Mengele’s Apprentice – ARC Book Review

Title:- Mengele’s Apprentice (Book Two of Auschwitz Twins)

Author:- Roberta Kagan

Date published:- will be published on 1st June 2022

No. of pages:- 377 pages

Genre:- Historical Fiction


Plot:- 4.5/5

Writing:- 5/5

Overall rating:- 5/5

As the Nazi shadow of death falls across Europe, one man’s wickedness looms out of the darkness.

Mengele, the Angel of Death.

When the Aizenberg family winds up in the dreaded Warsaw ghetto, they must share an apartment with a secular Jewish family. This living arrangement will test young Shoshana Aizenberg as adulthood creeps ever closer.

Meanwhile, fast-rising doctor Ernst saves a man’s life on the Russian front. This good deed earns him the coveted role of Dr. Mengele’s apprentice at Auschwitz. An opportunity beyond his wildest dreams and the stuff of his nightmares.

Gisele’s beauty shines in a life fraught with hardship. She hopes to find her father, but first, she must navigate a Paris crawling with invading Nazis.

Mengele’s Apprentice is the second book in Roberta Kagan’s heartwrenching Historical WWII series—The Auschwitz Twins.

This is the second book of the Auschwitz twins series. Although I haven’t read the first book, I actually enjoyed reading this second book.

The story is divided into three parts–Ernst, The Aisenbergs and a French girl named Gisele. Ernst is a doctor and after saving a man’s life up in Russian front, he was assigned to work as an apprentice to Josef Mengele, known as Angel of Death. Shoshanna Aisenberg and her family, after the Nazis invaded Poland the family moved to Warsaw Ghetto. Gisele is a daughter of a prostitute and her beauty seems to be captivating the crawling Nazis in Paris. She was also determined to find more about her father.

Josef Mengele is a real character–for those who are not very familiar about Nazi history, Mengele was a doctor at Auschwitz concentration camp and was known as Angel of Death and feared by many, including the Nazi soldiers who worked at the camp. He conducted many human experiments and his main interest are the twins. I have read true stories of such survivor as well, about Mengele’s brutal experiments on the children. After the war, he escaped to South America where he died.

Ernst is a naive type of character. Although he was having nightmares working at Auschwitz concentration camps, he was also at the same time wanted to work along with Mengele. The Aisenberg part was too emotional and heartbreaking to read, the scenes inside Warsaw ghetto and the hunger and poverty that the Jews had to endure inside the ghetto was too unbearable and emotional to read. Reading Aisenberg’s part reminded me of the scene from the movie Pianist. Gisele’s part was actually very interesting to read and how she endured hardships before moving to Berlin. The author must have done tremendous research into the story, particularly about Mengele and her writing had captivated the readers, making the reader feel like they are part of the story. As always, her ending always leave the reader yearn for more and that made me wait impatiently for the third book to come out soon!

If you are looking for a hearbtreaking, page turning emotional historical fiction, this one is for you–worth five stars!

Many thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC. The review is based on my honest opinion only.

I am an USA Today Best Selling Author of Historical Jewish Fiction mainly set during World War 2. My father was Romany and my mother was Jewish, When I was very young I learned about the Holocaust. I couldn’t understand how something like this could happen. So, I began to research and learn more. I met with survivors. I even met with children and grandchildren of SS officers. But I still had no answers. I cannot say that I have all of the answers to all of my questions even now. But what I do know is that soon all of the survivors will be gone. Their message must be remembered, the sacrifices that they made must not be forgotten. And so I humbly and with the utmost humility I try to tell their stories. It is painful, but I must convey the darkness and horror of the time, However, I also want the world to know and celebrate the unsung heroes. Because there were many ordinary people who acted in heroic ways. I realize that writing these books is a great responsibility. I pray every day that I am able to do this correctly. I am trying to reach out and touch many people, not with the message of the horrors but with the promise of hope. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for considering my work. It is an honor that I never take lightly.

I send you many blessings, Roberta

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