Survival Kit

Survival Kit


By Zuzana Sermer

“For the second time, I found myself about to be interrogated…. I wouldn’t confess to being Jewish this time, knowing it would mean certain death. How could I die now, after all we had managed to get through? I would not allow myself to die by their bloody hands. These thoughts pumped courage into my veins.”

An only child, fifteen-year-old Zuzana Sermer does what she can to protect her father and ailing mother when the Nazis set up a fascist regime in her native Slovakia in 1939. Four years later, fleeing to the supposed safety of Budapest, Zuzana and her fiancé, Arthur, must instead navigate one treacherous situation after another when Germany occupies Hungary in March 1944. Survival Kit is both Sermer’s thoughtful reflections on the miracles of her survival and a testament to the power of courage, love and determination.

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About the Author

Zuzana Sermer was born in the small town of Humenné, in what is now Slovakia. She and Arthur Sermer married in July 1945 and lived under a Communist regime in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia for the next twenty-three years. They raised four children there, but fled to Canada when the Soviets occupied the country in August 1968. Now a widow, Zuzana lives in Toronto, where she paints and enjoys life in Canada surrounded by her large extended family.

Product Information

  • Release: October 24, 2012
  • $14.95 Paperback
  • 160 Pages
  • 6 x 9
  • ISBN: 9781897470329

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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.