Driving To Treblinka: A Long Search for a Lost Father
Diana Wichtel was born in Vancouver. Her mother was a New Zealander, her father a Polish Jew who had jumped off a train to the Treblinka death camp and hidden from the Nazis until the end of the war. When Diana was 13 she moved to New Zealand with her mother, sister and brother. Her father was to follow. Diana never saw him again.
Growing up in New Zealand she gave her father little thought, but later in her life troubling questions began to emerge. What had happened to him? Why had he not re-joined the family? Diana's quest took her around the world as she tracked down long-lost relatives, historians, archivists - anyone who might know something about her father, and about the members of his family who had been trapped in the Warsaw ghetto.
Painstakingly, with extensive research and numerous interviews, she discovered the truth.
The story of Diana's search is also a moving meditation on how none of us can know who we really are until we confront and understand our past, no matter how painful.
Shortlisted for 2018 Ockham NZ Book Awards - The Royal Society Te Apārangi Award for General Non-Fiction.
Diana Wichtel is an award-winning journalist. She has been a feature writer and television critic at New Zealand Listener for 32 years. After gaining an MA at Auckland University she tutored English before moving to the Listener in 1984. She has written dialogue for television and a New Zealand Herald column. She was a 2016 holder of the Grimshaw Sargeson Fellowship.