The Arrival

I Sought God in Hell

By Mietek Weintraub

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 224


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by Mietek Weintraub
Published by Penina Press
Softcover, 224 pages
ISBN 978-1-936068-33-3
publication: 2012
Travel from a comfortable middle-class life in Lodz, Poland, to the depths of hell in the world's most notorious Nazi Death Camp, Auschwitz Birkenau - experience gut-wrenching hunger and the daily struggle to survive constant danger in this gruesome account of brutality that defines the heretofore unimaginable cruelty of man versus man.
Narrated with frequent flashbacks of significant events from the past, The Arrival: I Sought God in Hell is a lucid, well-written, powerfully authentic and vividly depicted account of a seventeen year-old boy who survives the starvation and trials of the Lodz Ghetto, including witnessing a public hanging, only to arrive with his mother in Auschwitz and immediately view a notorious kapo brutally torture and murder the Chief of the Lodz-Ghetto Police; observe the demise of the ghetto's Eldest of the Jews, "King" Chaim Rumkowski; face the daily grind in this factory of death as implemented by the wanton cruelty of the kapos and the SS; and behold other historical events all scrupulously recalled with a deep comprehension of human emotions that surface when confronting extreme situations. As the days progress and death becomes imminent, the protagonist also struggles with his trust in God.
About the Author:
Mietek Weintraub was born an only child in Lodz, Poland, in 1926. Attending the Itzhak Katznelson Academy, he was forced to stop his education in September 1939 to be confined in the Lodz Ghetto. After losing his father to starvation in 1941, he was transported to Auschwitz in 1944 where he was subsequently separated from his mother and endured devastating days. Liberated by the American Army in Austria near the Mauthausen concentration camp, he soon returned to Lodz in search of surviving relatives. Finding none, he went back to Germany from where he immigrated to the USA in 1948.
Working his way through college, he obtained an Associate's Degree from Wright Junior College, after which he Americanized his name, a Bachelor's Degree from Roosevelt University and a Master's Degree from the University of Chicago. His teaching career started at Purdue University where he taught German and Russian, then Russian at the University of Kentucky, then English in Haifa, Israel. He returned to the USA and worked as a bilingual teacher in Chicago public schools until his retirement in 1989.

He has three children, one grandson, four great grandchildren and currently resides near Chicago. He has previously published three short stories: The New Neighbors (Jewish Magazine, 2002), My Grandparents' Seder (Family Gatherings, 2003); The Fragrance and the Stench (Wild Things, 2008).