Hank Brodt Holocaust Memoirs: A Candle and a Promise

| January 14, 2018

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A Candle and a Promise

The Troubling but ultimately Triumphant Memoirs of Holocaust Survivor Hank Brodt

A story of resilience, Hank Brodt Holocaust Memoirs – A Candle and a Promise makes the memories of Holocaust survivor Hank Brodt come alive. It offers a detailed historical account of being a Jewish teenager under the Nazi regime, shedding light on sickening truths in an honest, matter-of-fact way.

Hank Brodt lived through one of the darkest periods of human history and survived the devastation of World War II. Born in 1925 into a poor family in Boryslaw (Poland), he was placed in a Jewish orphanage. Losing his family when the Germans invaded Poland, he waged a daily battle to survive. Moving from forced labor camps to concentration camps, one of which features in Schindler’s List, his world behind the barbed wire consisted of quiet resistance, invisible tears and silent cries for years on end.

This story of survival includes rare photographs from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum that powerfully illustrate these intimate and shocking memoirs. One recently discovered picture shows Hank Brodt in prison uniform removing the dead on carts at the liberated Ebensee concentration camp on May 7, 1945.

It is hard to believe that someone who endured such horrific events could go on to live a life of gratitude. Through his unwavering compassion towards others, Hank Brodt managed to keep his humanity and find a way to move forward. After the Second World War, Hank Brodt testified at the trial of Nazi war criminal Amon Goeth in Dachau, Germany. He has joined the March of the Living since 2006, walking from Auschwitz to Birkenau on Yom Hashoah to pay tribute to the millions that died. Lighting the candle, he made a promise to himself to always answer the call to talk.

“As the train rattled down the tracks, the noise it made seemed to say, death – death – death. But in my mind and heart it sang, life – life – life.”

??? Hank Brodt’s Holocaust memoirs are a necessary reminder of one of the ugliest times in the history of human civilization.

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“Deborah Donnely narrates her father’s memoirs. It is one of the very few books about the Holocaust experience narrated by descendents of Holocaust survivors. This is remarkable and commendable, because regrettably nowadays not many children and grandchildren have a keen interest in the life stories of their parents and grand parents. Hank Brodt’s Holocaust Memoirs offers a poignant account of what it was like for a young man to experience so many travails under the Russian and German occupation of Poland in WWII.” Alter Wiener, Holocaust survivor, author of ‘From a Name to a Number’

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