If Only It Were Fiction

If Only It Were Fiction


By Elsa Thon

Elsa Thon’s family tradition of storytelling illuminates and enriches her striking coming- of-age story, If Only It Were Fiction. She was a 16-year-old photographer’s apprentice when the Nazis occupied her town of Pruszków, Poland. After her family was sent to the Warsaw ghetto, Elsa joined a community farm, where she was recruited by the Underground and sent to Krakow with false papers. “Passing” as a gentile, she worked in a photographic studio until she was betrayed and transported from the Krakow ghetto to forced labour camps. Despite her deep belief in destiny, Elsa refuses to bow to her fate as a Jew in war-torn Poland.

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About the Author

Elsa Thon was born on January 10, 1923 in Pruszków, Poland. After liberation, she ended up in the Feldafing DP camp, where she married a Soviet tank commander, Mayer Thon. They went to Israel in 1948 and, as war survivors, were given special permission to immigrate to Argentina in 1955. They immigrated to Canada in 1980. Elsa lives in Toronto.

Product Information

  • Release: June 30, 2013
  • $14.95 Paperback
  • 288 Pages
  • 6 x 9
  • ISBN: 9781897470336

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The Azrieli Series of Holocaust Survivor Memoirs

Since the end of World War II, over 30,000 Jewish Holocaust survivors have immigrated to Canada. Who they are, where they came from, what they experienced and how they built new lives for themselves and their families is an important part of our Canadian heritage. The Azrieli Series of Holocaust Survivor Memoirs is guided by the conviction that each survivor of the Holocaust has a remarkable story to tell, and that such stories play an important role in education about tolerance and diversity. Millions of individual stories are lost to us forever. By preserving the stories written by survivors and making them widely available to a broad audience, the Holocaust Survivor Memoirs series seeks to sustain the memory of all those who perished at the hands of hatred, abetted by indifference and apathy. The personal accounts of those who survived against all odds are as different as the people who wrote them, but all demonstrate the courage, strength, wit and luck that it took to prevail and survive in such terrible adversity. The memoirs are also moving tributes to people – strangers and friends – who risked their lives to help others, and who, through acts of kindness and decency in the darkest of moments, frequently helped the persecuted maintain faith in humanity and courage to endure. These accounts offer inspiration to all, as does the survivors’ desire to share their experiences so that new generations can learn from them. Recognizing that most survivor memoirs never find a publisher, the Azrieli Foundation established the Holocaust Survivor Memoirs Program to collect, archive and publish these distinctive records.