From Broken Glass: Finding Hope in Hitler's Death Camps to Inspire a New Generation

From Broken Glass: Finding Hope in Hitler's Death Camps to Inspire a New Generation


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From the survivor of ten Nazi concentration camps who went on to create the New England Holocaust Memorial, a "devastating...inspirational" memoir (The Today Show) about finding strength in the face of despair.

On August 14, 2017, two days after a white-supremacist activist rammed his car into a group of anti-Fascist protestors, killing one and injuring nineteen, the New England Holocaust Memorial was vandalized for the second time in as many months. At the base of one of its fifty-four-foot glass towers lay a pile of shards. For Steve Ross, the image called to mind Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass in which German authorities ransacked Jewish-owned buildings with sledgehammers.

Ross was eight years old when the Nazis invaded his Polish village, forcing his family to flee. He spent his next six years in a day-to-day struggle to survive the notorious camps in which he was imprisoned, Auschwitz-Birkenau and Dachau among them. When he was finally liberated, he no longer knew how old he was, he was literally starving to death, and everyone in his family except for his brother had been killed.

Ross learned in his darkest experiences—by observing and enduring inconceivable cruelty as well as by receiving compassion from caring fellow prisoners—the human capacity to rise above even the bleakest circumstances. He decided to devote himself to underprivileged youth, aiming to ensure that despite the obstacles in their lives they would never experience suffering like he had. Over the course of a nearly forty-year career as a psychologist working in the Boston city schools, that was exactly what he did. At the end of his career, he spearheaded the creation of the New England Holocaust Memorial, a site millions of people including young students visit every year.

Equal parts heartrending, brutal, and inspiring, From Broken Glass is the story of how one man survived the unimaginable and helped lead a new generation to forge a more compassionate world.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316513098
Publisher: Hachette Books
Publication date: 05/14/2019
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 301,797
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Steve Ross, born Smulek Rozental, is the survivor of ten Nazi concentration camps — including Dachau, where he was tasked with transporting corpses to the crematorium. He was a licensed psychologist for the City of Boston for nearly forty years, and he conceived of and founded the New England Holocaust Memorial, which was erected in 1995 and remains one of Boston's most visited landmarks.

Glenn Frank is a Boston-based real-estate attorney and the author of Abe Gilman's Ending.

Brian Wallace served as a Massachusetts state representative from 2003 to 2011. He grew up in South Boston and as a child met Steve Ross when Ross was assigned to his school as a youth worker. He credits Ross with inspiring him to stay in school and pursue his dream of becoming a politician.

Table of Contents

Foreword Ray Flynn xiii

Introduction Michael Ross xvii

1 From Broken Glass 1

2 The Trouble in the World 3

3 A Life in America 9

4 Goodbye Lodz 15

5 Neighborhood Services 31

6 A Safe Way Out 37

7 A Friend in Boston 59

8 The Farm 65

9 Grandpa 75

10 The Forest 81

11 Memory and Escape 93

12 Dreaming of Home 99

13 The Man Who Lost His Way 113

14 Work and Death 117

15 Intervention 123

16 Self-Preservation 127

17 Pinia 143

18 Opening the Vault 151

19 Herzil 155

20 The End of Hope 167

21 Heart Trouble 173

22 Escape from Budzyn 177

23 Radom 179

24 No Matter How Bad 189

25 The Honor of Work 193

26 The Train to Auschwitz 199

27 How I Learned of Robert Hall 203

28 Tattooed 211

29 Matriculation 219

30 An Empire Falls 223

31 Dead, Gone, and Forgotten 227

32 The Busing Crisis 231

33 Guns in the Distance 237

34 To Never Forget 241

35 Memorial Rising 249

36 Liberation 253

Acknowledgments 263

Reading Guide 267

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