The Fifth Diamond: The Story of Irene Weisberg Zisblatt

the Fifth Diamond by Irene Zisblatt

Despite incredible odds, Irene Weisberg Zisblatt survived the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp during the Holocaust. In The Fifth Diamond, she shares her incredible story, to teach future generations about the past so they can learn for the future

The Fifth Diamond: The Story of Irene Weisberg Zisblatt
Irene Weisberg Zisblatt and Gail Ann Webb

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 As a young prisoner in the camps, Irene witnessed and experienced unspeakable cruelty and brutality. She lost her whole family to the gas chambers. She was a "guinea pig" for Dr Josef Mengele, who performed inhumane experiments on her. The last mementoes of her family were the four diamonds given to her by her mother, that she had to keep swallowing over and over so they wouldn't be confiscated. She walked for two months on a death march while thousands of weakened prisoners dropped dead around her. Through it all, she held onto her hope and faith and, encouraged by the strength of her friend, Sabka, somehow she made it through one of humankind's darkest eras.

 Although she swore to tell the world of the atrocities she'd seen, to be a voice for her friends and fellow prisoners, it took her fifty years to get over her fear and shame before she could do so. After taking part in the March of the Living, a walk through the camps culminating in Israel, she opened up and shared her story with the younger generation. She's been sharing it ever since, speaking around the world, testifying for the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation and taking part in Steven Spielberg's Oscar-winning documentary, "The Last Days."

Irene's friend and co-writer, Gail Ann Webb, calls Irene the fifth diamond because, she says, God left the world the fifth diamond, Irene, to tell a story of hope, love, courage…and of survival. A diamond is indestructible, and so is Irene Weisberg Zisblatt.

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Listen to Irene Zisblatt talk about her Holocaust experiences

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