By Jeremy Josephs
This is the tragic yet ultimately uplifting account of one woman’s determined journey, taken in search of her past and herself.
Liverpool Street Station, London, May 1939: a 3-year-old Jewish child and her twin sister, who have just arrived via the Kindertransport that is evacuating Jewish children from Germany, wait for their new life to begin.
Adopted by a childless Welsh Baptist minister and his wife, Susi Bechhöfer and her sister Lotte are given new identities. In an attempt to erase all traces of their previous existence, Susi is renamed Grace and Lotte becomes Eunice. Only fifty years later does Grace Stocken, a Christian and former nursing sister now living in Rugby, discover the terrible truth about her background. She is the daughter of Rosa Bechhöfer, a young Jewish woman who perished in the gas chambers of Auschwitz.
The discovery of her real identity propels Grace – now once again calling herself Susi – on a painful and courageous search for her past and for the surviving members of her natural family. In Munich she learns the truth about her father, including details of his service as a soldier for the Führer during the war. She finds Orthodox Jewish cousins in New York and a non-Jewish half-sister in Germany. And in the course of her quest, she confronts a dark secret from her own past: the psychological and sexual abuse she endured as a child.
In the light of these shattering revelations, Susi was forced to reappraise her life and, most of all, shed her status as a victim. Now a practising psychotherapist, she has come to terms with her past – but the memory of Rosa, the mother she never knew, will always be with her.
Praise for Rosa’s Child:
‘I thoroughly enjoyed this uplifting though at times shocking true story of chauvinism, racism, barbarity, sacrifice, hypocrisy, mental torment, redemption and healing’ – Amazon review
‘Susi’s story is sad but also very uplifting as it demonstrates the power of the human spirit’ – Amazon review