Sent to Auschwitz on the first Jewish transport, Rena Kornreich survived the Nazi death camps for over three years. While there she was reunited with her sister Danka. Each day became a struggle to fulfill the promise Rena made to her mother when the family was forced to split apart--a promise to take care of her sister.
One of the few Holocaust memoirs about the lives of women in the camps, Rena's Promise is a compelling story of the fleeting human connections that fostered determination and made survival a possibility. From the bonds between mothers, daughters, and sisters, to the links between prisoners, and even prisoners and guards, Rena's Promise reminds us of the humanity and hope that survives inordinate inhumanity.
“Written with simplicity and grace.” —Los Angeles Times Book Review
“Rena’s Promise went with us on the Zen Peacemakers’ first pilgrimage to Auschwitz, in 1996. On our first night together, one of our monks shared a simple message of love from Rena to us. Her message changed our lives.” —Peter Matthiessen, author of In Paradise.
“One of the most accurate accounts, and the only account of the first women’s camp in Auschwitz. This is a book historians will refer to for years to come.” —Irena Strezlecka, director, Auschwitz Museum of Women, Oświęcim, Poland
“This is an extraordinary book, vividly written and generously told. You will not easily forget Rena Kornreich, and her sister Danka. Nor should you. It's seems trite to say that this book—harrowing as it often is—is less a tragedy than a love story, but it's true. By turns soul-wrenching, inspiring and heart-breaking, this is a tale that should live long beyond the wonderful woman who inspired it.” —Alexandra Fuller, author of Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight