The Stable Boy of Auschwitz – ARC Book Review

Title:- The Stable Boy of Auschwitz

Author:- Henry Oster and Dexter Ford

Date published:- 4th April 2023

No. of pages:- 272 pages

Genre:- Historical Fiction


Plot:- 5/5

Writing:- 5/5

Overall rating:- 5/5

This heart-wrenching memoir from a Holocaust survivor reveals the terrible realities of life in Auschwitz—and how a courageous young stable boy survived against all odds to tell his story.​ “ I couldn ’ t last much longer. But just as I was beginning to give up, I found myself in the Auschwitz stables, with rows of stalls filled with horses.” Henry Oster was just five years old when Adolf Hitler took power in 1933. He was the last survivor of the 2,011 Jews who were rounded up by the Gestapo and deported from Cologne. Assigned to back-breaking labor in the Auschwitz horse-breeding stables, Henry clung to the belief that if he made himself hard to replace, he might stay alive. Henry was one of the 2,011 Jews who were deported from Cologne, through it all, he found the strength to survive and was one of only 23 to emerge alive from the concentration camps after the war. How did one starving boy, alone and forgotten, survive this ultimate hell on earth? The Stable Boy of Auschwitz is the heart-breaking, mesmerizing, and unforgettable true story that will destroy your faith in humanity . . . and then build it back up again.

This is a beautiful historical fiction, based on the true story of Henry Oster, a German Jew who witnessed horrors of Holocaust and how he survived Holocaust and his life after the Holocaust.

The story starts with Henry Oster a young boy living in Cologne, Germany–the time when Hitler came to power in Germany in 1933. From that point onwards, we learn about the life of Jewish people living in Germany, during the Hitler’s rule in Germany, the horrors many of them experienced, the way they were eventually thrown out of their own houses and forced to live in ghettos. This was a sensitive read as it describes the loss of parents. It also tells about how when Henry reached to Auschwitz, he worked in the stables before being transported to Buchenwald concentration camp, just before the war ended. He also befriended another fellow Jewish boy. What makes this story more unique is that it also describes the life of Henry Oster after the war–after the liberation of Buchenwald Concentration camp. As Henry was an orphan, he and the other Jewish orphans were sent to France, where they did go to school, and soon enough, Henry had relatives in California where he was reunited with them. The story briefly outlines the struggles Henry faced after the war as well.

This book was emotional to read and the fact that it was based on the true story makes it more compelling to read. Holocaust stories are full of emotions and sadness and Henry Oster’s life was no exception during the Holocaust. The author wrote this memoir in a beautiful and compelling way, drawing the reader into the story with pictures to depict the life during Holocaust, Henry Oster’s childhood photos, before and after the war. Overall, this was a heartbreaking and emotional read which is worth five stars!

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

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