Too Many Goodbyes: The Diaries of Zsuzsanna Löffler

Too Many Goodbyes: The Diaries of Zsuzsanna Löffler


By Susan Garfield

In 1944, as Budapest’s Jews begin to suffer under German occupation, eleven-year-old Zsuzsi (Susie) takes to her diary to write about her friends and family as she copes with what it means to be persecuted. Precocious and charming, Susie records the mundane along with the poignant as she describes her daily life in Budapest against the backdrop of the war. Her pre-teen life is marred by farewells — first to her father, as he is drafted into the forced labour service, and then to her mother when Hungarian fascist collaborators take her away. Alone after the war, Susie makes a fateful decision to leave her relatives and embark on a journey to a new country, where she struggles to adapt and begins to yearn for her home in Hungary. Uncertain whether she made the right decision to emigrate, Susie writes all her feelings down in a new diary, the only place where she feels she truly belongs.


About the Author

Born Zsuzsanna Löffler in Budapest in 1933, Susan Garfield immigrated to Canada as a war orphan in 1948 and lived in Vegreville, Alberta, before moving to Winnipeg, Manitoba, where she still lives. In 1954 she married Harry Garfinkel (Garfield) and started a family, eventually raising three children. Susan later earned a bachelor of arts (honours) from the University of Winnipeg and a bachelor of recreation studies from the University of Manitoba. Her English translation of her Hungarian wartime diary was published in Voices of Winnipeg Holocaust Survivors (2010), and her story as a new immigrant to Canada was told in Holocaust Survivors in Canada: Exclusion, Inclusion, Transformation, 1947–1955 (2015).

Product Information

  • Release: January 14, 2020

  • $14.95 Paperback

  • 156 Pages with Photos

  • 6 x 9

  • ISBN: 9781988065557

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.