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This title is intended for readers of Anne Frank's diary, Primo Levi's The Truce , Paul Steinberg's Speak You Also , Daniel Swman's The Hitler Emigres and other Holocaust literature; viewers of films like Europa, Europa (Agnieszka Holland) and Schindler's List ; readers of Frank McCourt-like survival stories. Roman Halter is an optimistic and boisterous schoolboy in 1939 when he and his family gather behind net curtains to watch the Volksdeutsch neighbours of their small town in western Poland greeting the arrival of Hitler's armies with kisses and swastika flags. Within days, the family home has been seized, 12 year-old Roman becomes a slave of the local SS chief, and, returning from an errand, silently witnesses his Jewish classmates being bayoneted to death by soldiers at the edge of town. And then there begins the remarkable six-year journey through some of the darkest caverns of Nazi Europe, and the loss of every other member of his family and the 800-strong community of his boyhood. Roman tells his indelible story with a simplicity and grace that allow the facts of his suffering and survival to speak for themselves.
Born in 1927, ROMAN HALTER is a celebrated architect and artist. He designed the gates to Israel's holocaust memorial, Yad Vashem, and his paintings, testifying to his experiences during WW2, recently went on show at Tate Britain.