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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.


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.



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. 



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, Spanish
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


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

Spanish: Buenos-Aires, Editorial Leviatán,2018

Residencies in Vienna and Salzburg
In co-operation with KulturKontakt Austria, the Austrian Federal Chancellery offers 50 residencies in Vienna and Salzburg for the year 2019. Applications can be submitted for literature, literature for children and young adults and literary translations. Please note the deadline of September 30th, 2018.
Call for applications English speakers: Stay culture in Paris (deadline: June 12th, 2018)
Details in the attached link
Congratulations to Sami Berdugo and Shoham Smith, recipients of the 2018 Bialik Prize, one of the most prestigious literary prizes in Israel!

The Ministry of Culture and Sport announced the names of the winners of the Arik Einstein Veterans Artists Prize.
A prize of 50,000 NIS was given to each of the 21 artists who worked and are still working to promote Israeli culture in various fields -Music, dance, theater, plastic arts, cinema and literature. In the literature category the winners were Ronny Someck, Jacob Buchan and Shlomit Cohen-Assif. Also, Anat Masiach is among the recipient of the prize for debut literary works. Congratulations!
The fourth German-Hebrew/Hebrew-German translation workshop November 4th to 10th, 2018 Beit Ben-Yehuda, Jerusalem
After workshops in Berlin, Jerusalem and Straelen, the workshop will return to Jerusalem this spring. This workshop will focus on the participants translations. These are unfinished translations that have not yet been published. These will be sent to all participants. The workshop is open to 10 participants and is intended for literary translators with experience and publications. Workshop facilitators: Anne Birkenhauer and Gadi Goldberg Prerequisites: At least one published translation Duration: November 4th 2018 until November 10th, 2018 Location: Beit Ben-Yehuda, 28 Ein Gedi St., 93383 Jerusalem Participation fee: Participation (Accommodation and meals) is free of charge. Travel / flight expenses will be refunded. For more details and for the documents required for submitting application: Anne Birkenhauer, and Gadi Goldberg,
Ayelet Gundar-Goshen's "Waking Lions" is one of the 100 notable books of 2017 of the "New York Times".

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