My book review of 'The Tennis Champion Who Escaped the Nazis' by Felice Hardy
The author, Felice Hardy is a journalist and travel writer who researched the story of her grandparents who escaped Austria in the Second World War.
Liesl and David had successful, high profile lives before they were forced to flee the Nazis. And in fact Lisel was the country's tennis champion.
Though Liesl and David were able to find safety in England, they had to leave many members of their family, ultimately losing them as some were sent to concentration camps and others died as they tried to escape.
They built new lives for themselves and their daughter Dorli, Felice's mother. Liesl and Dorli both played at Wimbledon, the only mother and daughter to do so. But none of them could rid themselves of the feeling of guilt that they survived while their family didn't. And Felice has subsequently found that that survivors' guilt is passed down the generations.
This is a powerful and compelling read. Passages of Felice's journey of discovery, researching the lives of her relatives, punctuate the story she has been able to create of her extended family, most of whom she never met. It reads like a novel but naturally the events and experiences of these innocent people through war and the Holocaust is shocking, disturbing and upsetting. We always need to be reminded.