February 3, 2004
UNITED STATES HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL MUSEUM AND WORLD JEWISH CONGRESS PUBLISH SURVIVOR MEMOIRS
February 2004 — The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the World Jewish Congress, New York, are publishing the first three volumes of the Holocaust Survivors’ Memoirs Project, a major initiative to make such memoirs widely available. Advance copies are available for review.
The initial volumes, Journey through the Inferno, by Adam Boren; Yesterday, My Story, by Dr. Hadassah Rosensaft; and Legacy and Redemption: A Life Renewed, by Joseph E. Tenenbaum, are being issued in April 2004.
Journey through the Inferno is Adam Boren’s account of how he fled east from Nazi-occupied Warsaw as a teenager, only to fall into German hands, along with his father and brother. Miraculously, he escaped as they were being hanged and made his way back to Warsaw. Smuggled into the ghetto, he participated in the uprising and was captured. He survived Majdanek, Auschwitz, and Sachsenhausen concentration camps, as well as a death march. He immigrated to the United States in 1946 and now lives in New Jersey.
In Yesterday, My Story, Dr. Hadassah Rosensaft (1912-1997) detailed her ordeals in Auschwitz and later in Bergen-Belsen, where she succeeded in keeping 149 Jewish children alive from December 1944 until liberation. One of the leaders of the Jewish Displaced Persons in the British zone of Germany, she became a founding member of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council, the Museum’s governing board, and a pivotal figure in the Museum’s creation.
Joseph E. Tenenbaum describes both his experiences as a teenager during the Holocaust and his later life as a major figure in Canada’s philanthropic and business communities in Legacy and Redemption: A Life Renewed. He survived forced labor camps near Krakow, as well as deportation to the Mauthausen, Melk, and Ebensee concentration camps, working in quarries and underground tunneling amid the deaths of thousands of fellow prisoners. He now resides in Toronto.
Two other volumes, Guarded by Angels: How my Father and Uncle Survived Hitler and Outwitted Stalin, by Alan Elsner, and 1943: The Days of Rain, Enzo Tayar’s account of life in hiding in Italy, will be published later this spring.
“We have a solemn obligation to the survivors to ensure that their experiences and their memories become an integral part of the historical record,” said Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Elie Wiesel, who conceived the Project. “The Holocaust must never be studied exclusively from the perspective of the perpetrators,” he added. “Each survivor’s story is unique, and adds to our understanding and the understanding of future generations.”
“There is no substitute for the authentic voices of the survivors themselves,” said Fred Zeidman, Chairman, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council. “As the Holocaust recedes in time, it is essential that we seize the opportunity to collect and preserve their voices for generations to come.”
Nearly 1,000 memoirs have been received in response to the call for manuscripts, according to Menachem Z. Rosensaft, director and editor-in-chief of the Project and a member of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council. The Project was launched with a generous grant from Random House Inc., New York.
To order the memoirs, contact the Museum at 1.800.259.9998.