Janka was a 16-year old Polish school girl when the Nazis arrived. Many years later, she wrote her story of survival. When she came to the part where the Gestapo caught her, she couldn’t type it alone; so her daughter Nina suggested the family help record her experiences in Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camps.
Alberto was a feisty Spanish/Greek from Thessaloniki, who also knew the worst of the Nazi terror in Auschwitz and in Mauthausen. Nina knew little of her father’s life, not even his parents’ names as nearly their Jewish community were exterminated. Then in 2016, an email arrived from the holocaust Museum.
“When I clicked on the link, I could hear my father’s voice.”
Nina is a passionate Australian community artist, who arrived in Australia as a toddler, became an artist and has continued to serve her NSW Central Coast community, and many others worldwide; using her colourful fabric and paints to draw story connections from all peoples she encounters.
Don’t Cry, Dance is her family’s memoir celebrating her parents’ survival and love story; their new life and new beginning in Sydney and their tolerance of people from all cultures, colours and creeds. As a storyteller and artist, it was time for Nina to add her story to theirs and weave a lasting memory for future generations.
Published by the Sydney Jewish Museum 2019, paperback, 335 pages