The Watchmakers

A Powerful WW2 Story of Brotherhood, Survival, and Hope Amid the Holocaust

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Pub Date 28 Jun 2022 | Archive Date 05 Jul 2022

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Description

Told through interviews with his son, watchmaker Harry Lenga’s extraordinary memoir of endurance, faith, and a unique skill that kept three brothers together—and alive—during the darkest times of World War II.

“Inspiring. Exhilarating. Astonishing. An epic tale of brotherhood, ingenuity, and survival.” —Heather Dune Macadam, International Bestselling author of 999: The Extraordinary Young Women of the First Official Jewish Transport to Auschwitz

“A truly extraordinary book.” —Damien Lewis, #1 international bestselling author

Harry Lenga was born to a family of Chassidic Jews in Kozhnitz, Poland. The proud sons of a watchmaker, Harry and his two brothers, Mailekh and Moishe, studied their father’s trade at a young age. Upon the German invasion of Poland, when the Lenga family was upended, Harry and his brothers never anticipated that the tools acquired from their father would be the key to their survival.
 
Under the most devastating conditions imaginable—with death always imminent—fixing watches for the Germans in the ghettos and brutal slave labor camps of occupied Poland and Austria bought their lives over and over again. From Wolanow and Starachowice to Auschwitz and Ebensee, Harry, Mailekh, and Moishe endured, bartered, worked, prayed, and lived to see liberation.
 
Derived from more than a decade of interviews with Harry Lenga, conducted by his own son Scott and others, The Watchmakers is Harry’s heartening and unflinchingly honest first-person account of his childhood, the lessons learned from his own father, his harrowing tribulations, and his inspiring life before, during, and after the war. It is a singular and vital story, told from one generation to the next—and a profoundly moving tribute to brotherhood, fatherhood, family, and faith.

“Deeply moving.” —Jesse Kellerman, bestselling author

“Vivid and compelling.” —Christopher R. Browning, Frank Porter Graham Professor of History Emeritus, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and author of Ordinary Men
 
Told through interviews with his son, watchmaker Harry Lenga’s extraordinary memoir of endurance, faith, and a unique skill that kept three brothers together—and alive—during the darkest times of...

A Note From the Publisher

Author Scott Lenga is available for interviews, presentations, and book lectures to discuss his father, his family, and The Watchmakers. For more information, contact Ann Pryor, Senior Communications Manager: apryor at kensingtonbooks dot com.

Author Scott Lenga is available for interviews, presentations, and book lectures to discuss his father, his family, and The Watchmakers. For more information, contact Ann Pryor, Senior Communications...


Advance Praise

“Scott Lenga provides us with the personal story of his father and two uncles, who against all odds managed to survive six long years of war, deprivation, hunger, disease, and loss of their family members during the Holocaust. As an educator, I found this amazing story of resilience, chutzpah, and endurance to be a powerful message to every student in every classroom. There are numerous memoirs that have been published over the years; this one, written in the first person by Scott, is both powerful and engrossing and takes the reader through the most horrific events of the Holocaust without traumatizing the reader. Above all, it leaves us with hope—always the hope—that one needed in order to survive. Henry’s ability to leverage his skills as a watchmaker is an inspiration. I highly recommend this memoir to any teacher who wants to provide his or her students with a firsthand account of the events of the Holocaust through this amazing story of the Lenga brothers.”

—Ephraim Kaye, former Director for International Seminars for Educators at the International School for Holocaust Studies of Yad Vashem

“A truly extraordinary book—one full of compassion, love, and hope in the midst of unimaginable suffering and despair—The Watchmakers is a humbling account, one that is both jaw-droppingly well-written and uplifting at the same time. It reads like a thriller, and revived my faith in the enduring quality and beauty of the human spirit, even when mired in the depths of darkness and crazed evil. Once I had finished the last page I only wanted to start reading it all over again. Unputdownable, despite the cruelty, brutality, barbarism, and sheer downright hatred visited upon the brothers at the heart of this epic tale. I will return to The Watchmakers again and again.”

—Damien Lewis, #1 international bestselling author

“Inspiring. Exhilarating. Astonishing. An epic tale of brotherhood, ingenuity, and survival, told with the ticking precision of a wind-up watch. The Watchmakers reminds us of the importance of loyalty, how to persevere against aggression, and how well-timed and precisely measured audacity can ignite a hidden spark of humanity in the darkest of times.”

—Heather Dune Macadam, international bestselling author of 999: The Extraordinary Young Women of the First Official Jewish Transport to Auschwitz and Star Crossed: A True Romeo and Juliet Story in Hitler’s Paris

The Watchmakers is an astonishing testament to courage, guile, and brotherly devotion under impossible circumstances. Gripping as a thriller, deeply moving, it brings fresh urgency to a vitally important piece of history. Everyone should read it.”

—Jesse Kellerman, bestselling author

The Watchmakers is a hybrid first- and second-generation Holocaust survivor memoir. Based on more than forty hours of his father’s recorded oral testimonies and using his father’s own words, Scott Lenga has crafted a vivid and compelling account of survival through family solidarity and bartered watchmaker skills. The journey of Harry Lenga and his two brothers from the Kozhnitz ghetto through various slave labor camps and finally Auschwitz-Birkenau, Mauthausen, Melk, and Ebensee is a story of resilience, adaptability, ingenuity, endurance, and perseverance.”

—Christopher R. Browning, Frank Porter Graham Professor of History Emeritus, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and author of Ordinary Men and Remembering Survival


“Scott Lenga provides us with the personal story of his father and two uncles, who against all odds managed to survive six long years of war, deprivation, hunger, disease, and loss of their family...


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Advance Galleys

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Jewish Book Council Author Networking Event


Advance Galleys

Virtual Author Tour

National Publicity Campaign

Jewish Book Council Author Networking Event



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ISBN 9780806541914
PRICE $28.00 (USD)

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