Inherit the Truth: A Memoir of Survival and the Holocaust
In the years following her liberation from the Nazi death camp, Anita Lasker-Wallfisch, like most survivors of the Holocaust, struggled to build a normal life for herself. Decades later, she realized that in her efforts to achieve normality she had not spoken to her children or her grandchildren of her terrifying odyssey. Her memoir of the period between 1939 and 1945, was written for her children so that they would Inherit the Truth.
This is the story of the destruction of a talented Jewish family, and of the survival against all the odds of two young sisters. Anita and her elder sister Renate defied death at the hands of the Gestapo and the SS over a period of two and a half years, being first imprisoned as criminals and then being transferred, separately to Auschwitz, and finally to Belsen. They were saved by their exceptional courage, determination and ingenuity, and by several improbable strokes of good luck — the greatest of which was the fact that Anita played the cello.
Lasker-Wallfisch draws from her own startlingly vivid memories of her experience, and also incorporates the letters her family wrote to one another during this period as well as other primary documents. She succeeds in conveying — in unsentimental prose — what it was to have been a Jew living in Germany at the time of the Third Reich and what it was to have survived.