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Besters Book Club Presents: Jonathan Freedland

The Escape Artist

Friday February 16, 2024 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm


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Event Series Event Series: Jewish Book Council Events 2023-2024

The Besters are pleased to welcome author Jonathan Freedland to their Book Club series on Friday, February 16 at 11:00 am on Zoom to discuss his book The Escape Artist.

This lecture is free and open to everyone, but RSVP is required.


This lecture is presented in partnership with the Jewish Book Council.

About the Book:

In April 1944, Rudolf Vrba became one of the very first Jews to escape from Auschwitz and make his way to freedom—among only a tiny handful who ever pulled off that near-impossible feat. He did it to reveal the truth of the death camp to the world—and to warn the last Jews of Europe what fate awaited them. Against all odds, Vrba and his fellow escapee, Fred Wetzler, climbed mountains, crossed rivers, and narrowly missed German bullets until they had smuggled out the first full account of Auschwitz the world had ever seen—a forensically detailed report that eventually reached Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and the Pope.

And yet too few heeded the warning that Vrba had risked everything to deliver. Though Vrba helped save two hundred thousand Jewish lives, he never stopped believing it could have been so many more.

This is the story of a brilliant yet troubled man—a gifted “escape artist” who, even as a teenager, understood that the difference between truth and lies can be the difference between life and death. Rudolf Vrba deserves to take his place alongside Anne Frank, Oskar Schindler, and Primo Levi as one of the handful of individuals whose stories define our understanding of the Holocaust.

Click here to purchase this book through WHC’s Mitzvah Mall

About the Author

Jonathan Freed­land is a colum­nist for The Guardian in Lon­don. He presents BBC Radio 4’s con­tem­po­rary his­to­ry series, The Long View, as well as two pod­casts, Pol­i­tics Week­ly Amer­i­ca for The Guardian and Unholy, along­side the Israeli jour­nal­ist Yonit Levi. He is a past win­ner of an Orwell Prize for jour­nal­ism and has writ­ten 12 books includ­ing nine thrillers, most­ly as Sam Bourne. The Escape Artist is a 2023 Nation­al Jew­ish Book Award Win­ner for Biog­ra­phy and Holocaust.



Friday, February 16


11:00 am - 12:00 pm




Besters, Lecture


Marsha Humphries