Sue-Ellen Welfonder was a flight attendant for 15 years, traveling frequently to Great Britain. She is of Scottish descent and is a member of her own clan society, the Clan MacFie. She lives with her husband in Longboat Key, Florida.
'I found it absorbing ... testaments such as Janina Bauman's are important and should never be allowed to fade away. The drama of Anne Frank is rightly always before us but the equally vital stories of those who suffered but survived need to be listened to with just as much attention' Margaret Forster 'A profound and moving book which everyone ought to read' Alan Sillitoe, New Statesman 'A magnificent testimony to the people of the ghetto ... a profound autobiographical meditation' NEW SOCIETY 'A deeply moving but surprisingly unselfpitying book, a real pleasure to read' TES 'Incarceration in the Warsaw Ghetto is not an experience one recalls willingly and it took Janina Bauman forty years before she could bring herself to write this book. One is glad she did, both because of the story she has to tell and the skill she displays in telling it ... Although the book makes painful reading, one is frequently reassured by the many instances of almost foolhardy heroism and unfailing goodness' Chaim Bermant, Observer 'A masterpiece. It is told simply and calmly, with complete recall and without flinching. And despite everything it is warm and strong, a story in which the wicked are nameless, the brave and kind lovingly remembered. Janina Bauman is like an Anne Frank who survived ... Janina Bauman was (and is) a brave, intelligent woman, with boundless energy and optimism' Carole Angier, New Society 'The beautifully written story of an ordinary young Jewish girl growing up in extraordinary and horrifying conditions ... Her language is direct and simple: a tone which combines the girl's voice and the adult's retrospective analysis. With endearing frankness she describes her thoughts and emotions of the time, even the frustrated sexuality which made her prone to greet any male visitor to the hiding places - including possible members of the Gestapo - with a moment of irresistible pleasure ... It is a deeply moving but surprisingly unself-pitying book, and a real pleasure to read' Nicola Parker, Times Educational Supplement 'A magnificent testimony to the people of the ghetto and, more particularly, to those whose often anonymous actions ensured the author's unlikely survival. Janina Bauman nevertheless has no interest in romanticising her story. Dehumanisation is here as well as heroism. The blackmailers, the crooks, the ghetto profiteers, the Polish anti-semites - all find their place alongside many examples of extraordinary courage and altruism. The book is also an autobiography of the highest quality' Patrick Wright, New Society 'Janina Bauman's beautifully written memoir of her Jewish childhood in the Warsaw Ghetto and escape beyond its walls offers a remarkable testimony to the durability of the human spirit, even when crushed with adversity' Washington Post Book World ' Using her childhood diaries as a base, Bauman re-creates her family's fight for survival as well as her struggles to develop a sense of her own identity in a world gone mad. Forced behind the walls of the ghetto, Janina slowly becomes inured to the suffering around her. But it is impossible to ignore her growing need for love, her yearning to share her confusion and doubt with someone outside her family - even though she is aware that the person she is reaching out to can at any moment be swept into oblivion ... What makes Bauman's narrative so powerful is that it is filtered through the eyes of an adolescent girl trying to deal with the emotions raging within her: her guilt at having been able to survive and not aiding in the resistance - but also the emotions common to any sixteen-year-old, the need for attention and the sexual awakening that often make her selfish and demanding ... This picture of the human capacity to retain its dignity, its compassion and even its weaknesses in the face of inhuman circumstances gives Bauman's story its lingering power' Kirkus