“The Promise” Tells a Multi-Generational Story
2012-05-24 · By Editor
As a physician, he’s Chief of Pediatric Pulmonary Medicine and Medical Director of Pediatric Pulmonary and Cystic Fibrosis Center at Memorial Miller Children’s Hospital of Long Beach, Dr. Eliezer Nussbaum has authored more than 150 scientific publications. His latest writing, inspired by his own family history, is an emotional tale that eschews biology to examine humanity on a deeper level.
Nussbaum’s new novel, “The Promise,” (www.elinussbaum.com) is a story of relationships that unfold across multiple countries and through generations — all springing from a promise made during the Holocaust.
It was inspired by a real-life tragedy: His wife’s aunts and uncles, desperate to escape the Nazis’ scourge, promised their neighbors treasure for hiding them. The neighbors obliged for awhile but then, impatient to collect their treasure, killed the family.
In “The Promise,” a Catholic young man vows to protect the family of a Jewish friend; to do so requires separating the Jewish man’s twins, a boy and a girl, from their parents and each other. This sets into motion consequences that ripple through generations of descendants.
“This isn’t a ‘Holocaust’ story, so to speak, because it moves far beyond that time and those places,” says Nussbaum, whose own Polish-born parents survived concentration camps during the war. “This is about trust and family values. It’s about judging people for who they are and not based on religious affiliations.”
As the years pass, the separated twins in the story struggle for survival. Rachel, whose last name was changed during the war to help protect her, eventually moves to the United States. Her brother seems to have vanished. Meanwhile, the man who promised to protect them, Yanusz Dov, continues to work to fulfill the promise he made to Kalman Gold.
“This is an astonishing book,” wrote reviewer Carl Kramer. “The author’s verbal descriptions were so well-crafted that I felt that I was an actual character participating in each scene as it unfolded… The author displays a well-researched, intricate knowledge of the turbulent times depicted. Turbulent times when many civilized people were turning into monsters, while a few brave souls risked everything to help.”
About Eliezer Nussbaum, M.D.
Eliezer Nussbaum, M.D., was born in Poland; his father lost his first wife and four children in the Holocaust and his mother lost her first husband. He is a professor of Clinical Pediatrics Step VII at the University of California and Chief of Pediatric Pulmonary Medicine and Medical Director of Pediatric Pulmonary and Cystic Fibrosis Center at Memorial Miller Children’s Hospital of Long Beach. He has authored three non-fiction books and more than 150 scientific publications, and was named among the top U.S. doctors by US News and World Report in 2011-12.