Boy 30529

Boy 30529:A Memoir

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The moving story of a young boy who lost everything: home, hope, even his own identity

“Anyone who survived the exterminations camps must have an untypical story to tell. The typical camp story of the millions ended in death ... We, the few who survived the war and the majority who perished in the camps, did not use and would not have understood terms such as ‘holocaust’ or ‘death march.’ These were coined later, by outsiders.”
In 1939 twelve-year-old Felix Weinberg fell into the hands of the Nazis. Imprisoned for most of his teenage life, Felix survived five concentration camps, including Terezin, Auschwitz, and Birkenau, barely surviving the Death March from Blechhammer in 1945. After losing his mother and brother in the camps, he was liberated at Buchenwald and eventually reunited at seventeen with his father in Britain, where they built a new life together.

Boy 30529 is an extraordinary memoir of the Holocaust, as well as a moving meditation on the nature of memory.


  • With a detachment that makes the telling all the more powerful, Felix Weinberg has given witness to what he saw and experienced through the terror, misery and absurdity of his teenage years. This was, he explains, at first a gift to his family, and this intimacy without sentimentality draws us in to the loss at the heart of the book. It was also a history he had suppressed, and as Weinberg tells it, he explains that it’s strange and painful to document it for the first time. He revisits the suddenness of round-ups, random killings, separations, forced labour and marches. This reminded me that the war against the Jews was above all else a war against our physical presence in Europe which this book replies to simply by having been written. Beyond that though, is the reply of a boy who escaped annihilation and found that by staying alive he could think, study, research and eventually teach at the highest level. In the face of genocide on any people, anywhere at any time, the book is the ultimate response: that we exist and have the right to exist. I wasn’t only moved by it. I was strengthened by it.

    Michael Rosen, author, poet
  • An unusually good-natured memoir about life in the Nazi camps and the travails of being a postwar refugee. Weinberg ... has a quick, curious mind...A revelation ... told with both candor and odd innocence.

    Kirkus Reviews
  • All those who care about the proper documenting of this horrendous era must be grateful to Felix Weinberg for giving us this insightful and ultimately uplifting account.

    Suzanne Bardgett, Imperial War Museum