Ghost Children

Ghost Children, by Lillian Boraks-Nemetz

Ghost Children

by Lillian Boraks-Nemetz


  • Autumn 2000
  • ISBN 978-0-921870-78-4
  • ebook ISBN 978-1-55380-406-2
  • PDF ISBN 978-1-55380-407-9
  • 6″ x 9″ Trade Paperback, 80 pages
  • Poetry

The poems in Ghost Children explore the spiritual and psychological losses suffered by child survivors of the Holocaust. The title points both to the one and a half million children murdered in the Holocaust and to the many child survivors who have lived out their lives as “ghosts,” never managing to allow their childhood self to surface in their adult lives.

Drawing on her own experience of life as a child in the Warsaw Ghetto and her escape, Lillian Boraks-Nemetz divides her journey of discovery into three sections. She begins by travelling back in memory to witness to the pain and suffering of the Jewish children of Europe. In the second section, she journeys to Europe to visit the concentration camps, ghettoes and towns where Jewish life once flourished.

Boraks-Nemetz finds ghosts of the past in the black granite memorials of what once was the Warsaw Ghetto, in the stones in Treblinka, in the trees of Auschwitz, and in her grandparents’ Polish garden. She also travels to the Dead Sea and the caves of En Gedi to look for traces of her lost Jewish identity. Ultimately, she points to a place of healing, at a light that burns within the very act of surviving and remembering. In spite of all that has happened, in spite of the admonition that, after Auschwitz, poetry is impossible, Boraks-Nemetz affirms that we must continue the journey.

“In these pages the child who is scared half to death becomes the woman who has yet again to feel those fears. In this book is found the human being, the poet, who ‘stood transfixed / at the edge of the apocalypse.'”
— John Robert Colombo