By Chance Alone: A Remarkable True Story of Courage and Survival at Auschwitz

Category: Book
By (author): Eisen, Max
  HISTORY / Canada / General
  HISTORY / Holocaust
  HISTORY / Jewish
Audience: general/trade
Awards: RBC Taylor Prize
Publisher: HarperCollins
Published: May 2017
Format: Book-paperback
Pages: 272
Size: 8.00in x 5.31in x 0.68in
Our Price:
$ 21.00
In stock

Additional Notes

From The Publisher*

In the tradition of Elie Wiesel's Night and Primo Levi's Survival in Auschwitz, a heart-wrenching and inspiring new memoir by a Canadian Holocaust survivor

More than 70 years after the Nazi camps were liberated by the Allies, a new Canadian Holocaust memoir details the rural Hungarian deportations to Auschwitz-Birkenau, back-breaking slave labour in Auschwitz I, the infamous "death march" of January 1945, the painful aftermath of liberation and a journey of physical and psychological healing.

Tibor "Max" Eisen was born in Moldava, Czechoslovakia, into an Orthodox Jewish family. He had an extended family of 60 members and grew up in a family compound with his parents, his two younger brothers, his baby sister, his paternal grandparents and an uncle and aunt. In the spring of 1944-five and a half years after the region had been annexed to Hungary and the morning after the family's yearly Passover Seder-gendarmes forcibly removed Eisen and his family from their home. They were taken to a brickyard and eventually loaded onto crowded cattle cars bound for Auschwitz-Birkenau. Fifteen-year-old Max survived the selection process and was inducted into the camp as a slave labourer.

One day, Eisen received a terrible blow from an SS guard. Severely injured, he was dumped at the hospital, where a Polish political prisoner and physician, Tadeusz Orzeszko, operated on him. After treating his injury, Orzeszko saved Eisen from certain death in the gas chambers by giving him a job as a cleaner and an assistant in the operating room. After surviving both the war and new obstacles in Communist Czechoslovakia, Eisen immigrated to Canada in 1949, where he has dedicated the last 22 years of his life to educating people across Canada and around the world about the Holocaust.

Review Quote*"[An] extraordinary memoir."
Review Quote*"An astounding narrative . . . a timely examination of the human capacity for cruelty, ignorance, and depravity. It is also a message of hope, a cri de coeur, and a reminder that small acts of kindness can have an immeasurable impact on another person's life."
Review Quote*"Max Eisen's important, timely memoir reminds us that horror does not happen overnight and that no one is immune to it. By Chance Alone is a testimony to the human experience of needless, senseless suffering. May we learn from it. "
Review Quote*"By Chance Alone is a story of great pathos, and told with directness and simplicity, of the sufferings and grief and fear of one boy in a terrible time and a terrible place."
Review Quote*Such were the overwhelming odds stacked against him, Max Eisen should not have survived. Chance, some good people, and not a little luck all played their part, but his dogged determination to overcome the lethal physical and mental onslaught is truly remarkable."
Review Quote*Max Eisen reveals, with clarity and honesty, his personal resilience and determination to survive against impossible odds, and bear witness to the horrors of Auschwitz. His humanity and generosity shine through in this powerful and page-turning memoir."
Review Quote*"A gripping, harrowing read, chock-a-block with pulse-quickening detail."