E/96: Fate Undecided
The son of a diamond merchant in Antwerp’s famous diamond exchange, Paul-Henri Rips was ten years old when the Nazis invaded Belgium in May 1940 and ended what he calls his “golden childhood” forever. Vividly told from a child’s perspective, this fascinating account explores the diverse inhabitants of Belgium and France during the Nazi occupation and the experiences of one family against the backdrop of large-scale events. Guided throughout by his father’s words of wisdom – “A klapt vargayt, a wort bestayt” (A blow will go away again, but a word lasts forever) and “Sei a mensch” (Be a decent human being) – Rips conveys his unwavering belief in the importance of holding on to one’s own humanity in the face of unfathomable inhumanity.
Introduction by Mark Webber and Naomi Azrieli