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Clearly, he had a tremendous impact on me. He made me feel I could do anything, and empowered me to follow my dreams. In fact, both of my parents inculcated that mindset in our upbringing.

And so I followed my dreams and became a medical doctor, treating patients of my own. And yet…I still don’t see myself as a natural speaker or a translator. I am, however, passionate about education to further people’s knowledge of the Jewish past, and like my father I feel a sense of responsibility to testify to the world about what happened.


Now, with the hindsight of a mature adult, I marvel more and more at my mothers inner strength. She was the parent who was rather formidable in sorting practicalities out so efficiently, keeping us selflessly on the straight and narrow path emotionally and socially.

She did this by sharing our grief and showing strong leadership. In fact, as a child I always knew there was something special about my father because my mother was always protective of him, despite the fact that she herself was a hidden child who was arrested and questioned by the Gestapo in Annemasse, France.

My mother never told my father her story; she felt he had suffered more and she didn’t want to burden him further. After all, they were both busy rebuilding their lives in Munich with no family support.

* * * * *

To this day, something I cannot reconcile myself to is the evil that can exist in humankind. Hermann Göring, the second most powerful man in Nazi Germany, for example, was by night a loving father and doting husband and by day an engineer of a mass murder machine.

As a daughter of two survivors who is now a mother and grandmother herself, I repeatedly ask myself what makes a man turn in such a way. How is it humanly possible? And yet we continue to see grievous acts of bloodshed today in the form of terrorism and racial violence. And we see anti-Semitism and anti-Zionist rhetoric on university campuses along with the proliferation of the BDS movement.

The very fact that just a few weeks ago the United Nations – at a time when terrorism is rampant around the world and terrorists stab innocent Jewish civilians in Israel on an almost daily basis – passed ten resolutions against Israel shows how much work we have ahead of us.

The translation of The Long Night is my way of honoring my father’s desire that the world should never forget how easily goodness can be threatened in the most brutal way.

* * * * *

My father’s message to his little brother continues to inspire me. I quote that message as it appears in the book:

I will continue to write because my little brother’s voice is still ringing in my ears; because you were suffocated, you with your happy heart, with your serious child’s eyes with which you watched over my shoulder as I was reading. For you, dear brother, with your innocent eyes which were barbarically extinguished in Auschwitz. You look at me in the darkness when I lie awake, and your eyes warn me, “Don’t forget!” For you I will have sleepless nights, my little brother. For you I will tell the story of the long, bloody night.

We, the next generation, are retelling the story, and we will continue to do so.

I am grateful that just a few months ago the English edition of The Long Night was published by The Toby Press. To our delight, the prime minister of the United Kingdom, Rt. Hon. David Cameron, gave us a letter of praise which was included in the beginning of the book.


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Noemie Lopian lives in Manchester, England. She is actively involved in Holocaust education and commemoration and is available for speaking engagements. “The Long Night” is available online and in local Jewish bookstores everywhere. It can be ordered from