Home > Biography / Autobiography, History > My War against the Nazis: A Jewish Soldier with the Red Army

My War against the Nazis: A Jewish Soldier with the Red Army

  • Author: Adam Broner
  • ISBN 10: 0817354174
  • Publisher:  The University of Alabama Press
  • Published: 2007
  • Pages: 229
  • Language: English
  • Format:  PDF

In 1939, to escape Nazi occupation, 14-year-old Adam Broner and his older brother Sam left their home and family in Lodz, Poland, and made their way to the Soviet Union. In recounting his struggle for survival during some of the most dramatic upheavals of the 20th century, here he reveals a life dedicated to the ultimate goal of freedom.

In retirement, Broner learned portrait painting and reproduced the likenesses of his parents and siblings from memory, which are presented along with their biographies in this book.

Adam enlisted in the Red Army to join the fight against the Nazis, but was sent to work in a Siberian coal mine instead when his nationality was discovered. After a bold and daring escape from Siberia, Broner reached the Soviet Polish Kosciuszko Army, joined the struggle against the Nazis, participated in the liberation of Poland, and rode victorious into Berlin in 1945. He later learned that his parents, siblings (except Sam), and all other close relatives had perished during the war.

Broner rebuilt his life, established a family, returned to Moscow for a degree in economics, and then went back to Poland, where he accepted a job in the Polish central planning agency. Eventually fed up with the growing anti-Semitism of the Communist government there, the author emigrated to the United States in 1969. He earned a doctorate from Princeton University and served as an economic adviser to New Jersey governors and the state legislature.

In recounting his struggle for survival during some of the most dramatic upheavals of the 20th century – the Great Depression, Nazism, World War II, and the spread of Communism in Central Europe – Broner reveals a life dedicated to the ultimate goal of freedom, which he achieved through a combination of arduous effort and fortunate circumstance.

Editorial Reviews


This well-written and compelling autobiography is an important memoir. . . . The account of Broner’s life is interspersed with well-drawn and often moving accounts of pre-war Jewish life and the members of his family.” — Antony Polonsky, editor of A Cup of Tears: A Diary of the Warsaw Ghetto

An interesting first-hand account of the maelstrom of Polish history in the 20th century. . . . Insight on the relationship between Jewish and non-Jewish Poles in the post-war years, as well as the government’s stance on Jewish matters, will be regarded as a high point of this book.” — Jay Howard Geller, author of Jews in Post-Holocaust Germany

About the Author

Adam Broner is former secretary of the New Jersey Economic Policy Council and lives to day in Sarasota, Florida.

Antony Polonsky is the Albert Abramson Chair of Holocaust Studies, an appointment held jointly at Brandeis University and the United States Holocaust Museum. He is author of The History of Poland since 1863 and The Little Dictators: A History of Eastern Europe since 1918.

Most helpful reviews

My War Against The Nazis by Adam Broner

By Kathleen L. Dalla Betta

This man’s story has touched this woman’s heart. It is a simple, easy to read, straightforward, historical and personal account of the human and his indomitable spirit. This eye-opening account leaves me with a lifetime education. I am humbled by this man’s love for his faith, family and country.

Valuable lessons from history

By Jennifer Wheeler

This book is a valuable resource for students of Eastern European History. Adam Broner’s first person narrative skillfully connects the author’s personal story with the larger events surrounding his life. The wide scope and long time period provide a neutral perspective and a greater understanding of the events. Broner’s personal stories draw the reader into history and bring it to life in a new way. The book would easily fit into a curriculum covering World War II, Communism, Eastern Block History, Anti-Semitism, and particularly Poland. This remarkable biography can be enjoyed by anyone, but it will be especially appreciated by all scholars of history.

Adam Broner’s book about World War II

By R. Fenigsen

Adam Broner’s book is a well-written, very readable one person’s story of the most important event of the 20th century, World War II. It is a remarkable, I would even say unique story. At that turbulent time, most people let themselves be pushed where the changing fates of war were throwing them. Not so the young Adam Broner. He repeatedly made his own decisions, sometimes risky but right and courageous. The most important of these was to desert the “working battalions” in Siberia, and to join the army fighting the Nazis. It may sound strange, but Adam Broner’s story is also unique because it tells the plain truth. He has not adapted his narrative to the now prevalent ideas. Broner simply tells us how it was. A good book. Richard Fenigsen, M.D., Waltham, Massachusetts.

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