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Blood From a Stone

Book Review

 

Title:

Blood From a Stone

Author:

Yaron Svoray and Richard Hammer

Publisher:

Tom Doherty Associates LLC, New York, NY

ISBN:

0-765-30795-2

Reviewed By:

Frank Fogg

Review Date:

June, 2003

Rating:

1/2

Blood From a Stone is a true World War Two story about diamonds plundered by the Nazis. Yaron Svoray started a  life-long quest to find some of these diamonds hidden in the forests in Germany at the end of the war. This book tells the story of the diamonds and his search  to re-discover them.

Blood From a StonePrior  to the holocaust, a number of Jewish families began collecting and hiding diamonds in an attempt to have items of value to barter for their freedom should it become necessary. Send to the death camps, they would often hide these valuable stones inside the linings of clothing or in luggage. Once they were executed, the diamonds would be found after a thorough search of their belongings.

Other Jewish prisoners were sent to special work camps. They were a select group that had special skills with the appraisal and cutting of diamonds. Their job was to sort through the plundered diamonds and group them according to their value. While some of the diamonds were packaged and sent to Berlin, more often they were stolen by the Nazis in the camp and hidden away.

Two United States soldiers stumbled upon a group of Nazis retrieving their diamonds  in the middle of the night. They were fleeing before the Allied forces and were attempting to keep their valuable treasure. Left with little choice, the soldiers killed all of the Germans, then discovered their secret - a large bag of diamonds and gold. Planning to come back after the war, the soldiers buried the bag of  diamonds along the border of Germany and France. Years later, one of the soldiers tells his tale to Yaron Svoray, a Jewish lecturer. This tale started the hunt to retrieve the diamonds from their secret resting place.

This is an interesting adventure story that is a little different from the common  search for buried gold tale. It covers a period of almost sixty years and follows  the lives of every person that held the diamonds before they were lost. Some of the tales of the death camps are rather specific and gruesome, so a reader  should be prepared for these parts, but the story is told in relation to the  disposition of the plundered diamonds. The author is not particularly long-winded,  so the book can be finished in just a few sittings, but he includes enough detail to get a clear picture of what happened.

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