Of the 2,011 Jews who were rounded up by the Gestapo and deported from Cologne, Henry Oster was one of only 19 German-speaking Jewish boys to emerge alive from the concentration camps after the war.
Henry Oster was just five years old, a wide-eyed boy from the beautiful ancient city of Cologne, Germany, when Adolf Hitler took power in 1933.
Torn from their home, Henry and his family were deported to the Lodz Ghett in Poland. Then, one terrifying night, Henry found himself herded onto a stifling, filth-ridden cattle car, on a ride to a place whose name has come to symbolize the worst of humanity: Auschwitz.
Ripped apart from his mother in the shuffling river of children, women, and men stepping off the train, for the first time in his life, Henry was completely alone.
Assigned to work in the Auschwitz stables, breeding horses, Henry had to tend his mares, Mutti, Olga, and Barbarossa from dawn until midnight. It was back-breaking labour, but Henry clung onto the belief that if he made himself difficult to replace, he might just stay alive. With crippling hunger pains, Henry fed the horses knowing that pocketing a carrot or cramming some grains into his mouth would bring the death penalty.
From risking his life hiding scraps of food in the stables to sustain himself, to escaping selections for the gas chambers, a firing squad and a death march through the brutal Polish winter, Henry somehow found the strength to keep going.
An utterly heart-wrenching and inspirational account of a courageous little boy who, against all odds, and after losing almost everything a human being can lose, survived to tell his story.