"Yes, even in the concentration camps one could distinguish between beasts and human beings, who, although they were physically abused and rundown, remained spiritually dignified."
Auschwitz-Birkenau was a planet unto itself, with its own brutal hierarchy of enslavement. For prisoners there, days were marked by hunger, hard labor, beatings and fear. Yet even in the extermination hub of Europe’s Jews, seeds of dignity and humanity took root. Sons “organized” food to sustain their ill fathers. Friends found each other work. Some plotted escape and others armed resistance.
Sky Tinged Red is Isaia Eiger’s chronicle of two and a half years as a prisoner in Birkenau. As a schreiber—intake scribe—and member of the resistance movement Eiger’s knowledge of the camp was extensive. His incisive record of those he met documents the extremes of human behavior, highlighting the courage of those who maintained their humanity in a world dominated by brutality. Written shortly after the war, Sky Tinged Red, for both its compassionate narrative and the remarkable story of its publication, is a tribute to the power of survivor testimony and the transmission of memory through successive generations.
About the Author
ISAIA EIGER (1897-1960) was born in Radom, Poland. An accountant, amateur artist, and leader in the Jewish community, he was among the first group from Radom deported to Birkenau, a camp still under construction, in April 1942. After liberation, he moved to Minneapolis, where he worked as a cabinetmaker and was involved in the AFL-CIO.
DORA EIGER ZAIDENWEBER was born in Radom in 1924, the daughter of Isaia and Hanna Rose Eiger. She survived the Radom forced labor camp and Birkenau and was liberated from Bergen- Belsen. She settled in Minneapolis in 1950 where she obtained an M.A. in economics and raised two children. She spends her time reading audio books and studying Talmud.