'Born Gerhard Fabian in Stuttgart, Germany on 11th January 1934, Garry's early years of life were spent travelling between countries to avoid persecution by the Nazis. In 1935 his family moved to Bodenback, Czechoslovakia, to avoid the ramifications of the Nuremberg Laws. With news of Germany's annexation of Czechoslovakia, Garry and his mother travelled to Trenchin in Slovakia, then to Brno in Moravia to meet his father, then finally travelled to Prague by the end of 1938. Life in Prague was difficult for his family and they were forced to live under false documents. A steady income was generated by Garry's father's 'illegal' employment as a chauffeur, and the sale of his mother's hand-made items. During this time, Garry did not attend school but received private tuition. Life was difficult, however worse was to come.
'In November 1942, Garry and his family were deported to the Theresienstadt ghetto, established a year earlier in order to house those considered 'undesirables' by the Nazi regime. There the Fabian family were confronted with filthy living quarters, disease infested conditions and a diet that resulted in malnutrition. Garry endured, in succession, the measles, chicken pox and whooping cough. Initially Garry wandered the camp aimlessly, but was later put to work in the tailoring shop. In time, he came to understand the culture that had developed in the camp and even gained an invaluable education provided by an elderly teacher. In May 1945, the ghetto was liberated by the Russian Army. Out of 15,000 children that entered the ghetto only 150 survived, including Garry. His parents also survived. Although luck played a large part in their survival, Garry's father was in charge of the medical supply store and was classified as 'essential'.
'After liberation, Garry and his family emigrated to Australia in 1947. Garry attended school and later obtained a junior technical certificate that provided him with an electrical apprenticeship for five years until 1955. In 1956, Garry enlisted in the Australian Navy for a compulsory six months. In 1958 he became engaged to Evelyn Schlesinger and took over his father's business, as his father had died that year. Over the years Garry has held many jobs whilst supporting his wife and two daughters.
'Fabian's autobiography details life in the Theresienstadt ghetto and his 'new life' in Australia post-war. Garry's description of a child's life in the ghetto opens an unknown world to the reader. Fabian's responsibilities and actions as an 8-11 year old in the ghetto are poignant and revealing, demonstrating how a child's life was shaped by the Nazi regime. Written in a clear and direct style, and in chronological order, this narrative presents an important account of a life deeply affected by the Holocaust, but not defeated by it.' (Publication summary)
'August, 1944, Auschwitz. The skinny little girl with dark eyes looks nine rather than her real age of fourteen. Flanked on either side by her older cousins, Inka and Carmella, she has survived yet another selection for the gas chambers. Inka maintains that when the SS man passes in front of Guta, an angel’s hand covers his eyes so that he cannot choose her. And so it seems. All the horrors and cruelty, miraculously, do not crush this remarkable child. We are left in awe at her resilient, life-affirming spirit.' (Lamm Jewish Library of Australia)
'Born in Warsaw in the 1920s, Maria Censor had a happy childhood, indulged by her adoring family. When she was fourteen, war broke out and she was faced with the disappearance of her father, the loss of her siblings and finally, the loss of her mother. Through all this, in order to survive, Maria was forced to change her identity, living a life of hardship and danger and working for the Polish underground. With its spare and beautiful prose, this book is a deeply felt account of Maria’s life up to the end of the war.' (Lamm Jewish Library of Australia)
'The author calls Bergen-Belsen her kindergarten, since when she was only three, she and her mother were transported to that infamous death camp. They were released after a number of months as a result of a deal with the Germans. The Romanian Jewish leader, Renö Kastner, traded "blood for goods" – the rightness of which action is still hotly debated today – but which saved thousands of lives. Vera has lived in Paris, London, Sao Paulo and Melbourne. She has a family and a full life, but will always carry a deep sadness for the little girl she was.' (Lamm Jewish Library of Australia)
'Born in Lvov, Poland, at the beginning of World War I, Henry Barclay’s youth was happily spent in the warmth of his Jewish family. When increasing anti-Semitism threatened their happy life, Henry was excited at being accepted to study in France, although sad at leaving his family behind. Storm clouds were gathering when his father visited him in Paris in 1937, but neither knew it would be the last time they would see each other. Henry’s beloved parents were later shot in the street in Cracow.
The war years saw Henry join the French Foreign Legion, train in Sidi bel Abbes, venture to Casablanca, and eventually leave the Legion to return to France. Fearing the arm of the Vichy Government’s anti-Semitism, he fled from Marseille across the border to Spain, was incarcerated for a time and finally shipped to Britain.
In London, despite the blitz, he was finally able to live and work as a free man. The promise of a better life brought him and his new bride to Melbourne, where he continues to live as one of the true quiet achievers.' (Publisher's description)