The Shadows Behind Me

The Shadows Behind Me

14.95

By Willie Sterner

“I was surprised that Oskar Schindler, a German industrialist, would talk to me not as a Jew but as a normal person.... I thought that I must be having a nice dream.”

For six desperate years, Willie Sterner’s skill as a painter saves him from death at the hands of the Nazis. Faced with inhumane conditions in slave labour camps and grieving the loss of his close-knit family, Sterner relies on courage and ingenuity to hold onto his dignity. Through almost random luck, he comes under the protection of the famed Oskar Schindler and becomes his personal art restorer. An unvarnished account of what he experienced and what he lost, The Shadows Behind Me also follows the story of Willie and Eva—the woman he meets on a death march—as they rebuild their lives and regain hope in Canada. Gripping and moving, this is a tribute to one man’s remarkable determination to survive

Titre en français: Les ombres du passé

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About the Author

Willie Sterner was born in Wolbrom, Poland on September 15, 1919. The eldest of seven children, he was the only one to survive the Holocaust. Throughout the war Willie worked in his trade as a painter in various labour and concentration camps, including one year when he worked for the celebrated Oskar Schindler. After the war, Willie Sterner lived in Displaced Persons camps in Austria, first in Wels, where he became chief of the Jewish police and courted his wife, Eva, and then in Linz-Bindermichl. They immigrated to Canada in 1948 and settled in Montreal, where their two sons were born. Willie and Eva Sterner live in Montreal.

Product Information

  • Release: May 1, 2010
  • $14.95 Paperback
  • 240 Pages
  • 6 x 9
  • ISBN: 9781897470183

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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.