The Last Survivor: The Incredible Story of the Man Who Survived Three Concentration Camps and a Major Maritime Disaster Near the End of World War II

Lyons: Globe Pequot. May 2022. 336p. ISBN 9781493063710. $29.95. HIST
In this international best seller making its U.S. publication debut four years later, Krake offers a stirring, emotional, and raw portrait of Wim Aloserij, who survived three Nazi concentration camps during World War II. As a non-Jewish Dutch citizen, he was recruited to work for Germany in labor camps, where he quietly tried to minimize his impact on the war effort. Escaping once to a farm, he was recaptured and sent to two more concentration camps. As the Allies drew closer, he was eventually evacuated by the German guards to the ship the Cap Arcona, which endured Allied bombings. His vivid observations of the abuses and murder of those non-Jewish people labeled “undesirable” by Nazi standards (criminals, political prisoners, gay men) illuminate this side of the concentration camp system. Aloserij died at 94 in 2018, a month after The Last Witness was published in Germany.
VERDICT Accounts of the experiences of different groups targeted by the Nazis remain important and continue to be relevant today. Krake’s contribution is written in an accessible style, suitable for both academic collections and AP high school collections.
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