The German army swept into Poland on September 1, 1939, and four days later into Dora Szpringer’s home town of Bendzin. To begin their reign of terror, the Nazis burned down Bendzin’s beautiful synagogue with some 200 helpless Jews inside. Most Jewish families in Bendzin, and the rest of Poland were completely wiped out by the Holocaust.
The Szpringers were just an ordinary middle-class family, but through many incredible strokes of luck, or perhaps miracles, all seven of them survived.
Doris Martin (Born Dora Szpringer) grew up in the Jewish section of Bendzin, Poland. The Nazis took over her town when she was 12 years old. Most Jewish children were sent directly to their death, but Dora was just old and strong enough to be of use to the Nazis, so she was sent to a slave labor camp, where she managed to survive the extreme hardships of the camp.
Miraculously, all seven members of her family survived, and spent the next five years trying to go either to the U. S. or Israel. Because her father had a brother in California, they finally came to Los Angeles. She married and had a son, but her husband died after three years of marriage, leaving her with a child who had serious medical problems.
A few years later she met and married Ralph Martin, an aerospace engineer. Ralph helped the family to gather their life stories and create the present book, “Kiss Every Step”. Doris and Ralph also founded the Martin-Springer Institute at Northern Arizona University, whose purpose is to apply the lessons learned from the Holocaust to benefit Mankind.
Well, I have read the book and I am so glad that I did so! Doris and her family survived frightening and abominable experiences… They were courageous, clever and undaunted!Good Brother Cadfael
An amazing story of survival. What a blessing that every family member survived and their mother was able to reunite with them before her death. This should be required reading for every secondary student, lest we forget.Margaret Howell
[Dora Szpringer] a Jewish girl from Bendzin, provides a first-hand testimony, telling her story of loss, darkness upon earth and the reigning of chaos.
Prof. Schevach Weiss
Doris Martin tells her story driven by a deep personal commitment to future generations… This book stands out in comparison to other Holocaust testimonies, depicting the almost miraculous survival of an entire family, a ray of light in a horrifying chapter in human history.Prof. Hannah Yablonka
… Kiss Every Step… is a special story about a family who, amazingly, survived the Holocaust intact (both parents and five children). The book is written in the different voices of the children of the family, in beautiful, yet non-literary language which retain an authentic feel. Each voice manages to construct a narrative and to tell a stirring and fascinating story…Prof. Yigal Schwartz
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