By day, police hold placards in front of Jewish shops, emblazoned with the words 'Don't buy from Jews'; others put up signs to identify places where Jews are to be denied entry. At night, SA men smash Jewish shop windows, owners are terrorised into relinquishing their businesses, and homes are visited by Gestapo who take family members away. The year is 1933 and this is life in the Fuhrer's Germany. In the ensuing years, it is clear nowhere in Europe is safe. But how can people find a way to escape 'fortress Europe' and where are they to go? For twenty-four European Jews, it is New Zealand, the country furthest from Germany, that will be their refuge. First published as Gelobtes Neuseeland, this book brings together their stories. From doctors and entrepreneurs to children and world-famous minds, their stories could scarcely be more varied and yet they have one common link - the desire to maintain as much distance from Germany as possible throughout their lives. Promised New Zealand is a significant piece of world history, interweaving historical background on the politics of the period with vital stories that need to be told before they are lost to subsequent generations. It is the first English-language translation of this important work and the first time it has been published outside of Germany.
Born in 1950 in Dresden, Freya Klier is a filmmaker and author with a long history of political activism. In 1968, she was sentenced to 16 months' imprisonment when her attempt to flee East Germany failed. In 1980, she co-founded the German Democratic Republic (GDR) peace movement and in 1988 was arrested with other civil rights activists, stripped of her citizenship and compelled to leave the one-party communist state. Today she lives in Berlin and has written many books on wartime Europe.