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Traces of What Was

The Azrieli Foundation | The Azrieli Series of Holocaust Survivor Memoirs

Ten-year-old Steve Rotschild learns to hide, to be silent, to be still – and to wait. He knows the sound of the Nazis’ army boots and knows to hold his breath until their footsteps recede. Rotschild takes us on a captivating journey through his wartime childhood in Vilna, eloquently juxtaposing his past, furtive walks outside the ghetto with his long, liberating walks through Toronto fifty years after the war. Vividly evoking his experiences, this story of survival and a mother’s tenacious love leaves the reader indelibly marked by Traces of What Was.


Steve Rotschild was born in Vilna, Lithuania in 1933. He immigrated to Israel with his mother and stepfather in 1949, and from there to Canada. He married Lillian Blumenfeld in Montreal in 1956; they later moved to Toronto, where they raised their two daughters. Steve Rotschild has five grandchildren and lives in Toronto.

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