The Upstander: How Surviving the Holocaust Sparked Max Glauben’s Mission to Dismantle Hate

By Jori Epstein, Michael Berenbaum

Holocaust survivor Max Glauben is on a mission—to outlast hate, to preserve memory, and to compel the world to embrace tolerance.

Holocaust survivor Max Glauben remembers the paralyzing fear as a boxcar crammed with Jews rumbled from the Warsaw Ghetto to Majdanek death camp in May 1943.

“Why me?” he asked himself at fifteen, wondering why the Nazis had destroyed his family’s business, upended their rights, and ultimately decimated their neighborhood. The deluge of questions only intensified after the Nazis murdered Max’s mother, father, and brother. Max channeled grit, determination, and a fortuitous knack for airplane pattern-making to outlast six horrific concentration camps in his quest to preserve the Glauben name.

This memoir explores Max’s mischievous childhood and teen years as a go-to ghetto smuggler. Max journeys from displaced person to American immigrant. He then reveals how he ached as he dared to court love and rear children. Pain can’t be duplicated, he long insisted as he bottled it up. Then he realized: He could transform his pain into purpose.

Infused with raw emotion and vivid detail, historical records and Max’s poignant voice, this memoir relays the true story of the harrowing violence and dehumanization Max endured. It relays Max’s powerful lifetime commitment to actively thwarting hate and galvanizing resilience. Max insists you, too, can transform your adversity into your greatest strength.

Across the seventy-five years that followed Max’s liberation from his sixth and final concentration camp, he’s scrapped the question of “Why me?” He instead deliberately asks himself: “What can I do next?”