Jacob Eisenbach grew up in Lodz, Poland and was a teenager when the Germans invaded Poland in 1939, constructing a barbed-wire enclosed ghetto within the town to imprison the Jewish community. Eisenbach and his brother managed briefly to escape, only to eventually be captured and compelled to work in a munitions factory. He was one of few members of his large, extended family who survived the Holocaust. At the end of World War II, Eisenbach initially moved to Germany to study dentistry, subsequently migrating to the United States in 1950 with his wife and oldest child.
Dr. Eisenbach retired from dentistry in 2015 at the age of 92, after practicing for 60 years. The subject of a biography by Karen McCartney, entitled Where You Go, I Go: The Astonishing Life of Dr. Jacob Eisenbach, Holocaust Survivor and 92-year-old Full-Time Dentist, Eisenbach has contributed to the world both as a medical practitioner and as a voice and example of survival, resilience, and hope.
Eisenbach’s story provides a rare opportunity to hear from someone who has survived one of history’s most horrific examples of state violence, the events that actually led to the birth of the word “genocide.” Beyond this, Eisenbach’s story also reminds us that even today, ethnic-based mass killings continue. By sharing his personal story, Eisenbach reminds his audiences of the horrors of genocide, past and present.