Writer of holocaust memoir to speak at Kelowna school

B.C. professor shares his story about being a hidden child.

It has been over 70 years since Prof. Rene Goldman left war-torn Europe, but he is now ready to share his story of survival as a child during the Holocaust and he’s headed to Kelowna to do just that.

As one of the small number of children who survived the genocide by living among strangers and in unfamiliar surroundings, his awareness differed from that of adult survivors.

In his memoir he documents a most unusual survival in circumstances of repeated displacement across three countries: his native Luxembourg, Belgium, and France.

“My purpose is to unburden myself of the painful memories of a childhood spent in the threatening shadow of the Shoah (Holocaust) to stand as one more witness to the immensity of that crime against humanity, and to honour the memory of my parents and of the majority of the members of my family, who perished in it,” said Prof. Goldman, explaining what prompted him to writ A Childhood Adrift.

As anti-Semitism and intolerance of minorities increases world-wide, the Azrieli Foundation continues its commitment to publish Holocaust memoirs, distribute books free of charge to educational institutions and having authors speak about their experiences to students across Canada.

Naomi Azrieli, Chair and CEO of the Azrieli Foundation, says hearing survivors’ stories is an integral part of understanding the Holocaust. “It is the personal stories that brings history to life, allowing readers to grasp the enormity of what happened – one story at a time. The Azrieli Foundation’s Holocaust Survivor Memoirs Program is guided by the conviction that such stories play an important role in education about tolerance and diversity,” said Azrieli.

Professor Goldman will be reading from his book at the Mosaic bookstore in Kelowna, B.C. on Sunday, Sept. 17, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event is open to the public.

He will also be speaking to students at the Kelowna Secondary School on Monday, Sept. 18.

Rene Goldman’s memoir is one of 54 books published by the Azrieli Foundation and is the first book published by an author in B.C.

www.azrielifoundation.org