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The Last Sunrise by Hirshel Grodzienski

(aka Harold Gordon)

Hirshel Grodzienski was condemned to death as a young boy by Hitler. In 1941, he stood at the open gates to Auschwitz's gas chamber, when the Sword of Death was miraculously lifted from his throat by "Our God." He spent his teenage years in concentration camps as a political prisoner and an enemy of the state.


Excerpt by Hirshel Grodzienski

It happened so long ago. Had I not forced myself with all my mental strength to imprint upon my very young mind these thoughts which I’m about to put down in print, they would have vanished from my memory long ago, like the dust from the prairie.

From Chapter 1: Watching the miniseries “War and Remembrance” from a comfortable easy chair made it almost impossible for me to believe that I was there and saw, felt, and smelled the odors of war and the systematic extermination of

innocent people. Instead of harboring hatred and resentment, I have chosen to make my life of value by striving for a good marriage, raising two wonderful sons and building a business, becoming a valuable member of society…

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"The words that so vividly describe Gordon chasing life, yet running from it fill my mind with an empathy that I am unable to express. I am so grateful for his sharing this personal agony from which he triumphed. Sometimes things happen that were so lucky. What a word. Luck. Not true. It was God's hand leading this child through hell. We are blessed to read his story."

P. Navarette

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Hirshel Grodzienski was born in 1930 in Grodno, Poland, and condemned to DEATH at the tender age of ten by the Nazis. 

He was hunted for no reason other than being born Jewish and living on the wrong continent, at the wrong time.

In 1941, he stood with his father in the undressing room of Auschwitz, at the open gates to the gas chamber. They were a few feet away from the final doors of no return, when the sword of death was lifted from his throat by the greatest power whom he calls “Our God.” 

He spent his teenage years in concentration and death camps as a political prisoner marked for death, as an enemy of the state.

Unlike most children in the camps, he lived to tell his story.

Today, he goes by Harold Gordon, and is the patriarch of a thriving family.. He and his wife, Joyce recently celebrated 67 years of marriage. Harold has devoted his remaining years to promoting peace, tolerance, and forgiveness. He speaks to large audiences at schools, universities, juvenile halls, faith communities, and service organizations. 

Many people have written to him expressing their sorrow for what he and his family experienced, as well as amazement that he forgave the Nazis, and went on to live a loving and productive life. 

Harold believes that if he could forgive, anyone can. "And we must."


The author in 1989

About the Author

The author in 2011

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