AUSTIN, Texas, Jan. 9, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — “My Name is B-1259 – I Survived Nine Nazi Concentration Camps” by Michael Brown is the story of Elias Feinzilberg, a young man living in Lodz, Poland and separated from his family on September 1, 1939 as the Nazis invaded his country at the start of World War II. The city of Lodz had always had undercurrents of antisemitism. But when the Nazis arrived, an explosion of hatred turned the streets into sheer bedlam, a living nightmare. Jews were expelled from jobs, professions, schools, and homes. They were humiliated, beaten, killed, and otherwise treated like sub- humans.
Placed in concentration camps, Elias had a life expectancy that was at best a few months. During his ordeal at Auschwitz, Elias encountered SS physician Josef Mengele, nicknamed the “angel of death,” who conducted inhumane and often deadly experiments on prisoners. Against all odds, surviving the torment, deprivation, and degradation of nine death camps, he encountered Esther, a female prisoner, whom he later would marry. Their meeting reinforced a promise he made to his father, to survive. And that, he did.
As Jews were being liberated from the concentration camps by American forces, Elias met then General Eisenhower, later US President Dwight D. Eisenhower. He would go on to meet many other world leaders, such as Prime Minister Golda Meir, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, and the President of Germany, among others.
“His goal in the later years of his life was the same as this book: to remind the living of the tragedies of the Holocaust and the dangers of hatred and antisemitism so history will never be repeated,” said his son Jacob Feinzilberg.
“Throughout my father’s almost unbelievable experiences he never gave up his faith,” said Jacob.
Elias spent his retirement years in Jerusalem where he gave speeches and interviews telling his story to warn the world of the dangers of antisemitism. Most important to him was reaching out to young students, many of whom attended Brigham Young University, Jerusalem campus, where he often spoke.
When in January 2020, Auschwitz’s 75th anniversary was commemorated at Yad Vashem (Israel’s Holocaust Museum), the President of Germany Frank-Walter Steinmeier met with Elias. This meeting was featured in the nightly news in Germany and all over the world.
“Can you believe that my father, after nine concentration camps, would be in the news in Germany of all places 75 years later? It is ironic and astonishing,” said Jacob.
Elias recently passed away at the age of 104 but his legacy lives on in this book. Michael Brown, Elias’s choice to write his story, has written an emotional, page-turning narrative, one that will expose minds to the creeping dangers that are infiltrating our lives in subtle and dangerous ways.
In the final analysis, this book is a story that had to be told about the human spirit, love, and triumph. It is very relevant in today’s environment of rising antisemitism and Holocaust denial. It is the author’s wish that those who read Elias’s story will come away enlightened and most importantly, prepared to fight Evil whenever and wherever it appears.
Michael Brown is a retired Hollywood film editor and the winner of three Emmy Awards. This is his 6th novel.
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Feinzilberg Family (last row 3rd. from left is Elias)
Elias’s 100th. Birthday with his son Jacob
SOURCE Michael Brown