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Replacement Girl

Nazi persecution and oppression behind the Iron Curtain haunt the adults in this powerful novel as they struggle to adjust in a strange land. Their children, however, expand into the bright, open landscape of their adopted country. Eva and her group of four friends, all immigrant children and 'different', have to make their own adjustments and choices to survive and thrive in 1950s Wellington. They just want to leave their parents' past behind and live the carefree life of their schoolmates.

With sensitivity and humour, Ann Beaglehole takes the reader inside the immigrant experience of mid-century New Zealand, exploring the tensions and love between generations and cultures.

'I found this book almost painfully gripping to read, both because of the vividness of the style, but also because it so closely paralleled my own life experience as an immigrant of the 1950s, and my search for identity and a sense of belonging.' - Sue Edmonds, Waikato Times

Available for $15 at the Centre, or by emailing the office.

Refuge New Zealand

Refuge New Zealand

"Unlike people who choose to migrate in search of new opportunities, refugees are compelled to leave their homeland. Typically, they are escaping war and persecution because of their ethnicity, their religion or their political beliefs. Since 1840, New Zealand has given refuge to thousands of people from Europe, South America, Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

Refuge New Zealand examines New Zealand's response to refugees and asylum seekers in an historical context. Which groups and categories have been chosen, and why? Who has been kept out and why? How has public policy governing refugee immigration changed over time?

Aspects of New Zealand's response to refugees and asylum seekers considered in the book include: the careful selection of refugee settlers to ensure they will 'fit in'; the preference for 'people like us' and the exclusion of so-called 'race aliens'; the desire for children, especially orphans; responses to the increasing diversity of refugee intakes; the balance between humanitarian, economic and political considerations; and the refugee-like situation of Māori.

As the book also shows, refugees and asylum seekers from overseas have not been the country's only refugees. War, land confiscations and European settlement had made refugees of Māori in the nineteenth and early twentieth century, with displacement and land loss contributing to subsequent Māori social and economic deprivation." - Otago University Press

Available at the Centre for $20, or by emailing the office.


My Two Lives

my two lives bookAmong the extensive concentration camp records examined after the war were countless prisoner photographs.  One particular photograph of a young woman with a shaved head and sad eyes records her fate as “a Jewish woman from Slovakia, name unknown … her subsequent fate, unknown.” That prisoner was Lotte Weiss, who was born in Czechoslovakia, into a large and loving family. Her harmonious upbringing came to an abrupt end, when, in 1942, she was forcibly deported, along with two of her sisters, to Auschwitz.

Tragically, three months later, the rest of her family were also taken, and Lotte alone survived three year’s slave labour in the death camp, from where only a handful returned.

She survived a harrowing ordeal, but meeting her husband, and having children also contributed to Lotte’s healing process and inner strength. Through her open heart, her never-ending good humour and positive attitude to life, she has shaken off the label of ‘fate unknown’.

She feels compelled to tell her story to the younger generation in the hope that these tragedies will never happen again.

For sale at the Centre for $25, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Out of the Shadows

Image result for out of the shadows walter hirsh

"Wally (Walter) Hirsh O.B.E; JP is a keen potter, tramper, environmentalist, author, adventurer and tour leader. He has been an educator for most of his life but is probably better known in New Zealand for his work in the very high profile position of Race Relations Conciliator and Human Rights Commissioner. He has had a lifetime of involvement in ethnic affairs and community work and still, as he approaches 80, is a Trustee of several community based trusts. In association with his wife Adele, he still plans and leads educational travel tours for senior citizens, in New Zealand, Australia, The Pacific and South East Asia. Like so many people in this era Wally was encouraged to write his story.

His has been a very diverse life. It began in Mo˜nchengladbach in 1936, continued in Milton New Zealand from 1938 and has flourished in this land of milk and manuka honey ever since. In writing the story of his life, Wally acknowledges his many forebears who were denied the fulfillment of their lives in the worst chapter of man's inhumanity to man in our history, the Holocaust; while also writing of the energy put into rebuilding a united family spread over five continents. Wally and Adele live in Meadowbank Auckland. They have three adult children and seven grandchildren, and a large extended family living in New Zealand, Australia, England, Scotland, the United States of America, Israel, France, and South Africa." - back cover

For sale at the Centre for $20, or by emailing the office.

The Holocaust: a reader

holocaust a reader bookThis interdisciplinary collection of primary and secondary readings encourages scholars and students to engage critically with current debates about the origins, implementation and postwar interpretation of the Holocaust.

Interdisciplinary content encourages students to engage with philosophical, political, cultural and literary debate as well as historiographical issues.
Integrates oral histories and testimonies from both victims and perpetrators, including Jewish council leaders, victims of ghettos and camps, SS officials and German soldiers.
Subsections can be used as the basis for oral or written exercises.

Whole articles or substantial extracts are included wherever possible.

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In a Strange Land - the Songs of Richard Fuchs

Richard Fuchs

"Richard Fuchs was born in Karlsruhe, Germany, the eldest son of a well established German Jewish Family. Although he trained as an architect, he was a gifted pianist and composer. A disciple of Wagner and Mahler, he wrote symphonies, chamber works as well as many songs. But because he was Jewish, his music was suppressed by the Nazis and only performed to Jewish audiences or not at all. Ironically his music with its Brucknerian tones was the sort of music the Nazis might have approved of. After Kristallnacht he was imprisoned in Dachau Concentration Camp but was released after acquiring a visa to New Zealand.

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Under New Stars: Poems of the New Zealand Exile

under new stars bookTranslations by Andrew Paul Wood, Margot Ruben, Dean and Renate Koch, edited by Friedrich Voit.

Karl Wolfskehl (1869-1948) was probably the most prominent literary figure among the refugees from Nazi Germany who came to New Zealand in the 1930s. Aged 69 when he arrived in this country, Wolfskehl wrote his finest poetry here in the last decade of his life. Until now little work by this important poet has been available in English translation. Now Andrew Paul Wood of Christchurch has added many new translations to existing versions by Margot Ruben and Dean and Renate Koch to provide a substantial bi-lingual selection of the work of Wolfskehl’s New Zealand exile, including his masterpiece Job or The Four Mirrors.

In addition to the poems, presented on facing pages in both German and English, the book includes a substantial introduction by Friedrich Voit, a Note on Translation by Andrew Paul Wood, several tipped-in photographs (including two of Wolfskehl and one of his grave at Waikumete Cemetery), a facsimile of a handwritten poem, and a drawing by Leo Bensemann, alluded to in the poem To the Creator of “Fantastica”.

Copies can be ordered through Holloway Press

The Violinist

the violinist bookThe book by Sarah Gaitanos about Clare Galambos Winter, past member of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and Hungarian survivor of Auschwitz, is available to purchase from the Holocaust Centre of New Zealand.

Klára Galambos was a twenty-year-old violin student in Budapest in March 1944. Arrested and thrown into jail in the first days after the German occupation, she survived the Szombathely ghetto, and Auschwitz-Birkenau. After five weeks she and her aunt were among the thousand Hungarian women selected for slave labour at Allendorf.

Clare and her aunt Rozsi were the only members of their family who survived. They came to New Zealand in 1949 to begin a new life. Clare joined the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra as a violinist and was a prominent member of the orchestra for 32 years until her retirement.

For sale at the Centre for $40, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

A Second Life: Aprica to salvation in Switzerland 1943

aprica to salvation bookThis book tells the story of more than 200 foreign Jews who had been in interned in the small Italian town of Aprica who fled successfully over the Italian-Swiss border. 

After graduating from the University of Auckland with a Master's degree in Physics in 1961, a scholarship took Alan Poletti to the University of Oxford, England. Following post doctoral research in Oxford and then at Brookhaven National Laboratory, he became a Staff Scientist at the Lockheed Palo Alto Laboratory before returning to the University of Auckland to take up the Chair in Nuclear Physics which he held for thirty years until his retirement in 1999. He was one of the first New Zealand scientists to carry out collaborative research about the Jews interned in Aprica.

The Deckston Story

deckston story bookAnnie and Max Deckston, originally from Russia,  arrived in New Zealand in 1900. They farmed in the Hutt Valley for ten years, then moved to Wellington where they were engaged in a number of businesses, and property development.  By the 1920s they had accumulated a considerable fortune, which enabled them to help their relatives move to Wellington. In the 1930s, the Deckstons brought out twenty Jewish orphans from Bialystok and set up a home for Jewish children in Berhampore, Wellington. The Deckstons saved these children from the fate of their families, most of whom were murdered in the Holocaust. When the children grew up and there was no longer a need for a children’s home, the estate of Max and Annie Deckston  was used to fund a Jewish old age home in Naenae, Lower Hutt. When this home ceased catering for Jewish residents, the funds were used to support elderly Jewish people and to foster Jewish education.  Many of the orphaned Deckston children later moved to Melbourne, but others stayed in New Zealand and became successful, assimilated New Zealanders.

For sale at the Centre for $15, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Film and the Shoah in France and Italy

film and the shoah bookAuthor Giacomo Lichtner is a cultural historian of Modern Europe with a theoretical interest in cinema as a privileged mediator between history and memory. Film and the Shoah in France and Italy is a uniquely comparative analysis of the role of cinema in the development of collective memories of the Shoah in these countries. The work follows a chronological structure of which three French documentaries - Night and Fog, The Sorrow, and The Pity and Shoah - form the backbone. These three sections are linked by comparative case studies on famous and lesser-known fictional works, such as Roberto Benigni's Life is Beautiful, Louis Malle's Lacombe Lucien, Armand Gatti's The Enclosure, and Radu Mihaileanu's Train of Life. The book tackles crucial themes, such as the politics of history and its representation, the 1970s obsession with collaboration, and the ethical debate around cinema's ability adequately to represent the Shoah.

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The Holocaust Centre of New Zealand is located at the Wellington Jewish Community Centre,

80 Webb Street, Te Aro, Wellington 6011.

Open Sunday - Friday 10am - 1pm, and outside these hours by special arrangement.

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The Holocaust Centre of New Zealand is a member of the Association of Holocaust Organizations - an International Network for the Advancement of Holocaust Education, Remembrance & Research

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The Holocaust Centre of New Zealand is a registered charitable entity and donations are tax deductible. Charity registration number CC48551.