Holocaust survivor Max Glauben is on a mission: to outlast hate, to preserve memory, and to compel the world to embrace tolerance.
The stench of decay pierced the air aboard the boxcar of trapped Jews. “Why me?” fifteen-year-old Max asked himself, as a convoy rumbled from the Warsaw Ghetto to Majdanek death camp in May 1943.
The deluge of questions intensified as the Nazis murdered Max’s mother, father, and brother. Max channeled grit, determination, and a fortuitous knack for carpentry to survive.
This memoir explores Max’s mischievous childhood and teen years as a go-to ghetto smuggler. Max journeys from displaced person to American immigrant. He reveals how he ached as he dared to court love and rear children. For decades, he bottled up his trauma. Then he realized: He could transform his pain into purpose.
Infused with raw emotion and vivid detail, historical records and Max’s poignant voice, The Upstander relays Max’s powerful lifetime commitment to thwarting hate and galvanizing resilience. Max no longer asks, “Why me?” Instead, he asks: “What can we do next?”