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THE BOY WHO FOLLOWED HIS FATHER INTO AUSCHWITZ (prev. THE STONE CRUSHER)

Jeremy Dronfield

  • Original Title: THE BOY WHO FOLLOWED HIS FATHER INTO AUSCHWITZ (prev. THE STONE CRUSHER)
  • Publication date: July 2018
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press
  • Country: GB
  • 384 print pages
  • Biopics

Information

  • Epoch: Historical
  • Time Period: 20th century, World War II
  • Location setting: Germany, Poland
  • Themes: FAMILY, Paternity, Filiation, PEOPLE facing life, Death, PEOPLE facing the extraordinary, Exile, Survival, SOCIETY DYSFUNCTIONS, Discriminations, Violence, Totalitarian regime, War and other conflicts, SOCIAL CHRONICLES, Life choice, Moral dilemma, Commitment, Intergenerational, Surpassing oneself

Pitch

True story. In 1939, Gustav Kleinmann, a Jewish upholsterer in Vienna, was arrested by the Nazis. Along with his 16-year old son Fritz, he was sent to Buchenwald in Germany. When Gustav was transferred to Auschwitz, his son Fritz decided to join him – an almost certain death sentence.

Comments

Translation rights sold: UK, Italy (at auction), Netherlands (at a six-way auction), Brazil, Spain, Hungary, Czech Republic, Germany, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Sweden

Based on the secret diary that the father, Gustav, kept while in the camps and meticulous archival research, as well as interviews with Fritz’s brother, Kurt, and other members of the Kleinmann family.

To be published this summer by Chicago Review Press under the title THE STONE CRUSHER, and then next year by Michael Joseph.

Jeremy Dronfield is a British biographer, historian, novelist, and ghost writer, author of the bestselling thriller THE LOCUST FARM and the critically acclaimed THE ALCHEMIST'S APPRENTICE. His nonfiction includes the bestselling BEYOND THE CALL and DR JAMES BARRY: A Woman Ahead of Her Time.

Summary

True story. In 1939, Gustav Kleinmann, a Jewish upholsterer in Vienna, was arrested by the Nazis. Along with his 16-year old son Fritz, he was sent to Buchenwald in Germany, where a new concentration camp was being built. It was the beginning of a five-year odyssey almost without parallel. They helped build Buchenwald, young Fritz learning construction skills which would help preserve him from extermination in the coming years. But it was his bond with his father that would ultimately keep them both alive. When the 50-year old Gustav was transferred to Auschwitz—a certain death sentence—Fritz was determined to go with him. His wiser friends tried to dissuade him—“If you want to keep living, you have to forget your father,” they said. But that was impossible, and Fritz pleaded for a place on the Auschwitz transport. “He is a true comrade,” Gustav wrote in his secret diary, “always at my side. The boy is my greatest joy. We are inseparable.” Gustav kept his diary hidden throughout his six years in the death camps—even Fritz knew nothing of it. In it he recorded his story, a tale of survival and a father-son bond which proved stronger than the machine that sought to break them both.

go further

  • Author’s biography

    Jeremy Dronfield (born in 1965) is a British biographer, historian, novelist, and ghost writer. Following a career in archaeology, he began writing fiction, making his debut with the bestselling thriller THE LOCUST FARM and following up with the critically acclaimed THE ALCHEMIST'S APPRENTICE. His nonfiction includes the bestselling BEYOND THE CALL and DR JAMES BARRY: A Woman Ahead of Her Time.