Letters From the Lost

Letters From the Lost

A Memoir of Discovery

eBook - 2010
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"On March 15, 1939, Helen Waldstein's father snatched his stamped exit visa from a distracted clerk to escape from Prague with his wife and child. As the Nazis closed in on a war-torn Czechoslovakia, only letters from their extended family could reach Canada through the barriers of conflict. The Waldstein family received these letters as they made their lives on a southern Ontario farm, where they learned to be Canadian and forget their Jewish roots. Helen Waldstein read these letters as an adult--this changed everything. As her past refused to keep silent, Helen followed the trail of the letters back to Europe, where she discovered living witnesses who could attest to the letters' contents. She has here interwoven their stories and her own into a compelling narrative of suffering, survivor guilt, and overcoming intergenerational obstacles when exploring a traumatic past."--Publisher's description.
Publisher: Edmonton [Alta.] : Athabasca University Press, ©2010 (Saint-Lazare, Quebec : Gibson Library Connections, 2010)
ISBN: 9781897425541
Characteristics: 1 online resource (xiv, 280 pages : illustrations, map, portraits).


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Cdnbookworm Feb 14, 2013

This book is a compilation of letters from Helen's relatives that never made it out of the Czech Republic to safety and most of whom died in the Holocaust. There is also a few letters from an uncle that survived the camps, but was utterly changed by them. More than the letters, the book describes Helen's parents' own flight to Canada, their struggles to make a living in their adopted country, and the silence they maintained about the lost family. Helen describes this well, including her own experiences with exclusion and her gradual interest in the past. She talks about her research, her visits to the Czech Republic, searching for news of her family and revisiting family homes and memories. A moving book, open and honest about the difficulties and the rewards of such a search.

Jan 10, 2012

A wonderful, touching look at one family who managed to escape from Europe right before WWII. The author has a box of letters from those lost family members who did not have the fortune to escape. This is a testament to the strength, courage and love of a family facing an almost unbelievable fate.

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