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By Rena Kornreich Gelissen

Despatched to Auschwitz at the first Jewish shipping, Rena Kornreich survived the Nazi loss of life camps for over 3 years. whereas there she used to be reunited along with her sister Danka. every day turned a fight to satisfy the promise Rena made to her mom while the kin used to be pressured to separate apart--a promise to maintain her sister. one of many few Holocaust memoirs concerning the lives of ladies within the camps, Rena's Promise is a compelling tale of the fleeting human connections that fostered selection and made survival available. From the bonds among moms, daughters, and sisters, to the hyperlinks among prisoners, or even prisoners and guards, Rena's Promise reminds us of the humanity and wish that survives inordinate inhumanity.

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Sample text

They could no longer buy food from Gentiles, hire Gentiles to work for them, or cross the Polish border (they were still allowed to trade goods with Gentiles). Any Jew or Gentile disobeying German law, it was proclaimed, would be considered a traitor and punished by death. Danka and Rena, along with other young Jewish men and women, were assigned to clean the army quarters, polish shoes, scrub floors, and do anything else the Germans ordered them to do. For years a poor Gentile woman had come to the Kornreichs' house every Sabbath morning to light the fire and reheat the meal Mama had prepared the day before.

Rena spent her allowance on food for her parents, though. Going to the marketplace to meet their Gentile friends from Tylicz was the closest she could get to home, and she waited eagerly for those days. Most of the Jewish youths of Bardejov were involved with the Zionist organization. They would meet and talk about forming a new state of Israel, and held dances. Gizzy and Cili dragged Rena to these soirees. " they teased her gently. Uncle Jacob approved of her socializing and informed her that he would like her to go out with Schani Gottlobb, a tailor.

My father had never met Andrzej, yet that morning he sent for the boy he had forbidden me to see to come into our house. Not a word had been spoken to me about these arrangements. This was my father, and of course I was not consulted. I was standing in the kitchen when I heard Andrzej's voice at our door. My knees sank. Mama scrutinized me, but I did not even look at his face. "Welcome, Andrzej. " Papa offered him a chair. " Mama and I watched them from the other room. "Thank you, Mr. " Andrzej took the cigarette with a grateful nod.

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