Will the Suffering Ever End?

Will the Suffering Ever End?

Ilse Weber

Newly discovered manuscripts: descriptions of Nazi terror and soothing songs from the Children's Infirmary. The deeply moving testament of a young woman, a poet whose songs and images of courage born of despair are reminiscent of the poetry of Mascha Kaléko.

Ilse and Willi Weber send their elder son to England and escape with the younger son from Ostrau in Moravian Silesia to the anonymity of urban Prague; but it is not long before they are deported to Theresienstadt. Willi manages to conceal his wife's poems in the wall of a garden shed before they are put on the eastbound train to Auschwitz – verses and songs she wrote for her fellow-prisoners and for the children that she looked after. Ilse is killed along with these children and her own son, but Willi survives and is able to retrieve the manuscripts after the Allied Liberation. Decades later, Ilse's letters to her friend Lilian are discovered in an attic in England. They reveal her to be a young intellectual who admires Karl Kraus and corresponds with Karel Capek. She describes her life as a Jewess in Moravia, where Sudeten-Germans and Czechs lived side by side. She wears the Star of David – and hopes things won't get any worse.

This book displays her charismatic personality for the first time ever – an extraordinary woman who was a legend in her time among the survivors of Theresienstadt and in literature, although so little of her work was known.

Foreign Sales

UK / USA (Bunim & Bannigan)

Will the Suffering Ever End?

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