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Rena's Promise: Two Sisters in Auschwitz (English Edition) [Kindle Edition]

Rena Kornreich Gelissen , Heather Dune Macadam
5.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (6 Kundenrezensionen)

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From Publishers Weekly

Imagining that, by volunteering for a work camp, she would somehow be protecting her family from the Nazis, Rena, at age 17, put on her best clothes, left her fiance and the Polish village of Tylicz in the Carpathian Mountains and was sent off to Auschwitz. Presently, her sister Danka arrived, as did cousins, schoolmates and neighbors. As a child, she had promised her mother to look after her baby sister, and that promise obsessed her throughout her incarceration in the camp. It gave her reason to survive, so that one day she could bring Danka safely home. How they escaped starvation, beatings, the crematorium, the medical experiments of the notorious Josef Mengele and survived the end of the war is all recounted here in this spirited survivor's testament, written with freelancer Macadam. After the war, Rena married a Red Cross worker and emigrated to the U.S., following her sister.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Gelissen, who was on the first Jewish transport to Auschwitz, describes in this account the constant struggle for survival in the camp. She soon learns there were no guarantees. Rena's motivation came strongly from a promise to her parents to keep her younger sister, Danka, safe. Her account describes the relentless specter of death while at the same time showing how prisoners would risk their lives to smuggle medicine, clothes, and food to other prisoners. Because Rena was an early prisoner in Auschwitz, she describes some of the confusion at the beginning and the realization of what was really happening to the Jewish people. Helpful features of the book include historical notes and a section describing the fate of the people the sisters knew. This memoir captures the horror of Auschwitz in a clear way that helps the reader understand the atrocities perpetrated there. Recommended for Holocaust collections.
Mary Salony, West Virginia Northern Community Coll. Lib., Wheeling
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 1670 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 288 Seiten
  • Verlag: Beacon Press; Auflage: Kindle Edition (30. Januar 2011)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ASIN: B004LLIX7Q
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Nicht aktiviert
  • Verbesserter Schriftsatz: Aktiviert
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 5.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (6 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #475.043 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

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5.0 von 5 Sternen my promise 21. Dezember 1999
hello! i am 17 old and my name is tali koren from israel. this book is very special for me because Erna Drenger was my grandmother (she died 3 years ago) . my grandmother never told anyone what happened to her in the holocost . last year , after i read this book i desided that it will be the most respectfull thing to do for my grandmother sake that i loved the most from all my family, is to go to polin and birkenau to visit all those places that my grandmother had been. only because this book I desided to go and that trip changed my life. so I like to thank here to the writer and to rena for telling her story to us and to me and by no knowingly , she changed my life as well.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen I had to read this one to my daughters 7. Juli 2000
I've been looking for a book about the Holocaust that I could read to my two daughters for a long time, and now I have found it!
My daughters instantly bonded with Rena and her younger sister Danka. Seeing the world through Rena's eyes they were able to see many things I found hard to tell them. Though the eyes of a young girl-woman whom they could identify with, my daughters listen to and follow every word as I read.
They see the devoted love of Rena's mother who shaved her head in Jewish Orthodox style in devotion to her husband, they watched as Rena flirted with a prohibited young gentile boyfriend who steals a first kiss, they see Poland invaded by Nazi power, they listen unbelievably as Rena steps in front of German soldiers with guns ready to shoot as she tells them you will have to shoot me first before I let you kill my father. We follow as she mistakenly sacrifices herself to save the others by turning herself into the German authorities and then becomes one of the first to be interned at Auschwitz only to see her younger sister Danka follow. My daughters listen on the edge of their seats as Rena makes a solemn death oath to her sister to protect and if necessary die for her and with her. We listen in tears as Rena is badly beaten for letting the older women in her work group rest. My girls recoil in shock as Rena tells of mothers and daughters waiting in line nude to be shaved from head to toe sometimes even by their own brothers and fathers under threat of death.
There is much more, but, I can't do this book justice by trying to describe it here. So, in closing, I say this, Rena's Promise is a must buy and should be read by every teenager in the world.
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Rena's Promise is the beautifully told story of two remarkable young women in their early twenties who endure and survive nearly three and one half years as prisoners of the Nazis in Auschwitz and Ravensbruck. The love that Rena has for her younger sister, Danka, sustains her and helps her to endure the atrocities and indignities forced upon them on a daily basis by the Nazis. During the time they are prisoners, Rena never once forgets the promise to her mother to take care of her younger sister. There are numerous times when Rena unhesitatingly gives up her daily crust of bread in exchange for medicine or a much needed salve for Danka. And at times when Rena is able to "organize" an extra tidbit of food such as a tiny piece of potato peeling, she meticulously divides it and without exception shares it with her beloved sister. Although Rena is the stronger of the two sisters, Danka's strength emerges during the death march when Rena becomes so weak she cannot stand and walk without assistance. Danka refuses to leave her and with the help of a friend, they support Rena until she regains sufficient strength to walk. In the mist of thousands of starving prisoners when a crust of bread could mean the difference of life or death, Rena retained both dignity and honesty. She was once chosen unanimously by more than a hundred women prisoners with whom she worked to divide ten Red Cross packages of food that miraculously made their way into Rena's block. Numerous footnotes are provided by Rena's freelance co-author which helps the reader to place the events of Rena's story into the sequential order of previously documented facts of the Holocaust. Rena's Promise is a testimony of how the love for her sister gave her the will to go on and how something so simple as the offering by a Nazi of a rag to clean her beaten and bloody face was viewed as a great act compassion.
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