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Remembering the Holocaust

Do you or someone you know, enjoy reading about WWII? It’s a very popular topic.

Though Holocaust Remembrance Day officially took place on Sunday, April 27, there are many titles available year-round at the Detroit Lakes Library to help those interested learn more about World War II and one of its greatest tragedies.

“The Man Who Broke into Auschwitz: A True Story of World War II,” by Denis Avey with Rob Broomby.

In the summer of 1944, Denis Avey was being held in a British POW labor 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.

“Alice’s Piano: the Life of Alice Herz-Sommer,” by Melissa Muller and Reinhard Piechocki.

Alice Herz-Sommer was born in Prague in 1903. A talented pianist from a very early age, she became famous throughout Europe; but, as the Nazis rose to power, her world crumbled. In 1942, her mother was deported to the Theresienstadt concentration camp and vanished.

In 1943, Alice, her husband and their six-year-old son were sent there, too. In the midst of horror, music, especially Chopin’s “Etudes,” was Alice›s salvation.

Theresienstadt was a “show camp”: a living slice of Nazi propaganda created to convince outsiders that the Jews were being treated humanely.

In more than a hundred concerts, Alice gave her fellow prisoners hope in a time of suffering.

Library Happenings

  • Children and their caregivers are invited to the library for story time events this week: Preschool Storytime on Thursday, May 1 at 10:30 a.m., and Family Storytime on Saturday, May 3 at 10:30 a.m.

Library Hours

The Detroit Lakes Library is open Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and closed Sunday.

For more information on Detroit Lakes Library services and programs, please call 218-847-2168 or visit your library at 1000 Washington Ave.