That’s exactly what happened in the book that I am currently obsessed with, Scheisshaus Luck, Surviving the Unspeakable in Auschwitz and Dora by Pierre Berg with Brian Brock.
When I looked at the cover, I thought it was going to be “just another” Holocaust story. (I would love to see them re-release this book with another cover. I believe it can reach a wider audience.)
Although Pierre was a member of the French Resistance, he was arrested by the Nazis while visiting a friend who was being arrested for owning a short-wave radio. Wrong place, wrong time.
He was a teenager when he was arrested and sent to Drancy, where he met a girl named Stella and fell in love. His love for Stella weaves in and out of the story, a thread of hope for him to look forward to in the future, as he endures hell on earth day after day.
After leaving the concentration camps and getting back home, Pierre sat down to write his memoirs while still fresh in his mind. After a few attempts to have it published, he put it in a drawer and moved on with his life. Fifty years later, he pulled out the draft and worked on it with Brian Brock, a writer. It became the book, Scheisshaus Luck.
The book is not merely a retelling of the atrocities committed, but an emotional roller coaster through the eyes of a teenager whose world is spinning out of control. That’s what makes it so different.
There are a few of the sentences and phrases that make me stop as gasp as I read it:
…with our traveling companions, twelve hundred prisoners of the Third Reich.
If the Nazis found that message and connected it to me, it would be certain torture and death.
No, [this time] we were going to travel like farm animals.
From the shadows appeared ghastly creatures dressed in blue and gray striped uniforms. I couldn’t believe they were human.
The only thing I cared about was my stomach’s incessant crying.
There are lots more, but that is a sample of how good this writing is.
I highly recommend you read this book. Click to read more on Amazon here: Scheisshaus Luck