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4 Apr 2019 18:30

Book Launch: Finding Relly - My Family, The Holocaust and Me

The moving story of how a member of the second generation discovered her family’s past, found her Survivor Aunt in Australia and what the journey meant to her.

Rosemary Schonfeld grew up as the daughter of a Czech immigrant in post-war UK and Canada, unaware of her father’s Jewish identity and of what really happened to his absent relatives. In adulthood she began to feel compelled to find out whether her aunt Relly, who had been married to her father's brother and survived Auschwitz, was still alive.

Tracing and finding Relly were both significant turning points in Rosemary’s life. Relly was an exceptional person who lived a full, rich life without bitterness despite losing her entire family. She enriched the lives of all who knew her immensely, and Rosemary explains the incredible honour she felt when Relly welcomed her as her ‘long lost niece’. Over a ten-year period, from 2000 to Relly’s death in 2010, Rosemary visited her regularly in Sydney. Through conversations with her the author started to understand not only what happened to her father, grandparents and uncles, but also began to understand the many impacts on herself, and therefore others, of being a second-generation Holocaust survivor. Finding Relly - My Family, The Holocaust and Me explores the impact of the Holocaust in both the past and present, revealing how its insidious presence threatened to completely derail Rosemary’s life.

About the speaker
After living in Wales, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and London, as well as touring Germany, Scandinavia and the US throughout the 1980s with her band Ova, Rosemary is a professional musician and composer now based in Devon. She has recorded and produced/co-produced six albums, co-run a recording studio, devised a teaching package for percussionists, and is currently working on a rock opera. She also published an illustrated book of Nonsense Poetry, ‘Standing on Your Head’, and has had short stories published in collections.

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Wiener Library, 29 Russell Square, Bloomsbury, London WC1B 5DP


4 Apr 2019 18:30


Wiener Library

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