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Tailors on Both Sides
In this moving memoir, Liverpool psychotherapist Anita Canter writes about past generations of her family and their migration from Eastern Europe to Denmark and Sweden, bringing to life their history and their close-knit relationships. She tells the story of the rescue of the Danish Jews by their fellow citizens during the Holocaust and her own family’s escape. Told with honesty and insight, this is ultimately a tale of survival and renewal.
From Tailors on Both Sides:
My brother Bent and I should not be here today. In October 1943, when the Nazis had planned to capture all the Jews of Denmark and send them to concentration camps, the Danish people carried out the most amazing rescue operation and managed to save nearly 7,000 of their Jewish citizens.
I was three years old, and my parents (my mother being six months pregnant) and my father’s sister Poula were betrayed, and we were first sent to Vestre Fængsel, the main prison in Copenhagen, and later to Horserød prison camp in North Sjælland.
Miraculously we were saved at the very last minute. On the same day as all the other Jewish people in Horserød were sent to the concentration camp,Theresienstadt, we were set free because my mother was a Swedish citizen.
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Buy from an independent bookshop: Tailors on Both Sides is available from Liverpool's News from Nowhere radical bookshop on Bold Street.
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About the author
Anita Canter (née Sverdlin) was born in Copenhagen in 1940 and first came to England as an au pair girl in 1960. She then worked as a nursery teacher, a lecturer and a counsellor. Anita lived in Israel for three years in the 1980s, where she taught English and worked with Holocaust survivors. She was active in the peace movement and with groups of Jewish and Arab women.
Anita settled in Liverpool, working in private practice as a psychotherapist and supervisor, and running courses in Adlerian psychology and inner child work.
Tailors on Both Sides has sold to Jewish museums and Holocaust memorial centres around the world and Anita gave talks to children and adults about this history and what we can learn from it.
In her next book, Threads of My Life, Anita showed how the little child who played out with her friends was still present in the inquisitive psychotherapist she became – and how we are all profoundly affected by childhood experiences.
Anita died in 2015, survived by her husband Philip, two children and six grandchildren. Her life and work remain an inspiration to all who knew her.
Tailors on Both Sides
Published in March 2010