Wednesday, April 7, 2010

New from Zenith Press! - Surviving the Reich

Surviving the Reich: The World War II Saga of a Jewish-American GI
by Ivan Goldstein

"In the morning, take the Jew out and shoot him."

That was almost Pvt. Ivan Goldstein's fate, his captivity over before it had really begun, on the orders of the German major interrogating Goldstein and his Sherman tank crewmates. It was not the first time Goldstein narrowly escaped death at the hands of the Nazis in World War II, and it would not be the last.

From the moment Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, seventeen-year-old Ivan Goldstein had been ready to enlist. Devoted to his youn widowed mother, however, he acquiesced when she urged him to attend college instead of risking his life in the war. His time at the University of Denver only delayed the inevitable, and his draft notice soon arrived. Entering the army, he was eventually assigned to Company B, 41st Tank Battalion, 11th Armored Division.

Private Goldstein first faced a threat close to home: the anti-Semitism of his own company commander. Nevertheless, he made it through training in the States and England, and late in 1944 he was on his way to what would become known as the Battle of the Bulge, the bloodiest battle in U.S. history, with more than nineteen thousand American deaths over the course of a month.

Goldstein and his fellow crewmates of the M4 Sherman named Barracuda would not see those weeks of brutal warfare thought frozen fields and snow-covered towns, however. Barracuda was hit on their first day of combat, caught fire, and became mired in a frozen pond. Lucky to escape the burning tank alive, Goldstein was captured and then interrogated by a German major who ordered his execution. Ivan was lucky again that in the face of an American attack the order was forgotten by the Germans. He was even luckier to still be alive in the stalag when the liberating Americans arrived in the spring.

In Surviving the Reich, Goldstein recounts his life before, during and after World War II. Although haunted by nightmares, he tries to put his time in captivity behind him, ignoring the memories of his POW experience for decades following the war. But then a surprising twist of fate draws him back to Belgium, to the site of his capture, where he is given a hero's welcome in the city of Bastogne and bringing him full-circle back to his miraculous survival over five decades earlier.

To learn more, or to order a copy of Surviving the Reich, click on the title or the cover image above.

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