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The Escape Artist by Jonathan Freedland review – how an Auschwitz breakout alerted the world

The gripping and heroic story of Rudolf Vrba, who escaped the death camp in order to tell the world about its horrors It was around September 1942, the month when he turned 18, that Rudolf Vrba came to a momentous decision. He had been imprisoned in Auschwitz since June and was working on the ramp where most new arrivals were sent directly to their deaths. SS men would sometimes reassure them or even joke with them right up to the doors of the gas chambers. What Vrba realised, writes Jonathan Freedland, is that streamlined mass murder depended on “one cardinal principle: that the people who came to Auschwitz did not know where they were going or for what purpose”, since “it’s much easier to slaughter lambs than it is to hunt deer”. It would be his mission to “escape and sound the alarm”. Continue reading...

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