Dunedin Athenaeum & Mechanics Institute

For people passionate about words

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Recent books

Driving to Treblinka by Diana Wichtel (October 2017)

Driving to Treblinka by Diana Wichtel (October 2017)An award-winning journalist tells her haunting family story

As a young child Diana Wichtel is brought up in Vancouver, Canada.  Her mother is a Catholic New Zealander, her father a Polish Jew who miraculously survived the Holocaust.  When she is thirteen, her life changes dramatically as her mother whisks her and her sister and brother away to New Zealand.  Their father is to follow.

She never see him again.

Many years later she sets out to discover what happened to him.  The search becomes an obsession as she painstakingly uncovers information about his large Warsaw family and their fate as the hands of the Nazis, scours archives across the world for clues to her father's disappearance, and visits the places he lived.

This unforgettable narrative is also deep reflection on the meaning of family, the trauma of loss, and the insistence of memory.  It asks the question: Is it better to know, or more bearable not to?
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