WORD Vancouver and Banyen Books co-host a panel conversation with Meryl Frank, author of Unearthed, and Marsha Faubert, author of Wanda’s War.
Unearthed: A Lost Actress, a Forbidden Book, and a Search for Life in the Shadow of the Holocaust
A thrilling mystery woven into a beautifully constructed family memoir, Unearthed is Meryl Frank’s journey to seek the truth about a beloved and revolutionary cousin, a celebrated actress in Vilna before World War II, and to answer the question of how the next generation should honour the memory of the Holocaust. Through archives across four continents, by way of chance encounters and miraculous discoveries, and eventually, guided by the shocking truth recorded in the pages of the forbidden book, Meryl conjures the rogue spirit of her cousin—her beauty and her tragedy. Meryl’s search reveals a lost world destroyed by hatred, illuminating the cultural haven of Vilna and its resistance during World War II.
Wanda’s War: An Untold Story of Nazi Europe, Forced Labour, and a Canadian Immigration Scandal
What does it mean to be exiled? For the landmarks of your past to disappear? In 1943, Wanda Gizmunt was ripped from her family home in Poland and deported to a forced labour camp in Nazi Germany. At the end of the war, she became one of millions of displaced Europeans awaiting resettlement. Unwilling to return to then-Soviet-occupied Poland, Wanda became one of 100 young Polish women brought to Canada in 1947 to address a labour shortage at a Quebec textile mill. But rather than arriving to long-awaited freedom, the women found themselves captives to their Canadian employer… In this masterful account of a hidden episode of history, Faubert chronicles the tragedy of exile and the meaning of silence for those whose traumas were never fully recognized.
Meryl Frank is an international champion of women’s leadership, human rights and political participation. President Obama appointed her United States Representative in 2009, and subsequently, Ambassador to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. President Biden appointed Frank to a seat on the US Holocaust Memorial Council in May in 2022. Frank is president of Makeda Global Network, and has served in the leadership of many national and international organization’s governing boards. She was selected as one of “The Fifty Most Influential Jews in the World” by the Jerusalem Post (2012) for her work on behalf of women around the world.
Marsha Faubert is a Toronto-based lawyer with a lengthy history of public service in the administrative justice system in Ontario. She has worked as a litigator, an arbitrator, an adjudicator of appeals in workplace injury and disease claims, and as the director of a provincial tribunal. She is the author of Wanda’s War: An Untold Story of Nazi Europe, Forced Labour, and a Canadian Immigration Scandal.