader Reviews

Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
The Paris Hours
by Alex George

One day in the City of Light. One night in search of lost time.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win The House on Fripp Island

The House on Fripp Island
by Rebecca Kauffman

A taut, page-turning novel of secrets and strife.

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

B I T T Water

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.