MEET THE AUTHOR
A Promise Kept to Bear Witness was presented by author Joyce Wagner on June 15, 2008.
Joyce Wagner was, at age eighteen, a member of a large and loving Jewish family living in Poland at the start of World War II. Of nine brothers and sisters, parents and grandparents, she was the sole survivor of a Holocaust experience that included almost two years at the Nazi death camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau.
Joyce begins by saying she is not a professional writer; she is a Holocaust survivor who wants to tell the story of what she lived and witnessed and lost during World War II. She speaks of the promise she made to those who did not survive. She shared their suffering and inhumane treatment. Unlike other members of her family and so many millions of innocents, she avoided death in the gas chambers of Auschwitz-Birkenau. These gas chambers did more than take the life’s breath of individuals; they exterminated a way of life for the Jews of Europe.
The years of her youth were wiped away by those awful events to be replaced by nightmares of tragedy, misery, and death.
For many years, she has been asked by her children and grandchildren to write her story. This undertaking has been burdened by a crushing sense of responsibility. It is a memorial to those who did not survive.
Today she shares her dramatic experiences with adults and high school students, doing her part to ensure that no one ever forgets the atrocities that were committed by followers of Hitler.
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