By Chance Alone - Max Eisen

By Chance Alone

By Max Eisen

  • Release Date: 2016-04-19
  • Genre: History
  • Size: 5.78 MB
Score: 4
From 47 Ratings

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In the tradition of Elie Wiesel’s Night and Primo Levi’s Survival in Auschwitz comes a bestselling new memoir by Canadian survivor

Finalist for the 2017 RBC Taylor Prize

More than 70 years after the Nazi camps were liberated by the Allies, a new Canadian Holocaust memoir details the rural Hungarian deportations to Auschwitz-Birkenau, back-breaking slave labour in Auschwitz I, the infamous “death march” in January 1945, the painful aftermath of liberation, a journey of physical and psychological healing.

Tibor “Max” Eisen was born in Moldava, Czechoslovakia into an Orthodox Jewish family. He had an extended family of sixty members, and he lived in a family compound with his parents, his two younger brothers, his baby sister, his paternal grandparents and his uncle and aunt. In the spring of1944--five and a half years after his region had been annexed to Hungary and the morning after the family’s yearly Passover Seder--gendarmes forcibly removed Eisen and his family from their home. They were brought to a brickyard and eventually loaded onto crowded cattle cars bound for Auschwitz-Birkenau. At fifteen years of age, Eisen survived the selection process and he was inducted into the camp as a slave labourer.

One day, Eisen received a terrible blow from an SS guard. Severely injured, he was dumped at the hospital where a Polish political prisoner and physician, Tadeusz Orzeszko, operated on him. Despite his significant injury, Orzeszko saved Eisen from certain death in the gas chambers by giving him a job as a cleaner in the operating room. After his liberation and new trials in Communist Czechoslovakia, Eisen immigrated to Canada in 1949, where he has dedicated the last twenty-two years of his life to educating others about the Holocaust across Canada and around the world.

The author will be donating a portion of his royalties from this book to institutions promoting tolerance and understanding.


  • Mandatory reading

    By Classical56
    For the young people.
  • By Chance Alone

    By Hofstater12333333
    Max Eisen brings a deeply personal recounting to a "story" that has been told thousands of times in thousands of ways. One feels that when reading "By Chance Alone" that we too are, in at least a small way, accompanying Max Eisen on his journey through his remarkable life. The narrative is simply yet powerfully told. Thank you Max for sharing your life with us and for reminding us to never forget the value of life and the importance of remembering. This book is an essential read!