A Train Near Magdeburg is a historical novel that documents the story of American soldiers liberating Jewish people trapped on a train that had recently departed from the concentration camp. The book was written by Matthew Rozell, who is a History teacher in the United States. The book was born out of a regular school project, which surprisingly helped to reunite the victims with the soldiers who saved them (Rozell 429).
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Personally, I found the book very moving and sad because it depicts the horrors that concentration camp victims went through during World War II. The story also highlights some ideas and lessons that are important for the public today.
My first impression of the book was that it is tough to read, not because of the author’s language but due to the events and situations portrayed there. The author illustrates the horrors of German concentration camps during World War II, including torture, hunger, death, and executions. It was very difficult for me to read through these scenes and imagine that there were people who would treat innocent men, women, and children in this way.
However, the second part of the book, which tells the story of the victims’ liberation from the train, was far more positive. While it showed the poor health condition that most victims were in, it also depicted the heroism of American soldiers and medics who rescued them. It was a pleasant surprise for me to read the reunion stories, where victims thanked their rescuers and shared more memories about their experience in the concentration camp.
Overall, I think that the book is very emotional and interesting to read, although there are many dark parts in it. Through the experiences of victims and liberators, the book helps us to remember the horrors of World War II. It also shows the real value of courage and empathy, illustrating how these qualities helped American soldiers to save the lives of hundreds of people. I believe that everyone should read this book because, in the contemporary world, these values are just as important.
Rozell, Matthew. A Train Near Magdeburg: A Teacher’s Journey Into the Holocaust, and the Reuniting of the Survivors and Liberators, 70 Years on. Woodchuck Hollow Press, 2016.