I Kept My Promise: My Story of Holocaust Survival

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Jason R. Taylor Associates, 1995 - Holocaust survivors - 210 pages
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I found this book fascinating and touching, so personal yet giving us a sharp viewline into the much larger catastrophe of the near destruction of European Jewry. Death by
the millions boggles the human imagination--incalculable as a matter of human understanding--but when seen through the eyes of one thoughtful, tenacious, and courageous man, and his story, we at least arrive at the beginning of comprehension. And, as Eli Wiesel writes of I KEPT MY PROMISE, "To listen to a witness is to become a witness." This book should be read by every generation, so that we do remember--and never forget.  

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"Jacob Birnbaum's autobiography is a survivor's important testimony. Read it. Make your friends read it. Written with pain and courage, it is his personal way of keeping his "promise" to the victims who perished in Hitler's nightmarish death-camps. To listen to a witness is to become a witness." Elie Wiesel, Winner of the Nobel Peace Prize of 1986, Recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal, author of more than 30 books and Professor of Humanities at Boston University.
"This incredible true story is about the mystery of survival during the Holocaust -a time when few survived to tell what happened to those closest to them. I KEPT MY PROMISE helps fill that black hole in history, without human faces. It also helps break part of the long dark silence that obscured a colossal failure of western civilization." Sylvia Rothchild, Author and Book Reviewer for the Jewish Advocate.
"Readers interested in the less familiar ordeal of Jews who were not deported to the well-publicized concentration and death camps will find much to appreciate in this volume." Lawrence L. Langer, Author and Professor of English Emeritus, Simmons College, Boston.
"I couldn't put this book down. It reads like a novel yet is a very honest painful testimony of a Holocaust survivor. A must for Holocaust collections and an important biography for school libraries. Grades 8 through adult, Highly Recommended." Diane C. Pozar, Library Media Specialist and Reviewer for The Journal for Junior and Senior High School Librarians.
"It is a remarkable and powerful book. Many of the events that Mr. Birnbaum experienced and witnessed are beyond human imagination. As difficult and challenging as it was to read parts of the book, it must have been ever more so for Mr. Birnbaum to write about them. The book has certainly enhanced my knowledge of The Holocaust." Mark Willner, Teacher of Holocaust Studies, Congregation Emanu-el Religious School, Adjunct Lecturer, Brooklyn College, New York, NY.
"I won't go into too much detail about his actual experiences, because there is no way to do them justice. The story, being told from Jacob's point of view, tells itself impeccably. When I read it I saw through his eyes, felt what he felt and found myself stopping to catch my breath on several occasions. The power of the story is simply incredible! The primary goal of the book is to educate and inform people from junior high school through the college level. The first person perspective makes it as useful in understanding what happened to the persecuted Jews as 'The Diary of Anne Frank'." A twenty-year-old Bentley College freshman and Writer for the Vanguard student newspaper. Reprinted from the Lexington Minuteman.
"I Kept My Promise is a poignant account which recalls the horror of the Holocaust and the consequences of sanctioned prejudice and hate. In honoring those who have died, Mr. Birnbaum provides inspiration to the living." Massachusetts Governor, William F. Weld.
"I Kept My Promise is a riveting, thorough account of one particular prisoner's experiences in Hitler's Third Reich. It gives the reader stark insights into the workings of the Nazi regime and the terrible suffering it imposed on millions of human beings. Birnbaum and Taylor have created a highly readable narrative of life and death in Hitler's forced labor camps and of one extraordinary individual's story of survival." Jim & Baerbel Davis, Sandwich, Massachusetts
"At first I thought that this was another Holocaust memoir. However, this one turned out to be very different. The account of Birnbaum's life is written as a young man's survival through the labor camps during WW II. It is a true story written in straight forward narrative style. You get a vivid sense of the ongoing horrors that he faced daily. The photos and pertinent information, the whole book, helped me to clearly visualize the


The Storm
Martkstadt bei Breslau
Flechner at Langenbielau
The Kesselhaus and Faulbruck
The Liberation

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