Bialystok to Birkenau: The Holocaust Journey of Michel Mielnicki
Bialystok to Birkenau
The Holocaust Journey of Michel Mielnicki
by Michel Mielnicki; as told to John Munro
- Autumn 2000
- ISBN 978-0-921870-77-7 (0-921870-77-9)
- 6″ x 9″ Trade Paperback, 246 pages
- Holocaust Memoir
The testimony of survivors is the ultimate refutation of claims that the Holocaust did not occur. In this profoundly honest Holocaust memoir, Michel Mielnicki takes us from the pleasures and charms of pre-war Polish Jewry (now entirely lost) into some of the darkest places of the twentieth century.
One of the few survivors of Birkenau – not a concentration camp but an actual death camp – Mielnicki tells his story with great courage and attention to truthful detail. In his home town of Wasilkow, Poland, he describes how pogroms, which began as small acts of anti-Semitism, led to mass murders and expulsions. Mielnicki also adds new material to the neglected history of Soviet rule in Poland from September 1939 to June 1941.
Mielnicki’s account of life in the camps of Birkenau, Buna, Mittelbau-Dora and Belsen is at times harrowing, but the personal qualities that helped him to survive when all human dignity had apparently been erased creates a powerfully redeeming human drama. Bialystok to Birkenau is a co-publication with the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre.
“This is a story, not only of survival, but of the lives, qualities, enthusiasm and Jewish hearts that were destroyed in the twentieth century.”
— Sir Martin Gilbert, biographer of Winston Churchill.