Thursday, October 15, 2009

Petra and Pia Come for a Visit

My German editor Petra and her husband Joe and daughter Pia are living in Boston this fall. Joe had to go back to Germany on business so Petra brought Pia down here for a visit. We’ve taken walks, talked about books, and yesterday went to New York to meet Anne C. Voorhoeve, another one of Petra’s authors who was on her way back to Germany from a reading tour in Canada.

Anne is the author of, among other books, Liverpool Street, a fictionalized account of the Kindertransport rescue mission of 1938, when about 1,000 mostly Jewish children were sent from Nazi Germany to Britain. Many of the children were placed in foster care, but not all. Some as young of 14 found themselves completely alone, and unable to speak English, in London. Liverpool Street will be published in English by Penguin in 2011.

Imagine what it must have been like to be the parents of these children, putting them on a train in Germany, knowing there was a very good possibility that they would never see them again. I can’t fathom how the parents could summon the strength to do it.

It is shameful now to think that senior American officials apparently knew what was happening in Nazi Germany in the late 1930s and did nothing to prevent the slaughter. (See The Abandonment of the Jews by David S. Wyman)

Petra, Pia, Anne, and I went to Central Park where we saw the Zen giant bubble man.

Then we joined Lia for dinner in a very small and tightly packed restaurant where we had to chain Lia’s bike and Pia’s stroller to a grate outside.

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