The Oath, by Stephen Robert Stein, is a moving novel that takes place during the Holocaust. He brings to life a story during this time period through the eyes of Jewish people who suffered at the hands of the Nazis as well as through the eyes of those who were members or sympathizers of the Nazi regime. Dr. Michel Katz is a Jewish doctor living in France with a family and prosperous practice. As news of the roundup of the Jewish people by the Nazis spreads, Katz attempts to flee to Italy to save himself and his family. Unfortunately, they are stopped at the border and forced to live in a town that is no more than a holding tank for the work camps. When his wife and childrens names show up on a list of Jews set to be sent to Auschwitz, Dr. Katz offers to take their place saying that his medical skills would be helpful at the camp in exchange for their safety. The deal is struck and he takes their place. Upon arriving to Auschwitz he is sent to work with the Nazi doctors who are experimenting on inmates. Daily he hears the cries from the gas chambers and is forced to help with experiments that are no more than glorified torture he clings to the letters from his family and hope for their safety. When word from his family stops he begins to lose hope until a young girl who survives of the gas chamber is brought to his office by a worker to be kept safely hidden. In a place where hope is futile and futures are unlikely the doctor and the girl find solace in one another. On the other side of the war is Dr. Hans Bloch, who from a young age after losing his father in World War I has been groomed to follow the teachings and beliefs of Hitler, the Nazis, and the Reich Daily. He believes in the ethnic cleansing and methods put in place by the Reich and works at Auschwitz completing what he sees as important medical research. As time passes through the time spent in Auschwitz, the end of the war and beyond the question these characters must face what comes next in a world that has forever been changed for them. Can time, faith, love, and forgiveness heal unspeakable wounds and how long can you hide from your sins?
Despite the atrocities of this time period, Stein is able to compose a novel that will touch readers on so many different levels. The Oath, by Stephen Robert Stein, tackles the events of the Holocaust through the eyes of both the persecuted and the persecutors which is not an easy fete. However, the result is a magnificent novel that opens your eyes, breaks your heart and shakes you to your core and stays with you even after the last word is read. Even though the characters are fictional, he uses historical data to illustrate a story of fear, hatred, love, survival and self-forgiveness. A must read.
This page was created by an City Book Review staff member.
|Author||Stephen Robert Stein|
|Page Count||428 pages|
|Amazon||Buy this Book|
|Category||Mystery, Crime & Thriller|