The Aftermath: A Survivor's Odyssey Through War-Torn Europe


181 pages
ISBN 0-919688-44-6
DDC 940.53'18'092





Reviewed by Ian A. Andrews

Ian A. Andrews is a high-school social sciences teacher and editor of the New Brunswick Teachers’ Association’s Focus.


Henry Lilienheim was a survivor of the Holocaust. In 1947, he prepared a
manuscript detailing his life in the camps, his liberation from Dachau,
and, above all, his search across Europe for Lydia, the young wife from
whom he had been separated early in the war. The manuscript, which
remained untouched for 25 years before it was read by his daughter,
formed the basis of a much-acclaimed film, Dark Lullabies, that was
produced and directed by Lilienheim’s daughter. She describes the
autobiography, which was published a decade after the film, as “not
just a story of horror... but a powerful and moving story of love and
hope, as well.”

The book moves back and forth in time, from life in the two years
following liberation to the struggle for daily survival in
Nazi-controlled Europe. It shows the death and attempted destruction of
those considered inferior by the Third Reich, but it also shows the
resilience of the human spirit and the possibility of living happily
ever after in spite of experiences of tremendous hardship.

Lilienheim’s successful search for his wife was followed by several
decades of family life in America. On his 85th birthday, he stated that
“life without love and friendship is meaningless, devoid of everything
that warms and stirs the heart.”


Lilienheim, Henry., “The Aftermath: A Survivor's Odyssey Through War-Torn Europe,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 23, 2024,