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Counting on America
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About the Author

Gary Reiner delivers on his promise that he would some day publish the memoir his father had drafted over 30 years ago. Mr. Reiner spent nearly thirty years as a criminal justice consultant and project director. He designed educational training programs for the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government and operational programs for federal, state, and local criminal justice systems. To his credit, he has developed several national model programs for the U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice. His earlier career demanded investigative research, information management and analysis, planning, curriculum development and project management. Kurt Reiner knew he and his wife had accomplished something special when they finally succeeded in crossing the Atlantic in May 1940. Following 26 months of dodging Hitler's persuit, they had made it to freedom at last. Kurt Reiner was born September 22, 1913, in Vienna, Austria. He escaped Europe with his wife, Hennie, in May 1940. His professional career began in the shipyards of Salem and Portland, Oregon, where he helped build "Liberty Ships" and other tankers shortly after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor in December 1941. After moving to New York at the end of WWII, Kurt Reiner settled in his profession and contributed to the defense industry of America for over 40 years. His past record of accomplishment includes employment as an aeronautical electrical design engineer for the Republic Aviation's F-105 Thunderchief, and the Grumman Corporation's Lunar Excursion Module. He began writing his autobiography in 1975 at the age of 62. Recognizing the importance of teaching yout Project Director (1988-1993), United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (overseeing its creation), President and Chief Executive Officer of the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation, (1997-2000) and Professor of Jewish Studies and Director of Sigi Ziering Institute: Exploring the Ethical and Religious Implications of the Holocaust, American Jewish University, Los Angeles.

Reviews

A number of features separates this from others; from struggles between hierarchies in the campsto attempts to obtain visas and emigrate under conditions that separated husband and wife: "Personally disheartening was not hearing back from the United States for months on end, as well as our concern of finding a way to afford the exorbitant travel costs to America should our visas be approved. In addition, communication between Hennie and me was typically restricted to letters and postcards." From the camps to America and the realities of living in a small Portland Jewish community and becoming noted as a Holocaust survivor, the authors provide a powerful documentary of not just two lives saved, but tests of faith, acts of individual heroism, and the realities of efforts made by Jewish and non-Jewish peoples both during and after the war: "The reality that many non-Jews were sensitive to the Jewish plight during the Holocaust is important to acknowledge; however, many non-Jewish persons were either not in a position to help or were too frightened to act." While no Holocaust collection should be without Counting on America, it is hoped that its themes and approach will also reach into general-interest collections interested in accounts of immigration challenges and the ideals of what America actually offers to refugees seeking peace. Highly recommended! -- D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, -- Midwest Book Review
The linkage of 'Chutzpah' to both luck and Divine Providence is key---offers great deep and new details to the horrible holocaust accounts---and done in a personal sensitive familial way. Things like "red Falcons" and political party brawls really adds jest--some insights very important---role of fear, especially among older Jews in Vienna---and often 'deaf ears' of victims---combined with New Years tale and drunk Frenchman and lice and scams...all make for intriguing combo. This is a wonderful, sad, funny family tale. I know it is virtually impossible to compare the holocaust and Hitler with any situation---our current crisis of world sufferings and refugees is still heard around the globe but the din gets fainter and fainter... -- John P. Hogan, McLean Center for the Study of Culture and Values, Catholic University, Washington, DC

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