Called to Testify: The Big Story in My Small Life

Called to Testify: The Big Story in My Small Life

by Judith Kalman
Called to Testify: The Big Story in My Small Life

Called to Testify: The Big Story in My Small Life

by Judith Kalman


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How does a secular, non-practising Jew who has lived most of her life outside the Jewish community suddenly find herself in the front rows of a Nazi war crimes tribunal?

In 2015, the award-winning writer Judith Kalman was invited to Lüneburg to testify at the trial of Oskar Gröning, accused of facilitating 300,000 murders at Auschwitz. She appeared on behalf of a relative she had never met, a child of her father’s first marriage, who died in the camp. Kalman not only found herself in the unaccustomed company of survivors who had built their identities and missions out of Holocaust remembrance, but grappling with profound questions of loss, guilt, and restitution. For the first time in her life, she was forced to confront her parents’ tragic past, and how it had confounded her own sense of who she wanted to be: “Broken friendships, missed expectations, difficult family relationships, and a problematic marriage were all forged in the heritage of loss.” Called to Testify is a beautiful, thoughtful memoir about the meaning of life in the wake of traumatic events, coming to terms with your identity, and understanding the magnitude of what can never be restored.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781989555668
Publisher: Sutherland House Books
Publication date: 05/17/2022
Pages: 250
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Judith Kalman is the author of The County of Birches and a range of stories, poems, and essays. Her writing has appeared in Saturday Night, Descant, Prairie Fire, the anthology Celebrating Canadian Women, and the Oxford Book of Stories by Canadian Women.

Table of Contents

Coming to the Table 1

Spilling the Beans 7

La Campagne 19

Hindsight Comes Too Late 29

Trans-Canada 39

Strange Bedfellows 53

Found and Lost 63

In Sickness and in Health 75

Easy to Love 88

All the King's Horses 94

Great Lake Water 101

A Human Condition 129

Red 139

Sitting Shiva 144

Life After Death 153

Postcards from the Land of the Oppressors 162

The Big Story in My Small Life 175

Acknowledgements 195

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