San Mateo Author On 6 Year Journey Sharing Untold Story Of Heroism During The Holocaust - NBC Bay Area
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San Mateo Author On 6 Year Journey Sharing Untold Story Of Heroism During The Holocaust

Frans and Mein Winjakker saved the lives of more than two dozen Jews in the Netherlands during World War II by sheltering them from the Nazis. It is a story of heroism that Marty Brounstein thinks more people should know about.

(Published Thursday, May 4, 2017)

When you take a look at Marty Brounstein's body of work as an author, something immediately stands out: one of his books is not like the others.

The long-time San Mateo management consultant has authored many books in that field, most notably a number in the "For Dummies" series.

Brounstein's latest book, however, is a world away from that, and very close to his heart.

"It's the most difficult thing I have ever done," Brounstein said "It's also the most important."

"Two Among The Righteous Few, A Story Of Courage In The Holocaust," tells the tale of Frans and Mien Wijnakker, a Dutch couple who saved the lives of more than two dozen Jews during the Second World War by sheltering them and hiding them from the Nazis.

One of those who was saved as a baby was Leah Baars, Brounstein's wife.

Brounstein says the idea to write the book began with a trip in 2009 to the Netherlands with Baars.

"This is a story I stumbled into by accident, not by design," Brounstein said.

Brounstein and Baars visit the Wijnakkers home and met their children still living in the area. It was then that one of them showed Brounstein a picture of a plaque honoring the Wijnakkers at Yad Vashem, the holocaust museum in Israel.

"I knew what that meant," Brounstein said. "You don't get that for just showing up. Something heroic happened here."

Using an account written years before and doing more research, Brounstein spent the next two years researching and writing the book.

Since then, Brounstein and Baars have held more than 500 events at schools, houses of worship, civic organizations, and even private companies sharing the story.

Brounstein says the overwhelming and emotional response they get from audiences is what keeps them going.

"My journey in sharing this story is six years complete. The seventh year already booked. Who'd expect that?"

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