Since 1963, Rudolf Vrba’s book has been in continuous publication in many languages.
There are grounds to regret that Vrba’s original title for his memoir, I Cannot Forgive, was jettisoned by his future publishers. That curt and seemingly non-Christian statement (“I Cannot Forgive”) was warranted.
The Nazis murdered at least six million Jews, stealing their properties and belongings
The Allies also did precious little to stop the genocide, mostly failing to provide refuge or sanctuary for the Jews of Europe.
Jewish Council members, including leading Zionists, failed to adequately warn Jews not to get on the trains.
Relatively few Nazis were prosecuted for war crimes. The unelected American John McCloy radically reduced the sentences of leading Nazi criminals and he liberated leading pro-Nazi industrialists
For the rest of his life, Vrba was keenly aware of the extent to which hundreds of thousands of people throughout Europe were never prosecuted for theft, cruelty, torture and murder.
The preface to the British version of I Escaped from Auschwitz (via Robson Books) differs only slightly from the American version also published in 2002 (via Barricade Books Inc). The final paragraph of the American preface by Vrba states:
The final paragraph of the British version states:
“Although this book has been in print continuously in many languages since its first publication, it has been out of print in Britain for a great many years. So it is extremely gratifying to have this new edition published now for a new generation, especially since it contains, for the first time, the Auschwitz Protocols. I wrote this book with gratitude to all those who contributed to the defeat of Nazism. I only hope that I, too, have contributed to this end to the best of my knowledge and abilities, and that this book too will help to open the eyes of many to prevent the bestial forces, which we thought we had broken forever, from ever returning.”
The final paragraph of the American version states:
“I wrote this book with gratitude to all those who contributed to the defeat of Nazism. I only hope that I, too, have contributed to this end to the best of my knowledge and abilities, and that this book too will help to open the eyes of many to prevent the bestial forces, which we thought we had broken forever, from ever returning.”
The American reprint of I Escaped from Auschwitz from New York-based Skyhorse Publishing in 2020 retains the abbreviated final paragraph. Far more significantly, this updated version has been expanded to 446 pages, adding approximately 120 pages of background material—“The Vrba-Wetzler Report, Including the Mordowicz-Rosin Report” and Vrba’s essential essay “The Preparations for the Holocaust in Hungary: A Eyewitness Account.”
Missing from the most recent edition is Vrba’s riveting original chapter, ‘When the Music Stopped,’ in which Vrba describes an eye-to-eye encounter with Heinrich Himmler, at Auschwitz I, on July 17, 1942, supposedly seventeen days after Vrba’s own arrival on June 30. Vrba later states Himmler also visited Auschwitz in January of 1943 to “watch the world’s first conveyor belt killing.” If Holocaust denialists and Vrba detractors wish to discredit “When the Music Stopped” because the calendar-less narrator might have used an incorrect date, any such failing should not have deterred the editors from including Vrba’s brilliant and engaging account of how a meek prisoner named Yankel Meisel was clubbed to death for missing three buttons from his striped, prisoner’s tunic when the entire prison population was presented en masse to Himmler.
Here is a selection of various editions. Click to enlarge.
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