Marty Brounstein has written several books mainly about management, coaching and mentoring in the workplace.
But he takes on a completely different literary persona with his new book: "Two Among the Righteous Few: A Story of Courage in the Holocaust," a true story of a Christian couple, Frans and Mien Wijnakker, who saved the lives of at least two dozen Jews during World War II and the Holocaust.
This latest book, he said, has been the most personal.
At the beginning of the book, Brounstein writes about the time he and his wife, Leah Baars, visited her native Netherlands in 2009, and she introduced herself to people who recognized the Dutch name given to her as a child -- Ineke -- and the significance of that name.
"The man who has greeted us is Frans Wijnakker Jr. He is the youngest son of the aforementioned Frans Wijnakker," Brounstein wrote in the book's first chapter. "His father, Frans, with the support of his mother, Mien, saved (Leah's parents) and Baby Ineke, during World War II.
"They all survived the Holocaust because this Catholic man and his wife hid them and other Jews and helped even more hide from the Nazis."
That memorable visit, Brounstein said, was the impetus for writing the book.
"This book has put me in the interfaith business," said Brounstein, a management consultant for several East Bay clients including the city of Concord. "I've become an author on a journey with a mission."
His book is reminiscent of Brounstein's early career as an educator who taught history, including the Holocaust. The author writes about the reason Yad Vashem in Jerusalem was created to serve as an education, research and historical center in remembrance of the six million Jews who were murdered in the Holocaust.
The Christians at the heart of the book's story, Frans and Mien Wijnakker, are among those honored in a section of the historical museum called the Righteous Among the Nations that recognizes the non-Jews, primarily Christians, who carried out acts of courage to save the lives of Jews during the Holocaust. That included the life of Brounstein's wife, who was a baby of a young Jewish couple in hiding.
His wife translated an earlier publication of this story from Dutch to English for Brounstein when he became interested in delving further into his own research for his book. This story, Brounstein said, is as relevant today as it was yesterday.
"If you don't know much about this lesser-known history of the Holocaust, you're going to learn something," said Brounstein. "Despite the threats and dangers they faced, this couple risked their lives to save lives. It's a story about courage and compassion to do the right thing."
Martinez resident Jeff Roubal, fleet manager for the city of Concord, said he first met Brounstein at a training session, and they became friends.
"He told me that he had written a book and was scheduling book talks and book signing dates," said Roubal, a Commander of the American Legion Post 29 in Martinez.
Roubal said Brounstein talked about his book at an event hosted by the American Legion on Feb. 22.
"Attendees were impressed by his eloquence and interesting story," said Roubal, who bought a copy of his book after that presentation and read it the following week.
"I enjoyed both the book and his talk," Roubal said. "Marty does an excellent job describing the world, Netherlands, and the lives of everyday people in 1939.
"Although World War II sounds like ancient history, there are people alive today with experiences and memories of living through those violent times. Through research and interviews, Marty has captured these memories and woven them into a cohesive story."
Roubal said, "the compelling thing to those of us who attended the book talk then read the book is the personal face it puts on the Holocaust."
Who: Author Marty Brounstein
What: Book signing and discussion
When: 1:30 p.m. Oct. 13
Where: Martinez Library, 740 Court St., Martinez
Information: Visit www.MartyABrounstein.com