Biography & True Story Books:

Counting on America

A Holocaust Memoir of Terror, Chutzpah, Romance and Escape


Paperback / softback

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Counting on America by Gary Reiner
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Counting on America, an uplifting Holocaust memoir, illustrates the escalation of anti-Semitism following Germany's annexation of Austria in 1938 (the Anschluss); and the obstacles Jewish refugees faced trying to reach the shores of America. In response to the Nazi invasion, newlyweds Kurt and Hennie Reiner flee Vienna. If you are Jewish or come from an immigrant family, this chronicle is your legacy. Their urgency to find safe haven accelerates when Kurt is imprisoned in Dachau. He is released but threatened with certain arrest unless he can find a legal way out of Germany. As the couple scramble to obtain visas, they are conscripted for work at Fischamend, an SS monitored farm labor camp. Next, their arduous escape path leads them to Marseille. After France declares war on Germany, Kurt is arrested as a "foreign enemy" and interned in a French prison. When their plan to emigrate to the United States is again thwarted, chutzpah, divine intervention, and their romantic commitment deliver salvation. In the Foreword, Michael Berenbaum (former Project Director during the creation of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, 1988-1993) underscores the importance of relatives obtaining testimony from Holocaust survivors before they are no longer here. In so doing, he gives tribute to the memoir's co-author by stating: "Gary Reiner provides a model of what can be done, what should be done and what must be done." Counting on America is especially unique because highlighted events are corroborated with the presentation of original source documents hand-carried from Europe. Historical context is interspersed throughout the dramatic, first-person narrative. While advancing your perspective of the Holocaust, this true story will keep you at the edge of your seat. Ideal for leisurely reading and/or use in classrooms and other academic settings. THE ABOVE PARAGRAPHS REPLACE THE BELOW ON AMAZON Counting on America is a Holocaust memoir about a young Jewish couple fleeing Nazi-occupied Austria. The true story, told in first person, profoundly depicts the troubling rise of anti-Semitism in Vienna, and the obstacles Kurt and Hennie Reiner confront attempting to emigrate to the United States. As they engage in flight, the newlyweds are subjected to a trail of hardship that leads to confinement at Dachau; and upon release, a hurried attempt to exit Europe. Their excursion is stalled when Hennie's husband is arrested as an Austrian/German "foreign enemy" only days after they reach Marseille and France declares war on Germany. During their plight, the couple inadvertently encounter a half-dozen renowned villains and heroes.

Author Biography

Gary Reiner delivers on his promise that he would some day publish the memoir his father had drafted over 30 years ago. Mr. Reiner spent nearly thirty years as a criminal justice consultant and project director. He designed educational training programs for the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government and operational programs for federal, state, and local criminal justice systems. To his credit, he has developed several national model programs for the U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice. His earlier career demanded investigative research, information management and analysis, planning, curriculum development and project management. Kurt Reiner knew he and his wife had accomplished something special when they finally succeeded in crossing the Atlantic in May 1940. Following 26 months of dodging Hitler's persuit, they had made it to freedom at last. Kurt Reiner was born September 22, 1913, in Vienna, Austria. He escaped Europe with his wife, Hennie, in May 1940. His professional career began in the shipyards of Salem and Portland, Oregon, where he helped build "Liberty Ships" and other tankers shortly after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor in December 1941. After moving to New York at the end of WWII, Kurt Reiner settled in his profession and contributed to the defense industry of America for over 40 years. His past record of accomplishment includes employment as an aeronautical electrical design engineer for the Republic Aviation's F-105 Thunderchief, and the Grumman Corporation's Lunar Excursion Module. He began writing his autobiography in 1975 at the age of 62. Recognizing the importance of teaching yout Project Director (1988-1993), United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (overseeing its creation), President and Chief Executive Officer of the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation, (1997-2000) and Professor of Jewish Studies and Director of Sigi Ziering Institute: Exploring the Ethical and Religious Implications of the Holocaust, American Jewish University, Los Angeles.
Release date NZ
July 18th, 2018
Foreword by Michael Berenbaum
Country of Publication
United States
Motivational Press, Incorporated
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