Howard Herskowitz’s tale of his father’s experiences during the second World War is at once terrifying and exhilarating. The frightening parts, of course, remind us of the inhumanity and hideous atrocities set upon innocent people, such as Aaron Herskowitz; while the thrilling parts inspire and amaze us at the range of his courage. Aaron Herskowitz was not a boastful man, he was not one to fill his son with stories of his incredible exploits. Rather it was Howard Herskowitz’s persistent questions that eventually triggered the unfolding tales of his father’s daring acts. The son has done his father proud by relaying the unspeakable paths he had to take, and creating such a powerful and enthralling read.
We had the good fortune to have Howard Herskowitz himself present this story to our Sunday Salon – His presentation was so professional, so well done, that everyone was on the edge of their seats. Everyone loved it! Howard accompanied his talk with a powerpoint presentation that clearly outlines the geographic and historical periods. I, and all our attendees highly recommend having Howard Herskowitz come to your venue and allow him to give you a wonderfully educational exhibit as well as a stirring lesson.
— Marsha Balaban, Author and Community Coordinator
Aaron’s Revenge is one of the great epic stories that encompasses modern warfare. The Russian Front of World War II has been considered by many to be the most brutal military campaign in history. Aaron’s Revenge begins with a man’s brutal slavery on the Russian Front under Nazism and fascism, but it becomes the most radical “turn-around” of fortunes I have ever encountered. This is a true story of a European Jewish man who escapes Nazi slavery, then joins the Russian Army, and then becomes a man of great power to deal out justice to those who had so brutally punished him and his comrades as well as innocent civilians just because they were Jewish. Aaron interrogates the prisoners he captures and punishes those who committed atrocities or crimes against humanity. Aaron’s son Howard Herskowitz, the author, has most stunningly told this incredible story, in which Aaron manages to overcome the odds, it seems, with nine lives. I have fact-checked the military and historical aspects of the story and they are true and correct. The book is so well-written and engrossing that I couldn’t put it down. I recommend it highly, and I consider Aaron’s Revenge a must read.
— General Albin Irzyk, U.S. Army ret., historian and award-winning author of “He Rode Up Front For Patton,” among several other books. He was wounded twice and received the nation’s second highest decoration, the Distinguished Service Cross, for extraordinary heroism.
This gem of a memoir describes the epic ordeal of Aaron Herskowitz, a young Czechoslovakian who, caught up in the treacherously deadly currents of World War II, somehow survived the horrendous conditions of slave labor and torture inflicted upon him by the Nazis and their fascist Hungarian allies, as they dragooned their Jewish slaves to serve them on the Russian Front. With his son’s able assistance as the author of this magnificent work, this book stands as a monument…how this one remarkable man succeeded by luck, courage and ingenious imagination, in surviving, escaping and triumphing over the horrific ordeals inflicted upon him, and then getting his just revenge against his erstwhile persecutors…Social history at its best, this book is also a compelling war story, and a must-read. My post-military career has focused on the studies of the Russian front of World War II, which is where the action of this story takes place. I have verified that the historical events depicted in this book are true and accurate.
–Colonel David M. Glantz, US Army (ret.) Historian, award-winning author and world renowned expert on the German v. Russian campaign during World War II.
Just when we think we have read everything that can be said about that horrific war tragedy regarding World War II and the Holocaust, along comes a book like Aaron’s Revenge…Aaron Herskowitz will surprise you, perhaps shock you…Aaron’s Revenge is a rough book to read, and was meant to be so. Yet it is so engrossing that I couldn’t put it down. It offers no excuses, makes no apologies and seeks no moral high ground. It simply asks the question, “What would you have done in his place?” Aaron’s Revenge is not only a major literary achievement, as it reads like a novel, far beyond the categories of biography or memoir; It is so visual that it also appears to be destined to be a powerful motion picture.
–Jack Shakely, Internet Review of Books.
This incredibly fast paced, action-packed and suspense-filled wartime thriller is the remarkable true story of a young Jewish man who survived years of terror under Nazi rule and enslavement by their fiendish Hungarian fascist allies to eventually escape and fight for the Russians, who appoint him as overlord of a conquered enemy town to deal out justice and revenge against his former tormentors…thus achieving the ultimate reversal of fortune…Aaron’s Revenge also divulges the astounding and shocking secrets revealing why millions of Jewish people did not have to perish, because their religious leaders preached prayer instead of fighting back. These are secrets rarely spoken aloud until now, in this book. Aaron’s Revenge is a real page-turner and a book that I consider a must-read. I have been in this field for a long time, and I expect to see it on the best-seller lists.
— William Balam, Beacon Reviews Newsletter.
I have now read Aaron’s Revenge with much interest. Aaron Herskowitz was a remarkable man and the story is brilliantly written. Aaron’s Revenge combines an incredible human story challenged by the background of perhaps the darkest time in history. There are virtually no other stories of individual Jews who attained such unlimited power against their Nazi persecutors while the war was still raging; this makes Aaron’s Revenge most unique. I believe that Aaron’s Revenge will achieve critical and commercial success as both a book and a blockbuster movie. The subject is timeless, so this story will always be relevant.
–Dr. Michael Berenbaum- Internationally acclaimed best-selling historian, book reviewer, author, TV/Film producer.
Aaron’s Revenge is a powerful story and one that was hard to imagine. This book was one that gripped me throughout the reading. You can feel Aaron’s struggle through the story as he figures out what Hitler has planned and he attempts, unsuccessfully to get people to fight back. The story is an amazing one and you feel for Aaron and the people around him. It was incredible to me how cruel the Nazis and their Hungarian cohorts were and I was amazed at how much cruelty one person could endure. Then just when you think you understand the story, it changes. You find out that after Aaron escapes from his persecutors to join the Russian Army, he becomes a bounty hunter for the Russians, capturing and interrogating hundreds of Nazi officers and spies, obtaining valuable military intelligence that he shared with his Russian superiors. Aaron even reflects that though he was successful, and was given the highest authority by the Russians to punish these captives to any extreme he wishes, he soon begins to question his own humanity in his quest for revenge. This story is so compelling, and you are simply drawn in to then draw judgment on Aaron. I feel that this true story will become a critical favorite and very popular commercially.
— Divas Book Reviews
Aaron’s Revenge is an excellent book. Author Howard Herskowitz has a real talent as a writer and a story-teller. There have been many other stories of individual courage against the Nazis, but Aaron’s Revenge stands out among the rest as perhaps the most unique. The protagonist of the story, Aaron Herskowitz, succeeded by a combination of luck, courage and imagination to escape from his Nazi tormentors and get his just revenge. The fact that he questions his own acts of revenge only makes him that much more human for whom we are compelled to feel sympathy. The story is so compelling that I expect that it will be successful critically and commercially, and I believe it also has real potential as a feature film.
— Elliott Goldenberg – Award-winning author, book reviewer.
The book is indeed riveting and the story is full of compelling historical action. From a woman’s point of view, the love story between Aaron and Helen before the war, and how they each assumed the other didn’t survive the Holocaust, and then re-unite by chance in a small town, gives rise to the old axiom: “Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction.” This book is a page-turner that transcends all barriers, whether racial or otherwise.
–Dr. Miriam Klein Kassenoff – Acclaimed university educator of history and World War II, author and book reviewer.
A Gripping Tale: Where Was God During the War? “Aaron’s Revenge” takes us on a true life journey experienced by Aaron Herskowitz – a 5’2″ Jewish farmer who escaped from being a Nazi slave and ended up being ruler of a conquered Nazi town. Howard Herskowitz, the son of Aaron and author of the book, shared that for many years, his dad struggled with the very same question many of our service members struggle with today – “Where is God?” in all the destruction. See, Howard’s dad was part of the Czech Army in 1936 and then in 1939 Germany gave Aaron’s little town over to the Hungarians, fascist allies of the Germans. Aaron went from being a soldier to a slave under the Hungarians. Unlike the Germans, who hunted and killed Jews for sport, the Hungarians tortured the Jews and kept them alive to do all their hard labor. Aaron would have none of it. Aaron had two options: remain a slave or fight. And fight he did. When the Germans and Hungarians invaded Russia, Aaron heroically changed the outcome of a major battle toward the Russians’ favor, hard to imagine, as an axis slave. A few weeks later, the Nazis surrendered at Stalingrad, in part due to Aaron’s actions. Aaron then escaped to the Russians who valued his ability to speak eight different languages and subsequently made him the overlord of a captured enemy town: and in the first few weeks of doing so, Aaron enacted extreme retribution against many of those Nazis and Hungarians he captured, especially those who were revealed to have committed atrocities. But as Howard explained, it didn’t take Aaron long to figure out that his actions, should he not change them, would make him no different than his Nazi tormentors. So he changed. Howard tackles some pretty tough questions in this recount of his dad’s life – questions like, “How many Nazis did you kill?” and “Why didn’t more Jews fight back?” – but the most compelling for me was his answer to “Where is God?” in all the killing of innocent people. His answer is one that I am sure resonates with many soldiers. Aaron answers this question and many more in Aaron’s Revenge. This book is the perfect holiday gift for you history buffs who want a unique “behind the scenes” retelling of one of the most devastating wars in history.
— Michael Schindler of The Military Wire Reviews.
An interesting perspective of an individual’s survival, at a terrible time. Well told. Easy to follow but hard to read at times. It’s so foreign to our reality that it’s like reading science fiction of an alternate universe. But it’s not. It’s Europe between 1939 and ’44.
— Herbert H. Smith, Author.
How much a man can do under strife.
— Angel Vittorio.
Until I read this book I did not know what happened to my father who disappeared in the Ukraine in 1942 while he was a Jewish slave laborer. Not only did I get welcome information, but it has been a riveting account of events that dwelt into material previously overlooked by historians. I wish someone would make this to a movie for a larger audience to witness.
— Judy Weinstein, Educator.
Very interesting…an amazing well written story that keeps you riveted. A very different take on the Holocaust. I highly recommend this book!
— Linda Ellman, Author and Educator.
A deeply, convulsingly moving account that also goes far to explain why the Jews didn’t rise up against their oppressors.
— Jacqueline Price, Educator.
The story of Aaron Herskowitz is probably the most amazing journey I’ve ever read. From his scrapes with death as a slave laborer under the Nazis, to his escape from the Soviet secret police, I couldn’t put the book down.
I have taught World History and American History at different levels. I’m convinced this book would engaged the students in a much deeper, more meaningful way than the current routine of key words and boring textbooks. The adventure is real and you can’t put the book down. The author does a great job of incorporating maps and historical facts so it would be perfect for a history class.
This is a must-read.
— David Freer, Hisotry Professor.