Beacon Press: Rena's Promise
Login Cart

Rena's Promise

A Story of Sisters in Auschwitz

Authors: Heather Dune Macadam, Rena Kornreich Gelissen

An expanded edition of the powerful memoir about two sisters' determination to survive during the Holocaust featuring new and never before revealed information about the first transport of women to Auschwitz

In March 1942, Rena Kornreich and 997 other young women were rounded up and forced onto the first Jewish transport of women to Auschwitz. Soon after, Rena was reunited with her sister Danka at the camp, beginning a story of love and courage that would last three years and forty-one days. From smuggling bread for their friends to narrowly escaping the ever-present threats that loomed at every turn, the compelling events in Rena’s Promise remind us that humanity and hope can survive inordinate brutality.

Bookmark and Share
"Rena’s Promise is written with simplicity and grace. . . . 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

“A poignant and important act of remembrance.” —Sir Martin Gilbert, author of The Holocaust: The Human Tragedy

“An extraordinary book, vividly written and generously told. You will not easily forget Rena Kornreich and her sister Danka. Nor should you. Harrowing as it often is, this is less a tragedy than a love story. By turns soul-wrenching, inspiring, and heartbreaking, this is a tale that should live long beyond the wonderful woman who inspired it.” —Alexandra Fuller, author of Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight

“Through her actions during and after the Shoah, Rena Kornreich Gelissen ensured that out of the darkest night, the light of the survivors and their memory remained. Faced with destruction, she and the Jewish people survived.” —Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

Rena’s Promise went with us on the Zen Peacemakers’ first pilgrimage to Auschwitz in 1996. On our first night together, one of our monks shared a simple message of love from Rena to us. Her message changed our lives.” —Peter Matthiessen, author of In Paradise
“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, Oswiecim, Poland


Preface to the Expanded Edition
Chapter One Rena
Chapter Two Tylicz
Chapter Three Slovakia
Chapter Four Auschwitz
Chapter Five Birkenau (Auschwitz II)
Chapter Six Stabsgebaude (Staff quarters)
Chapter Seven Neustadt Glewe
Study Guide
View the Teacher's Guide

Rena's Promise

ISBN: 978-080709313-9
Publication Date: 3/17/2015
Size:5.5 x 8.5 Inches (US)
Price:  $16.00
Format: Paperback
Availability: In stock.