A recent (five-star) Amazon review of From Day to Day: One Man’s Diary of Survival in Nazi Concentration Camps notes: “wish [the book] wasn’t so expensive.” I agree. I worked extensively with Vanderbilt University Press to keep costs to a minimum. At the same time we were both committed to producing the highest quality product we could at a market price.
The new version of From Day to Day is fully 616 pages long, printed on ultra-high quality coated paper, and weighs in at a door-stopping four pounds. Under the circumstances it is priced very competitively with other hardcovers of similar length and quality.
Equally important, I think it’s time to explain where all the royalties from the sale of the book will go, and why.
From the start of my journey I was adamant that I receive no compensation from any re-publication of Odd Nansen’s diary. First, there was the moral question of profiting from someone else’s work product—after all, if there had been no diary I would have had nothing to edit or annotate.
Moreover, there was the example set by Nansen himself. According to Thomas Buergenthal, in 1949 Nansen directed that all of the profits from the sale of the German translation of From Day to Day go to help German refugees. If, after all Nansen had experienced, he could see clear to donating funds to his erstwhile enemies, I could certainly do no less.
After consultation with Nansen’s eldest child, daughter Marit Greve, we decided that 50% of all my royalties would be donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC, and 50% would go to the Jewish Museum of Oslo, Norway.
I am confident that this was the right thing, and the only thing, to do. Equally important, I am confident that it is a decision that Odd Nansen would have approved of.
So remember, the book is indeed expensive, but it is an outstanding value even at the price, and every sale is helping a good cause.
I will report periodically on how much this effort yields to these two worthy organizations.