One Step Ahead of Hitler
Fred Gross knew much about the history of the Holocaust, but he didn t know his own, being a young Jewish child during those terrible years. In the late 1980s, he asked his mother to tell him the story of his family s flight from the German invasion of Belgium and the Nazi policies that would become the Holocaust. Later, his two older brothers added their memories. But this story is not simply an account of the years spent one step ahead of Hitler. It is about a little boy then grown man coming to know his own story and realizing the tenuousness of memory. Most of the Grosses flight takes place in France during its defeat and collaboration with the Nazis, rounding up more than 75,000 Jews for deportation to the death camps. Gross and his family made it through these anguished years because of their fortitude and ingenuity and the help of brave men and women of other faiths, reverently referred to as The Righteous Among the Nations, who risked their lives standing up to their collaborationist government. One Step Ahead of Hitler is a story of survival told in words and in photographs of a journey beginning in Antwerp and ending with his freedom in America. It is an important memoir, David P. Gushee, Distinguished Professor of Christian Ethics at Mercer University and author of Righteous Gentiles of the Holocaust, writes in the foreword. Some of the most shameful moments of German, French, Swiss and human history are recorded here, not for the first time, but in a deeply personal way by someone who experienced their effects as a small child.