MEET THE AUTHOR
I Chose Life: A Holocaust Survivor's Search for Peace was presented by author Mildred C. Nitzberg, Ph.D. on April 13, 2008.
Dr. Saul Nitzberg, a survivor of Auschwitz, passed away in February 2000. Because his wife had spent many hours interviewing Dr. Nitzberg, she and co-author Marilyn Segal chose to tell his story by using Saul’s own words, interlaced with narrative. The numerous papers, letters, and documents his wife had preserved over the years supplemented the vivid portrait Saul had painted of his life.
Imbedded in a loving family, Saul’s life in Poland was tranquil in the early 1930s. However, the insidious onset of World War II destroyed the peace of his country, his community, and the lives of his family. While the ominous sequence of events was most frightening, neither the family nor the surrounding community could possibly envision the terror that was about to befall them. Saul described those events that ultimately led to the occupation of his city by the Russians and then the Germans. He described his four year journey from the Pruzhany ghetto to Auschwitz, and finally to freedom.
The events of Saul’s life following liberation were both fulfilling and remarkably compelling, but peace continued to elude him. His only brother, Lova, had been sucked up into the vortex of the war and had disappeared behind the Iron Curtain.
Pressed to face the ghosts of his past, Saul returned to Auschwitz to recite the Kaddish prayer for his parents. The once unthinkable, dark journey back to Auschwitz stirred searing memories and emotions as he bid his parents a poignant farewell. He hoped that at long last he might find peace and say with conviction, “I chose life.”
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