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A Memoir of Resistance

By Michael Englishman
Subjects History, Jewish Studies, Biography & Autobiography, Military History
Series Life Writing Hide Details
Paperback : 9781554580095, 128 pages, May 2007
Ebook (EPUB) : 9781554586806, 128 pages, July 2009
Audiobook : 9781554584277, October 2020
Ebook (PDF) : 9781554580873, 128 pages, May 2007

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Table of contents

Table of Contents for 163256: A Memoir of Resistance by Micheal Englishman
Introduction: Words at the Ready
1. Growing Up Jewish in Amsterdam
2. Deportation
3. From the Burght to Vught—and Auschwitz
4. The Coal Mines of Janina and the Buna Works
5. The Death March to Dora-Nordhausen and Building the “Secret Weapon”
6. Liberation
7. Finding the Children
8. Picking Up the Pieces
9. Canada, Here We Come
10. Déjà Vu
11. Fighting Back by Telling the Truth
12. Family Reunion
13. March of the Living—April 2004
I. Family Relationships
II. List of Prison and Concentration Camps


163256: A Memoir of Resistance is Michael Englishman’s astonishing story of courage, resourcefulness, and moral fibre as a Dutch Jew during World War II and its aftermath, from the Nazi occupation of Holland in 1940, through his incarceration in numerous death and labour camps, to his eventual liberation by Allied soldiers in 1945 and his emigration to Canada. Surviving by his wits, Englishman escaped death time and again, committing daring acts of bravery to do what he thought was right—helping other prisoners escape and actively participating in the underground resistance.
A man who refused to surrender his spirit despite the loss of his wife and his entire family to the Nazis, Englishman kept a promise he had made to a friend, and sought his friend’s children after the war. With the children’s mother, he made a new life in Canada, where he continued his resistance, tracking neo-Nazi cells and infiltrating their headquarters to destroy their files.
Until his death in August 2007, Englishman remained active, speaking out against racism and hatred in seminars for young people. His gripping story should be widely read and will be of interest to scholars of auto/biography, World War II history, and the Holocaust.


  • Short-listed, ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Award, Autobiography/Memoir Category 2007


In an appendix to this fine memoir, Michael Englishman (Engelschman) lists the members of his immediate family who were murdered in Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.... He survived in part because he was an electrician: his technical skills made him valuable.... He also developed...a keen sense of self-preservation [which] he used for his own benefit, but also to save the lives of others—he was able to get a number of his fellow prisoners transferred to safer work details.... Englishman emigrated to Canada after the war, and continued his fight against fascism by doing educational work and by taking on neo-Nazi groups. With this powerful memoir, his work continues.

- Canadian Military History, Book Review Supplement, Autumn 2009, 2010 April