In The Last Survivor, journalist Timothy Ryback explores the surprising–and often disturbing–ways the citizens of Dachau go about their lives in a city the rest of us associate with gas chambers and mass graves. A grandmother recalls the echo of wooden shoes on cobblestone, the clip-clop of inmates marched from boxcars to barracks under the cover of night. A mother-to-be opts to deliver in a neighboring town, so that her child’s birth certificate will not be stamped DACHAU. An "SS baby," now middle-aged, wonders about the father he never knew. And should you visit Dachau, you will meet Martin Zaidenstadt, an 87 year-old who accosts tourists with a first-hand account of the camp before its liberation in 1945. Beautifully written, compassionate, wise, The Last Survivor takes us to a place that bears the mark of Cain–and a people unwilling to be defined by the past, yet painfully unable to forget.
Timothy W. Ryback is the author of Hitler’s Private Library, which was named to the Washington Post Book World Best Nonfiction list in 2008, and The Last Survivor: Legacies of Dachau, a New York Times Notable Book. He has written for The Atlantic Monthly, The New Yorker, The Wall… More about Timothy W. Ryback