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Remember Us  By  cover art

Remember Us

By: Vic Shayne,Martin Small
Narrated by: Peter Altschuler
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Publisher's Summary

Remember Us is a look back at the lost world of the shtetl: a wise Zayde offering prophetic and profound words to his grandson, the rich experience of Shabbos, and the treasure of a loving family. All this is torn apart with the arrival of the Holocaust, beginning a crucible fraught with twists and turns so unpredictable and surprising that they defy any attempt to find reason within them. From work camps to the partisans of the Nowogrudek forests, from the Mauthausen concentration camp to life as a displaced person in Italy, and from fighting the Egyptian army in a tiny Israeli kibbutz in 1948 to starting a new life in a new world in New York, this book encompasses the mythical "hero's journey" in very real historical events. Through the eyes of 91-year-old Holocaust survivor Martin Small, we learn that these priceless memories that are too painful to remember are also too painful to forget.

©2009 Vic Shayne (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Remember Us

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A Tragic and Rich Life, With Lessons For All

Would you listen to Remember Us again? Why?

Yes. Few people live (and suffer) as fully as Martin Small. The lessons of his upbringing,, his experiences during the Holocaust and how he rebuilt a life from nothing offer so much wisdom. I have already shared many of his stories with my children and expect that they will be interested in reading his story too.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Remember Us?

The memorable moments are endless. 4 stand out:
1. The absolute interconnectedness of all people in his small shtetl.
2. When he watched a polish farm woman get beaten because she was suspected of hiding Jews.
3. When Mr. Small was approached after the war by the wife of an SS officer and asked to save her daughter.
4. When he/the reader learn that his visa to American had been sold on the black market and had it not been for his relative, he may have languished on the beaches of Italy for many more years, never finding the chance to rebuild his life.

What does Peter Altschuler bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

He seems to read the book with a smile, channeling Mr. Small's positive energy, which he holds despite his unbearably traumatic early life.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes.

Any additional comments?

The book is captivating from the start and grows more compelling as it moves forward. The seemingly tiny details of his journey, such as his visits to the Italian beach while he waited days, then months then years for his visa to America hint at much larger themes. How long might the clearly resilient and personable Mr. Small have floundered on the Italian coast line had a distant relative from America not come traveled across the world to sort out his visa problem? When would this young man, with all of him immediate family murdered and no tangible ties to his rich past left, have given up hope? When would he have lost the will to build a life or grown too weary to find the strength to learn a new language and a new trade? Mr. Small’s story sheds light on the atrocities endured by survivors. That so many were never able to recover from their trauma and build a “normal” life becomes easy to understand after reading this book. Those, such as Mr. Small, who were not too young or old to be immediately murdered by the Nazi machine, and went on to defy every odd and survive the war, lost years of their lives to war and its aftermath in displaced persons camp, never able to quite pick up the pieces . Mr. Small’s story highlights where he was graced by luck and pluck and distant relatives able to help him find a place to fit in as well as jobs where he could make a living.

Mr. Smalls stories highlight true good versus evil moments that many of us, thankfully, cannot even imagine. When the war came to Mr. Small’s home village, former friends became murders. There was one Polish farm family Mr. Small felt safe turning to for help. Amazingly, their living room was filled with others who had sought their help. Mr. Small witnessed a former playmate break the leg of the homeowner with a rifle butt when he suspected of her harboring Jews. After the war Mr. Small remembered the few noble people who had helped him. He then tells about when he was approached by the wife of an SS officer who pleaded with Mr. Small to save her daughter from the Russians who were now hunting Nazi war criminals. Mr. Small chose to save not only the SS officer’s daughter but his wife and her mother as well.

The afterward, by Mr. Small’s daughter, shows the reader the scars that Mr. Small endured but spared his audience. The appendices, with historical reports by soldiers who knew the camps in various capacities, also contribute to the strength of this book.
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Oo very highly recommend this

I have been reading as much as I can on the holocaust for the past 65 years. And yet, I still have questions. Having listened to “Remember Us”, most of my qestions have been answered. The author tells his story from a completely different view from past storytellers. Every book I’ve read told you “what” and started and ended with WWII. Martin Small told me “why” and “how” and started his story well before WWII and continued to present day. The book started a little slowly and I had to force myself to keep going. Fortunately, I did and after the first couple of chapters, was unable to put it down. You would swear, listening to the narrator, that it is actually the author himself reading this but of course it isn’t. The emotion in the narrator’s reading is heart rendering. No description I write will do this book justice. You have to listen to it. Please do. If you’ve never read about the holocaust or if, like me, you’ve read everything you can find, you need to listen to this book. It’s the best book ever written on the holocaust. I’ve never written a review before because I have little vision but this book deserves a review. Please do yourself a huge favor. Get this book and listen.

5 people found this helpful

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Best (audio)book I’ve found on Nazi Germany

I love the reader’s voice- he makes it seem like the survivor was taking to me.

The survivor makes a point to tell his perspective BUT he focused on what was good in his life , any pain or experience, he was not soiled by it, but learned to love family and life :) his struggle taught him how to feel joy

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Chose to stop listening

With all due respect to Martin Small for sharing his experience, I didn't think this was as good or meaningful as other halocaust memoirs I've read. I stopped listening in the audiobook's 19th chapter. First, I didn't enjoy the narrator. To me, his reading seemed forced and artificial; the expressiveness in the voice didn't sound genuine to me. Second, the incident when he looks in the window of the cottage behind the Nazi officer's house—it was just too disturbing. I can handle accounts of senseless Nazi brutality, but please offer some insight or at least enough information to allow the reader to draw some conclusions. I was left with so many unanswered questions, that I really didn't want to continue with the book as if nothing of significance had happened. An incident of that magnitude needs further clarification, in my opinion.
The part of the book I enjoyed was the description of daily life in the shtetl.

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One of the best

This is one of the best books Holocaust books. It’s so piercing and personal. For any attempted history revisionist, listen to this book. It will pierce the soul.

1 person found this helpful

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awesome book

it was an eye opener, highly recommended, you wont stop after you start it,trust me

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can't stop crying

This makes it so clear. I can only ask WHY?
never forget! I've seen it.

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Long, but so worth the listen!

An EXCELLENT storyteller with an amazing memory, the author shares his life story from birth to late retirement. I’ve never heard or read anything with so much scope, detail, and insight. Highly recommended to anyone interested in this time in history.

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  • KM
  • 03-16-22

Powerful

What a powerful account of Mr. Small’s personal experience! I’m overwhelmed. With everything happening in the world today, it should give everyone pause to pray that we not encounter this kind of horror again. We cannot fail to act before it’s too late.

1 person found this helpful

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Remember Us

What an inspiring story. This is actually the second reading for me. Martin Small is a hero in his own right. What a wonderful man and memory. I wish I could have met him. Shalom Martin 💕

1 person found this helpful

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  • fifitrixabelled
  • 08-29-21

A fascinating story and insight into Jewish life

I have read many stories about the Holocaust, however this was the first that explains what Jewish life was like before the invasion.
Along with the amazing and tragic story of his life, I found this humbling in that despite the horrors that Martin and his family went through, he remained.strong, kind and full of love.

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  • sadith
  • 12-29-19

Exceptional

Well worth a listen as this book gives a more emotional slant than any similar books I’ve listened to yet. The narration is superb and really gets the story across as I’m sure it was intended to be. Amazing story from an amazing man and food for thought too.

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  • Andy
  • 05-13-22

Harrowing

A very important account of some of the atrocities of the holocaust. I have long been affected by the holocaust not as a victim but by what history of it I have seen and heard. I am so grateful for those that share these accounts and I will be forever affected by what I have heard.

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  • SAgirl
  • 04-30-22

horror beyond belief

This story / testimony is not for the faint hearted. it is beyond belief and yet true that such horror happened and the world did not know. we all have to stand before the Judgment Seat one day, these murderers will receive their just punishment.
an amazing story I would recommend.

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  • Trisha
  • 03-12-22

Well narrated

A captivating account that makes you reflect about the tragedies people experienced and the devastation caused from one human to another.

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  • Steven Waite
  • 10-08-21

This should be made into a movie!!

I nearly gave up on this after the first few chapters.
I'm soooo pleased that I didn't!
What a story, what a life.
I can't recommend this book highly enough.

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  • Ped
  • 08-26-21

Heart breaking

This book shows us how absolutely horrid humans can be to each other.
This book also shows the strength of character and the strong belief in God can and does pull us through even the toughest of times.
This book is a fantastic work of non fiction if one wants to know what the human spirit can withstand and is proven in this story of the Jews in the Second World War.

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  • Helen
  • 08-10-21

eye opening

I have read many stories about the holocaust but none has touch me more than this one brilliantly written and so thought provoking and heartbreaking by the end of the book I couldn't switch my thoughts of I feel as though I know this family

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  • laugh out loud
  • 08-09-21

shocking

I've listened to many recounts of the holocaust and I never cease to be horrified by the things we can inflict and endure. How sad that we don't learn the true story in school.
lest we forget.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-13-22

Unbelievable story

I have read a lot of holocaust survivor books, and this was the best. The back story of his life in Poland and was eye opening and a beautiful tribute to his family.