In October 1998 Nathan Poremba found the courage to reach out to and knock on the Shoah Foundation's door. He was finally ready to reveal his Holocaust story to them. They then recorded and preserved his testimony. After "My Name is Staszek Surdel'' was published in July 2021, twenty three years later, the Shoah Foundation knocked on our family's door. It was like greeting a long lost friend. We cannot thank the Foundation enough for creating the opportunity that freed my dad from the trauma he experienced. This inevitably led Nathan to share even more so that we could all better understand what happened in Poland nearly 80 years ago.
Please click on the logo to read this USC Shoah Foundation article!
"I was incredibly moved by this memoir, I could not put the book down. I am shocked how Nathan used his wits to survive at such a young age. What an incredible gift Joel has given his family, to know their history, even one so heartbreakingly tragic. What an incredible gift he has given the world; to give a survivor's account of what truly happened." - Alisa A.
"I have never read a Shoah story quite like this and I have read more than twenty survivor memoirs in my long life. I highly recommend high school students learn from the horrors European Jewry faced during the Holocaust and this book is a great place to start. Just when you think you've heard/read it before, this delicately told story is unique. The inhumanity visited on Nathan Poremba and all of Jewish Poland during the war was horrifing. Yet, his eventual emergence and ability to overcome dwarf the terrible things he experienced. A true hero in every sense of the word." - Martin M.
"A breathtaking and shocking story of Holocaust survival, it is unbelievable what Nathan Poremba went through as a little boy. A must read for any student of history and religion."
- Klaudia C.
- Klaudia C.
"A heartbreaking, beautifully written, inspiring book that needed to be shared!" - Eugene H.
"What an amazing story about such a strong man, Nathan Poremba. The book pays long overdue tribute to 'flight survivors,' the largest group of Holocaust survivors who unfortunately receive the least attention and coverage from TV and film. I remain shocked how some Poles treated their returning Jewish neighbors who survived the Holocaust.”
- Jonah G.
- Jonah G.
"The book is beyond phenomenal. Joel is an incredible writer of an unbelievable story that must be read."
- Cindy F.
- Cindy F.
"Powerful and compelling. So well written! What an amazing tribute to a Holocaust survivor. Highly recommend." - Joni C.
"The author shares a unique and often overlooked aspect to understanding how antisemitism turned into indifference, persecution and mass genocide. The unbearable challenges Nathan experienced during the Holocaust, and rose above throughout, is an inspiration to everyone who reads this deeply moving book." - Michael H.
"Exceptionally written, a book impossible to put down. I felt compelled to read it from beginning to end in one sitting. Nathan's unwavering determination and grit to survive despite the unspeakable loss of his family is on full display in this story. I was shocked and saddened by what Nathan had to endure to survive, living one day at a time, never knowing if he would experience another day on this Earth. Stunning and beautiful tribute to a Holocaust survivor." - Carol M.
"Wonderfully written. The story of Nathan Poremba's survival, and the murder of his large Jewish family beforehand, left me with a heavy heart. But the courage and strength exhibited by him is a testament to all." - Marci B.
"This book should be mandatory reading for high school students." - Bernie G.
"The author immediately transports the reader back in time to Southern Poland where he shares his father, Nathan's, painful story. The author brings a riveting mixture of tragedy, courage and resistance of Nathan's survival against all odds. This book is more than the sharing of Nathan's Holocaust story, it is an indespensible guide to how we can all rise up and preservere in the face of adversity, persecution, suffering and death. If ever there was a tale of someone bouncing back and fighting for his life, this is it." - Sindy P.