In 1933 Henry Oster was just 5 years old, a carefree kindergartner in Cologne, Germany, when Adolf Hitler and the Nazis seized power. For the next 12 years Henry struggled to keep on breathing while his family, his friends and the Jews of Europe were overwhelmed by the Holocaust.
What impels civilized human beings to commit unspeakable crimes against their fellow man? How do the survivors find the strength to go on? Can they ever forgive? Can we ever forget?
The Kindness of the Hangman is the gripping, never-before-written account of one lost German boy, totally alone, clawing to survive in the tidal wave of Nazi genocide.
Henry hid his mother from the SS in an attic in the Lodz, Poland Ghetto. He escaped a firing squad in Auschwitz. Endured a death march through the Polish winter. Formed a life-long friendship in the nightmare barracks of the Buchenwald concentration camp. Saw his friends killed by a British fighter-bomber. And came within hours of starving to death before his liberation by General Patton's 3rd Army.
Henry rebuilt his life from nothing, coming of age as a free young man in Paris. He arrived in the U.S. with no English, no money and no education. And from the ashes of a ruined past built a life full of love, joy and compassion.
Now, complete with chilling documents liberated from the Nazi concentration camps themselves, his heartbreaking, triumphant story can finally be told.