When his parents were murdered in the Belżec death camp, he became the sole survivor of his entire family. After liberation, Henry volunteered for the Israeli Army and fought for Israel’s independence. He came to Canada in 1965 with his wife Hela and their two children.
His story is one of strength and courage. His survival is nothing short of a miracle.
Henry Melnick grew up in Lodz, Poland. After the Nazis occupied the majority of Europe during World War II, he was forced to endure slave labour and was transferred among nearly a dozen different concentration camps. He emerged from the war as the sole survivor of his entire family.
Henry moved to Israel with his new wife Hela and fought for the nation's independence. Several years after his two children were born he moved to Toronto, Canada.
Henry passed away on his 91st birthday on June 25, 2013. His legacy remains in the form of By My Mother's Hand.
Many years later, when she began to share her past with Eve Keller, the two women rediscovered the world of the teenage girl Millie had been during the war. Most important, Millie revealed her most precious private memory: of a man to whom she was married for a few brief months. He was—if not the love of her life—her first great unconditional passion. He died, leaving Millie with a single photograph taken on their wedding day, and two rings of gold that affirm the presence of a great passion in the bleakest imaginable time.
Sam Pivnik is the ultimate survivor from a world that no longer exists. On fourteen occasions he should have been killed, but luck, his physical strength, and his determination not to die all played a part in Sam Pivnik living to tell his extraordinary story.
In 1939, on his thirteenth birthday, Pivnik's life changed forever when the Nazis invaded Poland. He survived the two ghettoes set up in his home town of Bedzin and six months on Auschwitz's notorious Rampe Kommando where prisoners were either taken away for entry to the camp or gassing. After this harrowing experience he was sent to work at the brutal Fürstengrube mining camp. He could have died on the ‘Death March' that took him west as the Third Reich collapsed and he was one of only a handful of people who swam to safety when the Royal Air Force sank the prison ship Cap Arcona in 1945, mistakenly believing it to be carrying fleeing members of the SS.
He eventually made his way to London where he found people too preoccupied with their own wartime experiences on the Home Front to be interested in what had happened to him.
Now in his eighties, Sam Pivnik tells for the first time the story of his life, a true tale of survival against the most extraordinary odds.
What makes this book unique is that the author pulls the reader into the story. We get to know her parents and other memorable characters for the kind of people they were. There is an immediacy in the writing that almost makes the reader a participant in the daily struggles to keep alive. We get an honest look at the relationships between men and women on the edge of annihilation and how children coped with these unusual alliances.
This emotionally powerful yet intellectually lucid work stands out within the Holocaust literature. Students and others will greatly benefit as the author guides the reader, setting forth the political and historical context in which the action unfolds."-Stefanie Seltzer, President of the World Federation of Jewish Child Survivors of the Holocaust
"The story of the relentless hunt of a Jewish child in Nazi Europe haunts the reader long after the last page has been turned This gripping memoir illuminates the fearsome experiences of a Holocaust child survivor with the intelligence and wisdom of an adult's retrospection."-Henryk Grynberg, Author of The Jewish Wars and The Victory, Children of Zion, and Drohobycz, Drohobycz: True Tales from the Holocaust and Life After.
Some people have a knack for survival, for getting out of jams. Twelve-year-old David Karmi found himself face to face with the ultimate test. With his homeland consumed by fear, David entered a world of human slaughter. Whole towns were vaporized. Cities obliterated in firestorms. More than fifty million people died—twelve million either gassed, shot, hanged, worked to death or subjected to biological experiments. David survived.
Separated from his parents and siblings, David Karmi was hurled into a nightmare of death camps, forced marches, sickness, violence and depravity. On his own, through the tortuous months that followed, he endured. He is a survivor of Auschwitz, Dachau, and the Warsaw Ghetto. He enured forced marches, starvation, and even persecution after the Allies freed him from the camps. This is a story of strength, courage, some luck - and an amazing man, told in his own words. It is the biography of a survivor.
PRAISE FOR SURVIVOR's GAME:
“[Karmi’s debut forgoes] the despair employed by Primo Levi and Elie Wiesel, instead echoing the optimism of Anne Frank…Eminently readable and largely remarkable.”—Kirkus Reviews
"‘Some people have a knack for survival, for getting out of jams.’ Karmi is one of those, and he faces the ultimate test as a young teen in Nazi-occupied Europe as he and his family are deported to Auschwitz." —Publishers Weekly
"Survivor’s Game reads not so much like a memoir but a novel, replete with tension, drama, and twists and turns. Recommended." —Midwest Book Review
"This is a story we all need to know…the cost of forgetting is too high." —New York Times best-selling author Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff