Jack Kuper


Child of the Holocaust

"Remarkable . . . Gripping . . . a child’s struggle for survival”
The Globe and Mail

“Astounding . . . a work that amounts to a letter from inside a nightmare . . . A miraculous example of the human spirit at its most resilient.”
Toronto Star

“Artfully rendered . . . testifying to the spirit of a man who emerged whole from a childhood of shame and despair.”
Saturday Review

“He reveals the terror, the mental and physical sufferings, and the hope and courage of a youngster’s desperate will to survive.”
Seattle Times

Key Porter, Reissue, Canada 2007
Mexico Diana/Planeta 2009
Dozens of translations/editions

Child of the Holocaust

“Marvellous . . . The charm and fascination of the book lie in the dual role of survival and growing up.”
London Times Literary Supplement

Jack Kuper was only nine years old when he came home to find everyone in his family gone. The night before, Germans had come to his village in rural Poland and taken away all the Jews. Now alone in the world, he has to change his name, forget his language and abandon his religion in order to survive. Jack wanders through Nazi occupied Poland for four years, with no place to hide and no one to trust.   

The harrowing true story of how he survives has been hailed as a classic, as powerful as The Diary of Anne Frank. It has been in print in various editions in English and a dozen other languages since 1966. For a new edition released this year in Canada, Jack Kuper revisited the manuscript for the first time since he wrote it more than 40 years ago. He was able to include the correct names of those who helped him and to add new material.

After the war, Jack Kuper escaped Poland and immigrated to Canada at the age of 15. He spent much of his career in advertising, producing and directing award-winning TV commercials. As a filmmaker he has written and directed several shorts. His film RUN! was honoured at the Venice Film Festival. He is also the author of After the Smoke Cleared, the sequel to this book. He now lives in Toronto with his wife Terrye and speaks often to groups about his experiences during the Holocaust.

Click here for a moving tribute to Dorothy McCarthy who mentored Jack Kuper when he was young and new to Canada: