HISTORY

All the Horrors of War: A Jewish Girl, a British Doctor, and the Liberation of Bergen-Belsen

Johns Hopkins. Apr. 2020. 280p. ISBN 9781421437705. $27. HIST
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In this latest work, Lerner (Boston Univ. Ctr. for Character and Social Responsibility; The Triumph of Wounded Souls) offers two perspectives of the Holocaust. Brigadier H.L. Glyn Hughes was a military doctor in the British Second Army, and Rachel Genuth was a poor Jewish teenager forced out of her Hungarian home. The book follows both Hughes and Genuth through World War II as they navigate their respective horrors. Hughes not only worked to save wounded military personnel during the war but entered the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1945 where he found 60,000 prisoners in need of help. At the same time, Genuth had been sent to Auschwitz, where she was separated from most of her family and, later, to Bergen-Belsen by herself. Lerner’s approach succeeds in giving a well-rounded view of World War II that looks at both military and medical strategy alongside a human story that shows some of the best and worst of humanity.
VERDICT Although some of the military details can be a little dry, Lerner effectively balances two very different accounts surrounding a traumatic time in history. For fans of both military history and biography.

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