This page is about the UK & Commonwealth edition. For the North American edition, go here.
The extraordinary true story of The Boy Who Followed his Father Into Auschwitz, the number one Sunday Times and international bestseller, published in 2019 to huge acclaim and translated into 20 languages. Now illustrated and retold specially for young readers aged 9 and up.
In 1938, Hitler’s Nazis come to Vienna. Fritz and his little brother Kurt wonder what will happen. The Nazis hate everyone who isn’t like them, especially Jewish people.
Fritz and his father are taken to a Nazi concentration camp – a prison of death and fear. But when his father is sent to Auschwitz, the most evil, deadly place on earth, Fritz can’t face losing his beloved Papa. He chooses to go with him.
Meanwhile, to be safe from the Nazis, Kurt must go on a frightening journey, all alone, to the far side of the world.
These two brothers long for the family they left behind, wondering if they’ll ever be able to return home . . .
This new version of the story has been completely rewritten for middle-grade readers aged 9+ and will educate and inspire children with the powerful real-life account of two brothers’ experiences during the Holocaust.
Fritz and Kurt interweaves two incredible true stories, following the brothers of the title who – on opposite sides of the world – navigate one of the most appalling periods in modern history. And through remarkable courage, they find that hope can emerge even in the darkest of times.
The book features illustrations by David Ziggy Greene, children’s illustrator and former reportage cartoonist for Private Eye.
A free Guide for Parents, Guardians, and Teachers is available, containing teaching resources to support readers and contextualise the book’s history.
Author Jeremy Dronfield says: “Ever since The Boy Who Followed His Father into Auschwitz was first published, I’ve had readers tell me how deeply affected they’ve been by the story of Fritz and Kurt and their family, and that they want their children to be able to read it. When I first saw David Ziggy Greene’s cartoon work, I knew I’d discovered the key to making a children’s version a reality. It was important to me that this must be a completely new telling of the story, not just a simplified edition. I revisited my original research, uncovering new information and fresh insights, explaining things that had been mysterious before, and truly unlocking the experiences of two boys sent along such different, traumatic courses. David’s illustrations have helped bring a new heart and soul to the story, which is wonderful and amazing. I can’t wait for everyone to have a chance to read this book.”
Brilliantly written, vivid, a powerful and often uncomfortable true story that deserves to be read and remembered. It beautifully captures the strength of the bond between a father and son.
Heather Morris, author of The Tattooist of Auschwitz
Heart-wrenching, yet compelling, the vivid true story of a father and son’s survival of absolute horror. Beautifully written, deeply poignant in its detail, it is a necessary testament today in the fight against Holocaust denial.
Dr Helen Fry, historian and author of The London Cage: The Secret History of Britain's WW2 Interrogation Centre
The horrors of the Holocaust are effectively conveyed on a human scale in this gripping account … accessible even to those with no knowledge of the relevant history.
A thoroughly researched, deeply grim account of the Kleinmanns, a Viennese family devastated by the Holocaust … One of the most moving aspects of the book is the relationship between Fritz and his father; both struggled mightily to stay together, and neither was interested in abandoning the other … The resulting swift, novelistic narrative clarifies the brutality in ways that traditional histories sometimes do not.
Today, when studies are showing many Americans know little about the Holocaust, this will serve as a compelling remedy: a personal and universal account of brutality at its worst and of family devotion at its best.
Kirkus starred review