Boy Who Followed His Father into Auschwitz
Jeremy Dronfield

Book cover image

Narrated By: John Sackville

Duration: 11 hours and 49 minutes

What to expect

Penguin presents the audiobook edition of The Boy Who Followed His Father into Auschwitz by Jeremy Dronfield, read by John Sackville.

In 1939, Gustav Kleinmann, a Jewish upholsterer in Vienna, was seized by the Nazis. Along with his teenage son, Fritz, he was sent to Buchenwald in Germany. There began an unimaginable ordeal that saw the pair beaten, starved and forced to build the very concentration camp they were held in.

When Gustav was set to be transferred to Auschwitz, a certain death sentence, Fritz refused to leave his side. Throughout the horrors they witnessed and the suffering they endured, there was one constant that kept them alive: the love between father and son.

Based on Gustav's secret diary and meticulous archive research, this book tells his and Fritz's story for the first time - a story of courage and survival unparalleled in the history of the Holocaust.


The Holocaust, Fascism & Nazism, Political oppression & persecution, True stories of heroism, endurance & survival, True stories of survival of abuse & injustice, Second World War, Diaries, letters & journals, Memoirs

Listen to a sample

Extraordinary . . . an affecting father-and-son tale

The Times

This book tells their extraordinary tale of surviving five and a half years in Nazi prison camps

The Times, 100 Best Books for Summer

Based upon meticulous research, this book tells of the Kleinmann familly and the love and courage of a son for his father

Clare Champion

Through the horrors, there was one constant that kept them alive; the love between father and son. Gustav's secret diary and meticulous archive research, tell this story for the first time

Sunday Express

A deeply humane account. This book could not be more timely and deserves the widest possible readership

Daily Express

An extraordinary tale

The Times (Best Books of 2019)

An emotionally devastating story of courage - and survival


The inspiring true story of Gustav and Fritz Kleinmann, an Austrian father and son who managed to survive internments in concentration camps from Buchenwald to Auschwitz. Dronfield draws extensively on Gustav's diary, allowing us inside the incredible bond between father and son that kept them together through harrowing experiences, and, like all the best narrative nonfiction, the story is both immersive and extraordinary. Deeply moving and brimming with humanity.




An extraordinary tale of endurance and filial love. It is a miraculous story with many twists and Dronfield tells it well in an energetic and lively style

The Times

An absolutely extraordinary story. It is the greatest father and son story I've ever come across in my life

Dan Snow

Brilliantly written, vivid, a powerful and often uncomfortable true story that deserves to be read and remembered. It beautifully captures the strength of the bond between a father and son

Heather Morris, author of The New York Times bestselling The Tattooist of Auschwitz

A devastating yet extraordinary account

Eastern Daily Press

We should all read this shattering book about the Holocaust. An astonishing story of the unbreakable bond between a father and a son. Brilliantly researched and written with searing clarity

Daily Mail

The almost unbelievable true story of Fritz Kleinman, who volunteered to follow his father, Gustav, into Auschwitz. It's a terrible and dramatic account of the humiliations and evils suffered by Jews in concentration camps and a moving testimony to the bond between fathers and sons

The Times

A unique story of defiance and hope amid the genocide

Daily Mail

A defiant record of a horrific experience