The Shadows Behind Me

For six desperate years, Willie Sterner’s skill as a painter saves him from death at the hands of the Nazis. Faced with inhumane conditions in slave labour camps, and grieving the brutal loss of his close-knit family of nine, Willie relies on his courage and ingenuity to hold onto his dignity. Showing how random luck could change the course toward almost certain death for Jews in the Holocaust, Willie finds himself transferred to Oskar Schindler’s Emalia factory, where he comes under the protection of the famed German businessman and becomes his personal art restorer. An unvarnished account of what he experienced and what he lost, The Shadows Behind Me also follows the story of Willie and Eva – the woman he meets on a death march – as they rebuild their lives and regain hope in Canada. Gripping and moving, this is a tribute to one man’s remarkable determination to survive.

Introduction by Hilary Earl

En bref
Ghetto de Cracovie
Camps de travaux forcés
Usine d’Oskar Schindler
Camp de concentration de Mauthausen
Camps de personnes déplacées (Autriche d’après-guerre)
Immigration au Canada en 1948
Adaptation à la vie canadienne

256 pages

Tranche d'âge recommandée

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Photo of Willie Sterner

À propos de l'auteur

Willie Sterner est né le 15 septembre 1919 à Wolbrom (Pologne). Aîné d’une famille de sept enfants, il est le seul à avoir survécu à l’Holocauste. Après la guerre, il a vécu dans des camps de personnes déplacées en Autriche, où il est devenu chef de la police juive. Willie et sa femme, Eva, ont immigré au Canada en 1948 et se sont installés à Montréal. Willie Sterner est décédé en 2011.

I was surprised that Oskar Schindler, a German industrialist, would talk to me not as a Jew but as a normal person.... I thought that I must be having a nice dream.