The Story of Holocaust Survivor Avraham Perlmutter

Non-Fiction - Autobiography
172 Pages
Reviewed on 12/23/2014
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Author Biography

Avraham Perlmutter was born in Vienna, Austria, in 1927. A Holocaust survivor, he emerged with a positive perspective on life—choosing to focus on the people who helped him rather than those set on defeating him. After World War II, he fought in the Israeli War of Independence to help establish the State of Israel. He went on to pursue his education in the United States, earning a PhD in aeronautical engineering. Fluent in seven languages, he is an award-winning scientist and a successful businessman.

Avraham currently lives in Santa Monica, California, with his wife, Ruth. Together they have four children and five grandchildren. He continues to share his story with community groups and schools and through his Shoah Foundation interview—hoping to inspire people to help others in need, achieve an education, and overcome difficulties in pursuit of their dreams.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Determined: The Story of Holocaust Survivor Avraham Perlmutter delivers everything you would expect from its title, and so much more. Doctor A. Avraham Perlmutter has crafted a no-holds-barred account of his life during World War II as an Austrian Jew who witnessed and survived many of the horrors that post-war children, such as myself, have grown up learning about in school. Though he was sent away for his own (albeit relative) safety to live in the Netherlands at the start of the war, Perlmutter recounts the horrific fate that befell almost all of his extended family in the Nazi concentration camps, and his own struggle to evade arrest by the Germans simply for being who he was.

This beautifully crafted tale makes for compelling and exciting reading, even in the protagonist’s post-war struggle, which demonstrates the amazing things he was able to achieve after such a difficult childhood. With incredible visual additions such as genuine photographs and documentation from the wartime and beyond, Determined is a rich and fascinating read for anyone with a passionate interest in history. More than that, though, it’s a story about humanity and, as its title suggests, the basic human determination to survive whatever the odds. Those who are already avid fans of true wartime stories will revel in the meticulous detail that A. Avraham Perlmutter brings to his life story. However, I also think that anyone who wishes to be inspired by the sheer fortitude of the human spirit will come out of this book deeply saddened, but also satisfied that, sometimes at least, hope can prevail over the most unspeakable evils.

Jack Magnus

Determined: The Story of Holocaust Survivor Avraham Perlmutter is an autobiographical account. As a boy, Perlmutter and his family lived in Vienna, Austria, until that country was united with Germany under Hitler. His parents were alarmed by the increasingly hostile environment and soon after Kristallnacht they arranged to have Avraham and his sister Thea sent to the Netherlands under the Kindertransport refugee operation. When the Netherlands was no longer safe for Jews, concerned Dutch families and resistance groups helped him evade the Nazis until liberation by the British Army in 1944. Perlmutter eventually was reunited with the survivors of his family in Israel, where he joined the army and later prepared for admission to college.

Avraham Perlmutter's autobiography, Determined: The Story of Holocaust Survivor Avraham Perlmutter, is fascinating reading. The first part of the text is interwoven with numerous pictures of the author's family members, many of whom died in concentration camps. That was the hardest part of reading Determined for me -- seeing those photographs and reading the dates and places of death. But Determined goes much farther than reciting numbers and showing the losses so many suffered during the Holocaust. It's a triumphant story of a teen who had to put his education on hold after the sixth grade and survive on his wits and with the help of strangers. Perlmutter's tale is remarkable, inspirational and very moving. In the second and third parts of the book, there are marvelous photographs of Avraham, his college friends and family, accompanied by his accounts of his studies, professional life and family. This autobiography is also very well-written, and it reads with the fluidity and dramatic tension of an action, against-all-odds adventure novel. Determined: The Story of Holocaust Survivor Avraham Perlmutter is most highly recommended.

Mamta Madhavan

Determined: The Story of Holocaust Survivor Avraham Perlmutter by A. Avraham Perlmutter Ph.D. is the compelling story of the experiences of a Holocaust victim that takes readers on a heart-rending journey of danger, risks and perseverance. This book will inspire and motivate them to survive the adversities that they face and make a success of their lives. Avraham Perlmutter was separated from his family when he was sent to Holland, and he shares his adventurous yet horrifying story of survival, and also speaks about the families who helped him hide from the Nazis. The author's story of survival is gripping and worth reading.

The author pulls readers into his personal journey with detailed descriptions of his childhood, the move to the Netherlands, his time in the refugee camps, life in Amsterdam and escaping from there, serving in the Israeli defense forces, and finally moving to Atlanta for education. The glimpses of the author's life are adventurous, filled with danger and risks, but his miraculous endurance and perseverance is proof of the author's indomitable and indestructible spirit. The story evokes feelings of compassion and is written with restraint and simplicity of expression.

The book is vivid and the author's clear narrative voice along with the pictures help readers connect well with his personal moments of tragedy and triumph. It is a well written autobiography that exposes the ordeal suffered by the Jewish people during the time of Holocaust, their insecure lives, hardships and tragedies.