Holocaust Survivor Records Audio Book

Photo of author

(Newswire.net — January 3, 2014) Charlotte, NC — Protective Custody: Prisoner 34042 has been an Amazon bestselling ebook since it was published last May. Holocaust survivor Susan Cernyak-Spatz has now recorded the book in her own voice for release in early 2014. The story of Cernyak-Spatz’s years in the concentration camps of Theresienstadt, Auschwitz-Birkenau and Ravensbrück is notable for its detailed chronicle of camp life, told compellingly against the backdrop of Nazi horror and inhumanity.


Born in Vienna in 1922, Dr. Cernyak-Spatz is Professor Emerita in German literature at UNC-Charlotte, where she continues to teach and lecture about her experiences. The release of her audio book comes at a time when the number of living Holocaust survivors is rapidly diminishing. This audio book, she believes, will provide a lasting legacy in her own voice as a witness and testimony for future generations. As Cernyak-Spatz explains, “I think even after 70 years, it is important to remember what happened because it was the events in the Holocaust that taught the generations since the war to tolerate cruelty.”


Recorded in her living room in North Carolina, the audio version of Protective Custody: Prisoner 34042 provides listeners with the rare opportunity to hear an eyewitness account of Nazi concentration and extermination camps. Though 91 years old, Cernyak-Spatz’s voice is strong, clear, and rich with inflection and emotional depth. As Joel Shatzky, editor for the print version of the book remarks, “At the age of 91, Professor Cernyak-Spatz has the intellectual vigor to present her story with the experience, understanding and scholarly knowledge of the era in which she survived. She tells her story not only as she experienced it, but as she profoundly understood it.”


The title of the book, Protective Custody, refers to the cynical, euphemistic designation that the Nazis gave their prisoners in Birkenau. In the civilized world, “protective custody” is a legal term for safeguarding someone from possible harm. As Cernyak-Spatz points out, in the hands of the Nazis, this term takes on a nightmarish meaning, for the protective custody prisoners at Birkenau were the only ones who could be “taken to the gas without question.” This included millions of Jews who were taken into custody from the occupied areas of Europe, including those, like Cernyak-Spatz, from Vienna.


Further information about the audio book (to be released through Audible.com), can be found on the author’s Facebook page. Her website also offers videos of Dr. Cernyak-Spatz, as well as an opportunity for signing up to a mailing list for notification of the audio book’s publication. The ebook version of Protective Custody: Prisoner 34042 is available on Amazon.