My most recent book is Arbeit Macht Frei: Work Sets You Free and it is self-published. It recounts a journey I made to the concentration camp Auschwitz with my two sons in the summer of 2005 to honor the memory of my mother and father who were murdered there by Nazis because we were Jews. As part of that trip, we buried a photo of my parents near the Judenrampe which is outside the entrance to Birkenau, the Nazi death camp where one million Jews perished. The Judenrampe is also where deportees, including my parents, set foot after their horrendous travel ordeal cramped inside cattle cars.
Tell us something about yourself.
I was born in France and witnessed the arrest of my father and deportation of my mother leaving me alone on the streets of Paris at nine years of age. Through the kindness of strangers I survived World War II as a “hidden child,” which is the subject of my last memoir, Hidden Child. At 15 I immigrated to the United States when a New York family adopted me. After graduating from college, I worked for many years in advertising as an Art Director. I retired 11 years ago and turned to writing and doing illustrations for my books. Farrar Strauss & Giroux has published five of my books.
What inspired you to write this book?
As an adult I discovered the details of my parents’ death. I made this trip to honor their life and the lives of others who also perished.
How did you choose the title?
Arbeit Macht Frei is the inscription on the gate as you enter Auschwitz concentration camp.
Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?
I have begun a new project. It’s based on my adoption and the consequences.
What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?
My best advice for aspiring authors is “Get a literary agent.”
Who is the perfect reader for your book?
This book was written specifically for middle school age children.
Where can readers learn more about you and your book?
I can be contacted on facebook and my website is www.isaacmillman.com