"Possibly the most important task a survivor of the Nazi horrors can face is also the hardest: To write a memoir that causes later generations not to look away but to know and feel the truth of what happened to one person. Helen Studley has done all that. Her memoir is transfixing."
- Peter Hellman, Author
I read The Winter's Journey of My Youth with great personal and professional interest. I found it to be a gripping, yet ultimately uplifting and inspiring account of survival by an adolescent girl caught in the maelstrom of the Holocaust. The narrative about the ordeals of hiding in Berlin and then, after having been denounced, the unimaginable horrors encountered in Auschwitz and other camps demonstrates once again the strength of the human spirit against all odds.
Randolph L. Braham
The Graduate Center/ CUNY
The Rosenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies
Helen Studley's journey takes her and her father from their home in a small rural town in German to a rooming house in Berlin occupied by some remarkable people. Not being able to leave Germany, she and her father were forced to work in an ammunition factory which, for a while, protected them from the ever increasing deportation of Jews to concentration camps. Thanks to the offer of a devout Christian couple, she and her father went into hiding. While all of this was difficult for a teenager to cope with, nothing compared to the eight months she spent at various concentration camps after she was caught. Studley's book does not dwell on the horrors of the camps; rather, she hints at those horrors through selective flashbacks and a finely-nuanced, "less is more" kind of storytelling. Though there is much tragedy in the book, her voice echoes the insight, clarity, and humor that helped her survive.