Letters from the Lost: A Memoir of Discovery (Our Lives: Diary, Memoir, and Letters Series)
By: Helen Waldstein Wilkes (author)Paperback
2 - 4 weeks availability
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.
Since receiving her Ph.D in French Literature, Helen Waldstein Wilkes spent 30 years teaching at every level in Canada and in the U.S. Her research interests include cross-cultural understanding, language acquisition, and neurolinguistics. Now retired and living in Vancouver, she is actively examining her own cultural inheritance and its impact.
Foreword Preface Acknowledgements Map Family Tree Opening the Box Leaving Home Letters to Antwerp Starting Over Letters to Canada Searching In Europe: 1997-1998 My Aunts and Uncles My Grandparents War Breaks Out The Family Copes The Letters Stop Imagining After the War Finding Home Searching for Family Again Searching for Family One Last Time Epilogue Endnotes Selected Bibliography
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- ID: 9781897425534
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