STARE LIPKI PRESS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Karen I. Treiger
A Jewish Family Journey to Learn and Document
Survival of Parents during Holocaust: Just Steps from Death Camp Treblinka, Poland
SEATTLE, Washington, August 1, 2018 - My Soul is Filled with Joy: A Holocaust Story, by Karen I. Treiger, tells the harrowing tale of her husband’s parents, Sam and Esther Goldberg, who survived the Holocaust to ultimately settle in the United States. It’s also a journey of ancestry and discovery for their family, as they visited Poland in 2016 to retrace the Goldbergs’ steps from the Death Camp Treblinka, to a pit in the Polish forest (their hiding place), to liberation in 1944.
Over 870,000 were murdered at Treblinka, but Sam Goldberg was one of approximately 65 prisoners to escape the Death Camp and remain alive until the end of the war. After escaping, he ran to the forest where he met Esther. She had evaded the Nazis twice. Through their determination, and with the help of two families of righteous Gentiles, named Styś, Sam and Esther avoided capture.
Using letters found in Sam’s apartment after his death, author Karen Treiger located the three surviving children of the Styś family, who had provided a place for Sam and Esther to hide. As the story unfolded, Sam and Esther’s life became Karen’s story. Her blog was seen by a Polish Priest who reached out and introduced her to a Goldberg cousin who survived the war as a boy, Józef (Idul) Lis, who stayed in Poland, married and had three daughters. During their visit to Poland, Karen and her family were able to meet Idul and two of his daughters, Eva and Marta, and learn a little more about life during the Holocaust.
All of this comes together in Karen’s book - the history, the miracles, the gumption, the discovery of her husband’s ancestry, the internet, the horror of humanity, the beauty of humanity. It brings to life the toll that the Holocaust exacted on so many, especially the Jewish community. This is also a story of hope, love and determination. It reminds us that there are still lessons to be learned from the Holocaust.
Karen Treiger, a Seattle native, retired from her law practice in 2015 to research and write this book about her in-laws – Sam and Esther Goldberg’s. She graduated from New York University Law School, with honors, in 1988, where she served as Editor-in-Chief of the Law Review. She graduated from Barnard College, Columbia University in 1983. Her work experience ranges from a Legislative Assistant to Senator Slade Gorton, business law for Davis Wright Tremaine, and her most recent law practice of fourteen years with the law firm of Thompson, Howle & Vaughn. She in an accomplished and dynamic speaker and has presented at many Continuing Legal Education Conferences, community events, and is a member of the Seattle Holocaust Center Speakers’ Bureau.
As she delved into the history of World War II, of the Holocaust, of the six years of hell between 1939 and 1945, she was convinced that this story of rescue, resilience and survival would resonate with all who encounter it. As time marches on, there are fewer eye-witness survivors to tell us what happened. “We must shoulder the responsibility of passing on the stories and educating the world about the Holocaust,” says Treiger. “This book brings it all together.”
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Editor’s Notes: My Soul is Filled with Joy: A Holocaust Story, by Karen I. Treiger, Stare Lipki Press, ISBN: 978 0 692 11579 4, Paperback: $14.99, Kindle $4.99, will be available October 1, 2018.
Coincidently, the movie Operation Finale, starting Ben Kingsley playing Adolf Eichmann, is scheduled to be released August 29, 2018. Eichmann was known as Hitler’s deadliest lieutenant during the Holocaust. He was responsible with facilitating and managing the logistics involved in the mass deportation of Jews to the “extermination camps” in Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe, including Treblinka.
My Soul Is Filled with Joy: A Holocaust Story
A Memoir by Karen I. Treiger
Memoir/History/ WW II/Holocaust
Including Maps, Bibliography, Endnotes, Family Trees, Discussion Guide
Stare Lipki Press
Trade paperback, 314 pages, 6x9, $14.95,
ISBN 978-0-692-11579-4, Kindle e-book $4.99
Book Description: My Soul is Filled with Joy: A Holocaust Story, by Karen I. Treiger, tells the harrowing tale of Sam and Esther Goldberg, who survived the Holocaust to ultimately settle in the United States. Over 870,000 were murdered at Treblinka but Sam Goldberg was one of approximately 65 prisoners to escape the and remain alive until the end of the war. After escaping during the prisoner uprising, he ran to the forest where he met Esther, who had evaded the Nazis twice. They hid, with the help of righteous gentiles, in barns and a forest pit until liberation in 1944. This book brings to life the horror of the Nazis’ actions and the toll that it exacted on so many Jewish families. This is also a story of hope, love and determination; of a family rediscovering the path taken by their parents to find life and freedom in a new world. Sam and Esther’s story is one of love and the will to live no matter what they had to endure. It reminds us that we are still learning the lessons of the Holocaust.
Author bio: Karen Treiger is a Seattle native who retired from her law practice to research and write this book about her in-laws, Sam and Esther Goldberg. She graduated from New York University Law School in 1988, where she served as Editor-in-Chief of the Law Review. She graduated from Barnard College, Columbia University in 1983. Her work experience ranges from a Legislative Assistant to Senator Slade Gorton to a large Seattle Law Firm, and her most recent law practice with the law firm of Thompson, Howle & Vaughn. In the spring of 2016, Treiger received a Certificate in Nonfiction Writing from the University of Washington Professional and Continuing Education. She in an accomplished and dynamic speaker and has presented at many Continuing Legal Education Conferences, community events, and is a member of the Seattle Holocaust Center’s Speakers’ Bureau.
· WW II
· Holocaust history
· Poles and people of Polish heritage
Advertising/Publicity Plan: Readings, autographing events, speaking engagements, seminars,
media interviews, amazon and google ads.
For more information:
Name: Karen Treiger
Address: 340 15th Avenue East, Box J, Seattle, WA 98112
My Soul is Filled with Joy: A Holocaust Story
By Karen I. Treiger,
The motive or purpose in writing the book has layers.
· As time marches on, there are fewer eye-witness survivors to tell us what happened. We must shoulder the responsibility of passing on the stories and educating the world about the Holocaust. It is through individual stories that we see the true horror of those years.
· Sam and Esther Goldberg’s story should join the lexicon of Holocaust literature. This book brings their story to life for their descendants and for the world. I am convinced that their story of rescue, resilience and survival will resonate with all who encounter it.
· I had been thinking about this book for 25 years, but I was motivated to write the book after my father, Irwin Treiger, died in 2013. I took stock of my life and decided to leave my law practice to research and write this book. I haven’t looked back.
· I hope to inspire others to research their own family stories. Once you begin, you may find a treasure trove.
· By writing this book, Sam and Esther’s story has become my story. As my family went to Poland and met the Styś family and the Lis family, we took their experiences and entwined them with our own. It was life changing.
· I hope to leave the world a little richer than I found it.
I want the reader never to take life for granted again. Through learning about what Sam and Esther lived through, I hope the reader will look at his or her own life and ask what would I have done – if I was Sam or Esther or a member of the Styś family or Idul Lis? I also want the reader to understand that we can choose how to live in the world and we can be part of the change that we want to see. Finally, I want each of us to know that we can learn more about our family’s history and when we do, our lives will be deeper and fuller because of the knowledge and the journey that gets us there.
The typical Jewish Holocaust experience was one of torture and death. The unusual story is one in which a person survived. Sam and Esther’s story is particularly unusual because Sam was one of approximately 65 to survive the Death Camp Treblinka, one of 50 to plan and execute the uprising, and one of two survivors who were brought to build the Death Camp in June of 1942. Esther survived the Nazi’s massacre of the Jewish community of Slonim and the round-up of Jews in Stoczek. She then hid in the Polish countryside for two years. Esther and Sam met in the forest after Sam escaped Treblinka during the prisoner uprising and so it became a love story as well. On top of their unique story, remarkable and miraculous events occurred as I was researching and writing this book. Through some letters written in Polish found in Sam’s apartment after his death, I located and met the three surviving children of the Polish families that aided Sam and Esther in hiding. Through my blog and a Polish Catholic Priest, we discovered that one member of the Goldberg family survived the war and still lives in Poland. In this way, the story takes on a 21st century dimension. The history, the miracles, the gumption, the internet, the horror of humanity, the beauty of humanity, come together in this book.
As evidenced by the many Holocaust-related books published and republished in the past 10-12 years, we see that there is a strong market for Holocaust books. This book will draw on a vibrant market with several elements:
· History lovers. There is a market for this book among history readers. It is through learning about individual stories that the War can best be understood and I have endeavored to include many historical facts in the telling.
· Holocaust and Treblinka. There will be a market for this book among those interested in the Holocaust. It will be of special interest to those who wish to learn more about Treblinka and stories of Righteous Gentiles.
· Memoir. This book is a triple memoir and will tap into the current appetite for this genre. The book tells of the lives of Sam Goldberg and Esther Wisznia. It also tells my personal story as one who joined the Goldberg family as an adult and lovingly threw herself into the family’s story.
· Poles. There is a growing market for Holocaust literature in Poland. Since the fall of communism in 1989, the Polish people have been coming to grips with the Holocaust and the loss of Jews and their unique culture. Before the War, Jews constituted ten percent of the population. While there is a resurgence of Jewish life in Poland, the vibrant pre-war Jewish community of three and a half million was destroyed. Books by Jan Gross, which highlight the complicity of the Poles in the murder of Jews have created a stir. The Styś family is an example of the righteous ones who helped. I intend to have the book translated to Polish.
· Israelis. There is a strong market for Holocaust books in Israel. Israel became home for many survivors. Now, their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren live throughout the country. Israel became a State in 1948 and there is a feeling that it was built on the ashes of the Holocaust. Jewish Israeli high school students travel to Poland with their class and thus, the events of 1939-1945 are of deep interest. The chapters about my experiences in Poland will speak to the thousands that have traveled there and walked through Auschwitz, Majdanek and Treblinka, with the myriad of emotions that emerge. I intend to have the book translated to Hebrew.
Sam and Esther Goldberg
· Treblinka was a German Death Camp established 68 miles North East of Warsaw, Poland’s capital.
· It was part of the Nazi’s Operation Reinhard – the building of three Death Camps on Polish soil – Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka. These camps were built as part the Final Solution - Hitler’s attempt to murder all the Jews of Europe.
· Construction began in early June of 1942 and the first transports (cattle cars) filled with Jews from Warsaw arrived on July 23, 1942. Sam Goldberg was captured in Stoczek early June and brought to Treblinka as a prisoner and forced to build the camp.
· The camp was run by approximately 25 German SS Officers, 100 Ukrainian guards and 800-1,000 Jewish prisoners.
· Initially, three gas chambers were built at Treblinka. Later somewhere between six and ten additional gas chambers were built to murder the Jews of Europe.
· Zyklon B (made famous at Auschwitz) was not used in these gas chambers. Carbon monoxide from an old Soviet engine was piped into the chamber, causing death by asphyxiation in approximately 25 minutes.
· Unless selected for work, people were dead within 90 minutes of arrival. [OVER]
· 870,000 people were murdered at Treblinka. Approximately 65 survived. Sam was one of the 65 and was one of two prisoners who were brought to the camp to build it, who survived to the end of the war.
· On August 2, 1943, a group of about 50 men at Treblinka initiated an uprising – an attempt to escape. The 50 were split into cells with different jobs. Sam was part of the cell led by Shmuel Rajzman.
· Of the 800 prisoners at the camp on the day of the uprising, somewhere between 12 and 20 survived until the end of the war. Sam was one of these few survivors.
· After the uprising on August 2, 1943, Treblinka continued to operate as a Death Camp, but starting in September, the Germans dismantled the camp, razing every structure to destroy the evidence of their crime. The remaining Jews working there were murdered and by the end of November 1943, Treblinka ceased to exist.
· Today a memorial stands at the site of Treblinka. Thousands of stones scatter the area. Each stone represents the murder of an entire town.