To understand the inner works of Auschwitz, please check out our article: The Language of Evil.
In 1939, Gustav Kleinmann, a Jewish upholster from Vienna, and his sixteen-year-old son Fritz were arrested by the Gestapo and sent to Germany. Imprisoned in the Buchenwald concentration camp, they miraculously survived the Nazis’ murderous brutality.
Then Gustav learned he was being sent to Auschwitz—and certain death.
For Fritz, letting his father go was unthinkable. Desperate to remain together, Fritz made an incredible choice: he insisted he must go too. To the Nazis, one death camp was the same as another, and so the boy was allowed to follow.
Throughout the six years of horror they witnessed and immeasurable suffering they endured as victims of the camps, one constant kept them alive: their love and hope for the future.
Based on the secret diary that Gustav kept as well as meticulous archival research and interviews with members of the Kleinmann family, including Fritz’s younger brother Kurt, sent to the United States at age eleven to escape the war, The Boy Who Followed His Father into Auschwitz is Gustav and Fritz’s story—an extraordinary account of courage, loyalty, survival, and love that is unforgettable
Jeremy Dronfield is a biographer, historian, novelist and former archaeologist. Besides The Boy Who Followed His Father into Auschwitz, his recent non-fiction titles include national bestseller Beyond the Call. He lives in England.