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The Story of One Family Abandoned to the Holocaust By David Clay Large (278 Pages)Publisher: Perseus Books, 2003
Max Schohl was a renaissance man. German first, Jewish second, he was classically educated, spoke several languages and played the violin. He was a decorated officer of the First World War, a scientist, inventor, entrepreneur, philanthropist and community leader. When the nazis came to power he believed that his record would spare him and the townsfolk would defend him. Yet on Kristallnacht his own neighbors and employees ransacked his home. Schohl, robbed of his factory, turned his full energies to saving himself and his family through emigration, but no country would take them.
In this masterpiece of Holocaust literature, David Clay Large tells the heartbreaking story of how the Schohls were caught in a tightening noose, unable to escape although all odds seemed to be in their favor. US relatives petitioned tirelessly on their behalf. Max was offered a teaching position at an American college. The US quota for German immigrants was underfilled. But the US was determined to keep the immigration of Jews low. The Schohls found brief sanctuary in Yugoslavia, but after the nazi occupation Max was sent to Auschwitz and his wife and daughters to a hard labor camp.
Max's youngest daughter, Kathe Schohl-Wells has given Large access to her family's records, a unique collection of letters and other documents chronicling the experiences of the Schohls and those who tried to bring them to England and America. From these papers Large has fashioned a gripping and intimate narrative of one family's efforts to escape the Holocaust in Europe and the inadequate response from abroad.
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