Holocaust Survivor and UI Alumnus Returns to Campus with New Book

Holocaust survivor Michael Bornstein, a 1966 doctoral graduate of the University of Iowa, will return to campus this month to read from his new book, Survivors Club: The True Story of a Very Young Prisoner of Auschwitz.

One of the youngest living survivors of the Auschwitz Nazi concentration camp, Bornstein will make a special stop at his alma mater while on a national book tour with his co-author and daughter, Debbie Bornstein Holinstat. Formerly a television reporter in Iowa, Holinstat now works as a producer with NBC and MSNBC News.

Presented by the University of Iowa Alumni Association as part of its 150th anniversary honoring alumni stories, Bornstein will speak at 7 p.m. March 29 at the Iowa Memorial Union’s Main Lounge, as well as at two Iowa City-area middle schools—Southeast Junior High and North Central Junior High—on March 29-30.

With the number of living Holocaust survivors dwindling by the year, Bornstein’s visit is a unique opportunity to hear about this harrowing chapter of world history firsthand from someone with ties to Iowa.

In addition to Bornstein’s presentation, UI associate professor of music and soprano Rachel Joselson will perform music from her album, Songs of the Holocaust.

Bornstein, now 77, was just 4 years old when his family was forced out of its home in Poland and taken by train to Auschwitz. Through his mother’s love and courage, along with a fortuitous turn of events, Bornstein endured seven long months at the concentration camp and escaped the gas chamber that claimed the lives of so many others. After Auschwitz was liberated in 1945, mother and son reunited and set off for a new life in the United States—a journey that would eventually bring him to UI to study pharmacology.

Realizing that stories like his were dying with his generation and wanting his children and grandchildren to know their family history, Bornstein recently set out to write Survivors Club with help from daughter Debbie. The book, which is geared toward young readers, was released March 7 by Macmillan/Farrar Straus Giroux.

Bornstein’s visit is sponsored by the UI Alumni Association, along with the UI College of Pharmacy, UI Lecture Committee, and Oaknoll Retirement Community. UI Student Government and Graduate and Professional Student Government also provided support.

The event is free and open to the public. Please let us know you’re coming at www.iowalum.com/events/bornstein.


University of Iowa Reading

• What: From Auschwitz to Iowa City: An Evening with Michael Bornstein, 66PhD

• When: 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 29

• Where: Main Lounge, Iowa Memorial Union; 125 N. Madison St., Iowa City

• Details: The event is free and open to the public. It will feature a talk by Bornstein, a Q&A, and a book signing.


Middle School Appearances

• What: Bornstein and his daughter, Debbie Bornstein Holinstat, will visit two Iowa City-area middle schools to share his story.

• When, Where: 9:30 a.m. March 29 at Southeast Junior High, 2501 Bradford Dr., Iowa City; AND 9:30 a.m. March 30 at North Central Junior High, 180 W. Forevergreen Road, North Liberty


About the Survivors Club Authors and their Iowa Ties

Michael Bornstein survived for seven months inside Auschwitz concentration camp, where the average lifespan of a child was just two weeks. After the war, Michael reunited with his mother—who had been deported to an Austrian labor camp—and together they immigrated to New York City in 1951. After receiving a bachelor of science degree from Fordham University, Michael earned his Ph.D. from the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy in 1966 and worked in pharmaceutical research and development for more than 40 years. Now retired, Michael lives with his wife in New York City and in New Jersey, making public appearances to share his experiences as one of the youngest survivors of the Holocaust. He’s finally telling his story through lectures and his memoir, Survivors Club.

Debbie Bornstein Holinstat is Michael Bornstein’s third of four children. Early in her career she worked as a reporter for KWWL in Iowa and is now a producer for NBC and MSNBC News living in North Caldwell, New Jersey. She visits schools with her father and worked with him for two years to help research and write his memoir, Survivors Club, which contains many of the stories she grew up hearing.

More Book Information: http://read.macmillan.com/mcpg/survivors-club/


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