Too Many Goodbyes: The Diaries of Susan Garfield

In 1944, as Budapest’s Jews begin to suffer under German occupation, eleven-year-old Susie takes to her diary. Precocious and charming, Susie records the mundane along with the poignant, describing her family, friends and her daily life against a backdrop of war and persecution. Soon, Susie’s young life is marred by farewells — to her father, forced into labour service, and then to her mother when collaborators take her away. After the war, Susie makes a fateful decision to embark on a journey to a new country. Lonely and struggling to adapt in Canada, Susie’s diary is now filled with angst. In Too Many Goodbyes, Susan’s memoir picks up the story where her younger self left it — close to finding a place where she truly belongs.

At a Glance
Hungary
Hiding
Siege of Budapest
Wartime diary and postwar diary paired with postwar memoir
War Orphans Project
Arrived in Canada in 1948
Adjusting to life in Canada

256 pages

Recommended Ages
14+
Language
English

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Photo of Susan Garfield

About the author

Born Zsuzsanna Löffler in Budapest in 1933, Susan Garfield immigrated to Canada as a war orphan in 1948 and lived in Vegreville, Alberta, before moving to Winnipeg, Manitoba, where she still lives. Susan's English translation of her Hungarian wartime diary was published in Voices of Winnipeg Holocaust Survivors (2010), and her story as a new immigrant to Canada was told in Holocaust Survivors in Canada: Exclusion, Inclusion, Transformation, 1947-1955 (2015).

My mother tried to set my mind at ease, telling me not to worry, but she failed to reassure me. My fears were well-founded, as we soon found out.