Rena's Promise You Tube Channel
My New Book - 999
For fans of Rena's Promise, this book is a kind of sequel that tells the story of many girls on the first transport, some of them you already know, many you have never met before. There are 6 survivors of the first transport still alive today (Feb 2020). I have interviewed four and am about to meet two more, those stories will be shared in an upcoming documentary: 999: The Extraordinary Young Women of the First Official Jewish Transport to Auschwitz.
Block Ten in Auschwitz - Rena's Promise
The first Jewish women in Auschwitz were lodged in Block Ten in the men's camp. Thanks to the research department at the museum we were able to go into the actual block where the girls stayed (it is closed to the public). Their first day in camp was spent scrubbing and cleaning the blocks in preparation for the next transport of women (from Bratislava). The transport that would hold Rena's sister, Danka.
79th Anniversary of the First Jewish Transport to Auschwitz
March 25, 1942, 999 teenage girls and young women boarded a train. They thought they were going to work in a shoe factory. Instead, they were deported to Auschwitz as slave labor. Only a few survived over three years in the death camps, but those who did were childhood friends, cousins, and sisters--they helped each other, as they could. Their stories are told in the book and a forthcoming documentary film: 999 - The Extraordinary Young Women of the First Official Jewish Transport to Auschwitz.
70th Anniversary: The First Women in Auschwitz moved to Birkenau - Rena's Promise
On August 6, 1942, a start was made to move female prisoners out of the main camp (Auschwitz I) to Birkenau. Though the records of the numbers of women in Auschwitz at that time, have been lost; we do know that new transports were numbering women at 15,000+ (men, of which there were a great more, were being numbered in the 50,000+ range). One of the few women to survive from the first registered transport of Jews (all young women) tells us of that day in her memoir RENA'S PROMISE: "Wait! We've turned. We are moving away from Auschwitz. Voices murmur through our ranks. We march. This is a change to our routine. The unknown is dangerous. Eyes vigilant, senses alert, we march away from Auschwitz, away from the walls and watchtowers. The sun sets. There are fences and more barbed wire towering before us. We march under a different gate with the same sign, ARBEIT MACHT FREI. We are not fooled... They have moved with us to this new camp... The floor is dirt. There are no bunk beds here; there are shelves, wood planks, three tiers high. We are supposed to sleep here? Where are the mattresses? Our beds look like horse stalls. There is a sour smell of human odor. There are rags for blankets. We stand, squeezing our bread in our hands, unable to cope, unable to move. A girl begins to cry. Like fire in a stable her fear grabs us, and like dried straw we burn inside. Tears cannot quench these flames of disaster. We are lost. This is Birkenau" (Gelissen #1716, Rena's Promise). --------------------------------------------------------------------------------  "August 5-10  .... The women's section at Auschwitz I is moved to Section B- Birkenau" (Rittner and Roth, 29 ). "Birkenau was a swamp fenced off by electrified wire. No roads whatsoever, no paths in between the blocks.... March to mid-August 1942 ... about 17,000 women prisoners, most of them Jews, arrived at Auschwitz. A large number of them (probably about 5,000) perished before the transfer of women to the camp at Birkenau" (Strzelecka, 401, 394).
Is Anyone Listening? #InternationalWomensDay #Ukraine
Edith Grosman was on the first Jewish Transport to Auschwitz. She was 17 years old. A year before she died, Edith told me how she believed that after the Holocaust the world would change. People would change. Peace would reign. She was 95 years old. She died six months later. Is anyone listening? Edith's story and that of her friends' and sister, is the subject of the book and documentary, 999: The Extraordinary Young Women of the First Official Jewish Transport to Auschwitz.
Trailer for Documentary Film: 999 - The Young Women of the First Jewish Transport to Auschwitz
International Best Selling Book, Pen Award Finalist, Goodreads Best Biography Finalist, is the basis for this documentary, now in post production. 999 features new research by author Heather Dune Macadam, including never-before-told testimony of survivors, witnesses and family members. The extraordinary story depicts how the first deportations to Auschwitz specifically targeted young, unmarried Jewish women and the subterfuge undertaken to dupe them into embarking on the journey. You can donate to this film and be kept up to date on our latest viewing events by subscribing to https://www.999thebook.com/ Warm Regards and Shalom, Heather Dune Macadam & Jane Schonberger, Co-Producers
In Memoriam for Edith Grosman, Auschwitz Survivor and Subject of Book and Documentary, 999
I spent 3 years working with Edith, filming her, speaking with her and adoring her. Our work together has been memorialized in my book 999, which became an international best seller just before Covid struck. A documentary film based on Edith and the girls of the first transport is in production. If you are so moved, you can donate through our website: https://www.999thebook.com/
75th Anniversary of Liberation of Auschwitz - from First Jewish Transport Watches Herself on TV
95-year-old Edith Grosman, the subject of the 2020 book and documentary, 999 - The Extraordinary Young Women of the First Official Jewish Transport to Auschwitz, could not travel to Poland this year. She was able to speak out about the need for peace in our world and warn against war and xenophobia though. A voice to heed.
Heather Dune Macadam should be included in that rare category of literary mystery masters such as Lawrence Block, Craig Holden, and Giles Blunt, whose lyrical prose and beautifully developed characters have a great deal to say about the troubled world we live in and its legacy of violence.
Kaylie Jones, author of Celeste Ascending and A Soldier's Daughter Never Cries