Unraveling the Mystery of My Jewish Father's Nazi Boyhood
By (author) Mark Kurzem
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Mascot by Mark Kurzem
Book DescriptionThe "spellbinding" ( The New York Times ) true story of a Jewish boy who became the darling of the Nazis When a Nazi death squad massacred his mother and fellow villagers, five-year-old Alex Kurzem escaped, hiding in the freezing Russian forest until he was picked up by a group of Latvian SS soldiers. Alex was able to hide his Jewish identity and win over the soldiers, becoming their mascot and an honorary "corporal" in the SS with his own uniform. But what began as a desperate bid for survival became a performance that delighted the highest ranks of the Nazi elite. And so a young Jewish boy ended up starring in a Nazi propaganda film. After sixty-three years of silence, Alex revealed his terrible secret to his son Mark. With his son's help, Alex retraced his past in search of answers and vindication. His story is at once a terrifying account of survival and its psychological cost as well as a brutally honest examination of identity, complicity, and memory.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780452289949
(208mm x 140mm x 30mm)
Imprint: New American Library
Publisher: Penguin Putnam Inc
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Mark Kurzem
Mascot, Paperback (August 2009)» View all books by Mark Kurzem
Alex Kurzem had watched from a tree as his entire village, including his family, were killed by a German-led execution squad. The boy later fell into the hands of a Latvian SS company. After he was discovered to be Jewish, Alex was made to promise never to reveal his identity. He became the company's mascot and part of the Nazi propaganda machine.
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Author Biography - Mark Kurzem
Mark Kurzem grew up in Melbourne, Australia. He studied anthropology at the University of Oxford, where he was a Commonwealth Scholar, and also studied at Melbourne, Jochi, and Tokyo universities, where he was a Monbusho Research Scholar; his academic research focused on Japanese society. He has worked in the fields of political research, international relations, teaching, and filmmaking in Japan, Australia, and the United Kingdom. He was also an international relations adviser to the mayor of Osaka. In 2002, he coproduced and wrote a documentary about his father s life, also titled The Mascot, which was the subject of international attention. He lives in Oxford."
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