How to talk about the horrors of the Holocaust? For five decades Otto Schwerdt couldn’t talk about his suffering in the death camps of the National Socialists. Only in the late 1990s, he began intensively discussing his story with his daughter Mascha. Their long talks formed the basis for this heart-wrenching report they wrote together. After the book was published in its original German version in 1998, Otto Schwerdt, with untiring energy, visited schools to tell young people about the Holocaust and to admonish them to stand up for democracy and tolerance.
Otto Schwerdt was born in Braunschweig in 1923. During the rule of the Nazis, he fled with his family to Poland in 1936. Deported to the death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1943, Otto Schwerdt survived the Holocaust with his father; his mother, sister and brother were murdered. He lived in Regensburg in Bavaria until his death in 2007.