A story of survival, of love between mother and son and of enduring hope in the face of unspeakable hardship. An important read.
The Boy Who Didn’t Want to Die describes an extraordinary journey, made by Peter, a boy of five, through war-torn Europe in 1944 and 1945. Peter and his parents set out from a small Hungarian town, travelling through Austria and then Germany together. Along the way, unforgettable images of adventure flash one after another: sleeping in a tent and then under the sky, discovering a disused brick factory, catching butterflies in the meadows – and as Peter realises that this adventure is really a nightmare – watching bombs falling from the blue sky outside Vienna, learning maths from his mother in Belsen. All this is drawn against a background of terror, starvation, infection and, inevitably, death, before Peter and his mother can return home.
Professor Peter Lantos is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and in his previous life was an internationally renowned clinical neuroscientist. His memoir, Parallel Lines (Arcadia Books, 2006) was translated into Hungarian, German and Italian. Closed Horizon (Arcadia, 2012) was his first novel. Peter was awarded the British Empire Medal in 2020 for ‘services to Holocaust education and awareness’. He is one of the last of the generation of survivors and this – his first book for children – will serve as a testimony to his experience. Peter lives in London.
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