New Release Book is a First Ever; The Forgotten Holocaust: a Gypsy’s Journey from Auschwitz to Freedom

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In The Forgotten Holocaust, author Caroline Cooper’s new book launched on the 2nd August 2012 in Canberra by Her Excellency Ms Quentin Bryce AC CVO, Governor General of Australia: covers a topic that has never been done like this before. It weaves the life story of Gil Webb, an English Gypsy who found himself in Auschwitz during World War II and lived to find freedom in Australia.

In The Forgotten Holocaust, author Caroline Cooper’s new book launched on the 2nd August 2012 in Canberra by Her Excellency Ms Quentin Bryce AC CVO, Governor General of Australia: covers a topic that has never been done like this before. It weaves the life story of Gil Webb, an English Gypsy who found himself in Auschwitz during World War II and lived to find freedom in Australia.

From conversations with a Romani friend in Australia, Cooper became fascinated with an almost-forgotten piece of history: the plight of Eastern European Gypsies as Adolf Hitler “cleansed” the world of nearly eleven million “undesirables.” Nearly the entire population of Eastern European Gypsies was wiped out, erased at Auschwitz.
The Romani call it Porrajmos, or the “Devouring,” and that’s exactly what it was.
Cooper dug beyond the often brief descriptions available of the fate of the Romani and found compelling, sometimes first-hand stories of persecution that continues to this day in some parts of the world.

She wove these together to create Gil’s “drom,” or journey, over sixty years, through the worst time in Romani history to his still-nightmare-laden old age in Australia, when the unthinkable happens: he learns one of his Auschwitz tormentors is alive and doing very well indeed … in Australia.

Not only is this enemy very comfortably settled nearby, his grandson is actually courting Gil’s only grandchild, Lily—who until very recently hadn’t even been told of her Romani heritage.
Lily comes to grips with her heritage—difficult because even in generally open-minded and welcoming Australia, prejudice against Gypsies is still alive. This book grapples with a history that has been lost in time and the author has cleverly woven the horrors of the past with the hope of the future into a compelling read.

About the Author

Caroline Cooper grew up in England and was recruited into the British Foreign Office after university. She spent ten years at postings to Kenya, Trinidad, Fiji and France before emigrating to Australia, where she worked in government circles as private secretary to a minister and a prime minister, as a vice-regal executive officer and a government visit officer escorting members of royal families, popes, presidents and potentates on official visits.

Cooper was made a Member of the Royal Victorian Order (MVO) by the Queen in 1992.

In what she refers to as “spare time,” Cooper has been an award-winning freelance travel writer reporting on domestic and international destinations.

The Forgotten Holocaust is her debut novel.

For more Information: http://www.forgottenholocaustgypsys.com

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Irina Webster
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