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A Polish-American Boy's Holocaust

ISBN 978-0-9774449-3-9

Mitch Garwolinski
and Bob Hoffman


            Silent Screams of A Survivor  
                  ISBN 978-0-9774449-3-9 
     by Mitch Garwolinski and Bob Hoffman


Mitch Garwolinski was seven when the Nazis invaded his village of Baranowo in the old country of Poland. Over the next six years, his experiences stretch far beyond what any of us might imagine one child could survive. Abducted from his family, he was starved, tortured, and left for dead three times. This is the remarkable story of how a young boy managed to work with the Underground. He escaped from terrible places of extreme degradation only to be incarcerated in even worse camps. Later in the war, he was even placed in the Nazi Experimental Hospital for children.

Mitch’s story is an authentic documentation of what happened in these most heinous facilities. Through a child’s eyes and a man’s indelible memories, the devastating impact of the Third Reich on Poland is exposed in the pages of Silent Screams of a Survivor.

In war years that took six million Jewish lives in unthinkable atrocities, this book reveals how Poland and her people were also caught in the path of the Nazi war machine. Mitch's perspective is unique: his family was not Jewish, but Catholic. He was not a Polish citizen, but an American. History is starkly personal, a reality we don’t always grasp through academic means. Here, the experiences of one family offer us a broader perspective on the evil of the Nazi regime.

Would we be strong enough to survive? Would we risk our lives to help our Jewish friends? After turning these pages, you may never see the Holocaust in the same way.The book is a strong affirmation of the best of human beings. Instead of being sad, this true story exults in the commonality and will to survive that all humans have somewhere deep within them. In the final analysis, hope and freedom are more compelling than even depravity or suffering.

Regardless of age, nationality, or religion, readers will treasure Silent Screams of a Survivor as a classic story that challenges all of us to think again about the critical importance of history and the lessons it dares us to embrace.

About the Book Reader Comments About the Authors


Life isn't fair! This and many others are stressed in Mitchell Garwolinski's account of his experiences as a child in Poland during WWII. He was separated from family, captured by Nazis, and suffered in numerous experimental and labor camps, including Treblinka. After numerous near-death experiences, Mitchell managed to escape each time. The story is frightening, but compelling. I have read many books about WWII. This may be the best.

—Alan Studer, Retired Teacher

After reading Silent Screams of a Survivor, it makes one appreciate and cherish the freedom and liberty we all take for granted. The courage and determination of you Mitch is beyond anything imaginable for a youth his age. Silent Screams of a Survivor is a book that is difficult to put down, and one you will want to read again. I did.

—Ron Polek, Retired Junior High Principal

I couldn't put it down! As a matter of fact, I read the whole book in a weekend. The story line is similar to a book I read about the Armenian Genocide, in the early 1900s. Hitler's 'plan' was patterned after that massacre. Because of my Armenian ancestry, both books are chilling, but compelling.

—Ed Tutelian, Retired World History Teacher

Mitch Garwolinski's story touches people of all ages. He has spoken to my 12th grade English classes, and the students are amazed by such horrible happenings. They never imagined that the holocaust affected young children and their families, living in their own hometowns. This true account must be shared!

—Sandra J. Studer, Bedford High School, Temperance, MI

“Mitchell Garwolinski’s story is told from the recesses of his heart. He recalls his personal history, illustrating the courage and strength of a young man and his family, who refused to allow the German de-humanize them—even to their own harm and suffering. Mitchell is one of the Chasidei Umot HaOlam, ‘the righteous of the nations of the world.’ As his story unfolds, we hear yet another example of heroism, crowned with integrity and the goodness that human beings can display. It shows that people can act as humans even when surrounded by those who have turned into monsters. At a time of Holocaust revisionists, we hear Garwolinski’s indictment of those who deny the persecution and annihilation of six million of Europe’s Jews from a non-Jew who saw and felt first-hand Germany’s raisond’etre—to rid the world of the nation of Israel and all the decent human beings.”

—Rabbi Edward H. Garsek

About the Book Reader Comments About the Authors


Mitch Garwolinski

Mitch Garwolinski was a boy of seven, living in Poland, when World War ll broke out in September of 1939. His family was there, because his father, a US citizen, was working for the OSS (now the CIA). The turmoil of the war separated Mitch from his family for much of the next six years. During this time, he was captured and escaped from several labor and experimental camps, including Treblinka. With encouragement from others, Mitch wrote a journal of his war-time memories, which served as the basis of Silent Screams of a Survivor. He also devotes time to sharing his experiences with school and community groups.

After learning to run from the Nazis in the war, Mitch has continued to use running in long distance races as a coping mechanism throughout his life.
He has run over 80 marathons, including Boston, and averages 40 races a year. Now in his seventies, Mitch continues to train for and participate in marathons.

In 1999 Mitch faced another hurdle: he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. However, like any other barrier he has confronted, Mitch fought back. He took the chemo and radiation, and the cancer presently is in remission. Mitch is a SURVIVOR many times over, and continues to be an inspiration.

Bob Hoffman

Bob Hoffman is a 54 year-old husband, father, teacher, and writer living in Muskegon, Michigan. During the last fifteen years, Bob has written numerous books. He believes that a successful writer is most often someone who has lived enough to put their thoughts in perspective. Bob has served on the advisory committees of many entities concerning the process of writing. His joy is in both writing and showing others how to capture their thoughts on paper. Bob has been married for thirty-two years to Yvonne and is the father of two sons: Lee, a twenty-year-old student at Michigan State University, and Chris, a sixteen-year-old sophomore in high school in Norton Shores.

Bob has written in many genres, including the techno-thriller, short stories, stories for young adults, children’s stories, science fiction, literary fiction, non-fiction, philosophy and poetry.

About the Book Reader Comments About the Authors

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