Social Thinking Books & Products


Auschwitz, Auschwitz... I Cannot Forget You

By: Priscilla Alden Thwaits Garcia

Max Rodrigues Garcia was born in Amsterdam in 1924. His ancestors came to Amsterdam in 1613 from the New World, where they had fled after being expelled from Spain and Portugal during the Inquisition. Max's family settled in Amsterdam, with a brief interval in Belgium. The Garcia family returned to Amsterdam from Belgium in the summer of 1939. Max's father believed a major war was about to explode. He hoped that the Germans would bypass Holland as they had during WWI. But he was wrong: Hitler invaded Holland on May 10, 1940.

Auschwitz, Auschwitz... I Cannot Forget You, As Long as I Remain Alive is the first-person story of Max Garcia, his beloved family, and his survival of Holocaust tortures at concentration camps. But this isn't a story only about the past. It is about the present and the future.

From tales of cunning within the camps to those of how Max rebuilds his life after liberation, the book recounts how the Holocaust could not extinguish Max's dreams. And in San Francisco, Max realized those dreams: having a family and becoming a successful architect. Max today inspires generations with his story and character. As Max's grandson writes in the new final chapters of the book, each written by Max's children and grandchildren: "To me the knowledge I have gained from reading and hearing this story helps me understand better the kind of person I want to be and to apply my Grandpa's lessons to my everyday life."

Readers of the book and experts on the Holocaust have called it "an important witness... Max's story is one of brutal honesty and ultimately one of inspiration as a person restarts his life in a new land..." and "...a most important and touching testimony for the young generation to remember and to learn from."

Michelle Garcia Winner's Insights on Her Father's Book

Max and Pat's daughter, and the founder of Social Thinking and Think Social Publishing, Michelle Garcia Winner, relates how this remarkable story of courage and prevalence came to be: "I was raised on the story of my father’s survival of the holocaust and then I grew up watching my dad continually try and process this experience. My mother was a writer who not only was a wife but also my dad’s `therapist'. She encouraged him to talk about his experience and share it with all of us; eventually, she wrote down all she had been hearing. This book was originally published with the title, `As Long As I Remain Alive'. When it went out of print many years ago, my dad and mom agreed to update the text to reflect their continued experiences and to write more about what they had learned over the years. Unfortunately, my mom passed away of cancer in 2002; however, my dad took up where my mom left off and continued the writings. When my dad could not find a publisher of his newly updated book, he asked me if my publishing company would publish his book; wanting the story to be passed down. I agreed. My aunt and uncle (retired English professors) agreed to edit my dad’s writings to make them sound more like my mom's. The finished product is a beautifully written, heart-wrenching but ultimately optimistic story of how one person faced nearly unspeakable odds and challenges we can only imagine and then lived through them to become a successful architect, father and friend. The final pages in the book share the thoughts from my father’s three children and five grandchildren, all of whom owe their own lives to my dad’s commitment to his survival during the worst of times."


"As one of those who liberated that camp, I highly recommend the reading of this book."
--Bob Persinger, the sergeant in the first tank that entered KZ Ebensee

"This book is an important witness... Max Garcia survived the Nazi death camps and saved his personal humanity without any hatred. That is a very personal victory over the barbarity and it shows a real significance of his personality. The reader will be on an emotional roller coaster as the details of the worst and best of mankind come to life in this book. Max's story is one of brutal honesty and ultimately one of inspiration..."
--Dr. Markus Freund

"...a most important and touching testimony for the young generation to remember and to learn from."
--Siegi Witzany-Durda, teacher in Seitenstetten, Austria

"I have known Max since the late 80s... he gained my deepest respect when I learned that he had survived concentration camps Auschwitz, Mauthausen, Melk and Ebensee... He helped us obtain one of the tunnels that he, and his fellow prisoners, had dug into the mountains, so that we could establish a museum within that tunnel and visitors could see, for themselves, what the prisoner had to endure."
--Dr. Wolfgang Quartember, Chief Curator, Memorial Museum, Ebensee, Austria

"This book, with its many facets, is a testament about [Max's] courage and the successful life [he has] led..."
--Helmut Edelmayr, Board of Directors, Austrian Camp Community Mauthausen, Upper State Representative


  • For: All individuals 
  • Published: 2008
  • Publisher: Think Social Publishing
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 289
  • Item: 9780979292279
  • ISBN: 9780979292279
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