Council on Aging Answers 2016 - 115

COUNCIL ON AGING - ORANGE COUNTY

tration camp. His father was forced to carry heavy
boulders at a labor camp until he died from exhaustion. That left Eisenbach and his brother, Sam.
After receiving a deportation letter from the Nazis,
the pair hid at the homes of friends. The brothers eventually returned to their empty apartment,
believing they would be safe by placing a padlock
outside the front door. For
a time, the trick fooled
Nazi soldiers into believing no one was inside.
"(But) one of the soldiers
was smart enough to knock
off the lock, came inside
and found us," Eisenbach
said. "We were convinced
that we were going to Auschwitz."

States. He worked from an office in Cedar Rapids
for 18 years, until his wife's health prompted a
move to warmer Southern California. The couple
had three sons, three grandchildren and two greatgrandchildren before she died nearly two years ago
from lung cancer.
In 1974, Eisenbach said, he was the first dentist
in Anaheim Hills when
he opened his practice. He
continues working in an
office nestled between a
grocery store, a pharmacy
and fast-food eateries.
"He's such a perfectionist
and very particular about
how everything is done,"
said Nia Fowler, a semiretired assistant who has
worked alongside Eisenbach for 29 years.
"He hasn't changed
much and just runs circles
around us," Fowler said.
"I'll be dragging at the end
of the day, but he'll still be going strong." When he
lived in Anaheim Hills 20 years ago, David Severson said he looked forward to his dental visits with
Eisenbach. Even though he now lives in Eastvale,
Severson said he "wouldn't trust his mouth to anyone else."
Eisenbach continues to attract new patients,
such as Bill Johnson of Malibu, who visited the
dentist for his first time last month for a tooth extraction. "Honestly, I was skeptical about going
to a 91-year-old dentist and wondered if he even
had the strength to pull out my tooth," Johnson
said. "But once he started, I knew that I was in
safe hands because it didn't hurt at all." Eisenbach
boasts that he is in good health and that his arms
are "as steady as the rocks of Gibraltar." "I love to
take a mouth that is broken down and restoring
it to good health," Eisenbach said with a laugh. "I
love my job so much, it's like a hobby to me."

In 1974, Eisenbach
said, he was the first
dentist in Anaheim
Hills when he
opened
his practice.

Eisenbach eventually married his girlfriend,
moved to Germany and studied dentistry. His
brother Sam changed his name, joined the Polish Army and quickly rose through the ranks to
become a colonel. Eventually, he was fatally shot
by fellow soldiers who found out he was Jewish. "I
was the last one in my immediate family," Eisenbach said.
In 1950, Eisenbach and his wife moved to New
York, then to Iowa, where he attended another university so he could practice dentistry in the United

Art Marroquin is a Staff Writer for the O.C. Register. Contact the writer at 714-704-3769 or amarroquin@ocregister.com

Council On Aging-Orange County | 714-479-0107 | www.coaoc.org	 Answers Guide 2016

115

COMMUNITY RESOURCES

Instead, the brothers
were loaded into a cattle
car with other young Jews
and taken to a munition
factory in Skarzysko, Poland. Their job: to take
over the jobs of German factory workers called
up to fight in the war. As Soviet troops advanced
into Poland, Eisenbach and the other workers were
transferred in July 1944 to another weapons factory in Czestochowa, Poland, where he met a coworker named Irene, and the romance blossomed
over six months. Finally, with little fanfare, the
workers learned that Poland was liberated. Eisenbach, his brother and girlfriend walked out of the
labor camp and heartily ate salami and cheese they
found stashed inside a Nazi military truck. "We
were happy," he said. "But we were hungry."


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Council on Aging Answers 2016 - Intro
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