Paper Love: Searching for the Girl My Grandfather Left Behind
This is the story of looking for the woman Sarah Wildman’s grandfather left behind. The book, with its recounting of sometimes frustrating, exhausting, and contentious research efforts, ultimately is a memorial to one Holocaust victim’s fate.
Wildman’s doctor grandfather fled Austria in 1938, right after the Anschluss, along with his immediate family, while Valy, “the true love of his life,” as Wildman’s grandmother later called her, hurried back home to Czechoslovakia. Years after her grandfather’s death, American-born Wildman discovers a cache of documents labeled “Patients A-G.” It harbors Valy’s letters, full of love and, as time goes on, full of desperation. The letters end in 1941. Wildman sets out to find what happened.