The Fragile Fabric of Survival: A Boy’s Account of Auschwitz

Tomáš Radil, Academic Editor: Bella Guterman


It is impossible to forget Auschwitz-Birkenau. It is useful to remember the basic ethicalprinciples that allowed individuals to retain their humanity even in conditions that were barelyhuman.Born in the Slovakian capital Bratislava, Tomáš Radil grew up in Párkány (Štúrovo), asmall border town on the Danube that became part of Hungary in 1938. When theWehrmacht occupied the country in mid-March 1944, the tide of war had long turnedagainst Germany. Despite the precarious military situation on all fronts, the Nazisdid not abandon their genocidal plans. Within eight weeks, hundreds of thousandsof Hungarian Jews were deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau, where most of them weremurdered immediately after arrival. Among the deportees were thirteen-year-oldTomáš and his family.Soon after Tomáš’ arrival at Auschwitz, he was separated from his loved ones and foundhimself alone among a group of teenage boys. Robbed of their childhood and of allsocial connections, dehumanized, exposed to starvation, and under the constant threatof death, the teenagers found each other. They formed small groups, supported oneanother, and adopted a set of rules that became the ethical framework of their strugglefor survival. Despite the unbearable suffering and loss, Tomáš’ retained his desire to liveand was one of the few survivors. Although liberation from the camp was not the endof his suffering, it was the starting point of a long journey to rebuild a home and a lifethat had been stolen from him and from so many others.In The Fragile Fabric of Survival, Tomáš Radil not only depicts in detail the brutalconditions that he and other inmates had to endure in Auschwitz-Birkenau, but providesthe reader with a sensitive and incisive insight into the unique social structure of thecamp, poignantly highlighting both the individual and the collective responses to thisharsh reality. Based on his personal experience and on his expertise as a psychologist,psychophysiologist, and neurophysiologist, Radil’s unique and important account is inequal parts personal testimony, social study, and a memorial to his family, friends, and fellow inmates who perished in the Holocaust.

מפרט המוצר
Year 2020
ISBN 978-965-308-619-7
No. of Pages 728 pp.
Size 16X24 cm.
Format Hard Cover
Translator Translator: Paul Wilson
Publisher Yad Vashem
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