The Last Train


Rona Arato with her husband Paul Arato

Rona and Paul Arato

Two boys try to hide their mother’s illness from their German captors in the Bergen Belsen concentration camp, even as they struggle to survive the camp’s appalling conditions. The Last Train is about determination and hope. It is also about miracles: a family’s amazing rescue from a death train by American soldiers and the remarkable circumstances that led to a reunion with those soldiers 60 years later.

My talk includes a PowerPoint presentation that traces the Auslander family’s journey from Hungary to Bergen Belsen and onto a death train, that is abandoned by their Nazi guards. It features amazing photographs taken by U.S. soldiers at the moment of liberation. It also covers the little known story of “Jews on Ice,” the scheme by Adolph Eichmann to keep 20,000 Hungarian Jews “on ice” for a prisoner exchange – a plan that ultimately saved their lives.

I am the author of 15 children’s books including the award winning Courage and Compassion, Ten Canadians who made a Difference. My books and presentations deal with human rights issues including discrimination, bullying, slavery, genocide, and immigration. I introduce these subjects to children in a careful way that they can relate to and understand in the context of their own lives.

For more information, please send me an email at

Interviews with Rona:

Here’s what my hosts have said about my presentations:

Rona’s events with the students were excellent. Not only was she able to keep the students enthralled with her stories, but Rona also skillfully catered to the different age-groups and moderated her presentation according to their needs.

— Nicole Nozick
Director JCC Jewish Book Festival
Vancouver, BC

We had the pleasure of hosting the author Rona Arato at our school for a book talk. Rona was such a delight! We would be so lucky to have the opportunity to have Rona visit our school again soon.

— Melissa Levin
The Leo Baeck Day School
Thornhill, ON

Ms. Arato delighted audiences of children and adults during the “Children’s Storytime” at the Henson Site with readings from her children’s book, Working for Freedom: The Story of Josiah Henson. During the presentation, it was a pleasure to watch her transition with ease between her various personas as educator, historian, writer and storyteller.

— Shirl Spicer,
Museum Manager, Montgomery County Department of Parks Maryland
National Capital Park & Planning Commission