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Phone: (352) 751-3602
Availability: Central Florida; National, International

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Topics: Inspirational, Leadership, Business, Recovery 

Areas: Central Florida; National, International

Title: Inspirational Speaker, Resilience Expert


InfoBest-fit Audiences:PresentationsBioTestimonialsBooks
Holocaust survivor and resilience expert helps leaders develop survival skills to lead their organizations through adversity into freedom and opportunity.

Is your organization in crisis, facing huge obstacles, or dealing with major change? “I show my audience how critical resilience tools, such as appraisal and coping strategies, can be used in the face of adversity,” says Gene Klein, Holocaust survivor, resilience expert, and inspirational speaker, whose story is told in the book We Got the Water: Tracing My Family’s Path through Auschwitz. Klein’s inspiring memoir was written by his daughter, Jill Klein, PhD, who teaches leadership and resilience techniques to senior executives around the world, and, upon request, joins her father in his life-changing presentations. “These straightforward tools can help any organization thrive when mastering the challenges of our changing world,” Gene explains.

As the number of eye-witnesses to the Nazi Holocaust dwindle in number, Gene Klein remains one of the most dynamic and energetic speakers for that generation of survivors. In the camps and separated from everyone he knew, teenager Klein quickly learned that social support, a positive outlook, and flexible thinking were key coping mechanisms. Gene saw his struggle for survival as his own personal battle against the Nazis. If he won, they lost but if he lost, they won—and that would be unthinkable. Knowing his father was already dead, Gene’s goal was to return home to his mother and two sisters. His formula was simple: to wake up every morning and to make it through the day.

Your audience will learn leadership tools for resilience, defined as “the ability to function at normal and healthy levels in the face of adversity.” But Klein’s talk is about more than simply ‘bouncing back’; it’s about the capacity to maintain growth through hardships and emerge from challenges stronger than before. You’ll learn how to establish realistic explanations for why an event occurred, find meanings that allow you to construct the event as a challenge rather than threat, and choose from a variety of effective coping strategies. By understanding how to make healthy appraisals, leaders acquire confidence and infuse their followers with trust.

Gene Klein and Jill Klein appear in a joint on-camera interview on HuffPostLive and are regular contributors to major media outlets—The Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, and The Guardian—on topics related to the Holocaust and the subject of resilience. See Dr. Jill Klein’s 2013 HuffPost Living article online at:

Touched and inspired by Gene’s courage and grace, your audience leaves armed with tools to help them lead themselves and others through adversity.

Best-fit Audiences

  • Corporations, business groups, nonprofits
  • Executive managers, sales reps, team leaders, HP professionals
  • Baby Boomers, Millennials, retirees
  • Community organizations
  • Colleges, universities, schools, youth groups
  • Parents, educators
  • Business groups, civic groups
  • Political and historical groups/associations
  • Churches, synagogues, religious, Christian groups (including mosques, Mormon groups, and New Age)
  • Libraries, museums
  • Health care groups, hospitals, medical offices
  • Nursing programs, medical centers
  • Rehab centers, recovery support groups
  • Caretakers, healers, health workers, cancer survivors
  • Therapists, psychologists, counselors, coaches


Presented as keynotes, breakouts, seminars or workshops, retreats, trainings and Webinars. Gene Klein is also available as a panel guest or moderator.

Economic uncertainty on a global scale means today’s business environment is constantly evolving. Organizations face frequent obstacles and fresh challenges. Leaders are required to adapt rapidly to change, manage setbacks constructively, and successfully handle adverse events. This is equally true for individuals, whether in their work roles or on a personal level.

Resilience leadership equips you with practical tools and strategies for successfully guiding your organization through difficult times. The standard session runs for three hours and includes time for participants to apply the new strategies they learn to their own adverse event. For company-specific programs, this process can be tailored to focus on a particular adversity that challenges the organization. Alternative session formats include one- to two-hours, full-day, and two-day programs.

Meet Gene Klein…

In the spring of 1944, when Gene was 16 years old, he and his family were deported from their home in Hungary to the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in Poland. With an abundance of luck, a resilient mindset, and a powerful will to live, Gene managed to survive until his liberation by Soviet soldiers at the end of World War II.

For decades, Gene has fascinated and informed audiences with his remarkable experiences and a recounting of how he survived the bleak conditions of the death camps. He is available to speak to business leaders and other interested groups.

Written by his daughter, Jill Klein, Gene’s story, We Got the Water: Tracing My Family’s Path through Auschwitz, tells of his concentration camp experiences and reveals how his mother and two sisters also survived the Holocaust.

Gene is a frequent contributor to the media as an expert on resilience and a witness to the Holocaust.

What people are saying…

“We experienced many great presentations during our recent Senior Leaders Offsite event, which I will remember for a long time. However, Professor Jill Klein’s ‘Resilience’ presentation with her father Gene Klein is one I know will stay with me for the rest of my life.”
—Peter Harmer, Chief Executive Officer, CGU Insurance

Books about Gene Klein

We Got the Water by Jill Klein

Product Details

We Got the Water is the story of the Klein family: Herman and Bertha, and their three children, Lilly, Oli and sixteen-year-old Gabi. In the spring and summer of 1944, along with more than 400,000 other Hungarian Jews, they were forced from their homes, rounded up, and sent to Auschwitz. The Kleins were aboard one of the very first trains of this mass deportation. Author Jill Gabrielle Klein follows her father, his sisters and their mother through Auschwitz and into slave labor camps in Poland and Germany, providing a narrative—both harrowing and inspirational—of resilience in the face of terror. As it charts the author’s personal quest to reconstruct the past, the book also documents the inexorable disappearance of living Holocaust survivors, whose first-person accounts illuminate this dark period and inscribe it in our collective memory.