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Publisher's Summary

The remarkable life story of Mitka Kalinski, who survived seven years of enslavement - while still a child - to a Nazi officer during and after World War II. 

Mitka Kalinski had never revealed his past to anyone. Not even to his wife or his four children. But in 1981, three decades after it had all ended, Mitka finally broke his silence about the horrors he had endured during the Holocaust and in the years immediately afterward: not only German concentration camps and sadistic medical experiments, but also seven years of enslavement in the household of a Nazi officer, “Iron” Gustav Dörr. 

Having been orphaned before the war, Mitka did not know his origins or even his name. Torture, slavery, and a false name stripped him of his identity entirely. Thus, when he immigrated to the United States in 1951, Mitka seized the opportunity to bury his past and forge a new life. He lived the American life in all its fullness and moved to Nevada with his beloved wife, Adrienne, and their children. But the secret he carried became an increasingly heavy burden, preventing wholeness and healing. 

This is Mitka’s account of facing the past, confronting his captors, connecting with lost relatives, and finding peace in the rediscovery of his origins. For Mitka, this also meant reclaiming his Jewish heritage - a journey that gave him a new sense of purpose and freedom from the lingering effects of trauma that had filled his life to that point. By the end, Mitka’s Secret is less a story of survival and more one of redemption and transformation - from hidden suffering to abundant joy.

©2021 Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. (P)2021 Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company

What listeners say about Mitka’s Secret

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My father is Mitka

Steve, Joel and Lynn did a wonderful job telling my fathers story. We are so grateful to have it in book form to pass on to generations of Kalinski’s. There is so much more that could have been written but how can you condense all of those years into a few hundred pages? My parents are amazing and dad is so thrilled to hold his story in his hands.

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The most incredible story.

Words cannot describe or say how profound this book is! Absolutely gripping till the last page.

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Choose life

This story is beyond amazing. As Mitka’s grandson I grew up hearing these stories and being there for many of the later revelations. I can say that this book has been a dream and a work in progress for decades. It did not disappoint. Beautifully written and brings my grandfather’s mannerisms to life. I feel this story needs to be shared and retold. Thank you to the authors and narrator for such an amazing job.

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Great new perspective

This is a very loving story. It starts with a young child and continues to tell the story all the way to the end. Thank you for not stopping short.