My Legacy of Life in Pre-1939 Poland and Sixty-Eight Months of Nazi Occupation

William Kornbluth and Carl Calendar, ed.

Sentenced to Remember is a memoir by William Kornbluth, a Polish Jew who grew up in the city of Tarnow, survived four concentration camps, and emigrated to America, where he lives today in retirement, lecturing and writing. He and his two brothers, Simon and Natan, are one of the few cases of three brothers surviving together in four successive death camps.


This book is not just the story of the Holocaust as told through the eyes of a survivor. It is a literary reflection which captures the vanished world of Eastern European Jewry through the everyday events of the 1930s in a Jewish quarter. As Hitler's hate propaganda inflamed the traditional anti-Semitism of the Polish and Ukrainian population, Kornbluth's family grew up, sharing family problems, finding careers, getting married, and surviving in a provincial and dangerous world.


The description of the Nazi "selection" days contains some of the most terrifying events in the memoir.


Also included is the story of Bill Kornbluth's wife, Edith, another Holocaust survivor, whom he met and married in the United States. Edith's father, Pinia, was respected by the Polish peasants, and they helped him and his family to survive; they lived like animals in the large forests by the estate that Pinia has previously administered. Edith was sent out of the woods to impersonate a Christian servant. Edith's parents were betrayed and shot just weeks before the war's end.


Kornbluth's story of the daily life in the death camps is a chilling reminder of the Nazi horrors. This account shows how man was able to keep his dignity in surroundings where torture and death were common occurrences.


Finally, Sentenced to Remember is the story of the war's aftermath. Kornbluth and his brothers wandered about Europe, often in danger, until they settled on America as their future home. His sister Bronka's last request, to write of the past, haunted him. This book is the final result.


"In more than thirty years of professional research in to the Holocaust, dozens of interviews with survivors, and years of reviewing memoirs, I have rarely come across a manuscript that has been as gripping as Mr. Kornbluth's....It is amazing that someone can come forward and touch our emotions and conscience in this manner."


--Prof. Saul Friedman, Youngstown State University


"Sentenced to Remember is writing as a means of discovery and writing as a means of recovering. It is a work of courage and truth, honesty and lucidity. It will be read with pain and tears, but even more with appreciation."


--Michael Berenbaum, Georgetown University

0934223300 (AUP)
Lehigh University Press - Sentenced to Remember