After Auschwitz by Bryan Demchinsky and Hermann Gruenwald
Born into privilege in Hungary, Hermann Gruenwald’s idyllic childhood came to an end in 1944 when he and his family were sent to Auschwitz. During his incarceration, Gruenwald’s instinct for survival helped him live through three concentration camps. In After Auschwitz he recounts his story not only as a witness to history but as a human actor determined to make his way in whatever situation he finds himself.
Gruenwald paints his life story onto the larger canvas of some of the great conflicts and movements of the twentieth century. He offers a vivid portrayal of growing up affluent and Jewish in class-conscious Hungary in the interwar period and of the initial promise and disillusioning reality of Hungarian communism.
After Auschwitz also traces Gruenwald’s spectacular success in the Montreal garment trade. With his wife, also a survivor, he immigrated to Canada in 1950 to rebuild his life. His budding business instincts quickly took over and the same toughness and determination that kept him alive in Europe served him equally well in Canada. While Gruenwald’s Holocaust experience is never far from his thoughts, his instinct to succeed is as much a part of his story as his survivor’s tale. After Auschwitz is a veritable blueprint for success – in life and in business – born out of adversity.
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