The Vow: A Love Story and the Holocaust juxtaposes the atrocities unleashed by the Nazi Regime on the country of Lithuania and the extraordinary bond between two people, the late David, and Dora Ruskin, whose will survive transcended one of the darkest periods in human history.
Written by their son Michael Ruskin, The Vow: A Love Story and the Holocaust draws its powerful narrative from actual written testimony in which the author’s parents detail their harrowing experiences inside the Jewish ghetto in Lithuania as well as the Dachau and Stutthof concentration camps (1941-1945). Their documented accounts, which are included in the book, were part of the couple’s petition to the courts in Munich, Germany, for reparations in 1964.
The book begins when David and Dora are in their late teens, during Adolf Hitler’s rise to power in Germany and the subsequent Nazi occupation of Lithuania, which tragically took the lives of nearly 97% of the country’s Jewish population.
“When you consider the odds of both my parents surviving, there is little room to
doubt that they were a ‘miracle couple’ who deserved to be honored and their
legacy preserved,” said Michael Ruskin.
As described in the book, when David and Dora were being herded toward the Holocaust death trains — David to Dachau, Dora to Stutthof — each made a vow that if either one were to survive, they would return to the city square where they first met, seven years earlier.
The couple spent nearly eight months apart, just after the tragic loss of their 3-year-old daughter, Rose, who was taken from their apartment in the Kovno Ghetto by German SS soldiers.
Following their liberation, the book describes David’s harrowing search for his wife through central Europe, which led to their reunification and the vow he was meant to keep. Their love would not be denied. A love that not even Adolf Hitler and his Third Reich could stop.
Peppered with many personal and historic photos, plus documentation, The Vow: A Love Story and the Holocaust is a story of unwavering love, faith, and courage in the face of unthinkable circumstances.
“It is my sincere hope that future generations will recognize the importance of this book,” Michael Ruskin said. “It clearly demonstrates how blatant discrimination, hatred, and hostility against innocent people can overtake a country based on an ideology that has no place among civilized nations.”
About the Author
Michael Ruskin (born Meyer Ruksen) was born in Brooklyn, New York, and raised in Perth Amboy, New Jersey. He is the youngest son of David and Dora Ruskin and the younger brother of the late Allen Ruskin. A graduate of Kent State University in Ohio, Michael Ruskin received a B.A. in Political Science and Psychology and spent most of his 40-year career in corporate human resources and private consulting. Now retired, he lives an active lifestyle that includes traveling, tennis, dancing, and hiking. He is a student of spirituality, and world history, and an avid researcher. He is the last surviving member of his immediate family. The Vow: A Love Story and the Holocaust is his first book, but not his last. He currently resides in Roswell, Georgia.
Learn more at www.thevowalovestory.com, or follow the author on Facebook (Facebook.com/thevowalovestory).
Looking back on Jewish life all the way back from the Ottoman Empire to its current time, visitors learned that Sephardic Jews were forced to flee Spain, and created a brand-new life for themselves in order to survive. In Turkey, they found a way to honor the old and create a rich new Turkish Sephardic culture.
New York Jewish Travel Guide