Book Review of ‘Five Chimneys, A Woman Survivor’s True Story of Auschwitz’

Tuesday, August 19, 2008 – original post

Five Chimneys,
A Woman Survivor’s True Story of Auschwitz

Written By: Olga Lengyel
Published by Academy Chicago Publishers, Chicago, 1st Ed., 1995, paperback, 231 pages.

Five Chimneys is the authentic testimony of Olga’s hellish journey through the terror and unbelievable horrors of Auschwitz.”

Olga Lengyel was a woman who had been trained as a surgical assistant. She was the wife of a leading Surgeon and their affluent family was well respected in their community. They lived in the city called Cluj (also known as Klausenburg or Kolozsaur) in Transylvania.
Olga’s life was full of love, laughter and she had a contented home together with her husband Miklos, her two sons Thomas and Arvad, her parents and her god father.
In 1944, the war became very real to Olga and her family who up until that point had been very sceptical of the atrocious stories they had been hearing.
They, along with many other deportees arrived in Auschwitz-Birkenau after an unbearable 7 day long, overcrowded train ride in a cattle car. Olga was transferred shortly thereafter to Auschwitz.
During the 7 months that Olga was imprisoned in the concentration camp, she suffered greatly and witnessed the suffering, degradation and extermination of thousands upon thousands of Jews, Gypsies, Hungarians, Czechoslovakians, Russians, Ukrainians, and many more peoples from other parts of the world.
Her only saving grace was her involvement in the underground movement against their German captors. They needed her help to pass on information and packages. This defiance helped her find the will to keep going, even when she wanted so badly to find release and was quite ready to die.

Five Chimneys is the true story of one woman’s survival during World War II in the concentration camp, Auschwitz. This book chronicles her ghastly memories and appalling experiences as she stays alive and endures too one day tell the world what she had been witness to.
As I read this book, I was so deeply saddened, disgusted and sickened by how the ill-fated victims were starved, gassed or poisoned, and finally fed to the “ever-hungry” crematoriums.
* There is very graphic content in this book and though this book is exceptionally distressing, it is also a real account of the extermination of so many innocent people, by the S.S. Germans.

I recommend this book, though to anyone with young children, I strongly suggest that you keep it out of their reach.

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ (7 out of 10 Diamonds) – I really enjoyed it

Some Information about the Author:
Link to the Publisher’s Website:


5 thoughts on “Book Review of ‘Five Chimneys, A Woman Survivor’s True Story of Auschwitz’

  1. Hi Amina,

    Unfortunately there is no way for me to make my font larger.
    You might try changing your font and zoom level, on your own computer.
    I’m sorry that you seem to be having a hard time reading the blog posts. I hope you are able to solve your technical difficulties soon!


  2. Hi Anna,

    It’s a good book, for sure. I agree; these first-hand testimonials and first-hand accounts are so important for people to read and understand; it’s not about the gruesomeness, its about the truth and the terrible devastation of life that it illuminates so well.
    I wish we could all learn from them too!!

  3. This book was an amazing journey for me. Usually I tend to read juvenile and YA accounts of the Holocaust, and from Five Chimneys, I learned so much, and ached for both the victims and the survivors.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s