A phenomenal success in Europe, But You Did Not Come Back is an important addition to the library of Holocaust literaturea deeply moving story of a survivor of Auschwitz-Birkenau
But You Did Not Come Back
Atlantic Monthly Press
978-0-8021-2623-8 • $15.00 • Forthcoming in Paperback • Jan. 2017
978-0-8021-2450-0 • $22.00 • Cloth • Jan. 2016
Marceline Loridan-Ivens was just fifteen when she was arrested by the Vichy government’s militia, along with her father. At the internment camp of Drancy, France, her father told her that he would not come back, preparing her for the worst. On their arrival at the camps, they were separatedher father sent to Auschwitz, she to the neighboring camp of Birkenau. The three kilometers that separated them were an insurmountable distance, and yet her father managed to send her a small note, via an electrician in the camp. He later died in the Holocaust.
In But You Did Not Come Back, Marceline writes back to her father. The book is a letter to the man she would never know as an adult, to the person whose death overshadowed her whole life. Although the grief over her father never diminished in its intensity, Marceline ultimately found a calling, working on behalf of many disenfranchised groups, both as an activist for Algerian independence and a documentary filmmaker.
And now, as France and Europe in general faces growing anti-Semitism, Marceline feels pessimistic about the future. Her testimony is a haunting and challenging reminder of one of the worst crimes humanity has ever seen, and a deeply affecting personal story of a woman whose life was shattered and never totally rebuilt.
“You might come back, because you’re young,
but I won’t be coming back.”
Marceline Loridan-Ivens’s father to her, April 1944