This is a rare account of the horrors of the WW2 death camps from someone who experienced them. Born into an Orthodox Jewish family in Prague, Hoffman lost his entire family in the Holocaust. Fourteen-year-old Martin Hoffman escapes immediate death on arrival at Auschwitz by claiming to be eighteen. Through a combination of chutzpah and luck, he first survives a year at Auschwitz, then the Death March to Buchenwald, and stays alive until the camp is liberated by American troops.
After relocating to England, Hoffman is tortured by survivor's guilt, which leads to episodes of deep depression. He learns a trade (diamond-cutting), but eventually discovers two things: a talent for bridge, and a fascination with gambling. As he finds success with the first, becoming a world-class professional player, the second almost destroys him.
It is only later in life, with the help of his wife Audrey, that Hoffman is able to overcome his dark memories, conquer his addiction to gambling, and finally find contentment in a new life in Florida.
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