After the Nazis invaded Czechoslovakia in 1939, Vera Schiff and her family were sent to Theresienstadt. Touted as the “model ghetto” for propaganda purposes, as well as to deceive Red Cross inspectors, it was in fact a holding camp for famous Jews—in case the world was to inquire. For most, however, it was the last stop on the way to the gas chambers. Those “lucky” enough to remain alive faced slave labor, starvation and disease.
Shiff’s intimate narrative of endurance recounts her and her family’s three years in Theresienstadt, the challenges of life under postwar communism, and her escape to the nascent and turbulent state of Israel.