A Miracle at Dachau is a story that was repeated over and over during the Nazi’s reign of terror. I recently visited the Holocaust Museum at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC. Reading this book, brought all those photographs and stories to mind, and it was like watching it all unfold before my eyes. I read so many stories while at that museum that echoed the words of this book. I was staggered to see how Hitler came to power and took over the country, one insidious act at a time.
Simon Johann Haupt survived Dachau and lived to tell his story. That he came back and was able to function not just as a human being but as a loving father and grandfather after what he’d endured is a tribute to his beautiful soul.
Good people tried to stand up to the Nazi regime and many perished. Others, like Laurin’s grandfather, lived and were able to share their stories and that of those who would otherwise be forgotten.
At the Holocaust Museum, their brochure reminds us that What You Do Matters. It happened once and it can happen again. It’s our responsibility to make sure it doesn’t.
This book deserves more than five stars. Not only is it an incredibly moving story, but it’s told in such a way that makes it impossible to put down once you start. I have to admit it was very difficult to read some of the descriptions of what was done to people, but again, we cannot shy away from the graphic truth.
I could see ‘A Miracle At Dachau’ being made into a movie. Such a powerful and riveting story of human hope, kindness, and endurance are held between the pages. The ending gave me goosebumps. There are two heroes in this book. One is Laurin’s Opa, and the other is the German soldier, Karl Klimm. Even when Simon is free and back home with his family, both men still risk their lives to save more and more people.
Simon’s grief is palpable at the end of the book when he says, “My only regret is that I couldn’t save everyone.” I wish I could share the starfish story with him and remind him, that while he couldn’t make a difference to all of them, he made a difference to that one, and that one and that one … to all the people whose tickets he stamped, and helped get on the train to Switzerland and freedom.
There is literally nothing I didn’t like about the way this book was written and edited. I highly recommend it to everyone old enough to read and understand. We all have a role to play in making sure it never happens again.