The United Nations Holocaust Remembrance Day in Wellington will be observed at the Makara Cemetery on Sunday, 27 January 2013 at 3.00 pm. The Mayor, Her Worship Celia Wade-Brown, will speak about the proposed New Zealand Button Memorial for the Children of the Holocaust. One of the children involved in the project will also speak.
Have you visited The Holocaust Centre of New Zealand in Webb Street?
A century of wisdom : lessons from the life of Alice Herz-Sommer, the world’s oldest living Holocaust survivor / Caroline Stoessinger.
“Renowned pianist, music teacher, and Holocaust survivor Herz-Sommer shares intimate memories, harrowing experiences, and valuable life lessons. Recognized as the world’s oldest Holocaust survivor at 107, her legacy and her wisdom extend far beyond the years she spent at the Theresienstadt concentration camp. Fellow musician and documentarian Stoessinger became acquainted with Herz-Sommer while working on a film about her life. From countless hours and interviews conducted over the course of several years, she has mined a treasure trove of insight and reflection. Herz-Sommer’s life is a tribute to the purity of artistic endeavor under the most devastating circumstances, and her refusal to be bitterly defined or essentially reshaped by tragedy is a testament to moral and spiritual courage. As the number of Holocaust survivors dwindles, it becomes increasingly important to capture and communicate their individual stories.” (Booklist)
The girls of Room 28 : friendship, hope, and survival in Theresienstadt / Hannelore Brenner ; translated from the German by John E. Woods and Shelley Frisch.
“Brenner, a Berlin-based journalist, focuses on 10 former child survivors, women in their late 70s, who went through the Theresienstadt concentration camp during the Holocaust. She notes that 12,000 children entered the camp from 1942 to 1944, but only a few hundred survived to war’s end, and a handful of women of Room 28 in the camp’s Girls’ Home, now scattered around the world, reunited for the first time in 1991. The insights of the survivors and stories of the camp’s victims are unforgettable and full of poignant humanity, conveyed through letters, photos, diaries and remembrances. Forced into exile and almost certain death under the Nazi regime, the children confronted hunger, cold, terror and the soul’s endurance as many of the girls of Room 28 were slowly eliminated; the small band of survivors is committed to keeping their memory alive. Well-detailed and inspiring, Brenner’s book, especially her heartfelt epilogue, pays glowing tribute to these heroic survivors.” (Publisher Weekly)
The watchmaker’s daughter / Sonia Taitz.
“The Watchmaker’s Daughter tells the story of a child of two refugees: a watchmaker who saved lives within Dachau prison, and his wife, a gifted concert pianist about to make her debut when the Nazis seized power. In this memoir, Sonia Taitz is born into a world in which the Holocaust is discussed constantly by her insular concentration camp-surviving parents. This legacy, combined with Sonia’s passion and intelligence, leads the author to forge an adventurous life in which she seeks to heal both her parents and herself through travel, achievement, and a daring love affair. Ironically, it is her marriage to a non-Jew that brings her parents the peace and fulfillment they would never have imagined possible. Sonia manages to combine her own independence with a tender dutifulness, honoring her parents’ legacy while forging a new family of her own.” (Library Catalogue)
My innocent absence : tales from a nomadic life / Miriam Frank.
“When five-year-old Miriam boards the Serpa Pinto in 1941, she is unaware that she and her mother Kate are escaping the roundups, separations and final extermination camps. She is leaving a world of communists and Nazis, republicans and fascists, collaborators and resistance fighters, Jews and stateless refugees. But sometimes the mere fact of survival is not enough. As adolescence approaches, Miriam faces new challenges as her mother turns from guardian and protector to her strongest critic. The constant flight and upheaval that once united them now seems to drive them apart. After a failed reconciliation with Miriam’s father, Kate moves again, this time to New Zealand. By the age of twelve Miriam has fled two wars and lived on three continents. Gradually understanding the horror of the Holocaust and its long shadow, she begins to train as a doctor, when only sixteen: the preservation of life and alleviation of pain becomes the focus of her professional career. She returns to Europe, settles in London and marries Kortokraks, a German artist, former assistant to Oscar Kokoschka – the start of yet more challenging and enriching experiences on her journey from a fragmented start to wholeness.” (Syndetics summary)