By Michael Bornstein, Debbie Bornstein Holinstat
In 1945, in a now-famous piece of archival footage, four-year-old Michael Bornstein was filmed by Soviet soldiers as he was carried out of Auschwitz in his grandmother’s arms. Survivors Club tells the unforgettable story of how a father’s courageous wit, a mother’s fierce love, and one perfectly timed illness saved Michael’s life, and how others in his family from Zarki, Poland, dodged death at the hands of the Nazis time and again with incredible deftness. Working from his own recollections as well as extensive interviews with relatives and survivors who knew the family, Michael relates his inspirational story with the help of his daughter, Debbie Bornstein Holinstat. Shocking, heartbreaking, and ultimately uplifting, this narrative nonfiction offers an indelible depiction of what happened to one Polish village in the wake of the German invasion in 1939.
My book club read the month of February was Survivors Club The True Story of a Very Young Prisoner of Auschwitz.
And as I was finishing this book in bed, my husband called out and asked me to rub his hair. And while this is something I do that helps him fall asleep, his words, and the emotions of this read, caused me to weep.
I paused and stroked his hair and it occured to me that throughout our lives, we are comforted by a gentle touch. It helps to reduce our anxiety..... it makes us feel safe... feel comforted.
This recounting of the young boy, Michael Bornstein, a prisoner for 7 months inside the walls of Auschwitz, is a true testimony to love. At a horrific time, when it was thought that all hope may be abandoned, the healing of the suffering that he endured was because he clung to his faith in the belief he would see his Mother again.
We realize that those we love will not always be around, but as we hug or kiss them goodbye, it is always with the hope - you'll come back to me.