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By Chance Alone

A Remarkable True Story of Courage and Survival at Auschwitz
Written by: Max Eisen
Narrated by: Douglas E. Hughes
Length: 5 hrs and 59 mins
5 out of 5 stars (120 ratings)

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Max Eisen

About the Author

Max Eisen is a Hungarian Jew who was deported to Auschwitz in the spring of 1944. He is a passionate speaker and educator who volunteers at the Sarah and Chaim Neuberger Holocaust Education Centre and the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center in Toronto. He currently resides in Toronto with his wife, Ivy.

Douglas E. Hughes

About the Narrator

Douglas E. Hughes has been an actor, playwright, and voice artist for the past 40 years. He spent 13 seasons at the Shaw Festival, another three at Stratford, and has worked in theatres across this country and in the U.S.

With his writing partner, Marcia Kash, Hughes has written five plays — all published by Samuel French, Inc. — which have had more than 200 productions in over a dozen countries around the world, and have been translated into eight languages. Hughes and Kash are currently at work on their sixth collaborative effort, a play called Deadline. Doug has also penned a yet-to-be-published novel of his own — a comedy-thriller entitled The Poor Player.

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  • DD
  • 2019-07-25

Heartbreaking

A memoir that needed to be published. Our world must never forget nor deny the horrors that were perpetuated on the Jewish people of the world. Thank you for being so bare to share your life story with new generations.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Amazing story.

Amazing story, bravely told and wonderfully narrated. A story that will linger in your mind.

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PLEASE LISTEN TO THIS BOOK.

This book is not only shocking, emotional and informative but necessary and absolutely shaping. To say that I recommend this book does not do justice the impact that this book has had on me and the now deep seeded feeling that everyone should be as fortunate as I have been in having this kind of transformative listen. 10/10, I will be recommending this book. Thank you Canada Reads for the recommendation.

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What a story..

I really enjoyed this book. I really felt the emotion of the story through the author's writing and the reading performance. I am truly amazed at what Max overcame and at his tenacity to tell his story. Worth a listen.

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More than a Nazi story

I have read many good Holocaust accounts. What sets this one apart is that the camps are only a part of the story of struggle. You are taken from the preface of a young boy's family setting into the horror of the camps, to liberation, life as a young man alone in an antibellum Europe still under marshal reconstruction, to further subjugation by occupying forces, then to a final gambit seeking a new life of freedom. All is done in the voice of a story teller sitting in the living room around the fire.

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Max Eisen hits home

This true story hits home with me as I have Hungarian speaking family in Slovakia, in Kosice in fact. When you have been to so many of the places he had been and have family on both sides of that boarder you can visualize very clearly. Finding that he is now a Canadian is also different, as most I have previously read did not continue on after the war and bring it on home to Canada and explain how and why we must continue to remember the holocaust and fight, communism, fascism, neo-nazis or any form of anti-semitic or racism happening around the world today. This once again includes Canada! Geddy Lee, Adam Sandler and "The Fonz" as well as Gayle Tannenbaum, a friend in the states I really need to see...you are just a few of our celebrated Jews and please don't forget to watch the movie A Fiddler on the Roof! (order it from your library...it clarifies a lot leading up to the Pogroms!).

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A Truely Remarkable story of endurance.

This story should be shared with everyone. It is hard to imagine such atrocities could be done to others just because of their ethnic differences. I cried and found it hard to sleep after listening to some of Max's difficulties. With each chapter I was hoping for Max to be liberated but his situation went from one hell to another.

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So educational/ disturbing

WOW. I have never read such a riveting first person account of the holocaust. Must read

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What a Story

I havent heard a story from this point of view yet. I learned a lot, great book.

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A cautionary story

This book is very familiar in so many ways if you're a reader of many books about the holocaust and the war years. The difference is in the afterward, so incredibly striking how easy this can and potentially IS happening again - think the camps for the children and adults being detained in the US from Mexico. Sleeping with no bedding, crowded in small spaces, I wish the American government would just read that and wake up and NOT LET WHAT IS HAPPENING happen!

Everyone needs to keep reading “books written by survivors” and not say “not another one sigh”. The only way to prevent history repeating itself is to be so cognizant of what happened in history and make sure it stays HISTORY!

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  • Suszanne Guymer
  • 2019-07-17

A must read

Very well written , but the saddest of stories. May we never forget. One very courageous man.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful