Messages to Sam.
today I finished your book and I have to thank you!
It was not easy to read your experience. Sometimes I cried a little bit... I've read many biographies and other books that deal with the Holocaust, but none touched me emotionally as much as your book.
I would like to thank you that every German can discover your history. I firmly believe that such injustice can no longer happen, if all people deal honestly with the past. For this reason I have included your book in my journey against oblivion:
Because I am studying history and my focus is on the Holocaust, I have recommended your book to my professors.
I hope you can understand my English. I have not written for a long time, only read it.
With best wishes from Germany,
Germany Apr 7 2017
Dear Mr Pivnik,
my name is Nadja and I am a 17-year-old German. Being a part of the international organization "Relais de la Mémoire", I deal a lot with the memory of the Holocaust and the need of remembering this incomprehensible crime. But even though I've also been to Auschwitz last October, while reading your book it occurred to me that I hadn't an idea of the real cruelty and I doubt that I will ever have.
So I'm writing you to thank you really much for sharing your story. It was more than just touching, it broke my heart and left me stunned. I'll probably never understand how people could be capable of this inhumanity, this cold blood and these brutal crimes for which there are no words. I really admire your strength and your will to keep fighting, facing these unbelievable horrors.
Thank you for giving a little insight into the loss and the horror you went through. To say I'm sorry for you to have endured them doesn't even describe my feelings. I hope that there are many people who'll read your story because it should be remembered.
I wish you all the best!
Germany, Apr 6 2017
Dear Mr. Sam Pivnik,
My name is Elena, I’m 15 years old and I live in Italy. I just finished reading your book, and I am writing to thank you and to express the great admiration that I feel for you. I do not know if you will read this, but in any case I want you to know that for me you are a great inspiration, an excellent writer and a wonderful person. Your words have moved me deeply, especially because when you lived these terrible experiences you were very young, as I am now, and despite the loss of your loved ones and the atrocities that you were forced to endure, you have been strong enough to survive and share your story. I’m so sorry for what happened to you, and I absolutely agree with you that every testimony of the Holocaust should be told, because if we will never be able to understand what you and other innocent people suffered, it’s our duty to know and reflect on what happened. Because this must never happen again. I respect and admire you very much, but if I may say so, I don’t think that you are just one among millions; you are an amazing and inspirational person, and I –and we will never forget you and your words.
My deepest and kindest regards,
(Italy. Aug 9 2016).
Dear Mr. Pivnik,
Just an email to thank you for sharing your past with us; I am glad that I bought a copy of your memoir "Survivor – Auschwitz, The Death March and My Fight for Freedom";
Just want to wish you well and good health.
(from Ontario, Canada - 3 July 2016).
Dear Mr. Sam Pivnik,
I'm from Poland. I'm 33 years old. i'm not good in english,but I read your book in Polish.
https://www.instagram.com/p/BHSUqvHgKZq/?taken-by=agness83 and Your story is amazing. Very good book. I'm interested in history especially in second world war. I read your book very fast because it is so interesting. I live near to Germany in Szczecin- in German Stettin. I don't like peaople from Germany older or younger. When I go on holidays to the sea to Misdroy and I see older Germans at the hotel I wonder if they were in SS in Auschwitz or other konzentrationlagers and I hate them when they eat and drink in hotels at the Polish Baltic sea. They can afford expensive hotels. They have very good retirements. I think that it's not fair after what they did to you and other people in concentration camps. Hope you are in a good health.
My name is Kay. I just finished reading your book. Thank you so much for telling your story. I grew up in a town called Hastings, Minnesota. We had a lot of skin heads in our town and it always sickened me. I am part Native American and could never tell anyone back then that I was,. Today I am proud of that fact. I really loved your book! Thank you for being so inspiring.
Ho letto il tuo libro e sono rimasta profondamente colpita dalla descrizione degli eventi che hai vissuto...
Ho pianto,e tutt'oggi non mi rendo conto che quello che hai descritto è successo davvero... a tratti mi sembrava di leggere un racconto inventato ma poi tornavo alla realtà e mio dio,non ci potevo credere...
Non so con quale forza tu abbia affrontato veramente tutto quello schifo,quelle offese gratuite,quelle botte...quel freddo e quella fame.
Mi dispiace profondamente per tutte quelle persone che hai visto morire ma soprattutto per la tua famiglia..non me ne capacito.
Il giardino dell'Eden resterà nella mia mente come il luogo in cui tu hai vissuto la tua vera vita anche se eri più che adolescente...
Suppongo che vivere dopo l guerra non sia stato facile,le cose che hai vissuto non le cancelli e come fantasmi te le sei portate dietro per tutta la vita.
Spero un giorno di incontrati e ti auguri tutto il bene del mondo.
Ti abbraccio veramente forte...e se puoi rispondimi,avrei piacere.
Ciao Sam... un bacio enorme da Pisa,toscana,Italia.
Hi Sam. My name is Tara Piontecki and I live in Swansea South Wales. Tonight I finished reading your book "Survivor" and instantly felt the need to contact you in the hope that you were able to be contacted via letter, then I came across your website.
I have sat in my room this evening and sobbed for 15 minutes having tried to understand what you must have been through. I would personally like to thank you for sharing your story, it was by far the best book I have ever read.
I recently visited Poland for the first time in my life and thought it was a beautiful country with extraordinary history. My reason for wanting to visit Poland was to experience Auschwitz and learn more about its history, however I felt somewhat unfulfilled when I left, having missed the guided tour. So when I was leaving I searched for a book to take home. As soon as I saw your book, I knew I had to buy it. I was so sad to have missed the guided tour but after reading your book I realised, that there was no better way to learn about its history than from a man whom had survived it.
My grandfather was Polish and sadly passed away a few years ago. All I know is that he was taken by the Germans aged 14 and worked at one of the camps. He escaped from the camp and eventually ended up in Wales after joining the army, when he returned to Poland, both his parents had passed and if it wasn't for him, I would not be here today. But that is all I know about his past life. He would never talk about his experience at the camp but I now realise that I was probably too young to have learned about it and he for one did not want to be the one to tell me. However, I regret to this day having not tried to find out more about his past.
Once again, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your story and I look forward to watching your interviews and browsing your website.
I sincerely hope that you are keeping well and that this email is worth reading. As I am sure you receive lots.
Take care, Kind regards
Dear Sam Pivnik,
I am an education student set to graduate in the coming months! My passionate major studies are History and my particular interest is The Holocaust.
I have read your book 3 times. First when I was 19yrs old, 21 years old and 22 years old. (I am nearly 23yrs old now).
I have read many, many Holocaust books, survivor stories and biographies.
But there was something about your book that sat with me.
Your honest account and words have sat with me for years and I will never, ever read a book that is better than yours.
I want every human in this world to read your book and experience what I felt! I want them to read it, but really they NEED to read it.
It is a tale that gives me Goosebumps and I have quoted your book many times in essays, presentations and general university study.
I found this email on your website and I was wondering where are you based right now? What country?
Do you do 'talks' to schools or university students or anything like that?
When I teach in a school soon I hope and pray that there is someone living near me like you that can speak to my students about your experiences.
If I were ever lucky enough to sit and talk with you, I would ask you a million questions and keep your time for hours!
Your tale is remarkable and I would be honored to ever meet you!
I want you to know for all my future years of being a history teacher I will always read your book and quote your book to my students.
Sam Pivnik is certaintly not nobody amongst millions, he is a man that survived the Holocaust and a man that is embedded into my memory forever.
Thank you for writing your book.
Carissimo signor Pivnik,
più leggo libri di testimonianze e più si apre uno strappo nel mio cuore. Non riesco a capire quanto si possa restare indifferenti davanti all’orrore che lei e milioni di uomini avete dovuto sopportare. Non è possibile concepire come si possano solo attuare atrocità simili. Leggere, conoscere, capire e raccontare sono le uniche cose che si possono fare sperando che le generazioni future non perdano la memoria di ciò che è stato. Vorrei stringerla in un abbraccio per scusarmi di ciò che l’uomo è stato in grado di fare.
Con profonda ammirazione e gratitudine
Cinzia da Roma (Italia)
Dear Mr. Sam Pivnik,
My intentions by this email is to thank you, both as an author and as a person. I am so sorry for your terrible and depriving past.
I would like to thank you for writing this book. I have read a lot of books which witnesses and tells stories about the tragic past of the people who suffered from the nazi regime. But I must say that your testimony is the truest I have ever read. I will never be able to understand what you went thought or the pain, but i felt some of it while reading your book and I had an ache in my heart. This subject is so important and must not be forgotten.
I am only 19 years old, I have never existed in a world like the one you described but you and so many others who have shared it with me and the understanding of it is reachable. I plan on a future where I will be working with carrying on knowledge about this important subject and universe that doesn't and hopefully will never exist again.
You're are an inspiration to me, and many others. Thank you. Thank you for being such a strong person, both during and after the war.
With kind regards.
Dear Mr. Pivnik,
for many years I have been reading about the Holocaust. I am a 20- year- old from Germany and visited many former concentration camps in my country, as well as Auschwitz in Poland. I wish I could give you a hug, because I really admire your strength and I am so sorry for what you have experienced in the past.
One of my biggest dreams is to visit the Yad Vashem in my life and maybe one day this dream will come true. I have been talking to some other survivors of the Shoa and that affected my life in so many ways.
I am thankful for you and wish you all the best. Stay such a strong person- you inspire me! I have been to London last July and if I had read your book then, I would have made sure to have left you a personal message.
All I can do now is send you these words, which can not express my thankfulness nor my honor, but I wanted to send them anyway so that you know that there is a girl from Germany thinking of you :)
All my love to you,
I am so glad that you have provided this address for us to write to you. After finishing your book I immediately wished there was a way i could express to you how moved i was. I actually stumbled across the link whilst researching for a school assignment, so here I write finally.
I am writing to you from Gloucestershire , England and my name is Hannah. I'm 16 years old and your book was the first account of a Holocaust survivor I ever read, and i just wanted to say I was so moved.
I struggled whilst trying to decide what to talk to you about but i feel that i now know what I want to say. Your story left me in a state of complete awe. Awe at you, and every other innocent person who was subject to such horrors, survivors and victims alike. It left me with a mind full of questions; what on earth is it like to see your family walk away from you with no idea whether you would ever hold them again? I cannot even begin to understand.
I found that by the end of your story i had grown quite attached to listening to you in my mind whilst reading. You truly are an extraordinary man and i want to thank you for finding the courage to share the horrors you went through.
Again, you moved me to my very core and i wish you as many peaceful years that you really deserve.
Dear Mr Pivnik,
I have just finished reading your book ‘Survivor’, and felt compelled to get in touch with you. I have to say, it moved me to tears. How anyone could treat people the way that you and millions of other people were treated in concentration camps is beyond comprehension, and I for one, cannot imagine the suffering that you all experienced during this mass genocide.
If History has taught us anything, it is this - What happened, must never be repeated and must never be forgotten.
My deepest and kindest regards,
Christine Diane Bailey
Shalom from Georgia Mr. Pivnik.
I just wanted to share my feelings. I adore your book and I respect your personality. I don't know if you read it or not but I must write it. I am crying while watching your face, I can see so much pain and love in your eyes! I see innocence in you! I'm not Jew. I'm Georgian Christian but I respect your nation. I love every Jew. I love you! I am just 18 and have studied about Holocaust at school but I feel like I have experienced everything! I know I will never meet you Mr. Pivnik but I always wanted to share my feelings with the Holocaust survivor! Thanks for existing, thanks for being such great person! I love you and wish you peace!
please if you read my email let me know. cause it's my dream to meet such a great writer like you!
Dear Mr. Pivnik,
I’m a 16 year old girl, Italian, so please sorry for my shaky English. I read your book, your history and I know that what it is written here doesn’t do justice to what you suffered by yourself. I’d wanted to contact you before to – I don’t know - speak and to understand. I would spend a whole day to ask you some questions. I always read these books, books that tell and remember what happened in the past. But I don’t know why I do it. I would like to say thank you, anyway.
Thank you for having lived and remembered your story and allowing me – allowing us - to read it. What I read is all true. And this is what shocks me. I hope you’re living good now, as every human deserves on this earth. I hope you are well. What also “shocked” me was when I read that every day, every hour you remember your adventure. I hope that it is now just a memory and that didn’t do much bad as before - even if it is almost impossible. I don’t know exactly what to say, though - believe me - there are so many things I want to ask you. But for me, you and all those who have dealt with the Holocaust are heroes.
And I promise you, Mr. Pivnik, that in a small way - however important – I’ll try to not forget and not allow anybody to tarnish what you've been through. I wish everyone read your story. But not everyone is ready to do so - and then they can choose. All you haven’t been able, all you didn’t have a choice. But at least you're here and you have had the courage to live it again and again. And this is a choice.
I’d also like to go to Auschwitz a day. I think it is a too cruel place. I’ll go there, I just think about you.
With the deepest respect and admiration,
Caro signor Sam Pivnik, mi chiamo Cristina Reginato ed ho 15 anni. Sono italiana e da poco tempo ho comprato il suo libro, sono rimasta veramente colpita dalle sue parole e non faccio altro che parlarne a tutti i miei amici e ai miei genitori.
Le scrivo questa e-mail per ringraziarla, di averci raccontato le sua storia. Mi piacerebbe veramente poter avere una sorta di comunicazione con lei, attraverso e-mail. Ad ogni modo, le auguro ogni bene di questo mondo!
Cristina, una sua affezionata lettrice.
Sto leggendo la sua "vita" nell'inferno della guerra...in certi attimi mi sembra di essere li in quel momento...io non ce l avrei mai fatta...
grazie per esserci!!
Catia da modena
Dear Mr. Pivnik,
I must have been 12 when I found in my father’s library “The Nurnberg Trial” and I read it. The photos of the book are still in my mind. I remember I did not understand much at the time but that is how it started – my necessity to know. It really happened! And it was done by human beings just like me. I have heard too many times they were monsters, less than human beings, but I do not believe it. They were human beings and this is the greatest danger. They were mothers and fathers and sons of someone. And they just forgot or ignored the humanity in them. They exterminated the souls of other human beings and then killed them. I had to know more about the holocaust. I had to know so I can pass it on to the next generations. So we will never allow this to happen again. And I had to tell them and constantly remind myself that the exterminators were human beings. There is still racism in the world and for the life of me my brain cannot cope with the idea or find any kind of explanation. I worked on the cruise ships for five years and that makes me a very lucky person because I got to know people of many cultures, religions and races. I learnt so much from all of them. I was so happy on the ship because my spirit became so rich! I have little money but I am the richest person I know.
My name is Iulia, I am 36 and I am Romanian living in Italy.
I thank you for surviving. I thank you for going through everything once again to tell us your story. I promise you that for as long as I live I will talk about it. I promise you that my children and my grandchildren, and anyone who would listen to me will know. I promise you that I will always tell your story and the story of all the dead and the survivors. That is the very least I can do.
One day, when I am strong enough, I will go to Auschwitz. I am not ready yet. But one day I will be. And I will take my family with me.
Dear Sir Sam Pivnik,
I am reading your book the story of your life, my girl 7 years old saw your book on my bedside and she ask me what is « rescapé » as I am french I read in French and she read your name and ask me what is it Rescapé and who are you. So I try to tell her you survived the war…..please tell me how start to explain holocaust to my little one?
With my respect and wishes.
Marie-Caroline de Felices Jaouen.
Hello Mr. Sam,
I read your book and i write from Italy because I want to thank you for telling your story and your terrible suffering.
I am still young, having little more than 40 years, and i learned from the words of my grandfather, he was an italian military prisoner in Germany, the suffering of the Jewish people.
Thank you for let us not forget. Only by remembering these sad facts, we can pass on to our children the principles of freedom and brotherhood, so that these events do not happen again.
Sonico - Italy
I finished reading your book. I just want to write you that in my opinion you're an hero, not because you survived but because you have allowed the world to know the truth.
International Students Office
Area Servizi agli Studenti e ai Dottorandi
Politecnico di Milano
Via Golgi, 42 - 20133 Milano