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  • Published: 30 January 2024
  • ISBN: 9780753560815
  • Imprint: WH Allen
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 400
  • RRP: $36.99

Lovers in Auschwitz

A True Story

The incredible true story of two Holocaust survivors who fell in love in Auschwitz, only to be separated upon liberation and lead remarkable lives apart following the war-and then find each other again more than 70 years later

'Haunting and powerfully resonant... this is a story not just of remarkable individuals, but also a tribute to the wider indomitability of the human spirit at the darkest moment in European history' - Sinclair McKay, bestselling author of Berlin and Dresden

Zippi Spitzer and David Wisnia’s story began when they first locked eyes across the work floor. It was the start of a romance that could have unfolded anywhere if it weren’t for one key difference: Zippi and David were prisoners in history’s most infamous death camp.

David and Zippi defied the odds by surviving for years beneath the ash-choked skies of Auschwitz. Shielded by the protection of their fellow inmates, saved on occasion by their own ingenuity and twists of fate, their love affair reminded them that their old world still existed – a world of possibilities, of freedom and desire. As the war’s end drew near, little did they know just how far their lives would diverge, and how many years would pass before they would meet again.

An unbelievable true story of romance, sacrifice, loss, and resilience, Lovers in Auschwitz chronicles the lives of two young people ensnared in the Nazis’ horrific creation, who discovered hope and humanity in history’s darkest hour.

  • Published: 30 January 2024
  • ISBN: 9780753560815
  • Imprint: WH Allen
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 400
  • RRP: $36.99

About the author

Keren Blankfeld

Keren Blankfeld is a long-form journalist with a special interest in investigative narrative nonfiction. A former staff writer for Forbes Magazine, her stories have appeared in the New York Times, Forbes, Reuters, The Toronto Star, and others. She teaches reporting and writing at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism and has also taught at the New York University's Graduate School. She has been a guest on CNN, BBC World News, and E! Entertainment. In 2013, Keren served as a creative executive at New Regency Productions, where she worked with screenwriters and playwrights to develop material for movies and TV shows. She holds a B.A. in International Relations and English from Tufts University and an M.S. in Journalism from Columbia University. She now lives in New York with her husband and two sons.

Praise for Lovers in Auschwitz

In Lovers in Auschwitz, Keren Blankfeld offers a vivid portrait of the brutality of daily life at Auschwitz, alongside formidable tales of people who risked their lives to save others—even strangers—through sabotage, sympathy, and love. Mesmerizing and inspirational.

Judy Batalion, New York Times bestselling author of The Light of Days

A tale so incredible, so improbable, that it could only be true; a story so moving, so poignant, that it could only be inspired by love.

Larry Loftis, New York Times bestselling author of The Watchmaker's Daughter

Alternately heart-warming, thrilling and achingly poignant, Keren Blankfeld’s Lovers in Auschwitz is the true story of Zippi and David, young Jews who against all odds found love in the living hell that was Birkenau. Deeply researched and brilliantly told, it is a tale that will remain with readers long after they’ve turned the final page. Very highly recommended.

Stephen Harding, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Battle

Haunting and powerfully resonant: an extraordinary story of human light and love shining even in the foulest darkness. Written with magnetic sensitivity, this is a story not just of remarkable individuals, but also a tribute to the wider indomitability of the human spirit at the darkest moment in European history.

Sinclair McKay, Sunday Times bestselling author of Dresden, The Secret Life of Bletchley Park and Berlin

A love story like no other, this profoundly moving book teaches us how the human spirit can never be entirely extinguished - even in the hell of Auschwitz.

Julia Boyd, Sunday Times bestselling author of Travellers in the Third Reich: The Rise of Fascism through the Eyes of Everyday People and A Village in the Third Reich: How Ordinary Lives were Transformed by the Rise of Fascism

Moving and tragic … A true tale of love amid unimaginable suffering.

Kirkus Reviews

A story of hope in one of humanity’s most hopeless places, Lovers in Auschwitz honors those who were lost while producing fresh insights into the nature of survival, the resilience of memory, the unseen debts we all owe one another, and, yes, the transformative power of love.

Robert Kolker, New York Times bestselling author of Hidden Valley Road and Lost Girls

What will a woman do for the man she loves? Lovers in Auschwitz is a reminder of how we desperately need love to survive. Keren Blankfeld’s research and scholarly attention to detail is exquisite; her narrative covers decades, inside and outside of the camps, from the prewar era to liberation and old age. A powerful reminder that love can conquer all.

Heather Dune Macadam, author of 999: The Extraordinary Young Women of the First Official Jewish Transport to Auschwitz and Star Crossed: A Romeo and Juliet Story in Hitler’s Paris

Most of what we know about the life of prisoners in Auschwitz comes from testimonies by men. In Lovers in Auschwitz, we see it through the eyes of the indomitable Zippi, who uses her grit and ingenuity to protect herself and others. Demonstrating both copious research and narrative flair, Keren Blankfeld offers an intimate and surprising story of Auschwitz from the inside, remarkable for both its insights into the workings of the camp and its heart.

Ruth Franklin, National Book Critics Circle Award–winning author of Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life and A Thousand Darknesses: Lies and Truth in Holocaust Fiction

A journey of discovery into one of the darkest moments in modern history, Lovers in Auschwitz is a haunting and nuanced account of two Auschwitz prisoners who risked the unimaginable to find moments of love and humanity in each other, against a backdrop of evil. With extraordinary research and effortless prose, Keren Blankfeld guides us through war, heartache, and resilience.

Alexis Clark, author of Enemies in Love: A German POW, A Black Nurse, and An Unlikely Romance

At its heart, Lovers in Auschwitz is a story of resistance—for what could be a greater act of defiance than two young, Jewish inmates finding love in a Nazi concentration camp? Brutal and moving, Zippi and David's accounts of survival bring to light a great deal more than their connection to each other. With skill and painstaking research, Blankfeld introduces her readers to the extraordinary women and men interned at Auschwitz who, in the face of endless degradation and death, worked to undermine the Nazis, risking what little hope of life they had left to help save each other. Anyone meeting these individuals on Blankfeld's pages will not forget them.

Rebecca Frankel, New York Times bestselling author of Into the Forest

A complicated, important story, told with great care.

The Los Angeles Times

A story of instant love and poignant loss…[Lovers in Auschwitz] captures the miracle of love in a place of horror and reminds us that, at the very moment the world is tearing us apart, certain forces might bring us back together.

Jewish Book Council

Zippi and David are both lovingly rendered. And in focusing on them, the book does implicitly honor the full humanity of two survivors — recapturing the texture of their origins, their hopes and dreams, and their complex lives, rather than merely their presence at one of history’s most unfathomable, tragic episodes.

The Washington Post

Lovers in Auschwitz adds to the history of resistance during the Holocaust, and is an example of a rare story of joy during an incredibly dark time.

TIME Magazine