Holocaust Survivor Explores Survival and Resilience

Then we went into the showers, and we were the lucky ones. We got the water. Millions of others got the gas, but we knew nothing about that then.”

– Lilly Klein, whose diary is on display at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Gene Klein was born in Czechoslovakia in 1928. In 1944, at the age of 16, he was deported with his family to Auschwitz and, shortly afterwards, transferred to a slave labor camp in Poland.

“We were given striped uniforms with wooden clogs and a hat. We were given a number,” Gene says. “From that moment on, I didn’t have a name.” Gene’s daughter, Dr. Jill Klein, holds a Ph.D. in social psychology.

Over the past year, Dr. Klein and her father have carried out a series of corporate training sessions with executives from all over the world, where they combine Gene’s experience with Dr. Klein’s expertise to explore the concepts of resilience and survival. Dr. Klein and Gene will be available for interviews in the Philadelphia area from March 12-14. In a powerful interview, Gene and Dr. Klein can discuss the following topics:

  • The Klein family’s harrowing experience at Auschwitz
  • The effects of unchecked bigotry and political upheaval
  • Survivor psychology and Gene’s coping strategies
  • How to model and apply resilience in leadership roles today

In aush

, Dr. Klein tells the remarkable story of how four out of five members of her family – Gene, his two sisters, and their mother – survived the Holocaust. The book includes quotes (like the one above) from interviews with Dr. Klein’s aunt, Lilly Klein, as well as excerpt’s from the diary Lilly kept as a prisoner at Auschwitz, now on display at the National Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC. “It is not easy to think of your father being beaten or starved or made to work as slave,” Dr. Klein says. “But I needed to document his story, and his family’s story, so there would be a permanent record of what happened before it was too late. We Got the Water is an extraordinary example of resilience and survival.”

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