Author: Martin Goldsmith
Many books have been written about the Holocaust in many genres: fiction, memoirs, and documentaries. Martin Goldsmith’s Alex’s Wake follows his grandfather and uncle on their tragic voyage of the St. Louis as it embarked Nazi Germany and arrived at Cuba with German Jews fleeing the concentration camps and sure death. At their arrival by sea to Cuba, they were denied embarkation. As the St. Louis traveled the ocean on its way back to Germany, the United States and Canada also refused to allow these immigrants to arrive on their shores.
Martin and Amy Goldsmith travel the route that his grandfather Alex Goldschmidt and his uncle, Helmut Goldsmith took as they disembarked from the St. Louis in Germany and were then transported to several different camps before they ended up in Auschwitz, where they died.
Sad, melancholy, brave and ambitious, Martin’s step by step journey following his relative also carries Martin’s father’s guilt at not being able to save his father and brother from the camps. Martin has inherited that guilt and finally, at the end of his journey, he allows that guilt to end.
Beautifully written, this book discovers a new and novel way of seeing and experiencing the horror and anguish of one family and their descendants when they have no control of the evil that besets their destinies.
Susan Stanberg said about Alex’s Wake: “There are six million Holocaust stories. All of them are the same in sadness and devastation. Each is different in circumstance and fear. “ Martin Goldsmith has offered us a different view of his family’s tragedy as he sees the past through the present, and presents each clue about his grandfather and uncle as he finds them in the present. Overwhelmingly well done, Goldsmith allows us entrance into another view of the Holocaust and the heartbreaking waves that affected his entire family, especially Martin. We move along with Martin into the slough of a brutal past that has terrorized his family to the present, and stand beside him as he puts his rage and guilt back into the past that he so compellingly brings to life.
An amazing tale of an amazing journey through the worst horrors a family could experience – I could not put this book down and when I did, it was with tears and sadness. Brilliant.
Ratings are based on a 5-star scale
Review by Broad “A”
We received a copy of this title for our book review. All opinions are our own
Alex’s Wake: The Tragic Voyage of the St. Louis to Flee Nazi Germany?and a Grandson?s Journey of Love and Remembrance is available for purchase on Amazon.com and at other bookstores nationwide.