The Aftermath

A Survivor’s Odyssey Through War-Torn Europe

An important contribution to the literature of Holocaust testimony. Read it and you will be moved.

— Elie Wiesel, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate

I am heartened to know that even afar the concentration camps, the author still believes in basic human goodness.

— His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate

Ra-tatata-ta. Ra-tatata-ta. The growl of machine guns. From time to time the distant roar of cannons. I am lying on the third tier of a bed of boards. I am cold. I have covered my head with a blanket. I think of food and then, with indifference, I realize that this is perhaps the last day of my slavery, or of my life.

So begins Henry Lilienheim’s remarkable story, on the eve of his liberation from Dachau. Written in 1947, The Aftermath provides an indelible first-hand portrait of the post-war world, where all Germans miraculously claim never to have supported Hitler, where Munich is the vortex of the greatest migration in history, and where former camp inmates become Displaced Persons. Through it all, Lilienheim battles to maintain hope that his wife, against all odds, is still alive.

Written in spare and often lyrical prose, The Aftermath is a powerful and eloquent love story with lessons for us all. It is destined to become a classic.

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The Aftermath is a spellbinding tale of loss, recovery and integration of self. I was riveted as the author, in his search for Lydia, takes the reader through the chaotic landscape of newly liberated Europe. The narrative unfolds with the suspense of a good detective novel. With its forward movement and its chilling flashbacks. It opens up a unique perspective on the post-Holocaust world.

— Yehudi Lindeman

As fresh as if it was written yesterday. Lilienheim’s memoir of flight rings with courage and the will to struggle for life and decency. It is a moving testimony to the true meaning of love and friendship.

— Frank Chalk, Historian, Concordia University

The Aftermath’s haunting story and compelling questions leave the reader to contemplate the meaning of human existence. It is a book to be read and reread.

— Bill Surkis, Executive Director, The Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre