My Darkest Years

Memoirs of a Survivor of Auschwitz, Warsaw and Dachau


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About the Book

Born in Berlin in 1922, James Bachner was a German Jew during the darkest days of the Third Reich. Once a happy child in a well-to-do German family, as the years passed Bachner faced first ridicule and persecution, then imprisonment and deprivation. Attributing his survival to a combination of strength and being in the right place at the right time, Bachner’s memoir is a poignant and often horrific account of Jewish struggles during the days of World War II.
Beginning with his idyllic childhood, Bachner expresses the range of emotions he experienced as the Nazis transformed his homeland into a nation where he and his fellow Jews were no longer welcome. He describes the volatile political atmosphere and the fears inspired in all Germans by tales of the concentration camps. In addition, he tells of the belief many Jews held that the West would step in and put an end to Hitler’s reign. The work then details the realities of life in a concentration camp. The end of the war, Bachner’s reunion with his remaining family members and his eventual relocation to America are also discussed.

About the Author(s)

James Bachner lives in Thousand Oaks, California.

Bibliographic Details

James Bachner
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 228
Bibliographic Info: 13 photos, index
Copyright Date: 2007
pISBN: 978-0-7864-2962-2
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8018-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1
Introduction      3

1. Childhood      7
2. Life as a Teenager      22
3. Restrictions      31
4. Arrest and Escape      46
5. Caring Relatives      60
6. Blitzkrieg      76
7. Slave Labor      90
8. Camp Life      103
9. Where Are Our Loved Ones?      121
10. From Bad to Worse      143
11. Auschwitz      155
12. Warsaw Ghetto      167
13. Death March and Dachau      179
14. Escape      191
15. Liberty at Last      201

Epilogue: My New World      215
Index      219

Book Reviews & Awards

“well written, interesting…focused…highly recommended”—Association of Jewish Libraries Newsletter.