Sky Tinged Red: A Chronicle of Two and a Half Years in Auschwitz by Isaia Eiger

In April 1960 my great-grandfather Isaia Eiger was lying in a Minneapolis hospital bed, dying from colon cancer, and began telling stories about Auschwitz to my grandmother, who wrote them down in English. He told her about a Greek Jew he met in the camp named Zidkiyahu. He relayed the story of a brave woman who, standing naked in the anteroom to the gas chamber, rebuffed the advances of an SS man and then shot him dead with his own pistol.

What he didn’t tell her was that, years earlier, shortly after the war, he had written a complete chronicle of the two-and-a-half years he spent in Birkenau from April 1942 to November 1944. He also didn’t tell her that there were three typed copies of his 116-page manuscript—which her brother David would eventually find among their father’s other writings three years after his death. And he didn’t tell her about the rest of the book—hundreds of narrow, yellowing pages containing thousands of handwritten words in his impeccable Yiddish script, which he never managed to type (he left his Yiddish typewriter in Germany when he immigrated to the United States in 1949) and that it would take her nearly 50 years to recover.

Sky Tinged Red: A Chronicle of Two and a Half Years in Auschwitz by Isaia Eiger

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