The University of Wisconsin Press

Holocaust Studies / Memoir / Judaica / European History

The 23rd Psalm
A Holocaust Memoir
George Lucius Salton
With Anna Salton Eisen

"When Simon Dubnow, the renowned historian of European Jewry, was led away to his death, he cried 'Yidn shreibt und farshreit!' (Jews write and record!). George Salton fulfills Dubnow's legacy in a faithful manner. This is a book to be read and passed down to our children."
—Miles Lerman, chairman emeritus, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

In September, 1939, George Lucius Salton's boyhood in Tyczyn, Poland, was shattered by escalating violence and terror under German occupation. His father, a lawyer, was forbidden to work, but eleven-year-old George dug potatoes, split wood, and resourcefully helped his family. They suffered hunger and deprivation, a forced march to the Rzeszow ghetto, then eternal separation when fourteen-year-old George and his brother were left behind to labor in work camps while their parents were deported in boxcars to die in Belzec.

For the next three years, George slaved and barely survived in ten concentration camps, including Rzeszow, Plaszow, Flossenburg, Colmar, Sachsenhausen, Braunschweig, Ravensbrück, and Wobbelin. Cattle cars filled with skeletal men emptied into a train yard in Colmar, France. George and the other prisoners marched under the whips and fists of SS guards. But here, unlike the taunts and rocks from villagers in Poland and Germany, there was applause. "I could clearly hear the people calling: 'Shame! Shame!' . . . Suddenly, I realized that the people of Colmar were applauding us! They were condemning the inhumanity of the Germans!"

Of the 500 prisoners of the Nazis who marched through the streets of Colmar in the spring of 1944, just fifty were alive one year later when the U.S. Army 82nd Airborne Division liberated the Wobbelin concentration camp on the afternoon of May 2, 1945. "I felt something stir deep within my soul. It was my true self, the one who had stayed deep within and had not forgotten how to love and how to cry, the one who had chosen life and was still standing when the last roll call ended."

photo of author George Lucius SaltonGeorge Lucius Salton emigrated to the United States after liberation. He earned degrees in physics and engineering and had a successful career in the U.S. Department of Defense and private industry. He lives in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

For publicity information for The 23rd Psalm, click here for our press kit. Media & bookseller inquiries regarding review copies, events, and interviews can be directed to the publicity department at or (608) 263-0734. (If you want to examine a book for possible course use, please see our Course Books page. If you want to examine a book for possible rights licensing, please see Rights & Permissions.)

Visit the the US Holocaust Museum site. It has a video clip from an interview with George Salton for a film they made in 1995. US Holocaust Museum personal histories.

March 2004
LC: 2002002834 DS
240 pp.    6 x 9    1 b/w photo

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Paper $15.95 t
ISBN 978-0-299-17974-8 Audiobook Audiobook
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