Tag Archives: Stutthof

Maritime Disaster: May 3, 1945

  I remember one evening when I was a teenager, although the exact occasion escapes me now, sitting around the dining room table with my family. We fell silent when my father’s voice filled the space, as he drifted into memory and then into story, as he was apt to do. He recalled a day from long ago and I wondered what had dredged up such a terrifying tale. I could see the pain on his face, hear the tremor in his voice, feel the tension in the air. My mother remained silent, her eyes cast Read more [...]

Lessons From My Father: Lesson #1

Last week I spoke to a group of mostly seniors, residents of Finlandia Village, for Reading Town. Coincidentally, it was the day after International Holocaust Remembrance Day, and only a few days after the seventy-first anniversary of my father’s liberation from Stutthof Concentration Camp. In the days before the talk, I thought about what I would focus on. Sometimes at these events I discuss the method of interviewing my father, the process of writing and rewriting, the stumbling blocks and challenges Read more [...]

Reflections on a Memorable Year

A year ago, last December, I decided to pull my manuscript from the small presses I had approached earlier that spring and self-publish my father’s memoir.  Looking back, it was a decision I made because of concern for my father’s health and a desire to share his story with others while he could still participate. In fact, at the end of January, my father was hospitalized after my mother found him splayed out on their frozen driveway.  Within a few days of hospitalization, the colour returned Read more [...]

Start Writing a Family Memoir

You’ve heard it before: everyone has a story.  I believe it’s true.  Unfortunately, not everyone is willing to share their past with family members or is willing to write their memories down for future generations.  What a lost opportunity.  A family memoir is a chance to capture a moment in history that is both important to an individual, his or her family members, and often others outside the family circle. It only requires a storyteller and a willing listener. What makes a family Read more [...]