Avraham Perlmutter is just ten years old when his life changes forever.
In 1938, the Nazis arrive in Avraham’s hometown of Vienna, Austria. Desperate to help their son survive, his parents send him to the Netherlands. But the invading German army soon follows. During the ensuing war-torn years, young Avraham braves harrowing captures, daring escapes, torturous hiding, and heartbreaking losses. Yet he also experiences the goodness of humanity through the strangers who help him.
Surviving the Holocaust takes ingenuity, guts, and sheer determination—all of which he calls on again, when he fights to establish the State of Israel during its War of Independence.
And when mere existence isn’t enough, Avraham moves to the United States to continue his education and pursue his dreams.
Determined takes the reader on an unforgettable journey filled with suspense and danger. But it is more than just a remarkable story of survival—it is a testament to human kindness, even in the darkest of hours, and to the achievements made possible through relentless perseverance.
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. 5 *****
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. 5 *****