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Author Speaks at Death March Site to Commemorate Remarkable Story of His Father Escaping Twice from the Holocaust

Death March Escape

Jack J. Hersch


This deeply personal and extremely informative portrait of a man of indomitable will to live reminds us of why we must never forget nor trivialize the full, shocking truth about the Holocaust.”
— Booklist
UNITED STATES, October 20, 2022 / -- In DEATH MARCH ESCAPE, author Jack J. Hersch tells the incredible story of his father’s two escapes from Nazi death marches in the final months of the Second World War. His father’s feat was so remarkable that Jack this weekend is in Enns, Austria – the site of the escapes near Mauthausen Concentration Camp – to speak at the dedication of a memorial commemorating them, as well as memorializing the 25,000 emaciated prisoners who passed through Enns on those marches.

The town, Enns, Austria, 6 miles by car from Mauthausen Concentration Camp, is dedicating a memorial to the 25,000 mostly-Jewish prisoners who were death-marched from Mauthausen to Gunkirchen Concentration Camp 34 miles away and to Jack’s father, who was one of those marchers twice. The marchers all took the same route, passing through the outskirts of Enns. The memorial is being placed at a major intersection along the route which is the site of Jack’s father's first escape.

Surviving one Nazi death march is amazing, surviving two is astonishing. But escaping from both is nothing short of a miracle. Jack Hersch grew up hearing the stories of how his father, Dave Hersch, twice escaped the brutal death marches forced on concentration camp prisoners by the Nazis at the end of World War II. What he didn’t know about his father’s experience was the incredible confluence of luck, fate, and will to survive that made Dave unique in the history of the Holocaust, which is illuminated in DEATH MARCH ESCAPE: The Remarkable Story of a Man Who Twice Escaped From the Holocaust.

A few years after his father died in 2001, a cousin in Israel informed Jack that a mysterious photo of his father had surfaced—on the website for Mauthausen Concentration Camp. Unlike many of the brutal depictions of concentration camp survivors recorded by Allied troops, this picture was a headshot of Dave as a smiling teenager modeling contemporary clothes. Where did this photo come from, and how did Mauthausen’s museum acquire it?

The answer to this mystery would take dedicated detective work and require Jack to confront the unflinching truth about the most nightmarish concentration camp in all of World War II—so very different from the colorful escape stories his father related every Passover. To learn how that photo was tied to Dave’s courageous struggle for survival, Jack would walk in his father’s footsteps, face the horrific reality of the Mauthausen and Gusen concentration camps where Dave was held, and stand on the roads where his father made his incalculably daring bids for freedom.

More than a memoir, biography, or history, DEATH MARCH ESCAPE is a page-turning account of what it takes to survive with your soul intact and to never surrender. It’s a love letter from a son as he captures the true meaning of heroism, and a warning for anyone who would ignore the brutal lessons of history.

Says Publishers Weekly, “Jack is able to corroborate key details of his father’s account, narratively balancing his experiences in the present with family members’ recollections of the past. In the process, he comes to understand why he never pushed his father for more information. While that reason won’t surprise many readers, and the psyche of children of survivors has been explored with greater depth elsewhere, this is still a valuable addition to Holocaust literature.”

JACK J. HERSCH is an expert in the field of troubled and distressed companies. He is a strategic advisor to corporate management and investment institutions, has served as a corporate board member, and has guest lectured at the business schools of M.I.T., U.S.C., and U.C. Berkeley, among others. This is his first work of non-fiction. Visit

Jim Alkon
Meryl Moss Media