In her German written book “Vater Unser. Eine Sintifamilie erzählt”, Anita Awosusi tells her story through the stories of her parents, highlighting how their experiences of the concentration camps influenced her own life’s work and activism.
The author focuses particularly on her father’s story of survival, from the forced labor he endured in Sachsenhausen to being forced to fight for the German army in the last desperate days of the war. He spent years as a Soviet prisoner of war before finally being allowed to return to Karlsruhe to rebuild his life as a violinmaker.
In the selected passage, Awosusi’s voice, in italics, tells of her father’s return to Germany and how he built his reputation as a master violinmaker and took great pride in his growing family, making instruments to mark the birth of each of his five daughters. The selection ends with her sister’s voice telling their father’s story of the moment he returned to Karlsruhe, and the Jewish coachman with whom he shares his story and a moment of kinship, as the coachman refuses to take money for the drive.
Few second-generation accounts by children of Sinti and Roma Holocaust survivors exist, and “Vater Unser”, with its insights into life after the camps and the pervading effects of the Holocaust in Sinti and Roma families, is an important contribution to this small body of work.
Source of text sample
Awosusi, Anita. 2016. Vater Unser. Eine Sintifamilie erzählt. Heidelberg: Verlag Regionalkultur, pp. 73-74.