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What My Father Saw

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What My Father Saw: A Daughter’s Journey Through Her Father’s Memories As One of the Liberators of Buchenwald Concentration Camp
  • by Melanie Saxer Johnston
    • Merriam Press World War 2 Biography Series
      • Fifth Edition 2013
      • 50 – 8.5 x 8.5 inch pages
      • 22 color and B&W photos
      • 1 color map
This book is neither the definitive story of the Holocaust nor of Buchenwald Concentration Camp. It is merely the story of how one man and his daughter were affected by his experiences in World War II.
     Floyd Saxer was an officer in the 304th Engineer Combat Battalion in the U.S. Third Army. The book is not technically a memoir about his wartime service, though it does cover some of his Army service.
     This book deals mostly with his experiences upon seeing the Buchenwald concentration camp after it's self-liberation by the camp's inmates and how that affected him afterwards throughout his life.
     It is also the story of how his daughter was affected by her father's experiences during and after the war as a result of his seeing Buchenwald.
     And how it propelled her to visit the camp as it exists today, a memorial to those who perished and those who survived, which led to a better understanding of what her father saw.
     The book is illustrated with the personal photos of Floyd Saxer, letters and other documents from his service, and a portion of a German map which charted his progress in Germany.
     NOTE: All of the author's proceeds are being donated to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.

  • Just received your book What My Father Saw. My grandfather was LtCol Hugh Connors, Commander of the 1270th Battalion.  I grew up hearing stories about Buchenwald, however, my grandmother destroyed all my grandfather's pictures when he died. She thought they were too terrible for anyone to see. Your book and pictures filled in some holes. I was never shown the pictures because I was too young. Thank you. —Rick Lynch
  • I just finished reading What My Father Saw, and I have goosebumps. It is outstanding. I would like to have a copy for the Children’s Library, and I will pay for it, of course. It brings a completely new take on the Holocaust that is unknown to many children. Thanks for bringing this very special book to my attention. —Rena Citrin, Library Media Specialist, Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School, Chicago, Illinois
  • I am so impressed with What My Father Saw. I couldn't put it down. It is raw and gripping and elegant in its simplicity.  I love it that you wrote from your perspective as the child you were when you first heard these stories. I love that you didn't "over-write" it. I am inspired by the "less is more" wisdom of your presentation. It really is very powerful and I can see it becoming required reading in Jewish religious school classes for years to come. Students could relate to it much more readily than anything I've ever read about the Holocaust. —Leah Fisher
  • I was quite moved by your book. The simple, clear text and images in paperback juxtaposed to a powerful message of human suffering. I welcome the opportunity to speak/email and arrange a reading at the JCC. —Michelle Schwartz, Acting Executive Director, JCC Eastbay, Berkeley, California

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