Saved by Schindler by William B. Friedricks

Saved by Schindler by William B. Friedricks

The Life of Celi­na Karp Biniaz

Celina Karp Biniaz was just eight years old when the Germans invaded her homeland of Poland in 1939. Over the next six years, the child from Krakow endured the Holocaust as the Nazis took away her schooling and civil rights, then herded her and her family into a ghetto. Life grew worse when the ghetto was liquidated, and the family was sent to Plaszów, a slave labor/concentration camp where they lived in constant fear, witnessing unspeakable horrors. Ultimately, Celina and her parents landed on Schindler’s list, but before being sent to safety at Schindler’s factory, Celina spent several terrifying weeks at Auschwitz where she faced down the infamous Dr. Josef Mengele. When the war ended, she and her family eventually made their way to the United States, where Celina got on with her life. With great strength and resilience, she moved forward and embraced the American dream. She finished her education, got married, had a family, and eventually enjoyed a career in teaching. But she kept her Holocaust experience a secret because the years were too terrible to describe, and she did not believe anyone would understand. That all changed with Steven Spielberg’s film Schindler’s List, which brought the Holocaust and the story of Oskar Schindler to millions around the world. The movie prompted Celina to confront her painful past and begin speaking publicly about it. As she often explains, “Oskar Schindler gave me my life, but Steven Spielberg gave me my voice.”

Year first published: 2022

Read a review on Jewish Book Council

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