By Sandra Smith
A runaway bestseller in France, But you probably did now not Come Back has already been the topic of a French media hurricane and hailed as an immense new addition to the library of books facing the Holocaust. it's the profoundly relocating and poetic memoir via Marceline Loridan-Ivens, who on the age of fifteen was once arrested in occupied France, together with her father. Later, within the camps, he controlled to smuggle a word to her, an indication of existence that made the entire distinction to Marceline—but he died within the Holocaust, whereas Marceline survived. In But you probably did now not Come Back, Marceline writes again to her father, the fellow whose dying overshadowed her complete lifestyles. even though her grief by no means decreased in its depth, Marceline finally chanced on her calling, operating as either an activist and a documentary filmmaker. yet now, as France and Europe more often than not faces transforming into anti-Semitism, Marceline feels pessimistic concerning the destiny. Her testimony is a memorial, a disagreement, and a deeply affecting own tale of a girl whose existence was once shattered and not completely rebuilt.
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Additional resources for But You Did Not Come Back: A Memoir
Yet I didn’t attempt to locate you one of the others. That’s no longer how we’d be jointly back. We ended up within the Pilsen repatriation camp. There, one of many staff acknowledged: “We don’t repatriate Jews, simply prisoners of struggle. ” The prisoners stood up for us, refused to depart with out us. I’d gotten to Sarre sooner than somebody requested our handle; i used to be given a skirt, lingerie, and an reliable deportee card. And that was once the 1st time I gave the telephone variety of the château, fifty eight, in Bollène. You have been already lifeless. I think you regarded similar to the entire corpses I observed scattered alongside the line as I lower back. i will photo your hands outspread, your eyes vast open. A physique who’d noticeable dying after which watched himself die. A physique nobody may ever go back to us. whilst your reputable record arrived, 3 years later, we have been nonetheless hoping you’d come again, yet with out relatively anticipating you to. Michel stopped asking to visit the station. Henri had married Marie. It used to be a major marriage ceremony. I wore a blue costume, like my sisters. We’d long past to Paris, stayed on the Hôtel Terminus close to the Gare de l’Est. you will have enjoyed their Jewish marriage ceremony, you'll were happy with your eldest son, a hero of the unfastened French Forces, jogging down the aisle to his new lifestyles with Marie, who’d been arrested with us at our condominium yet who’d get back alive in addition to the remainder of her family members. the marriage dinner used to be held at a posh eating place, the Palais d’Orsay. every person round the tables kept away from speaking concerning the camps. however the dressy outfits have been not anything greater than armor. Their armor. I didn’t think in Sunday weddings, in a few white clothes thrown over the garments from Canada; I nonetheless carried the mountains of garments that we’d looked after via on my again, and the stench of burnt flesh that will stick with me without end. i used to be resisting their call for that I dwell. Mama additionally remarried. She did it in mystery, with out asserting whatever. She in basic terms advised us afterwards. I didn’t carry it opposed to her. It was once the guy she selected and how she did it that I didn’t like. He’d misplaced his spouse and 5 kids within the camps. He performed playing cards and sponged off Mama. We didn’t like him. How may possibly we? It used to be a time while I had unusual desires, i feel. I went into their room, took down the photographs, specially the single of you and the single of our grandparents. I received you out of the room the place she not slept by myself. I become aware of now that it occurred while your authentic record arrived. 1948. perhaps Mama wanted that record to get remarried. this is often what it stated: “By writing a quick letter to the kingdom Prosecutor, the kin may possibly request both a press release mentioning someone lacking, which, after 5 years, might be changed by way of an reliable loss of life certificates, or they could request an respectable loss of life certificates if the lacking individual is a French citizen and belongs to at least one of the next different types: mobilized, prisoner of conflict, refugee, deportee or political prisoner, member of the unfastened French Forces or the French Resistance military, conscripted to do challenging exertions or refused to paintings in Germany. ” yet you weren’t French.