September 19, 2003 by

Jack P. Eisner


Categories: Writers/Editors

Jack P. Eisner, an author and Holocaust survivor, died on Aug. 24 of colon cancer. He was 77.
Born Jacek Zlatka, Eisner studied music until he and his family were forced into the Warsaw ghetto during World War II. More than 100 members of his family were killed in the Holocaust, and he was imprisoned and tortured at three concentration camps. When he was freed by the Allies, Eisner testified against the Nazis and helped the U.S. government find war criminals.
In 1980, he published the autobiography, “The Survivor.” The book was adapted into a Broadway play, written by Susan Nanus, and into the movie, “War and Love,” which Eisner produced.
Eisner founded the Warsaw Resistance Organization, one of the oldest Holocaust survivors groups in the world, and the first Institute of Holocaust Studies at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He also erected the Warsaw Jewish Cemetery in Poland. A memorial there reads: “In memory of one million Jewish children murdered by Nazi German Barbarians 1939-1945.”

53 Responses to Jack P. Eisner

  1. Deena

    I just read the book “The Survivor” by one of the biggest Heroes, Jack Eisner. This book moved me so much, it was so heart-felt, gut-wrenching, and made me cry countless times. I looked his name up, in hopes of contacting him by writing a note and found out he passed on. This made me cry more than reading his book…… :o( Oh, this book is a definate must-read, in fact I may start all over tonight and re-read it. May G_ _ be with the honorable Jack Eisner.

  2. Joni Shira

    Memories of us together, while I sang for your cause around the world….Now we are together in the afterworld…..
    In memory of Joni Shira 1957-2001
    singer for the holocaust tour

  3. Cindy Wilson

    I read his story and it inspired me to do something with my life and not just sit around and mooch off of people. Thank you Jack.

  4. Mrs.Eisner

    Whoever placed that little note ref.Joni Shira,please stop this disgrace.Totally disrespectful to the memory of my Husband.

  5. Lauren

    I read this book three times and it goes everywhere with me. Although just a story to me it was the reality to you. I wish I had a chance to meet you. Maybe later I will. You are in my prayers, God Bless.

  6. Jason Hough

    I am the theater director at John Brown University in Siloam Springs, Arkansas. I am directing the play version of “The Survivor”. The whole community has gotten on board. We have a travelling Holocaust art exhibit coming to our art gallery, students on campus working on artwork inspired by “The Survivor”, and buzz in our local public schools.
    One person’s life can have a ripple effect throughout time. Thank you, Mr. Eisner, for your story.
    Prof. Jason Hough,
    John Brown University

  7. Luke Thayer

    Our school’s drama department is rehearsing The Survivor for our Fall production (I’m playing the part of Sevek). The most powerful weapon that a racist has is ignorance, and I feel that as long as we are pustting on this show, we are keeping the memory alive. Thank you Mr. Eisner, for letting people know.

  8. Ziv Sidi

    I was shocked to discover that Jack passed away. I first met him in Warsaw in 1989 and we immediately connected although I am much younger in age. He is a true hero. He took me several times to a personal tour of the ghetto and he showed me every corner (whatever remained). I remember, standing with him under a tree in the ghetto of which he told me he used to climb and jump over the ghetto fence in order to smuggle food back into the ghetto. What a passionate man he was – a real MENCH. We became closer and I remember I always felt that he is like a father to me. I last saw him and his remarkable wife Mrs. Eisner at their home in Israel back in 1998. I wish there was away for me to get in touch with anyone from his family to personally give my condolences and sympathy. Today is a very sad day for me. I loved the man.

  9. Abbey Hedvat

    As a former employee of Jack Eisner in New York, I was deeply saddened to read of his passing. I was wondering if his movie “The Survivor” is in CD form. I would love to see it.

  10. brad phenix

    Rest in peace, Mr. Eisner. I have never read such a moving story. The raw emotion you managed to captivate in words is too powerful to describe. What an inspiring will to live, fight, love, and survive. A talent like Mr. Spielberg should do a movie so more would hear your story, but I’m afraid no one could portray it like you did. God bless you.

  11. Katie Ingraham

    My school is currently performing Susan Nanus’ The Survivor and I am playing Hela. The first time i read the script, i could not stop crying. everything about Jack’s story is truly moving and life changing. Thank you for telling us your story, Jacek. You have changed my life.

  12. Anonymous

    I live in Poland. Long time ago I saw “The survivor” in polish TV. Then I read a book and I could not stop crying. Now, after 15 years I again read this book. I think that everyone have to read this book.
    You live and always will live in my heart Mr. Jack Eisner. Rest in peace. Odpoczywaj w pokoju.

  13. Michael Adams

    Having been born in a German camp, the son of
    two miraculously spared survivors, I am deeply
    saddened that it took me until 2006 to read Jack
    Eisner’s unimaginable book. I am especially
    saddened at reading of his passing on August 24 2003. I would have considered it a deep privilege to have met him in person. Jack Eisner’s story must never be forgotten.

  14. irena balaci

    I was shocked to read today that Mr Eisner pass away. I worked for him and for Mrs Eisner in Romania for few years and was more like a tutor, a teacher than an employer.
    I learned to be a suvivor and more important to fight, For this and much much more I’ll be always greatful.
    If Mrs S Eisner read this, please accept my condolance and respect.

  15. Mrs.sara Eisner

    To all of you who write and express your opinions,condolences and points of view,I thank you.Mrs.Sara Eisner(Jack’s Widow)

  16. Klara Radulska (Lewikowska)

    I had an opportunity to meet Mr Jack Eisner as a small child when I went to USA with my mother. I didn’t know he passed away…
    I remember him as a life wire and wonderful man. And that is how he will stay in our memory.
    Rest in peace

  17. Walter Weiss

    The countless victims of the reich often had a clear and strong voice in Mr. Eisner. In the not too distant future, the last of the surviving victims of the reich will pass into history, and there will be no one left to give testimony to the young. It is comforting to know that Mr. Eisner left us a book – his testimony – and we should see that the book remains for generations to come for the most obvious of reasons….

  18. Kirsten

    I just finished reading his book–what an amazing man this was. May we all have the courage to stand up against oppression around the world. I am sad to hear that he passed on several years ago. I would have liked to thank him for his passion for life and liberty.

  19. Zac Szanto

    I read “The Survivor” In 1986 and Immediatly I felt what he was saying. Being Jewish, I read it again and again over 15 years, wondering how he moved back to the world, before thinking to Look him up. Jacku, You and only you Created that Book, Emotions, History and Passion and for bringing that to the World, you have done more than could be possibly expected from one Man…

  20. Gordon Fraser

    A great loss of this man who went through so much yet came through it all. I read his book first in 1983 aged 13 and re-read time and again. It never lost it horror but inspired to survive the tough times in my own life. He was an inspiration to me and i am greatly saddened to hear of his loss.

  21. Lauren Casteel

    wow. i just read the play the survivor because i’m stage managing it for theatre this year. my theatre teacher told me that this play was good. but i had no idea. i read it, and i’m dumbfounded. this play can move people in unimaginable ways.
    jack eisner is now a personal hero, he was extremely brave and strong. he lived.
    and not many people did.

  22. Mark George

    Never forget the lessons that Mr. Eisner taught us with both the book and his life. Thank you, Mr. Eisner for sharing your life with the world. NEVER FORGET!

  23. Lauren

    MY school is about to put on our first showing of “The Survivor”. I play Hela in the production and I want to thank Mr. Eisner for giving me the most challenging role I have ever played. It is an honor to pass his story on to the rest of the world. I have been brought closer to every singler person in the ast because of the play and I think I will never be the same. I know I cannot truly grasp the horrors of the Ghetto and the Holocaust but I will try my best to do his writings justice. Thank you Mr. Eisner, God Bless you.

  24. Maria

    I had an opportunity to meet Mr. Jack P.Eisner as a young girl when I was warking in Romania for his magazin end then I went to Israel wher Mrs.And Mr.Eisner helpd me ,for a beter life bat I disipointed them and I am sory for theat . I remember him as a person with humor wonderful person if Mrs. Shara Eisner read this, please accept my condolance and my apologize .God Bless you.

  25. Virginie

    I have just finished to read Jack Eisner’s book yesterday! As he changed my life and the way I consider life today, I really wanted to express my feelings and say him thanks for this book which shows the reality in camps and how people suffered. Nowadays, we can not imagine one minute how life was before, but I realise thanks to him! I realise how difficult was life for jews people and how it is still.
    I want to pray for all these people who suffered, I am suffering for them, and hope people will open their eyes, and let people live in peace.
    My life has changed and I want to see the movie and I want people to read this book and become aware of all that happened.
    In my life this is “the book” that makes me feel so much, that makes me cry, and I will never forgot Jack Eisner!
    Thanks Jack for all and for having survive!
    You are really a survivor and I respect you a lot!
    Thanks for all

  26. John Smith

    Rest in peace Jack Eisner.
    Thank you so much for your story, I am really greatful. People like you change millions of people, and the world, thank you so much.

  27. Thomas

    The book survivor of the holocaust was one of the best book i have every read, thank you so much for your story, because lets us not the younger generation what so many survivors and went through during these horrific times, Thank you soo much, and rest in peace.

  28. sam cook

    thank you jack eisner for a truly moving book ,i have given it to my 15 year old daughter to read,lest we forget,my condolences to mrs einer i was so sad to hear of his passing,a true hero and and inspiration to the world

  29. Paul Garson

    I, too, was late to “meet” Mr. Jack Eisner via his autobiography which I just finished reading today. It has left an indelible impression of an indelible human being and shines most brightly among than 200 books I have read on the subject during my research for my just completed book. But now I will be adding references to Mr. Eisner, hopefully in some small way a tribute to his life and memory. Thank you.

  30. Alf Zay

    I could hardly stop reading THE SURVIVOR till finished today. His indomitable spirit and courage to meet challenges head-on was truly inspiring, and he refused to give up in the face of what seemed impossible to surmount. If he could do so much under such dire circumstances, we ought to awaken our potential to accomplish more than what we have done so far. Isn’t it about time that we quit taking things for granted and start counting our blessings and privileges? Thank you, Jack, for uplifting our spirits through your great work. May the Lord bless your family through the legacy you left us.

  31. Gertrude Levin

    I just finished the “Survivor”. What a story. What an incredible man Jack Eisner was. I’m so sorry to have only found out about him now as I would truly have liked to thank him for being able to give us a visual, human account of this black time in history.
    I will try to buy several copies of this book for my grandchildren, to both educate them and to remember “Never Again”.

  32. Robin Herger (Steinman)

    I would like to extend my condolences to Jack’s family. I have read his book so many times and the one amazing thing I always focus on was his faith. There were so many times when he had every reason to stop believing, to give up his faith in G_ _, but he never did. While in college, I was lucky enough to attend a couple of Sabbath dinners at his home in NYC, and I asked him how he was able to continue to believe and he replied, because I survived to tell the story. Jack, you will be missed, but never forgotten.

  33. bz

    Does anyone out there know if he also did art work… I have in my possession an interesting plaster relief in a shadowbox that is signed Jack Eisner,and has a small paper stamp on the back stating that it is a reproduction, done under his supervision, from his studio. I know he was a writer, but did he also create artwork?
    anyone with info…please contact me at

  34. Michael Yarwood.

    I never met Jack Eisner, but read his book.I was born shortly after the war and feel that not enough is taught about what people like Jack had to go through to survive during those barbaric years. For every account published surely there must be a thousand untold stories.
    Finally Rest in Peace Jack. Well done

  35. Ron

    I saw the movie War and Love in 1988 and to this day I still remember it, what a crazy world it was back then and he lived through it.
    God bless that man and his family, a true survivor…..

  36. Olga Golak-Pomianowska Adler

    Dear Sara, please accept my sincere condolences. I only met your husband once – many years ago back in Warsaw at your beautiful house at Idzikowskiego Street. I interviewed for a job with both of you and I will never forget the stories of survival that Jack told me. I was not destined to travel and work for you in Caesarea but I will never forget the lessons in life you both taught me – you truly changed my life and helped me become who I am today.
    I live in the U.S. now and would love to get in touch with you.
    Best regards,

  37. Sara Eisner

    On August 24th (in Jewish calendar this August the 27th) I shall mark the 5th anniversary of Jack’s death.The great feeling of sorrow remains in my heart.The passing of time has allowed me to mourn my Husband and then to find myself in this new reality and to go on.Five years later I still miss Jack,I still feel his presence around me and I still speak to him in my mind and in my heart.I am grateful to all of you who had written me over those last 5 years and who cared to remember Jack Eisner and honor his memory.It is thanks to people like him that we learn the lessons of true humanity and tolerance.May He rest in peace.

  38. Simona Dogaru

    I had the honor to work for Mr. and Mrs. Eisner many years ago. I worked for some exceptional people, with a big heart. It was a shock for me to know that Mr. Eisner is no longer among us. Please, Mrs. Eisner, accept my deepest condolences.

  39. Kat Sunlove

    I too just finished reading The Survivor and like the other correspondents, I was deeply moved and emotionally impacted by Jack Eisner’s story, a tale of an indomitable human spirit. Ironically, I have also been reading Who Will Write Our History?, by Samuel D. Kassow, another story of heroism in the Warsaw Ghetto. The parallels are remarkable but what The Survivor offers is a fully fleshed out human experience of a horror most of us, fortunately, will never know. It would have been an honor most high to have known him.

  40. Rabbi Dan Ehrlich

    I have read Jack Eisner’s book over and over again. It is the most moving and inspirational story of survival and struggle against evil I have ever read. G-d should avenge the blood of his slain family members and Zichrono L’Bracha

  41. claudia

    I was about to start chapter 21 of “The Survivor” when I decided to google Jack Eisner. I am saddened to think that Jack is no longer with us. His testimony lives on. I had borrowed this book twice from libraries, then found it in a thrift store. I immediately scooped it up, being one of my all-time favorite books. I think it’s wonderful when people such as Jack leave us a big part of themselves, through their books. I’m a zestful reader, and look upon books such as this as “people I know” Mrs. Eisner…you were blessed with an exceptional husband. May the Lord bless and keep you, till you meet again !!!

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