Alex's Wake: The Tragic Voyage of the St. Louis to Flee Nazi Germany?and a Grandson?s Journey of…

Paperback | March 31, 2015

byMartin Goldsmith

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Alex's Wake is a tale of two parallel journeys undertaken seven decades apart. In the spring of 1939, Alex and Helmut Goldschmidt were two of more than 900 Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi Germany aboard the St. Louis, “the saddest ship afloat” (New York Times). Turned away from Cuba, the United States, and Canada, the St. Louis returned to Europe, a stark symbol of the world's indifference to the gathering Holocaust. The Goldschmidts disembarked in France, where they spent the next three years in six different camps before being shipped to their deaths in Auschwitz.

In the spring of 2011, Alex's grandson, Martin Goldsmith, followed in his relatives' footsteps on a six-week journey of remembrance and hope, an irrational quest to reverse their fate and bring himself peace. Alex's Wake movingly recounts the detailed histories of the two journeys, the witnesses Martin encounters for whom the events of the past are a vivid part of a living present, and an intimate, honest attempt to overcome a tormented family legacy.

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From the Publisher

Alex's Wake is a tale of two parallel journeys undertaken seven decades apart. In the spring of 1939, Alex and Helmut Goldschmidt were two of more than 900 Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi Germany aboard the St. Louis, “the saddest ship afloat” (New York Times). Turned away from Cuba, the United States, and Canada, the St. Louis returned t...

Martin Goldsmith is a host and classical music programmer for Symphony Hall on Sirius XM Satellite Radio and previously hosted NPR's daily classical music program, Performance Today, from 1989 to 1999. He is the author of The Inextinguishable Symphony and lives in Maryland.AlexsWakeBook.com

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:352 pages, 8.75 × 5.75 × 1 inPublished:March 31, 2015Publisher:Da Capo BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0306823713

ISBN - 13:9780306823718

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Customer Reviews of Alex's Wake: The Tragic Voyage of the St. Louis to Flee Nazi Germany?and a Grandson?s Journey of Love and Rememb

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from A very moving, interesting book This book is one of the most moving and informative books dealing with the events of the Holocaust and WW2. Not only does Martin Goldsmith write about the historical details of those tragic years, he provides and added personal narrative that reminds us that these horrific events happened to real people, with consequences that last through to today.
Date published: 2015-05-04

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Editorial Reviews

“Beautiful and bravea chilling yet affirming account of human loss and recovery.”—David Maraniss, author of They Marched into Sunlight“The opposite of love, Elie Wiesel has observed, is not hate but indifference. With Alex’s Wake, the author proves himself the least indifferent and, because of that, the most loving of men.”—Chris Matthews, host of MSNBC’s Hardball"There are six million Holocaust stories. All of them are the same in sadness and devastation. Each is different in circumstance and fear. Martin Goldsmith eloquently tells the story of his search for family in the rubble of memory and distance. It's a moving journey of finding the past and his own determined and compassionate present."—Susan Stamberg, NPR"A new perspective on the Holocaust...powerful and evocative"—New York Journal of Books“Underscores the immense moral challenges and failings of a nation that believes itself the leader of the free world. A heartbreaking story of fear, frustration, anti-Semitism, and betrayal.”—Baltimore Sun“A child of persecuted German Jews remembers his tormented, perished forebears—and makes peace with the country that hounded them to deathA well-researched, thorough reckoning of this shameful past.”—Kirkus Reviews“Goldsmith ably personalizes the Holocaust, traveling the Auschwitz-bound arc of his grandfather and uncle, chillingly vivifying the collective camps’ otherwise monolithic millions.”—Providence Journal"Profoundly moving"—Johns Hopkins MagazineBlogcritics.org, 4/26/15“[A] heartbreaking accountA harrowing taleA book with a lesson for today.”New York Daily News, 4/15/15“With painstaking detail and a historical biography, Goldsmith digs deep into his own history and the psyche of Eastern European Jewry.”BookTrib.com, 4/15/15“[An] intensely personal story.”Association of Jewish Libraries Reviews, February/March 2016“Goldsmith’s well-written and well-researched account is personal and poignant.”