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Promises to Keep: One Man's Journey Against Incredible Odds

Ernest W. Michel

30 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0962303240 / ISBN 13: 9780962303241
Published by Barricade Books, 2004
Used Condition: Good Hardcover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Promises to Keep: One Man's Journey Against ...

Publisher: Barricade Books

Publication Date: 2004

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Good

About this title


Ernest W. Michel has led a charmed life. His parents and his friends were murdered by German Nazis and he too should have become a forgotten name and an unrecorded number tattooed on the arm of a corpse. Michel survived against tremendous odds. After escaping from the Nazis, he made his way to the United States. But he couldn't forget that he had promises to keep, promises he'd made to friends, many of whom are now dead. He dedicated his life to telling the world what happened in the camps and to the struggle for the establishment of a Jewish nation. Among the book's highlights is Michel's description of the Nuremberg War Crimes Trial which he covered as a reporter as well as his dramatic encounter with the #2 Nazi, Herman Goering. Ernest Michel helped to raise as much as $130,000,000 a year for the United Jewish Appeal. He worked with Baron Elie de Rothschild and other leaders of the Jewish community in France to raise funds for Israel. And then he kept another promise: he organized a worldwide reunion of all those survivors who suffered under the Nazi yoke. Michel has met and chatted with Presidents and Prime Ministers. He has been given awards and honored throughout the world for his work on behalf of Israel and the Jewish people. Through it all, he has lived a full life, appreciating and savoring every moment of the past fifty years. For he knows that, but for his determination and that sometimes elusive lady called luck, he would no longer exist, not even in anyone's memory.

From Kirkus Reviews:

Personal testimony of a life of extremes, from Auschwitz horrors to American success. Michel begins with Kristallnacht, the night in November 1938 that the Germans and Austrians destroyed synagogues and Jewish buildings. He was then a young boy living with his family in comfortable circumstances in Mannheim--but at age 15, he was separated from his family and taken to Auschwitz, where his parents and grandmother died (Michel's sister left home at age ten, to live as a refuge with a family in France). The author witnessed unbearable atrocities in the camp, including the conducting of medical experiments on girls and women by Joseph Mengele (the Auschwitz ``Doctor of Death''); the constant deaths of friends; and the unfathomable cruelty of Nazi soldiers. He spent ``six hundred seventy four days in a man-made hell,'' and promised his friends to record what he saw: ``I tried to describe a world that accepted hatred for and discrimination against Jews.'' Michel was on the 15- hour march from Auschwitz to Buchenwald, a camp whose gate was inscribed ``Right or Wrong--My Country,'' and, directly underneath, ``To Each His Own.'' Late in the afternoon of April 15, 1945, the author and two friends escaped. Six weeks later, he was the first Jew to return to Mannheim, where he was mistakenly arrested by American soldiers, then helped considerably by a Jewish lieutenant who became a major force in his life. Michel--whose sister survived in Israel--became a successful speaker and fund-raiser for the United Jewish Appeal in America, and, in the last 15 years, has returned to Mannheim, led a group to Auschwitz, and participated in the World Gathering of Survivors in Israel. Michel records his life in only perfunctory detail but still shows how strong the will to survive can be. (Sixteen pages of photographs) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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