‘A Brief Stop on the Road from Auschwitz’

2bc87f60-d3b7-4ff9-b1e8-c8cc7e2eba1cPhilippe Sands at The Financial Times:

In August 1947 a young Jewish man named David Rosenberg descended alone from a train at the small town of Södertälje, a few kilometres to the west of Stockholm. A “pitiful remnant of his almost extinguished family”, David was in his twenties, on a journey that began in the Polish city of Lodz, took him to the selection ramp at Auschwitz-Birkenau – the point of separation from his beloved Halinka – and thence on to numerous labour and death camps in Germany. Somehow he ended up in Sweden, on a train. “My dearest Halinka,” he writes hopefully to the woman who eventually became his wife, “I got to Södertälje at seven in the evening.” Has he chosen the right place to disembark?

That question threads its way through A Brief Stop on the Road from Auschwitz. David and Halinka are soon reunited; it is a time for “bright dreams and big projects” in a new country. They produce a son who is given a local name, Göran. He will become one of Sweden’s most distinguished journalists, a success story for a child of immigrants, and years later will write this fine, captivating account of his father’s journey, his own journey of discovery, and the nature of Sweden in the years after the war.

more here.