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December 19, 2014  RSS feed

Text: T T T

Author to share story of his childhood survival of Holocaust

Milton Mendel Kleinberg Milton Mendel Kleinberg “Alle raus,” (everybody out), the German soldiers screamed as they pounded on our door with the butts of their rifles.”

Thus began Milton Mendel Kleinberg’s 4,500-mile journey from Poland through Russia and Siberia and eventually to Uzbekistan in Central Asia, as his family used bribery and darkness of night to flee as the Nazis invaded Poland in 1939.

The public is invited to hear Kleinberg share his story on Sunday, Jan. 11 when the Chabad of Clearwater hosts him at a deli dinner lecture at The Tabacinic Chabad Center, 2280 Belleair Road, Clearwater. The dinner will begin at 5:30 p.m., followed by Kleinberg’s lecture at 6:30 p.m. The cost is $18 per person or $30 a couple, with sponsorships available at $180. RSVP online at or call (727) 265-2770.

In Bread or Death: Memories of My Childhood During and After the Holocaust, Kleinberg tells in vivid detail the events of his life from age 4 to 14. The tale recounts a wretched journey in cramped cattle cars through frigid Russia, the indignities of forced labor, the shame of begging for bread just to survive, and death of those closest to him. The family’s plight includes abandonment, hunger, and separation (and later remarkable twists of fate and reunion) quite unique even among Holocaust stories.

This coming-of-age Holocaust memoir is the author’s personal account of how, through great sacrifices by his mother, he managed to survive the worst atrocities in human history and his uncertain days in a Polish Children’s Home, surviving kidnapping and murder on the Black Road, and return to a German Displaced Persons camps at war’s end.

In Bread or Death, Kleinberg gives a moving account of his eventual immigration with a lump-in-thethroat passage to America past the Statue of Liberty.

“This story has a happy and surprising ending, but no one could ever be prepared to experience the horror this child endured that included murder, abandonment, kidnapping, death, profound hunger, and hardship. When this generation of child survivors is gone, these stories will be forever gone,” said editor and publishing consultant Sandra Wendel.

Kleinberg is chairman and CEO of Senior Market Sales, Inc., an Omaha-based insurance marketing company. Founded in 1982, the company under Kleinberg’s leadership has grown to serve more than 20,000 independent agents, writing hundreds of millions of dollars in life and health insurance premiums each year. SMS employs people throughout the United States and Israel.

Kleinberg has served as a special advisor to Congress on insurance reform. He also holds positions on many carrier and industry association advisory boards. He is the author of a handbook on Social Insurance Solutions For An Aging America: Exploring The Past, Present, and Future of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

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