The AuthorHouse Author’s Digest features three inspirational authors during this first week of June. Each one has an extremely poignant story to tell and an equally important message to share.
We started the week with AuthorHouse author John Borgstedt’s story in I Love You, Mom… Please Don’t Break My Heart. Today we introduce a Holocaust survivor, Alter Wiener, who dedicates his time sharing his story as a promise to never let us or our future generations ever forget the atrocities committed during World War II. His story is called From a Name to a Number and has sold over 20,000 copies to date.
We also welcome Mr. Wiener, who is now in his late eighties, to the world of blogging. We are privileged to post his very first blog article on the AuthorHouse Author’s Digest.
Alter Wiener’s Story: From a Name to a Number
In the year 2006, I shared my life story with a congregation at a Presbyterian Church in Vancouver WA. At the end of my presentation, an older gentleman approached me, with tearful eyes said to me: “I was an officer in a U.S. battalion that, in 1945 liberated the infamous concentration camp Buchenwald, in Germany. I have nightmares till this very day what we had found in that camp. Mounds and mounds of dead bodies and those who were still breathing were half dead. The story that I heard from you this morning, in front of the congregation, must be put in print. Please do it for my children and grandchildren. It pains me to hear people like the Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the president of Iran, denying the Holocaust.” I promised that WWII veteran to do it.
At that point, I was 80 years old and quite frail after a five year old colon cancer resection. Frankly I was not in frame of mind and physical strength to undertake such a project. However, that veteran’s words “Do it for my children and for my grandchildren” were constantly on my mind; I felt a moral obligation to comply with that veteran’s plea.
A tremor in my right hand makes my handwriting illegible, but typing on a computer keyboard enabled me to write out what I could retrieve from my memory. It took me ten weeks to have my manuscript of 250 pages ready to be edited and published. I sent pages from my manuscript to eighty traditional publishing houses. Some publishers responded, complimenting me for my good work and for its intrinsic importance for future generations. However not even one publisher was seriously interested to read my manuscript because I was not an established author. Being frustrated I went to look for an outlet, a publisher who would be willing to help me to keep my promise to that America WWII veteran and have my life story published for contemporary and future generations. I found AuthorHouse.
Several academics who had read my book believed that it would be a best-seller. I doubted if this will be so successful. I do believe, however, that my book should be read by contemporary and future generations. It reflects many responses from my live audiences. In this respect, From a Name to a Number differs from the thousands of books on the Holocaust that have been published, so far. I am grateful and gratified that 20,000 copies of From a Name to a Number have been sold so far. It appears today (May 23, 2012) on amazon.com:
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #50,326 in Books
#36 in Books > History > Europe > Poland
#49 in Books > Biographies & Memoirs > Regional U.S. > West
#100 in Books > Biographies & Memoirs > Ethnic & National > Jewish
Alter Wiener’s AuthorHouse Bibliography
You can find out more about Alter Wiener and his Holocaust testimonial on his official website.