Goodbye for Always: The Triumph of the Innocents
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Goodbye for Always: The Triumph of the Innocents [Hardcover]

Cecile Kaufer , Joe Allen
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

This book is an exaltation of courage and human endurance, a page-turner that traces the steps of two children fleeing across northern France, during the early 1940s, in what truly can be described as the worst of times. As uplifting as the girl's tale of personal survival is the story of those who helped them, the story of a bond between people of different religious and ethnic backgrounds who shared the common ground of their humanity.

From the Author

I began to write "Good-bye for Always, The Triumph of the Innocents" in 1993. After meeting Cecile Kaufer in the winter of 1990-91, I spent more than three years discussing the historical implications of her story and the reasons why it was an important one to tell. It had been almost 50 years since the events in and around Paris and she was still unable to share the story even with her children.

After endless hours of discussion, Cecile began to feel more comfortable with discussing her experiences with me. In time, she sat her children and grandchildren down and told them what had happened to her. With some basic training and coaching, she began to be comfortable with talking about it to groups. One group, in particular, was the temple her daughter's family belonged to. For the first time, this audience contained a member of her family -- her granddaughter -- named after the beloved mother she had lost.

While these sessions made Cecile more comfortable with speaking in front of groups, she now felt that she wanted it to be chronicled in book form. She had written notes, journals, diaries and poems but had no vehicle to give her family the immortality she felt they were owed. At that point, she and I started speaking in earnest about doing the book. I advised her of the difficult emotional task ahead of her as we sought to bring her family to life. Through the pages of the book, everyone would see her beloved mother, father, sister, grandparents and others in ways she had kept hidden for years. I knew it would stir a great deal of pain inside her and, to her credit, her mission of wanting this story told was strong enough to overcome the pain.

I decided to do the project for several reasons. One, it is an extremely compelling story. It is exciting, touching, dramatic, suspenseful -- and true. Second, as a Jew myself, I believe strongly in passing our knowledge and insight to the next generation. It is my responsibility as an adult to help convey to those who follow what has happened in my time. Third, I felt a strong responsibility to this woman, who had endured so much and who had entrusted me with her inner-most feelings. More than anything else in the world, she wanted to do this so that the story of her family would live forever. She gave me the information I needed to tell the story and my commitment to her was so strong that I agreed to be the storyteller.

When the book was published in the summer of 1997, it represented the single most important moment of my professional life. -- Joe Allen

From the Inside Flap

There was never a more terrible time for Jews in Europe than from 1938 to 1945. The Nazis had overrun a great deal of the continent, bent on the domination of the world and the annihilation of an entire people. The death camps, unknown to most outside Europe, claimed more than six millions Jews during that time. Some endured -- and most have breathtaking stories of survival. Why they survived when so many perished is a matter of coincidence, luck, the will to live and the courage and sacrifice of many others. The full scope of that sacrifice will never be completely chronicled, it is just too vast. "Good-bye for Always, The Triumph of the Innocents" is the story of the youngest members of the Widerman family, who moved to Paris from Poland, only to be caught up in the horror of the Nazi occupation. In 1942, Cecile and Betty Widerman began a journey into the belly of the worst beast mankind has to offer. For two years they were literally one step ahead of death, as Nazi cruelty sought to envelop them as it had millions of others. How they survived, why they survived and who nearly gave their own lives to protect them is a story of inspiration and will that is sure to live forever.

About the Author

Cecile Widerman Kaufer is a survivor of Nazi cruelty, largely because of her own will to live and the assistance of French citizens who would not succumb to Nazi terror. Her mother, father and sister were murdered at Auschwitz. This book is the story of her early life and her escape, with her sister, from the horrors of the holocaust.

Joe Allen is a former journalist, sports reporter and writer. A pioneer in the field of cable television, he has written on a variety of subjects and has penned a number of children's properties.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Heroism is found in many corners and sacrifice is often borne by those with no apparent cause.

Memere, Pepere and Father Louis shared a bond of courage that went far beyond what could have been expected of them. They gambled everything, including their lives, to hide a group of young Jewish children, alone and on the run from history's most terrible evil.

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