Presented with Penguin Random House, author Sue Smethurst tells the remarkable true story of the Horowitz family, and the circus that saved their lives during the Holocaust.
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This event is presented with East Gippsland Shire Libraries and supported by Penguin Random House.
After Sue married into the Horowitz family she heard snippets of stories about an astonishing cross-country escape through Poland and Russia during World War II, and of life in a circus. Sue realised she was in possession of an important piece of history and so, armed with a tin of old photographs and a voice recorder, she visited her husband’s grandmother, Mindla Horowitz, each week in an attempt to find out more.
Mindla was a young Jewish girl living in Warsaw when she met Kubush, a clown performing with Poland’s famous Staniewski Brothers circus. The young couple fell in love and were married, but soon after, war broke out. When Hitler began his reign of terror in Warsaw, Kubush was far from home with the circus. Mindla fled with their little boy, Gad, to be with her husband, but after arriving in the eastern city of Bialystok she found the circus had already moved on. She was captured, sent to a Russian prison and Gad was taken from her.
Reminiscent of The Greatest Showman and Schindler’s List, The Freedom Circus will have you gripped to the very last page and is an important new chapter in Australia’s Holocaust history. It is an amazing true story of hope, love, persecution and the power of laughter.
Sue Smethurst is an award-winning author and journalist who has spent more than 20 years working in the media across television, radio and magazines. She has written eight books, including Behind Closed Doors, Spartacus and Me, Blood on the Rosary and A Diamond in the Dust.