This powerful memoir takes the reader from a peaceful home in Sochaczew, Poland to terror in Auschwitz-Birkenau and lastly to the safety of the Screaming Eagles. David Wisnia, a child singing star, was the middle child in a family of five. His father was a prosperous furniture manufacturer; his mother a contented housewife. After the family moved to Warsaw, David’s family celebrated his Bar Mitzvah. He remembers the marmalade, a rare delicacy, served on this special day. Months later, Europe was at war, Warsaw was occupied, and tragedy struck his family. David became a fugitive on the run from the Nazis.
Eventually rounded up by the SS, David was deported to the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. There, because he could sing, he became a “privileged prisoner” and was assigned a more secure job disinfecting clothing in the Sauna. Despite this, he lived through three years of fear, knowing each day could be his last. David survived several horrors in Auschwitz, as well as a final death march with fellow inmates, where he was able to make a daring escape. His escape led him directly into the path of a brigade of U.S. soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division. The men adopted “Little Davey,” taking him with them on their campaign of liberation through Europe. With their help, David Wisnia was able to finally immigrate to the United States.
David’s story is unique: he is a Holocaust survivor and also one of a band of liberators. One Voice, Two Lives adds a new dimension to Holocaust narratives.
One Voice, Two Lives
From Auschwitz Prisoner To 101st Airborne Trooper, A Holocaust Memoir
by Cantor David S. Wisnia
With Doug Cervi and Robin Black
Maryann McLoughlin, ed.
A project of Stockton University.
(Margate, NJ: Comteq Publishing, 2015.)