War in the Shadow of Auschwitz

  • by John Wiernicki
  • Narrated by Charles Henderson Norman
  • 12 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In 1943 Polish underground fighter John Wiernicki is captured and beaten by the Gestapo, then shipped to Auschwitz. In this chilling memoir, Wiernicki, a Gentile, details life in the infamous death camp, and his battle to survive, physically and morally, in the face of utter evil. The author begins by remembering his aristocratic youth, an idyllic time shattered by German invasion. The ensuing dark days of occupation would fire the adolescent Wiernicki with a burning desire to serve Poland, a cause that led him to valiant action and eventual arrest. As a young non-Jew, Wiernicki was acutely sensitive to the depravity and injustice that engulfed him at Auschwitz. He bears witness to the harrowing selection and extermination of Jews doomed by birth to the gas chambers, to savage camp policies, brutal SS doctors, and rampant corruption with the system. He notes the difference in treatment between Jews and non-Jews. And he relives fearful unexpected encounters with two notorious "Angels of Death": Josef Mengele and Heinz Thilo. War in the Shadow of Auschwitz is an important historical and personal document.

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What the Critics Say

"Wiernicki's memoir is a haunting and intimate account of the Holocaust, written with an almost unbearable clarity." (Booklist)
"In this simple but harrowing memoir, Wiernicki recounts his involvement with the Polish underground and his subsequent imprisonment in Nazi labor and death camps. That the author is a gentile survivor makes his testimony especially significant..." (Publishers Weekly)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Great insight into just how horrific it was...

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would recommend this to anyone who is interested in this topic, it is a great insight into what it was like and how it affected not only the Jews


What was one of the most memorable moments of War in the Shadow of Auschwitz?

Just learning about how life was for the prisoners of war. I have not heard such interesting detail before


Did the narration match the pace of the story?

The narration was a little like a newsreader reporting however in some ways this suited the story and allowed for the more gruesome aspects to be communicated effectively. The narrator had a good talent for pronouncing difficult German words.


Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I was shocking and very sad.


Any additional comments?

This audiobook was provided by the author/narrator/publisher in exchange for an unbiased review.

Read full review

- Tim Dearing

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-12-2016
  • Publisher: University Press Audiobooks