Book Review: The Word of Abusz Werber by Michel Werber

Title: The Word of Abusz Werber

Author: Michel Werber

Genre: Biographical, Historical Fiction, World War II

Rating: 5 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

The extraordinary life story of Abusz Werber before, during and after the Second World War

Abusz Werber grew up in Poland from which he moved to Belgium. During the Nazi occupation, he was the party leader of “Linke Poale Zion” (Left-wing Workers of Zion), a Zionist-Socialist party in Belgium, and one of the initiators of the Jewish Defense Committee of Belgium. This committee managed to save about 3,000 children and several thousand Jewish adults from the clutches of the Nazis.

A secret newspaper telling the truth!

With his party comrades, Abusz Werber ensured the editing, publication and distribution of 28 issues of a secret (underground) newspaper in Yiddish, “Unzer Wort” (Our Word), which appeared until the Liberation in September 1944 (and even after). In this newspaper, he assiduously denounced the lies of the German occupant, as well as those of the Belgian Association of Jews, who collaborated with them. He called neither to follow their orders nor to respond when summoned to go to Mechelen, a transit camp before deportation.

“The Word of Abusz Werber” gives Werber a place for his words

This book is an attempt to tell Werber’s story and give him and his party members and activists the place they deserve in the chronicles of the fight against Nazism.

The Word of Abusz Werber” is the story of – you guessed it – Abusz Werber, a man who grew up in Poland and then moved to Belgium. During the years of Nazi occupatio, he was the party leader of “Linke Poale Zion”, which was the zionist-socialist party in Belgium. He also worked for the Jewish Defense Committee in Belgium, which manages to save 3000 children from the Nazis.

Abusz also worked on an underground newspaper describing the truth of the situation, and the horrors the Germans were inflicting upon innocent people.

Since I live in Belgium, I felt compelled to read Abusz Werber’s story. I had heard of the transit camp in Mechelen in Belgium, of the traitors among some of the Belgian parties, the collaborators, the horrors that took place, even on Belgian soil, but hearing about it vaguely and reading about it in detail are two different matters.

If you’re Belgian (and even if you’re not) and you want to know more about the Jewish resistance here during World War II, then this book is a great place to start. Abusz Werber was truly a remarkable man, a courageous man, and a righteous man as well.

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