Holocaust Survivor

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From A Name to A Number: A Holocaust Survivor’s Autobiography” by Alter Wiener

Alter Wiener’s father was brutally murdered on September 11, 1939 by the German invaders of Poland. Alter was then a boy of 13. At the age of 15 he was deported to Blechhammer, a Forced Labor Camp for Jews, in Germany. He survived five camps. Upon liberation, by the Russian Army on May 9, 1945, Alter weighted 80 lbs as reflected on the book’s cover.

Alter Wiener is one of the very few Holocaust survivors still living in Portland OR. He had moved to Oregon several years ago and since then he has shared his life story with 300 audiences in universities, colleges, middle and high schools, Churches, Synagogues, prisons, clubs etc. He has also been interviewed by radio and TV stations as well as the press.

Wiener’s autobiography is a testimony to an unfolding tragedy taking place in WWII. It has a message what prejudice may lead to and how tolerance is imperative.

This book is not just Wiener’s life story but it reveals many responses to his story. Hopefully, it will enable many readers to truly understand such levels of horror and a chance to empathize with the unique plight of the Holocaust victims.

Review by Kimberly Marlowe Hartnett

I reviewed Alter Wiener’s book for the Jewish Review in Portland, Oregon. This is a self-published book, and the author is the first to point out that he is not a professional writer. Yet his work is notable for its detailed recollections and, as I wrote previously, frankness about many things often avoided by other survivor memoirs, such as “sexuality; the strains between survivors and their children, or in their own marriages; the challenges of becoming a fulfilled individual with a legacy of trauma in one’s childhood.”

Also from the review: “Alter Wiener was 15 years old when the Nazis took him. In the time it took for the soldiers to drag him away over his stepmother’s protests, any chance of serene, dreamless sleep disappeared. For the next six decades, Wiener’s dreams, and many of his waking hours, would be invaded by images of his father, shot and thrown into a pit; of the filthy bunks in Blechammer, the German labor camp where he was taken from his boyhood home in Chrzanow, Poland; of the suddenly recalled taste of prisoners’ bread made from flour and sawdust.

In any writing, small detail is key to transporting a reader to another time and place, and Wiener is adept at recalling such things. He remembers his first clean bedding after the camps, the joyful shock of not having to raise his hat to a policeman in Tel Aviv. The gratitude he felt in 1963 when his New York employers rewarded him with a vacation in Florida is fresh in his mind, half a century later.”

“From A Name to A Number: A Holocaust Survivor’s Autobiography” by Alter Wiener is available on iPhone,  iPod Touch,  iPad with free Amazon app  (download app – here)

Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 4127 KB
Publisher: Authorhouse (November 22, 2010)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
Language: English
Price: $9.15 (Buy now)

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