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The Nazis finally caught up with my father in 1967. I was only sixteen years old when he succumbed to the heart disease contracted through an untreated infection in the concentration camp. At roughly the same age, in 1944, my father had been thrust into the hell of Auschwitz and seen his parents ‘selected for death’ at the notorious railhead at Birkenau.

As a teenager, I had heard and read almost all the stories and articles about my father’s time in the Camps and also his book, The Yellow Star. He turned to writing partly as a therapy for the early nightmares but mainly to make sure that the world and future generations would know what happened. With the loss of my father, I felt that this monster that was the Shoah had lashed out in its death throes to bag an unclaimed victim 22 years after everyone thought it was safe. I then decided to switch off the whole subject in my mind and have spent most of my adult life in a state of denial. More...

This article first appeared as a front page feature in the Jewish Press on September 26th. 2003.

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© Zalmi Unsdorfer 2003