Jack Kuper



"After the Smoke Cleared is as valuable a personal chronicle of the restoration of order in the post-war world -- and of the restoration of self, dignity, and family -- as Child of the Holocaust was for its testimony about the disintegration of these things."

- The Toronto Star

As a little boy of nine, Jack Kuper was separated from his family during WWII and hid for four years in the Polish countryside, fleeing Nazi soldiers, and hoping that his father, who escaped to the Soviet Union, would rescue him.

After the Smoke Cleared begins at the close of WWII in war-torn Europe when Kuper, at age 15 is sent to Canada with other war orphans. Two decades later, married, a father of four, owner of a successful film production house, he miraculously is reunited with his father.

Then the hard part begins. Zelik is a survivor of Siberian labor camps, with a new family in the USSR, and opposing opinions on everything from food to material values. He and his son confront each other across a chasm of divergent cultures, betrayals, and distorted memory.

A compelling story of two men and what they did to survive, it moves from Polish villages to Siberian death camps, to the advertising world of Toronto and Manhattan, to the teeming immigrant neighborhoods of New York City. It is also a portrait of an era in all its cruelty and hope.

Stoddard CAN/94

-Toronto Jewish Book Award
-finalist Edna Staebler/Creative Non-Fiction



Published in 1966 and compared to The Diary of Anne Frank and The Painted Bird, this classic tale of survival has remained in print for three decades. For four years, after his mother and brother were taken by the Nazis to perish at Sobibor, Jack Kuper roamed the Polish countryside, lying about his Jewish identity.

Living under a string of assumed names, he almost forgot who he was. Child of the Holocaust is a portrait of a hideous era when people needed extraordinary courage to be kind to a child.

Current Editions:
Berkley reissue US/93 O/P
Stoddart reissue Can/94 O/P
PIW Pol/95
Geografico de Agostini Italy
Kosaido Shupan Japan/97
German publisher Piper/2000