Named to Kirkus Reviews' Best Books of 2016 The Oath tracks the intertwined lives of Dr. Katz and SS Doktor Bloch, who both survive Auschwitz and the war to practice medicine in the United States, never losing the stains upon their souls. Katz, a respected Jewish French surgeon captured by the Nazis, volunteers to serve at Auschwitz, believing he can protect his wife and children from the gas chambers by helping Joseph Mengele and other SS physicians with their human studies. There he meets Tamara Lissner, a Czech teenager who miraculously survives death in the chambers, but when he hides her in his lab, she becomes witness to the medical torture Katz is forced to impose upon fellow Jews as he assists Doktor Bloch in his cold immersion experiments. After the war, Doktor Bloch avoids criminal prosecution through "Operation Paperclip," a clandestine government program that welcomes German scientists to America (including Werner von Braun), ignoring Nazi ties and their participation in the war.
Years later, Tamara reenters Dr. Katz's life, helping him deal with the shame and guilt of his actions at Auschwitz. But just when Katz is coming to terms with his past, he receives a call from former Auschwitz inmate Martin Brosky, who has devoted his life to bringing painful retribution to Nazi criminals who have evaded capture. Martin insists that Michel help him kill Bloch, and Michel must now weigh the risks of defying Martin against the sweetness of revenge, knowing well that his own sordid complicity at Auschwitz could be revealed.
Stephen Robert Stein is a retired orthopedic surgeon living in rural Indiana with his wife Becky and their two children, Matthew and Alyssa. Leaving his thirty year practice in Phoenix, he moved out to Batesville, Indiana, where he concentrates on writing and enjoying the Midwestern lifestyle. He and his family have traveled extensively throughout Europe laying a solid historical foundation for The Oath while delving deeper into the reasons behind the Holocaust. His passions include Scuba diving, flying and exploring new environments. He presently serves as a member of the Batesville School Board and is active as a member of the Ivy Tech Community College Foundation.