Over 200 people gathered to celebrate the book launch of Auschwitz 34207
Thanks for all of you who were able to come (and those who were only able to be with us in thought) in celebrating the launch of Auschwitz 34207 about remarkable holocaust survivor, Joe Rubinstein and helping make this day such a tremendous occasion. As some of you know, the release of this book was the result of two and a half years of research, interviews and writing, but it was so much more than that, as for the first time since the day he was liberated over 70 years ago... Joe was willing to finally share his experiences, and what experiences they were! There were times when re-living them caused Joe unimaginable pain and yet, somehow doing so was a release for him in some ways, and a tremendous gift to all of us. I was especially grateful Joe, Irene and their family were able to join us for the launch. A presentation about the book was followed by 94 year-old Joe and his wife Irene being introduced to a rousing, standing ovation. Joe's comments to the crowd about how we must all love life, love God and love one another were so powerful. After he was liberated from a Nazi concentration camp, Joe tried to cope with his sorrow by, "Dancing it away." After the war, several nights a week, Joe and his young bride, Irene, would go dancing, with the Waltz being their favorite. At the celebration, pianist Lucretia Sprowell, played "Let Me Call You Sweetheart" as Joe and Irene danced. Unprompted, the room broke into song. Needless to say, there were very few dry eyes in the room! To cap off the presentation, singer Amy Davis sang a beautiful song inspired by words found etched into a wall at Auschwitz...the words discovered were: I believe in the sun, even when it's not shining. I believe in love, even when I can't feel it. I believe in God, even when He's silent. Such sentiments were how I believe Joe survived and how he was able to rebuild from the ashes of his life, with joy.
Below are a few photos of the wonderful launch. More will be coming soon along with a video of the event. Thanks to everyone who helped bring the story of this amazing man to the world, including many incredibly talented people: editor and publisher Donna Mazzitelli (Merry Dissonance Press); layout and cover designer Nick Zelinger (NZ Graphics); renown photographer (cover photo) Nicholas DeSciose; Susie Scott and her i25production team for their awesome promotional video; photographer and web designer Crystal Geise; Hallie and Natalie Geise for content editing; retired high school English teacher, John Forssman and his wife Sharon; my parents Bob and Lucretia for everything; Judith Briles (Author U); Mark Coker (Smashwords), Justine Schofield (Pubslush), Joan Stewart (The Publicity Hound); Georgia McCabe (Social Media Sensei); Penny Sansevieri (Author Marketing Experts); John Kremer (Open Horizons); Amy Collins (Newshelves); Daniel Hall (Daniel Hall Combined Enterprises); and so many family and friends who helped throughout this process and with the launch including Andrew Merrill, Gregory Whitsell, Sally Robinson, Janet Flax, Erika Nossokoff, Jane Goding, Jane Penoyer, Jim and Clare Sprowell; early draft readers Sara Hunt, Charlotte Bates, Sybil Wiegman, Jenny Bergstrom; Sheryl McCarthy; Betsy McDermott, Leis Doran, Dale and Carolyn Geise, Sue Fackler; Jane Goble; Jamie Meyer; Carol Frayley; Dave and Tom Sprowell; Cheryl Davis; Ethlyn Irwin, Connie and Bruce Berman; numerous holocaust professionals at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum including Dr. Peter Black and resource coordinator Miclean Lowy Amir; Dr. David Silberklang (editor Yad Vashem, Israel); Dr. Michael Berenbaum (Director. Sigi Institute and Professor American Jewish University), Katharine Teacher (Adult Program Director Aaron Family Jewish Community Center in Dallas); and foremost my life editor, Doran. I have no words to thank you all for your tremendous help and heart for this project!