"I do not hate. To hate is to let Hitler win." - Rena Kornreich Gelissen.
On March 26, 1942, the first mass transport of Jews - 999 young women - arrived in Auschwitz. Among them was Rena Kornreich, the 716th woman numbered in camp. A few days later, her sister Danka arrives and so begins a trial of love and courage that will last three years and 41 days, from the beginning Auschwitz death camp to the end of the war.
Rena's Promise stands out from other memoirs not only for the mere length of time she spent in the camps (no other survivor from the first transport has ever written about her experience) but for her dedication to honoring the bonds between mothers, daughters, and sisters, prisoners, and even guards. From her escape from Dr. Mengele's experiment detail to her surreal meetings with SS woman Irma Grese, Rena tells a dynamic tale of courage and compassion that reminds us of the resiliency of the human spirit, and the power of people to help one another in unimaginable circumstances, be they Gentile or Jew, German or Pole, kapo or prisoner.