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Memories in Focus

Ten-year-old Pinchas is separated from his parents and twin sister when they are deported from the Warsaw ghetto to the killing site of Majdanek. As Pinchas is sent on to a series of concentration camps, he shuts himself off to the terrors surrounding him and tries his best not to be noticed, to become almost invisible. But after liberation, his photographic memory won’t let his past fade away, and Pinchas struggles to deal with nightmares and flashbacks while raising a family and trying to heal his emotional scars. As he journeys from England to France, Israel, Brazil and South Africa, Pinchas searches for belonging before finally finding his true home in Canada. A poignant reflection on suffering, injustice and trauma, Memories in Focus also offers hope and faith in the future.

Introduction by Stephen Smith

At a Glance
Warsaw Ghetto Uprising
Majdanek multipurpose camp
Concentration camps and forced labour camps
Death march
Postwar England; France; Israel; Brazil; South Africa
Mental health struggles
Arrived in Canada in 1985
Audiobook available
Educational materials available: Pinchas Gutter Activity
The Warsaw Ghetto: From Persecution to Resistance

192 pages, including index

Recommended Ages

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Photo of Pinchas Gutter

About the author

Born in Lodz, Poland, on July 21, 1932, Pinchas Gutter was the only member of his immediate family to survive the Holocaust. In 1945, he was liberated and taken to Britain. Pinchas lived in France, Israel, Brazil and South Africa before immigrating to Canada in 1985. He is the first Holocaust survivor to be immortalized in an interactive three-dimensional projection in the USC Shoah Foundation’s Dimensions in Testimony. Pinchas lives in Toronto.

Explore this story in Re:Collection

I don’t know why I wasn’t afraid. I think my mind just went blank. I had no feelings at all. I had disengaged myself from what was happening around me. It was as if my eyes were cameras and my brain was the screen. I just recorded everything, without emotion or participation.