Publisher’s Point: The Gift Is A Gift In The Season Of Giving

By: Ali Elizabeth Turner

I am in the middle of receiving one of the most precious gifts with which I have ever been blessed. It is a book by Auschwitz survivor Dr. Edie Eger, is simply entitled The Gift, and it is a gem. Dr. Eger was born in Hungary, and when she was 16, she and her family were taken to Auschwitz. Her parents both died, as did her fiancé, and she and her sisters were the only ones in the family that survived. Edie was pulled out of the line literally on the way to her death by none other than the Angel of Death himself, Dr. Josef Mengele. He commanded her to dance for him, and miraculously, she did. That act kept her alive, but by the time she was found in a stack of bodies, she had suffered untold horrors that she never told anyone for decades.

While this is a tough read, to be sure, it is also humorously packed with promise, and the subtitle is, “14 Lessons To Save Your Life.” The original edition of the book came out just before COVID, and had twelve lessons, but Dr. Edie added two more after going through the pandemic herself and helping her patients. She is still practicing as a counselor and has helped people suffering with PTSD, all forms and manners of abuse, as well as struggles that might not seem so dramatic on the outside but are intense on the inside.

Dr. Edie makes an outrageous claim, and that is that Auschwitz was her best teacher, along with the fact that she is grateful that she went through it. How is that possible? Well, for one thing, she received the gift we celebrate in this season, and that is all that was given to “men of good will” on that “silent night,” namely Yeshua the Messiah. She also discovered that it is the prisons in our minds to which we send ourselves by refusing to forgive which hold the real horror, not those that are inflicted upon us by others.

Dr. Eger has no tolerance for victimization, but she is tender and humorous in dealing with it. She herself did not deal with her own past for years after it happened; in fact, her own kids didn’t even know she was a survivor. In her forties she went to college, got a degree in education, then a masters in educational psychology, and finally her PhD as a practicing therapist. She was personally helped by Dr. Viktor Frankl, a fellow Auschwitz survivor, and more than anything, she will say that her patients have been some of her greatest teachers. They encouraged her to make the journey back to Auschwitz, which inspired her two New York Times best sellers, The Choice and The Gift.

You may have finished your shopping, and you may feel that you have no desire to deal with “hard stuff,” but I am telling you, The Gift is just that, and I hope you will consider giving it a read or a listen.