"Mitkas remarkable story harrowingly demonstrates the horrors and personal repercussions of the Holocaust."
"For us to make Never Again a reality when it comes to horrors like the Holocaust, we must read and remember inspiring stories like this. I recommend this book to all who want a more intimate knowledge of human history and to be moved by a story of hope and survival."
author of Out of Many Faiths: Religious Diversity and the American Promise
"Mitkas Secret is very different from any Holocaust book I have ever read. The horrors of the first part are very painful to read, but after that it becomes a fascinating tale of how one can recover from the most horrendous experiences when you have a loving partner by your side. It also has a beautiful ending when the hero of the story finds his roots, his family, and his faith."
Holocaust survivor, humanitarian, and speaker
stepsister of Anne Frank and author of Evas Story
"A most powerful life story of a child survivor of the Holocaust and his way from a childrens home in Ukraine to America. This book demonstrates that child survivors were not only passive objects of German crimes but also active individuals. After Mitka had somehow survived the shootings in the East and had managed to stay alive in different camps, he was taken to Rotenburg an der Fulda. While Mitkas memory before arriving in this small German town at the end of 1942 is marked by a few blurred flashbacks only, it now changes into a coherent and detailed narrative about life as a child forced laborer in Nazi Germany, the lifelong impact of trauma, and the healing process of telling this incredible story."
author of Holocaust und Zwangsarbeit: Erinnerungen jüdischer Kinder 19381945, winner of the 2020 Yad Vashem International Book Prize for Holocaust Research
"Mitkas life is the journey of a soul filled with tragedy yet transformative enough to inspire and seek the truth."
Rabbi Anchelle Perl
Chabad of Mineola, New York
"Millions of children died during the Second World War. They died from the ordinary violence of war as well as the starvation and disease that follow in wars wake. Millions of those children were Jewish. But they were murdered by cold calculation based on a racist ideology that persists to this day. They were shot, burned alive, hung, starved, and worked to death. This is the riveting account of a rare survivor of this brutal regime. It is also a story of thriving in a new land, building a life and a family, and then seeking to come to terms with a haunting past. Mitkas Secret will stay with you, trouble you, move you, and give you hope."
John E. Phelan Jr.
author of Separated Siblings: An Evangelical Understanding of Jews and Judaism
"In this well-written, well-researched story, the reader lives with a solitary little Jewish boy in the house of a German family in World War II, dressed in rags, often bitterly cold, always hungry, doing heavy work in the fields or lying alone at night in the dark, totally ignorant of the outside world. The constant fear of the unknown, the arbitrary punishments, the minuscule pleasures that could brighten a whole day, the complex relationships with his captors are all there, but above all there is the will to survive as an upright manas he so triumphantly did."
author of The Nicholas Effect: A Boys Gift to the World
"To meet Mitka Kalinski and to hear his story, the hurdles and horrors he overcame, is to understand that love once in a while triumphs over hatredthat perseverance, hard work, compassion, and more than a dose of boyish good luck helps one survive a World War. Mitkas story is amazing and, in the end, beautiful. His ability to forgive, to move forward, to raise a family and build a life in the West is just as profound. His courage to confront the painful past of his youth, to share it all with his wife Adrienne, and to return to the hell from which he escaped so many decades agothis carries lessons for all of us. We must bear witness; we must never forget."
independent journalist in Traverse City, Michigan
"The moment I heard Mitkas story, I immediately knew I needed to write music for it. How often do you get a canvas like that of Mitka Kalinskis life? It has been an absolute honor to be involved with every aspect of his life, and this project and getting to know him has made me a better personmore grateful, kinder, and more willing to be patient with others. This is a story that everyone needs to hear, for it will absolutely change the life of all who are touched by it for the better."
Jordan S. Roper
film composer and creator of the symphonic composition "My Name Is Mitka"