In ‘Hidden Years,’ A Story of Love, Family, and the Holocaust

The Fellowship  |  May 13, 2019

Theresienstadt (Terezins) concentration camp
Theresienstadt (Terezins) concentration camp

Writing at The Forward, Liam Hoare interviews Anna Goldenberg to discuss her debut book, “Hidden Years,” which tells of her family’s history and “how the Holocaust shaped them.”

While she was working as a culture fellow at the Forward, Anna Goldenberg published an essay in which she described a visit to the former concentration camp Theresienstadt she took with her grandmother, Helga, and her great-aunt, Liese. Helga and Liese had been deported to Theresienstadt from Vienna, along with their mother, in the spring of 1943, not long after Goldenberg’s grandmother turned 14. Her grandmother’s life there, Goldenberg told me, was “dominated by hunger.” …

At the same time, as she wrote in 2014, that visit to Theresienstadt with Helga and Liese enabled her to fully grasp an essential truth about the stories she had been told and believed she knew, for her grandmother and aunt believe “they owe their lives to the people who helped and protected them, who showed them that it was worth it to keep on living,” she wrote. “When many felt powerless in facing the murderous regime of the Nazis, the sisters found people who tore holes into the system, holes that saved their lives.”

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