Driving To Treblinka: A Long Search for a Lost Father
As a young child Diana Wichtel is brought up in Vancouver, Canada. Her mother is a Catholic New Zealander, her father a Polish Jew who miraculously survived the Holocaust. When she's thirteen, her life changes dramatically as her mother whisks her and her sister and brother away to New Zealand. Their father is to follow. She never sees him again. Many years later she sets out to discover what happened to him. The search becomes an obsession as she painstakingly uncovers information about his large Warsaw family and their fate at the hands of the Nazis, scours archives across the world for clues to her father's disappearance, and visits the places he lived. This unforgettable narrative is also a deep reflection on the meaning of family, the trauma of loss, and the insistence of memory. It asks the question: Is it better to know, or more bearable not to?
Shortlisted for 2018 Ockham NZ Book Awards - The Royal Society Te Apārangi Award for General Non-Fiction.
Diana Wichtel is an award-winning journalist. She has been a feature writer and television critic at New Zealand Listener for 32 years. After gaining an MA at Auckland University she tutored English before moving to the Listener in 1984. She has written dialogue for television and a New Zealand Herald column. She was a 2016 holder of the Grimshaw Sargeson Fellowship.