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About Never Far Away: The Auschwitz Chronicles of Anna Heilman

Anna Heilman is the author of Never Far Away: The Auschwitz Chronicles of Anna HeilmanNever Far Away won the 2002 City of Ottawa Book Award.  The Introduction to Never Far Away was written by Dieter K. Buse of Laurentian University and Juergen C. Doerr of St. Thomas University.


In 2012, the University of Calgary Press took Never Far Away out of print. There may be copies of Never Far Away available from independent bookstores, from an online retailer such as Amazon or Chapters/Indigo, or on eBay. 


Rights and permissions inquiries may be relayed through comments@annaheilman.net



Reviews of Never Far Away

"This book makes available the memoirs of Anna Heilman, a girl born into the comfort and security of an assimilated Jewish family in prewar Warsaw, who lost everything she had and everyone she valued in the Holocaust. Anna Heilman's written records are largely inspired by the deep and enduring love she has for her sister, hanged by the SS for her role in the "gunpowder" plot to destroy the Auschwitz crematoriums. Her narrative provides historical details of this brave and improbable rebellion against the tyranny of the concentration camp, whereby one of the crematoriums was blown up with smuggled gunpowder in the October 1944 uprising at Auschwitz. Anna Heilman's remarkable survival of the Nazi dehumanization process is a clear example of the ability of the human spirit to triumph over darkness, and her diaries also give voice to the individuals who did not escape with their lives. In recording her experiences of the Holocaust, and immortalizing her sister's ultimate sacrifice, Mrs. Heilman works through themes of confession, redemption, and justice. Compelling, wrenching and raw, her diaries finally represent a painful search for closure to the nightmare that began more than fifty years ago."

University of Calgary Press

"To die for no purpose and to vanish in obscurity is something that Anna cannot accept and live with.... She is driven by the need for justice. But Anna’s implicit demand for justice is not simply for her sister. It is for all of the camp inmates that were devoured by flames, destroyed by malnutrition and disease. Justice requires that they be treated as more than a statistic."

Joel Prager,  Afterword, Never Far Away

"Anna Heilman’s story not only humanizes those whom the Nazis tried so hard to dehumanize, it reveals hope in a place of despair and gives witness to the vital and complete life of pre-war Warsaw. Heilman’s relationship with her sister Estusia and their involvement in the Auschwitz uprising is one of the great untold stories of courage from the last century. Heilman has transformed a powerful historical document and a biography into true literature."

Evan Solomon

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Anna Heilman presents Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper with a copy of Never Far Away (November 2008)