November 11, 1944   On November 11, we drink champagne at the house. Even the baby takes a few sips while being held in the arms of our maid Thérèse. Later, the little boy will go to l’Arc de Triomphe with his father, and I, happy mother, start preparing a surprise for lunch. .…At eleven […]

[The words of Georges Huisman have been haunting me. I’m still bothered by how, in his introduction to my aunt’s memoir, he felt the need to explain that her book isn’t literature. “What is the importance of literary form or the ratification of a grand public?” he asks. It’s almost an apology for her testimony. […]

The strangeness of pale Northern skies: here, one can’t call it a blue sky, but a white sky. For three months I’ve seen every sunrise, the sumptuous ones in Ravensbrück, when the sky quickly sweeps away a somber blue as the invading purple strikes brusquely in every direction – perhaps too brusquely. And weeks ago […]

[I am so lucky to have a family that sustains each other with love. Thanksgiving is a time to remember all the things you have to be grateful for, and this year I felt the kind of gratitude that makes me take deep, steadying breaths when I stop to think about all I’ve been given. […]

[The memoir jumps back and forth between times. Even with each chapter clearly dated, it’s hard to determine what my aunt’s writing in the present, and what’s the past. For a person like me who has a tenuous understanding of English grammar, much less all the numerous tenses in French, it’s not easy. It truly […]