When German tanks rolled into Poland in 1939 they brought terror and brutality on a scale previously unknown in Europe. Their arrival marked the end of Rena’s idyllic youth in the small town of Tylicz near the Slovakian border. As her Orthodox Jewish family faced a bleak future, she made a promise to her mother and to herself that she would protect her younger sister at any cost. So strong was the depth of her devotion that she even promised to accompany her sister into the gas chamber if it ever came to that, so that she wouldn’t have to face the horror alone.
Rena and her sister were among the first deportees sent to Auschwitz and miraculously, they remained there until liberation. Her story is more than a story of amazing survival against extraordinary odds. More than anything else it is the story of a love so great and powerful to be almost beyond belief. It is the story of a soul who placed love above all else and who stands out as a shining example to humanity.
That Rena remained so human, so compassionate and morally upright in a world where many resorted to low acts in order to survive is testament to her purity, strength and high quality as a person.
It is a story of great courage and tenacity. Many were unable to hold on to their sanity or their will to love but Rena was a tower of strength for those around her.
She encouraged them and inspired them and remained at all times a deeply loving human being despite the brutalizing and dehumanizing circumstances. As she recounts loving, human gestures made to deeply suffering souls you are touched and comforted to know that people can give and receive such care in the darkest of times.
Throughout her ordeal, Rena is saved by the spiritual guidance of her departed mother. Her story restores your faith in the goodness of human beings, it inspires you to be the best person you can be and it gives you deep comfort to know that we are never alone even throughout the most horrendous ordeals.
Rena’s Promise is a powerful and uplifting story. At the end of it, you know that you have been in the presence of a most magnificent and rare human being – surely an old soul who understands that the true purpose of life is to love and remain faithful to love no matter what.