Rena's Promise Book

Praise for Rena's Promise

One of the most accurate accounts and the only account of the first women's camp in Auschwitz. This is a book historians will refer to for years to come.
Irena Strezlecka, Director, Auschwitz Museum of Women, Oświęcim, Poland
One of the most important books of the modern age,
Neil Lavon, Voice of America
Rena’s Promise is written with simplicity and grace. There are sections describing such intense cruelty that it is difficult to go on reading, but cruelty is not the most memorable aspect of this book. Instead, the overwhelming feeling upon finishing is one of triumph: It is still possible to find selflessness and human connection among people living in a place of relentless horror.
Los Angeles Times Book Review, USA
Rena's Promise is the number one favorite book of all of my students - and they read five books in their senior year, including Night, In My Hands, In Cold Blood, and In the Lake of the Woods, as well as Othello!
Jill Van Alstyne, Wyoming School System
Essential Reading!
Time Out, UK
The amazing story of one of Auschwitz's longest survivors.... The number on her arm, 1716, was so low that guards were disbelieving, thinking nobody could have lived that long.
Kirkus Reviews
An absolutely necessary account!
Daily Telegraph, UK
This is a most incredible story. I was up late into the night.... It really is a page turner! I urge our viewers to get hold of Rena's Promise.
Caroline Langford, Israel Sunday, USA
Extraordinarily dramatic... It is a heartening story, since it shows that the urge to survive as fully human is as strong as the urge simply to survive... an infinitely painful story, which disturbed me more than almost any other I can recall.
Carole Angier, The Independent, UK
a ...spirited survivor's testament.
Publisher's Weekly
A remarkable work of remembering...
San Francisco Chronicle, USA
A deeply moving story....
Selena Scott, The Selena Scott Show ITN (UK & Europe)
This is a book filled with melancholy wisdom, bitter artistry, even a kind of sad philosophy. A miraculous message from one of our righteous people, a voice from our time on earth which we must heed and honor.... I proudly add Rena's Promise to my shelf of survivor memoirs... I cannot read this book aloud or even cite particular passage, but only recommend its story as a miraculous message from one of our righteous people, a voice from our time on earth which we must heed and honor.
Mike Fink, Rhode Island Jewish Herald, USA
On every page of Rena's Promise some poignantly painful prose brings life to what was previously abstract fact. Rena's sharpened perception also serves her observations. If not drawn from such pain, many of her observations would stand as sheer poetry... The chances for survival in Auschwitz were slim... Elie Weisel, considered by many the leading spokesmen for Holocaust survivors, made it for two months. Rena Kornreich Gelissen survived three years and 41 days... The book is dedicated to Mama and Papa 'For fifty years I've been telling you this story in my mind. Now it is finally written down and I won’t have to tell it anymore more.' But you can read it. And everyone should.
Bob Moyer, Winston-Salem Journal, USA
With the same remarkable courage she mustered to survive the horrors of Auschwitz, Rena has provided an unflinching account of descent into hell on earth.
The American Jewish World, USA
A harrowing portrait of the lives of women who survived the Holocaust, and many more who did not.
Oxford Times, UK
An illustration of the power of love, even in the face of the Nazi killing machine...
Associated Press
among the most poignant accounts I have read, perhaps because of its sheer simplicity.
Stirling Observer, UK
Recommended Books-1996
The Big Issue, UK
Wholly recommended... will have particular poignance for women readers.
Tamworthy Herald, UK
a powerful and moving testament... among the longest survivors of the concentration camps... an unforgettable story of courage.
Evening Express, UK
a grim, tense and compelling tale... of how she and her sister Danka defied the odds and in one heart-stopping encounter escaped the clutches of the murderous Dr. Mengele.
Aberdeen Press and Journal, UK
A unique story.
Jewish Chronicle, USA
A book that deserves to be read, particularly by the younger generation.
Cambridge Evening News, UK
Rena’s Promise is told with such words and remembrance that its impact defies critical description. Just read this book!
Morning Star, UK
Hope, loyalty and love shine through this story.
Liverpool Echo, UK
Intimate and devastating, an unforgettable story of one woman’s courage and the will to live.
Driffield Post Times, UK
Read Rena’s Promise. It will open your eyes and your hearts.
Hendersonville News & Record, USA
The Holocaust has never seemed so vivid.
Reading Times, USA
A powerful work of witness and endurance.
Marcie Hershman, author of Tales of the Master Race
a haunting memoir... a testimony to the enduring strength of the human spirit.
Penelope Niven, author of James Earl: Voices and Silences


I couldn't put the book down-it brought the whole situation so much more close to me, than I had ever felt before, even after seeing "Schindler's List"
Anne Clodfelter, NC
The spirit that brought her through this was living for someone else... we should all live for others.
Diane Salkewicz, NC