Eva Rosensweig Kugler, nee Kanner, was born in the German city of Halle-an-der-Saale, where her father owned a prosperous retail business and was a member of small Orthodox community. Raised in a loving Jewish home, she was unaware of the growing threat of Nazism that began in 1933. In November 1938, when she was seven years old, stormtroopers invaded the family home, arrested her father and destroyed his business. The terrifying events of Kristallnacht brought about an amnesia of the Holocaust years that persisted and plagued her for decades, until she asked her mother, Mia Amalia Kanner, to fill in all that happened to the family during the missing years. Shattered Crystals is Mia Amilia Kanner's remarkable story of her Jewish childhood in Leipzig, Germany, her marriage and move to Halle, the birth of her three daughters and how her idyllic life was shattered by the ever increasing anti-Semitic acts and laws after Hitler came to power in 1933. She recounts her husband's visit to Palestine in 1935 and the obstacles that thwarted the family's attempts to emigrate. With her husband's imprisonment in Buchenwald, it fell to Mia to get not only her husband Sal, out of the concentration camp, but to also get her entire family out of Germany. They were miraculously able to escape to Paris, only to be faced with a renewed nightmare of Jewish survival in France following the outbreak of World War II and the Nazi occupation of France. Coping with the rearrest of her husband, Mia faces the agonizing decision of giving up her daughters and begins her live-saving association, the OSE, and their tireless efforts on behalf of Jewish children during the war. Shattered Crystals, the eleventh volume in the C.I.S. Publishers' Holocaust Diaries Collection, is the story of a courageous woman who, with steadfast faith in Heaven, refused to despair but took unbelievable risks while fighting for her own life and that of her family and friends. She outwitted the Nazis and their French collaborationist cohorts, becoming one of a handful of survivors of one of France's most notorious transit camps.
by Mia Amalia Kanner