My Name is Staszek Sur­del: The Improb­a­ble Holo­caust Sur­vival of Nathan Porem­ba, The Last Jew of Wieliczka

  • From the Publisher
September 1, 2021

This mem­oir traces the Holo­caust through the eyes of young Nathan Porem­ba and exam­ines the dif­fi­cult emo­tion­al and phys­i­cal choic­es he made to survive.

On Sep­tem­ber 12, 1939 when he was just nine years old, Nathan’s father was mur­dered by the Wehrma­cht in his home­town, Wielicz­ka, locat­ed in South­ern Poland. On this day, Nathan’s child­hood end­ed and adult­hood was invol­un­tar­i­ly thrust upon him.

Alone and with­out help for most of the Holo­caust, Nathan Poremba’s six-year sur­vival neces­si­tat­ed avoid­ing detec­tion while main­tain­ing an unflinch­ing will to live despite the threats that enveloped his every move. For three years, Nathan test­ed his bound­aries, unwill­ing to wear the com­pul­so­ry Star of David arm­band, blend­ed into the pop­u­la­tion in order to buy food for the fam­i­ly. He lat­er snuck in and out of three ghet­tos before com­ing across false papers bear­ing the name Staszek Surdel”.

His unmatched resilience is a tes­ta­ment to his will to live. Through­out, Nathan nev­er acqui­esced to anti­semitism and he con­sis­tent­ly resist­ed his tor­men­tors as his father had before the Holocaust.

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