Holocaust survivor Robbie Waisman’s life story is now an award-winning YA book

Robbie Waisman's book "Boy From Buchenwald" recently won awards from the Toronto Festival of Authors and the BC And Yukon Book Prizes. (Raincoast Books)

Robbie Waisman was the youngest of six children growing up in Poland, having just turned eight years old when the Nazis invaded. While his whole family was killed except for him and his sister, Waisman survived a ghetto, a slave labour camp, typhus and the Buchenwald concentration camp–he was in the same group of 400 boys with Elie Wiesel.

After moving to Canada to start a new life, Waisman kept quiet about his time in Europe until prominent Holocaust deniers began making headlines in the 1980s. He decided it was time to share his story and revisit his past. Fast-forward several decades and Waisman, now 91, is a well-known educator and public speaker in Vancouver—whose story is now a book for young adults. Boy From Buchenwald came out last spring, but just won two awards: at the Toronto International Festival of Authors, and in BC and The Yukon.

To mark the 84th anniversary of Kristallnacht—when, in 1938, Nazis burned Jewish homes, businesses and synagogues across Germany and Austria—Waisman and his co-author, Susan McClelland, join The CJN Daily to describe the impact they hope his life’s story will make on young readers.

What we talked about:


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