Six Lost Years

“How much longer could we last?” sixteen-year-old Amek Adler laments, after arriving at yet one more concentration camp in the spring of 1945. From the Lodz and Warsaw ghettos to the Radom forced labour camp, and from the Natzweiler concentration camp to Dachau, Amek has witnessed too much destruction and tragedy to bear any more suffering. To hold onto hope for his survival, he dreams of the life he had with his parents and three brothers, reminiscing about holidays, social events and dinners; he dreams of a life without pain and starvation; and he dreams of the future. When Amek is finally liberated, he is determined to embrace all the opportunities that freedom offers. Six Lost Years is a story of the courage it takes to confront the past, live for the present and embrace the future.

Introduction by Idit Gil

At a Glance
Lodz ghetto, Warsaw ghetto, Radom ghetto
Forced labour and concentration camps
Dachau concentration camp
Postwar Italy, displaced persons camp; Sweden
Arrived in Canada in 1954
Adjusting to life in Canada
Educational materials available: The Warsaw Ghetto: From Persecution to Resistance

144 pages, including index

Recommended Ages

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Photo of Amek Adler

About the author

Abram (Amek) Adler was born in Lublin, Poland, on April 20, 1928. He was liberated in April 1945, eventually reuniting with his mother and two of his brothers. Amek lived in Italy between 1945 and 1947, immigrated to Sweden in 1948 and then to Canada in 1954 with his wife, Ruth. In Toronto, Amek succeeded in both the fur industry and the jewellery business, becoming president of the Canadian Jewellers Association in 1989. Amek spoke to numerous audiences about his experiences during the Holocaust and educated countless students on March of the Living. Amek Adler passed away in 2017.

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I had watched my family being torn apart and degraded, and I had feared for my life. I was heartbroken, but I had been hardened, and I had learned not to cry.