My Heart Is at Ease

Gerta Solan’s passion for music began in her childhood, inspired by the chamber concerts her parents organized in their loving home in Prague. In June 1942, twelve-year-old Gerta is deported with her parents to the Theresienstadt ghetto – the Nazis’ deceptive “model Jewish settlement” – and both music and family help her cope with the devastation surrounding her. Later, alone in Auschwitz-Birkenau, Gerta gathers her strength and determination to survive the unbearable. Her intrepid spirit and keen observation guides her anew through postwar communism to freedom in Canada.

At a Glance
Czechoslovakia
Theresienstadt ghetto/concentration camp
Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp
Death march
Postwar Czechoslovakia
Life under Communism
Arrived in Canada in 1968
Adjusting to life in Canada

208 pages

Recommended Ages
14+
Language
English

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Photo of Gerta Solan

About the author

Gerta Solan was born in 1929 in Prague, Czechoslovakia (now Czech Republic). After liberation, she returned to Prague, and in 1949 she married Paul Seidner (Solan). They lived under the Communist regime in Prague until the Soviet occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1968, when they fled and immigrated to Toronto with their son. In Toronto, Gerta worked for the Red Cross, tracing and reuniting families after disasters, until her retirement in 1995. Gerta Solan lives in Israel.

We played a game of nostalgia, recalling the past to forget, for a while, the terrible present….