Halina Wagowska, author of The Testimony, joined Richard Stubbs in the 774 ABC Melbourne studio
“Sometimes in this job we’re lucky enough to be touched by truly remarkable people. On Wednesday, that’s exactly what happened when Halina Wagowska came in to tell us her story.
She’s remarkable for a number of reasons, but what strikes you most about Halina is that she’s a survivor; a survivor who grabs life with both hands, and with humor, revels in what is tossed at her.
Her story links events from World War II in Poland and Germany, and crossing the ocean to Victoria’s ‘Black Saturday’ fires and beyond.
She makes the Holocaust real for a generation of people who haven’t lived through hard times.
Helina’s unusual memoir is not crowded with the dates and facts of her life, but is a compendium of times that have marked her – the horrors of Auschwitz she endured as a child, and through which she lost her parents; her work as a char lady at Henty House in Melbourne in 1949, and then later in medicine at The Alfred; and the people who have helped, influenced and impressed her.
These include William Cooper, a First Australian who she’s never met, but whose a lone voice speaking out against the treatment of the Jews by the Germans greatly impressed her – his was, astoundingly, the only private protest against the Germans following Kristallnacht.
Another ‘first’ Australian who impressed Halina was Pete Murray, the singer songwriter who followed her in to the studio to chat with Richard.”
- Book review: The Testimony | Nicole Taylor (bookclub.hardiegrant.com.au)
- Book review: The Testimony | An anonymous reviewer (bookclub.hardiegrant.com.au)
- Book review: The Testimony | Kirsty Kearney (bookclub.hardiegrant.com.au)
- Book review: The Testimony | Jo Canham (bookclub.hardiegrant.com.au)
- The Testimony reviewed in Australian Women’s Weekly (bookclub.hardiegrant.com.au)