Deem, James M. The Prisoners of Breendonk, 318 pgs. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015. $18.99 Content: Language: PG (3 swears); Mature Content: PG; Violence: R (torture).
Breendonk was a holding camp that the Nazi’s used in Belgium during World War II. Unlike other concentration camps, Breendonk was a place that people were sent to other camps from or released. This book isn’t a story about one or two individuals’ experiences, but about all the sadness and horror that one camp caused to anyone who came there. The author stayed true to the facts he could find and the accounts of those involved, so it is very factual and almost feels textbook. There are many pictures throughout, including one of a train car full of dead bodies. The violence is rated R because this is nonfiction and it discusses torture, murder and extreme brutality. Although this is a well-researched and historically accurate account, it isn’t very readable and very heavy in content.
HS – OPTIONAL. Reviewer, C. Peterson.