I saw your video. It is professional, and you, Sidney, are so warm compassionate in the telling of your story. I imagine your audiences are spellbound. You engage well with the camera, and your audience. Switching between auditorium and your home makes your story more personal and invites the viewer into your life — past and present. You did a marvelous job and I feel very honored to have read your book and now to have seen your video. You are doing a great service in educating others.

Barbra Quade
Chairperson, Tucson Survivors Holocaust Group

“I always felt that (Sevek’s story) ought to be… published for as wide an audience as possible.”

Sir Martin Gilbert

I had the honor of meeting you last week while working as a paramedic on the ambulance that took you from Oro Valley Hospital to Northwest.  You shared some of your story with me then and told me that you wrote about your experience.  I just finished reading your book, in a single sitting as I could not put it down!  I want to thank you for being willing to share your story, for finding the courage to relive a past filled with pain and loss.  I am humbled by your experience and the efforts you have made to heal not only your own hurt but allow others to learn from your experience.  It was truly an honor to meet you and now to have read your account.  I hope this letter finds you well and out of the hospital recovered.  Thank you again!
Ryan Coykendall

Gosh, Sidney, it was so good to see you face! You look healthy and like you haven’t even aged. Must be because of all the Arizona sunshine!!! Your question/answer session with the group of 8th graders went very well today. I really like the way we did it– having the students watch your video first and read passsages from your book before having the question/answer session. I don’t really feel you need to do a presentation since they have already seen that on the DVD. The students had thoughtful questions and your responses were very thorough.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for all you do. It’s such important work.

Sue Kazmierczak

“Jeanne and I just watched your video. So moving, so unimaginable, yet so authentic. Jeanne is in tears. It is truly a document for the Ages.”

James W. Clarke, University Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of Arizona

Dear Mr. Finkel,

Please accept my most sincere thanks for speaking to my Holocaust class on March 12. My students greatly appreciated the opportunity to listen to a Holocaust survivor, and to ask questions of their own. It is an experience they will remember for the rest of their lives, and they owe it to your generosity.

Thanks Again,
Dr. Randal H. Munsen
History Lead Faculty
Pima Community College Northwest Campus

Email Sidney at to learn more about how he can assist you with Holocaust Education in your classroom.


KIRKUS REVIEW, January 2005

An honest, awe-inspiring tale of bittersweet survival in the face of formidable odds.

After years of self-repression, Finkel, formerly Sevek Finkelstein, now tells his powerful story of survival in early-1940s Poland. Prompted by his daughter and feeling a need to exorcize his demons, Finkel presents his (and his family’s) experiences before, during and after the Holocaust. His straightforward manner, told in raw, spare language, renders his memories all the more affecting. He begins with a sheltered childhood in a fairly well-to-do family with loving parents and siblings and mischievous adventures, but then quickly shifts to years of countless atrocities and horrors including running for cover as German planes fired all around him; having his eldest and dearest sister shot dead in a cemetery after her newborn was thrown out of a window by German officers; living in a cramped and disease-ridden ghetto; constantly hiding from certain death at a bevy of concentration camps; eating grass for survival in the final days before reaching freedom; and, finally, resuming an education in a foreign country after a six-year lapse.

A poignant memoir with a refreshing absence of melodrama or pomp.

Program:Kirkus Indie
Review Posted Online:May 23rd, 2010

Writer’s Digest

“The chills down my spine and the tears in my eyes speak enough about my feelings for this book. The story is told with a harrowing bluntness and emotion and the author’s constant refrain of his refusal to die makes the story up¬lifting even in all of its horrible tragedy. The prose and grammar are, except for a few scant sentences, seamless. A triumph”

WRITER’S DIGEST, 13th Annual International Self-Published Book Awards

Read more about Sidney and “Sevek: The Boy Who Refused to Die”

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