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2005-11-02:  2nd Edition for David Faber's Because of Romek 
 
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Second Edition for David Faberís Because of Romek

                                                           San Diego Jewish Times, November 5, 2005

                                                                                      
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By Donald H. Harrison

San Diego author David Faber, a Holocaust survivor, has brought out a second edition of his very readable memoir Because of Romek, which tells of his survival in ghettos, while hiding with partisans, and in concentration camps.  The $14.95 book may be purchased by faxing an order to Faber at 619-255-2354.

God forbid, there ever should be such brutality and genocide against anyone, anywhere, in the world, but if ever there is, Faberís narrative of his experiences provides numerous survival tips.

On keeping alive in the ghetto, for example, he recommends that you scavenge for valuables, then find a way to sell them to farmers on the outside, in exchange for food.  Additionally, he urges ghetto victims to create hiding placesó behind false walls, for example.

Out in the forest, with the partisans, one way that Nazis killed or drove resistance fighters into the open was by setting forest fires. He survived one by burying himself under the forest floor, breathing through.a broken rifle barrel.

In concentration camps, where inmates are put on starvation rations, Faber says that no matter how hungry you are, you should always save some food for later.  As for the food that you do put into your mouth, keep it there without chewing, for as long as possibleóit will help to satisfy you.

Faber also recommended that prisoners, no matter how sick, try to stay out of concentration camp hospitals: if you canít work, youíre of no use to your captors, and youíre likely to be murdered.


For all his savvy, luck played a major role in Faberís survival.  Once he actually was put in the line to the gas chambersóbut was stopped by a Nazi guard who told him and those in line behind him that there was no more room.  Sent again to the chambers, a guardís attention was diverted long enough for Faber to hide himself in a room filled with the condemned prisonersí clothing.  From there, he was able to integrate himself into a work detail.

Many things, obviously, are out of a prisonerís control.  But in those instances when a prisonerís mental state can mean the difference between life and death, it is important to have some goal worth living for.  Faberís mother, father, and siblings, including  his brother Romek, all had been murdered by the Nazis. But before they were, Faber said he had made a promise to his mother to somehow survive, and to tell what the Nazis had done to them.

There were several occasions in his journey through the Nazi hell that Faber considered giving up his battle to stay aliveóas other prisoners didóbut he reminded himself of his vow and found the will to keep going.