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Silent Letter

Yitzchak Mayer
One night in January 1943, Rosie’s husband Moritz, a member of the French Resistance, is hauled away by the Gestapo in Marseilles, never to be seen again. Rosie is left alone, highly pregnant, with their two sons, Erwin, age 8, and Jacky, age 6. Unable to locate her husband, who later will die in Auschwitz, Rosie decides to escape from Nazi-occupied France to Switzerland, determined to save her boys and herself. They board a train to Saint-Claude, on the Swiss border, carrying false French documents and, in Rosie’s bag, diamonds embedded in a bar of laundry soap. The journey begins, and all the danger comes into play. The first obstacle is language because Rosie, a native of Hungary, speaks no French. So she pretends to be mute and clever Erwin speaks instead of her. In a world where all the fundamentals of human brotherhood have crumbled, they meet evil people, but also some who are good, who show compassion and help her. After an exhausting trek through the snow, the three sneak across the border into Switzerland, but their difficulties are not over. Rosie is taken to an internment camp and separated from her children. They are reunited only a year later.
This remarkable, moving tale of courage is written years later by Erwin, who is none other than the author. But it is told in Rosie’s voice and from her perspective. With boundless sensitivity and tenderness, Mayer gets right inside his mother’s mind to recount this amazing journey of survival.


ENGLISH TRANSLATION AVAILABLE (for publishers only).


Read this book and tell others about it: it is a quality book. 

Tribune Juive

 

In the crowded genre of Second World War memoirs, former Israeli ambassador Yitzchak Mayer has managed to create the unexpected – a lyrical, eloquent account of his family’s escape from Europe that’s written as historical fiction.

JCN

 

The narrative merges facts, dreams, and memories into a suspenseful tale that is beautiful despite the horrors that the family encounter...There are many Holocaust memoirs in print today, but this one stands out because of its presentation.

Jewish Book Council

 

This is the essence of the Holocaust, and perhaps, as the human condition taken to an extreme, this is life itself, replete with contradictions and painful to the point of horror, or absurdity… This is a book written by a person who loves people, yet who has every reason to hate them.

Maariv NRG


A remarkably mature literary work, praiseworthy … The author’s impulse is to tell the story the way that it happened, and to memorialize a remarkable mother ... But through her, [the book] also illuminates the uniqueness of the author … [The narrative] has a breathtaking flow … A genuine artistic endeavor. 

Prof. Hillel Weiss, Makor Rishon

 

Warmly recommended. Rosie Mayer will be branded into your memory.

Pnai Plus

 

A book like this has never been written … unique. This is an almost breathless stream of consciousness, in which facts, memories, dream fragments and thoughts are woven together into a single delicate, sensitive tapestry, with latent suspense … The author recreates a conflicted and intense feminine awareness…in a marvelous manner ... Thrilling and out of the ordinary.

Makor Rishon

Yitzchak Mayer’s story is not only more important, but also better than many others. More important because he presents us … with a reality that this and coming generations are incapable of even imagining … Not only important, but also a good book … that penetrates the heroine’s inner world … A great love story … [and] an appealing read … with an element of a detective novel. 

Ma'amakim

 

The memories of Yitzchak Mayer, a man gifted with a discerning eye, eloquence and courage, a compassionate heart, restraint, responsibility and deep wisdom. His clever and inspired writing … brightly illuminates the dark in which unseen chapters of Jewish existence occurred in the modern world, before the State of Israel was established. This superb storyteller creates a whole world and skillfully relates the painful chronicle of his family from a totally surprising perspective … Unreservedly recommended to anyone interested in the endless complexity of the Jewish family, and in engrossing documentation of the days of the Second World War.  
Prof. Rachel Elior



Title Silent Letter
Author’s Last Name Mayer
Author's First Name Itschak
Language(s) Hebrew, English, French
Genre autobiographical novel
Publisher (Hebrew) Sifriat Maariv
Year of Publication (Hebrew) 2010
No. Pages 295 pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Isha Achat
Representation Represented by ITHL

Translations

French (Switzerland): Neuchâtel, Éditions Alphil, 2013
English: Oakville, Ontario, Mosaic Press, 2017
 
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