8 × 10 in
Bainbridge Island Museum of Art
Brooklyn College Library
Harvard University, Fine Arts Library
Ohio University, Alden Library
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
Reminiscences of a Refugee by Halla Beloff is the story of a 1930s childhood in Germany and a new life in England during and after the Second World War. Halla Beloff is a wonderful storyteller, and with the help of her daughter, the artist Zoe Beloff, Halla Beloff’s story grows to include many stories, a rich and personal glimpse of the Jewish diaspora from Leipzig and Berlin, to London, Long Island, New York City, and Santa Monica.
The first chapters vividly conjure up a dark chapter in history through the eyes of a child. Her parents’ snapshots bring to life a world fast receding from living memory. And yet there is nothing exceptional about their experiences. Halla Beloff and her parents were amongst the thousands of ordinary families who fled the Nazi terror and built new lives in countries around the world. In many ways, it is this aspect of the story that speaks to us today. It is not an account of extraordinary heroism or suffering. Rather it is about stoical and patient preparation, determination, resourcefulness, and the sheer luck of people who did what they had to do to survive and flourish. It is this that connects that time to ours.