You are holding in your hand one of the most remarkable and unforgettable personal narratives to emerge from the Hitler holocaust in Europe.
While there have been literally thousands of books written about and by the life of the Jews during the years when six million Jews were wiped out in concentration and extermination camps, few volumes are as authentic and as stark as Out of the Ashes; Rabbi Thorne not only possesses total recall; he owns a literary style which brings to life a period which shall forever be remembered as one of the most dramatic eras in human existence. But this is more than a personal document. It represents the agony of an entire people and even the reader who thinks he knows what happened under Hitler will gasp in amazement at this story of a man who, deeply religious and faithful to the precepts of Orthodox Judaism, manages to retell the tale of a handful of years which saw men, women and children subjected to atrocities beyond human imagination.
You will read in this book of moments of heroism, self-sacrifice and destruction which you will always remember. You will be convinced that this is exactly how it was and you will marvel at how the author managed to survive scores of “Actions” and pogroms. You will wonder how he survived. But at the same time, you will understand how, in surviving, Rabbi Thorne held fast to his belief in the ultimate triumph of the Jewish people.
Although Out of the Ashes is full of sadness, it is also replete with stories of the victory of the human spirit. It is a valuable historical document; it is, for sheer story-telling, unsurpassed by any other writer who lived through these years. It is the story of one man, of an entire people and of a history which all mankind would do well to ponder.
Out of the Ashes is a major book, a great contribution to the literature of our time.— Print Ed.