By Jeremy Kay
A Finchley woman who lost all memory of her wartime childhood in Nazi-occupied France has overcome her fear with the publication of a new book.
Shattered Crystals - The Holocaust Diaries, tells the astonishing tale of journalist Eve Kugler's mother, Mia Kanner, who helped her family escape from the clutches of the Gestapo.
It was only in 1980 that Eve, now in her 60s heard for the first time about her early life on the run. Eve was seven years old and living in Halle-an-der-Saale, Germany, when the Nazis destroyed and looted Jewish homes and businesses during the infamous Kristallnacht night of terror.
Her father Sal was arrested and sent to Buchenwald concentration camp, but it was the resourcefulness and courage of Mia that secured his freedom and helped the family flee to France.
Two years after war broke Mia arranged for Eve and her older sister Ruth to be transported to America and sent her younger sister into hiding with the French Resistance.
She used Resistance contacts to save her husband from transportation to Auschwitz. They survived and in 1046 the family was reunited in New York, a memory Eve will always treasure.
"It was hot. They were wearing coats because people brought everything they had," she said. "I was shocked because they looked so small. My mothers hair was totally white, and she used to have such beautiful auburn hair.
The family stayed in America where for years Eve struggled to recall her childhood. "It plagued me and distressed me for years that there was apart of me that was missing. I had to find out so I asked my parents.
"I was nervous because I was not just asking about their story, but about mine. My mother spoke in great details and started having nightmares again. But she is a brave woman and did not stop until I knew it all.
The book will appeal to people as an adventure, but it is also an important piece of history and tells of the great effort to survive the horrors of Nazi Germany.
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