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Publisher's Summary

"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.

©1994 Heather Dune Macadan and Rena Kornreich Gelissen (P)2013 Heather Dune Macadam and Rena Kornreich Gelissen

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    135
  • 4 Stars
    36
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    14
  • 2 Stars
    2
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    3

Performance

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    34
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    22
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Story

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent Content / Horrible Production

You could fairly say I am addicted to Holocaust survival stories. I never tire hearing about people’s challenges and how they overcame the worst possible odds – it’s an amazing testament to human resilience. Always impressive.

The production value of this audio book however is the pits! It’s as if it was recorded in 3 different rooms, and then spliced together to make one audio file. The sound is jumpy, the volume is inconsistent, I even thought the narrator had changed on occasion… it did the subject matter a huge disservice as the cuts were so jarring and distracting.

I wish there was a way to rate this other then lumping it in with “performance” in Audible’s star rating system because this is not a critique of the narrator. Overall, it was great content, just a terrible assembly.

14 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing

I love this book. I chose this memoir for my college Holocaust history corse research paper. It's incredible what those girls had to go through and they still used their agency to live happy successful lives. It's also wonderful how it brings to life the actual people who were sent to these camps, how they were just that. People. not statistics or numbers but actual people who were cast down by their society because of their religion. It's devastating what happened to those people and it should never be forgotten. I believe everyone should read this book. If we don't educate ourselves on subjects like this, if we act ignorant or disassociate ourselves with these people then mass genocide will continue. I also very much appreciate the authors not at the very end about her cat. It brought a smile to my face :)

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Holocaust Memoir Overshadowed by Poor Organization

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Yes; although hard to follow this book shows how the love, mutual commitment, and wit of two sisters helped them to survive years in a concentration camp.

Would you recommend Rena's Promise to your friends? Why or why not?

Yes, see above.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

Yes

Was Rena's Promise worth the listening time?

Well … yes. The biography is compelling although I am not likely to re-read it because the book's organization between the past and present makes it too difficult to follow. It could have benefitted from another round of editing before it went to print.

Any additional comments?

The substance of the book would make a good movie.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great Holocaust Story

Would you try another book from Rena Kornreich Gelissen and Heather Dune Macadam and/or Heather Dune Macadam?

Only if they fix the volume on the recording--this went up and down through the whole story.

What other book might you compare Rena's Promise to and why?

War and Rememberance--each book tells a different side to the Holocaust Also this book reminded me a lot of the Hiding Place

Which character – as performed by Heather Dune Macadam – was your favorite?

Rena

Do you think Rena's Promise needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

yes I think it would be good to follow through the story

Any additional comments?

the only reason I gave this book a low rating in the overall category was the volume was not adjustable on the book..sometimes it was low and then other times it was too loud

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Good story, god aweful narration

Oh I wish they would have sprung for a professional narrator. The authors voice and her impression
of a polish accent is enough to make your ears bleed. Is was practically unlistenable. And the way the author insinuates herself into the importance of this story is enough to make you wretch.
Really horrible performance. If there is ever a book on knitting or casserole making,
the author maybe could read that outloud to her stupid cat. But that's about all I would grant her.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A story to remember

A moving story of two people trying to live against great odds. It reminds us to be ever vigilant against evil.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

The narrator was not good at all

The book it’s self is wonderful but the person reading it drove me to stop listening and read it in a book. It was terrible and she made it sound like such a boring story when in reality it is this incredible account of living through such a terrible time. It also sounded that she was way too close to the microphone. Her “P” “H” and “TH” were so powerful that it the air would it the microphone making a sound that was really annoying to hear after a few hours. It was all I could hear.
The reading is a shame because it’s such a wonderful book.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

interesting

very poorly produced. cannot stand that such an important story is ruined by awful reading

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

best book I ha e ever listened to.

From the first minute I listened, I loved this story. The strength of the Jewish people have always amazed me.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Harrowing

Another harrowingly wonderful Holocaust memoir. The fact that two sisters survived is a miracle in itself. The horrors are too much to take in. Surviving was and us the miracle. The narrator does a beautiful job with such a deeply personal story.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • S. Bowman
  • 01-21-15

Wonderful story but awful reader

The story is very inspiring if you can endure the reader. I think the author recorded it at home on her personal computer without any guidance and it shows. Her vocal inflections are forced and annoying. I would love to hear this story performed by a professional with some experience!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • miss lj lawley
  • 01-05-16

Awful annoying narrator and co-author but persevere Rena's promise is an amazing story of hope and courage

The recording of this audio book is awful the narrator has self edited and recorded over her recording, the audio jumps and repeats itself which is annoying. All through the book there is back ground noise and a bell and it turns out it is the narrators cat! Unbelievable. The story was the only thing that kept me going as I would have requested a refund because the audio quality was so bad. An amazing story of human strength and courage in the face of adversity. Thank you for sharing your story Rena.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Miss
  • 07-18-15

Honest and emotional story ruined by narrator

The story is important and worthy of a listen but the performance is awful. Apart from the accent and the style of the reader, it is as if she has recorded it at home. You can hear whirring and noises in the background and this is abrasive. A real disappointment.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • kate
  • 05-15-18

Beautiful and heart breaking

I am lucky to work from home as I could not press stop! Aghhhr my heart!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful