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The Testimony Book Trailer | Halina Wagowska

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Published on Apr 18, 2012

The Testimony by Halina Wagowska (Hardie Grant Books)

"I would like to tell you about the difficulties of talking about the war even now. There is still some small emotional difficulty on my part; there is the awareness that what I am saying causes discomfort if not horror. Then there is the feeling that I am not getting enough across, even in response to specific questions, because the whole setting is unimaginable to those who were not there." - Halina Wagowska


What Halina Wagowska has lived through is horrific, difficult to comprehend and, very often, believe. A survivor of both Auschwitz and Stuthoff, Halina was urged by her adopted mother, Frieda, that if she survives the camp she must testify until she dies. The Testimony is Halina's last testimony before she 'drops off the twig'.

This is not 'Halina's story', it is the story of what happened, the people and the places Halina has known take centre stage. Whether it is the Gentile nanny who followed Halina's family into the ghetto; the Russian soldier who saved her at the end of the war and nursed her back to health; or the char ladies of Collins Street who first called the new immigrant 'reffo' before taking her into their hearts.

It is a story of hope, survival and humanity as well as a record of what comes after the war for the young Halina: immigration, love, a career in pathology, and 'her life's work' in human rights -- pouring her energy into everything from bursaries for Aboriginal education and books for the victims of the Black Saturday bushfires to bioethics and gay marriage.

These pieces provide jewels of wisdom from a woman who has lived a truly full -- richly rewarding but also horrifically harrowing -- life. A message of hope, about choosing not to be a victim, and having faith in the goodness of humanity.


About the Author

Eighty-one-year-old human rights activist Halina Wagowska survived Auschwitz and Stutthof concentration camps in her early teens before immigrating to Australia. Over the years she has frequently testified to 'the consequences of prejudice' she witnessed: she provided material for Thomas Keneally's book on Schindler; and for Spielberg's Shoah institute, via the Jewish Holocaust Centre in Melbourne; as well as presenting at international psychology conferences as a child survivor.

Produced by Traces Films - http://traces.net.au/

More details: http://hardiegrant.com.au/books/books...

To buy the book: http://www.readings.com.au/product/97...

To buy the ebook: http://itunes.apple.com/au/book/the-t...

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