Parallel Journeys

by Eleanor Ayer and Helen Waterford

Helen Waterford and Alfons Heck made an unlikely and disturbing team to many who... read more

Helen Waterford and Alfons Heck made an unlikely and disturbing team to many who heard them speak together about their experiences during World War II. A German Jew, Helen Waterford was a survivor of Auschwitz and Kratzau concentration camps. Also German, Alfons Heck had spent most of his childhood as a follower of Adolf Hitler, a member of the fanatical Hitler Youth. In this taut, riveting narrative that echoes the format of the many public speaking engagements Helen and Alfons made together in the 1980s, alternating chapters move back and forth between Alfons' and Helens' lives in the years between 1933 and 1946, weaving material from their own autobiographies with author Eleanor Ayer's research on Nazi Germany and the Holocaust. The juxtaposition is disturbing and the result is powerful, as is Helen's and Alfons' testimony to the importance of speaking the truth. (Ages 12-15)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 1995

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