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Daniel Seymour
From Auschwitz with Love

Adult; Memoir; (Market)

Captured in two first-person memoirs - and presented along with added historical references - this is a remarkable story of two sisters' resilience and survival of the Holocaust that describes a resounding triumph of the human spirit spanning nine decades.
In this riveting memoir, author and professor Seymour (Momentum) presents the remarkable experiences of two brave sisters during and after the Holocaust. Manci and Ruthie Grunberger lived with their family in a bustling village in the former Czechoslovakia, where daily life revolved around school, friends, and Orthodox Jewish traditions—until German forces took over in 1944. After the Grunbergers were transported to Poland’s Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, the 18- and 16-year-old sisters were separated from their family. Together, they endured the unendurable: internment at Auschwitz and a grueling death march afterwards. Once the sisters were at last liberated, their aunt brought them to the United States, where they created remarkable lives for themselves.

While Ruthie had shared her story, Manci’s silence about it, even with family, inspired Seymour, her son-in-law, to record her memories. At the start of each chapter, he establishes the political and cultural context before transcribing the sisters’ testimonies as witnesses, survivors, and Americans. The emphasis on the women’s post-Holocaust lives, and their interpretations of the past, distinguish this memoir. For example, Manci distances herself from her memories, whereas Ruthie chooses to educate the next generation through writings and speeches. Details about leisure time in retirement support the overall message of finding joy in life.

Seymour’s research shows in his skillful contextualization of the sisters’ stories, and their dialogue flows smoothly without the interviewer getting in the way. They provide accounts that are often absent from school textbooks—sharing stories, for example, of how Auschwitz captives were drugged to ensure submission, or the brave unit of workers who smuggled in gunpowder and blew up a crematorium. This urgent memoir offers new light on one of history’s darkest moments and stands firmly against deniers’ rejections of documented history. Seymour gives voice to Manci’s and Ruthie’s courage and survival as well as their incredible bond that testifies to the strength of the human spirit.

Takeaway: A riveting firsthand account of two sisters’ survival of the Holocaust and Auschwitz.

Great for fans of: Judy Batalion’s The Light of Days, Viktor Frankl.

Production grades
Cover: A
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: N/A
Editing: A
Marketing copy: A