Spring, TX (PRWEB) August 12, 2012
Suicide, persecution, emigration, deportation, death- the five stages for Jews in Vienna that saw the Jewish population reduced from more than 215,000 in 1938 to less than 7,000 by war’s end in 1945. It was under these conditions that the mortician, Michael Baumann, a Jew pretending to be Aryan, devised a highly unorthodox surgical procedure that converted Jews to Aryans. This helped more than 400 Jews escape deportation and death at the hands of the Nazis With five other Jews pretending to be Aryan, an elaborate escape and spy network was created with a carefully constructed underground railroad that ran from Vienna to Switzerland. Their death-defying exploits during the height of the Nazi domination of Europe is author Robert J. Bauman’s subject in Extension of Life, the thrilling minutes of a cat-and-mouse game and desperate gambits that allowed Michael Baumann and his group to survive while aiding others to escape. It also includes his participation in the notorious T-4 euthanasia program that took the lives of tens of thousands of mentally and physically challenged children and adults in Hitler’s quest to purify the Aryan race.
While most of the operations were successful there were some failures. Some died so that others could live. Carefully researched, the story blends fiction with factual history, incorporating actual events and people as well as actual period documents and anti-Semitic currency and propaganda. The novel creates a realistic portrayal of Jewish life and death before and during the Nazi takeover of Austria. Using his own family name, the author creates a fictional hero that enables hundreds of Jews to escape certain death at the hands of the Nazis. The trail of clues and hidden records left behind by the protagonist’s father formed a schematic as to which way the story should go – in effect, he had been gifted with the personal history of a secret hero (his father) who handed on the amazing story to his son.
The Austrians represented a special case in the history of anti-Semitism as practiced by Nazi Germany that was unleashed with Anschluss (unity or re-unification with Austria) Nazi Germany’s best coup before open warfare broke out between Germany and any country who stood in its way. When many of the Jewish prisoners in occupied Poland and other East European countries had been carted off to the concentration camps, Hitler and his mania to eradicate Jews turned on West European and Austrian Jews. Extension of Life literally means the survival of Michael Baumann and that of his companions from 1938-1945 obtained through his unorthodox surgical procedure. The time has come to tell their story.
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About the Author
Robert J. Bauman (b. Brooklyn, NY 1943) is a recently retired consultant from the plastics industry. This is his first novel. He traveled extensively domestically and internationally and, as a hobby, collected old paper money, particularly notes and related items on anti-Semitism and the Holocaust. During a trip to Vienna, Theresienstadt and Auschwitz, the idea for this novel took root. Anti-Semitic and concentration camp money, documents, propaganda and other material from his collection, recently donated to the Houston Holocaust Museum, are interspersed throughout the book. It is also personal. His father’s entire family in Poland was exterminated during the Holocaust.
Extension of Life * by Robert J. Bauman
Publication Date: June 4, 2012
Trade Paperback; $23.99; 511 pages; 978-1-4691-9243-7
Trade Hardback; $34.99; 511 pages; 978-1-4691-9244-4
eBook; $9.99; 978-1-4691-9245-1
To request a complimentary paperback review copy, contact the publisher at (888) 795-4274 x. 7879. To purchase copies of the book for resale, please fax Xlibris at (610) 915-0294 or call (888) 795-4274 x. 7879.