Online Library Catalogue

Viewing Entry - The mascot (S13479)
by Kurzem, Mark

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Playing time for daisy/audio formats : 16 hours 8 minutes


TitleThe mascot : the extraordinary story of a young Jewish boy and an SS extermination squad
Author / Responsible partyKurzem, Mark
TopicsHistory. Biography. World War, 1939-1945 -- Children -- Latvia -- Biography. World War, 1939-1945 -- Personal narratives, Latvian. Kurzem, Alex -- Childhood and youth.
Intended AudienceAdult
PublisherVisAbility Ltd. [Association for the Blind of WA]


Mark Kurzem was happily ensconced in his academic life at Oxford when his father, Alex, showed up on his doorstep with a terrible secret to tell. As a five-year-old during the Second World War, Alex Kurzem had watched from a tree as the entire Jewish population of his village, including his family, were murdered by a German-led execution squad. He scavenged in the forests of Russia for several months before falling into the hands of a Latvian police brigade that later became an SS company. After one soldier discovered this young boy was actually Jewish, Alex was made to promise never to reveal his true identity - to forget his old life, his family, and even his name. The young boy became the company's mascot and part of the Nazi propaganda machine responsible for killing his own people. Fearful of being discovered-as either a Jew or a Nazi-Alex kept the secret of his childhood, even from his loving wife and children. But he grew increasingly tormented and became determined to uncover his Jewish roots and the story of his past. Shunned by a local Holocaust organization, he reached out to his son Mark for help in reclaiming his identity.

Additional Information

System control numberS13479
Original Print PublisherCamberwell, Vic. : Penguin Group (Australia), c2007.
NarratorDavid Tredinnick.
Narrator NameDavid Tredinnick.
Participant or performer noteDavid Tredinnick.
Narrators GenderMale narrator