The Last Train to Dachau

by Robert B. Niklewicz



Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 10/30/2008

Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 554
ISBN : 9781438914374
Format : E-Book
Dimensions : E-Book
Page Count : 554
ISBN : 9781452087924

About the Book

The Last Train to Dachau is based on the real life plight of the Miller family during World War II. With the invasion of Poland by the Germans, the story follows the family and their experiences of: the occupation, hunger, cold, and the terror in their home town. This family of five was Polish Catholic, but had a German-like surname. This situation placed them between the Germans, who wanted them to sign a loyalty declaration, which they refused, and the community which assumed that they had. The story tells of the horrors and obstacles that they faced and had to overcome to stay together and live.

Emilia, Alicia and Leszek are children that spend most of their youth surviving both the physical and emotional stresses of war. Wladyslawa, the mother, is a worker in a Red Cross shelter during the day, but often had to travel at night to find black market food for her family. Wiktor, the father, was conscripted to a labor train after the surrender of Warsaw. He worked under threat of great harm to his family while forced to travel and repair damaged trains and tracks across Poland and Germany. His travels and experiences on a recovery and repair crew gave him an avenue to stay alive while still resisting his oppressors.

The intensity of the story increases as the Millers face the brutality of their captors who desperately try to accomplish their “final solution” for all Poles in the closing days of the war. The reader will find it hard to put the book down as the Millers face their fate.


About the Author

Robert B. Niklewicz is a Physical Therapist with a Doctorate in Health Science. In addition to being a health care professional, he is a teacher and national lecturer. The book he has written is the end product of stories he has heard since he was a boy. The private spoken memories of his grandmother and mother over the years not only intrigued him, but the family as a whole. Taping his mother’s stories, many of which she was reluctant to tell, caused a stark awakening in him about how fragile life is, and how close fate came to ending his mother’s existence seventy years earlier.


Robert researched and reassembled the chronicle of a bleak time using his skill as a teacher to guide the reader through this incredible story. He is able to bring the intensity of the physical stresses with the psychological challenges for the Millers in a way that the reader could almost experience themselves.


As thousands of survivors of the Second World War die each day from the burdens of age, it became a cause to put his connection with history on paper. As a physical therapist, he had the great privilege to hear bits and pieces of other people’s stories during the course of his work with the elderly. Each story was a jewel unto itself that if untold, would disappear with the soul that experienced it. He could not imagine the sadness he and his family would feel if their own incredible history would be lost as well. This is a true family story to share, his to tell so others will not forget.