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Authors: Max Eisen

By Chance Alone

BOOK: By Chance Alone
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Birkenau at the end of the line. Photo courtesy of Ian Jones.

Dedication

To my beloved first family, who died in a fury of hate but prepared

a map for me to travel by. They live on in my heart forever.

To my dedicated and loving present family. Years ago, I could not

have imagined I would live to know them. They are my beloved wife,

Ivy; my two sons, Edmund Irving and William Larry; my grand-
daughters, Amy Tzipporah and Julie Leah; and all my great-

grandchildren. They surround me with love, stability, and great joy.

To the numerous students who have attended my presentations.

This book is a reminder to stand on guard against radical ideologies

and never be bystanders. Their respect and accolades have been

a great inspiration to me.

Contents
Author's Note

I
n the summer of
2012
, after two previous attempts, I began to work on this memoir with the editorial assistance of Dr. Amanda Grzyb, an associate professor of information and media studies at the University of Western Ontario and a scholar of comparative genocide. Together, we recorded hours of interviews, which were then transcribed. When we started to put the transcribed interviews together into a cohesive narrative, however, the story just didn't sound the way I had envisaged. In the spring of
2014
, we decided to set the interviews aside and start again from the beginning. The process was painstaking. I handwrote the chapters in pencil on
8 ½
x
11
sheets of paper folded in half, and then my wife, my son, or my granddaughter patiently typed them up on our computer. I gave each typed chapter to Amanda, and she edited them and returned them to me with queries and suggestions for additional revisions. Amanda and I met frequently over the next year, and by April
2015
—nearly seventy years after my liberation from Ebensee concentration camp—I had completed a draft manuscript detailing my formative childhood years and my subsequent survival during the dark days of the Holocaust.

The dates and places mentioned in this book are described as I remember them, and any factual errors are inadvertent and my sole responsibility. After a seventy-year lapse, I have written my memories as accurately as possible.

Maps

Maps designed by Larry Eisen

BOOK: By Chance Alone
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