Promises to Keep:

One Man's Incredible Journey against Incredible Odds
by Ernest W. Michel

September 1993 | $22.00 | Hardcover | ISBN: 978-0-96230-324-1

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 a young boy living with his family in comfortable circumstances in Mannheim. At age 15, he was separated from his family and taken to Auschwitz, where his parents and grandmother died. The author witnessed unbearable atrocities in the camp, including medical experiments conducted 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 when late in the afternoon of April 15, 1945, he and two friends escaped. Michel became a successful speaker and fund-raiser for the United Jewish Appeal in America. In Promises to Keep, Michel shows how strong the will to survive can be.