Montreal Gazette
Old letters help fill a void -Woman who escaped to Canada Wondered about relatives
November 26, 2011

“Brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents. I often wondered what it would be like to know your relatives,” Helen Waldstein Wilkes writes, in Letters from the Lost: A Memoir of Discovery. Read more:


Open AU – Remembering the Past so We Don’t Repeat it
Helen Waldstein Wilkes was 60 when she was reunited with a family she didn’t remember — a family who lived the last chapter of their lives in unthinkable

“Reading the letters, we accompany Wilkes on her journey of discovery. We laugh when she laughs, we despair when she despairs … the courage and dignity of the lost relatives is what remains foremost in the reader’s mind. By allowing us access to a dozen specific individuals, Wilkes has managed to put a human face on an almost unfathomable statistic.” [read full review]

Megan Moore Burns
Quill & Quire
April 2010 Issue


“I’ve always enjoyed reading memoirs, but by far this one has been the most memorable. An unforgettable story, filled with history, love, emotions and facts, Letters From The Lost is a read you won’t want to miss. Read the letters in the box and prepare for a historical lesson you won’t read about in the history books. You will experience suffering, joy, love and fear. You won’t close the book as the same person who opened it to read.” [read full review]

Cindy Bauer
April 19, 2010


“[Letters From the Lost] is a fascinating collection of letters and assorted photographs, maps and charts woven together by Wilkes descriptive narrative. … Anyone who writes this type of book will always wonder if justice was done to the memory of those who perished. Wilkes need not worry on that score.” [read full review]

Tova Kornfeld
Jewish Independent Review
March 26, 2010


“Strikingly, the post-war correspondence in the collection, a series of five letters written by one of Waldstein Wilkes’ only surviving relatives, describes life in Theresienstadt and Auschwitz, the fates of the individuals whose voices are preserved in the previous correspondence, and his attempts to rebuild his life.” — (Jewish Book World 28:3) [read full review]



“I have now had occasion to read your book Letter from the Lost and want to tell you that I am full of admiration for your achievement in this all-too-brief memoir.” – John Conway, Professor of History (Emeritus), UBC

“What a wonderful evening this was! you were articulate, clear, interesting, present.  thank you so much for all you are and your willingness to do what it took to bring those frozen voices to life.” – Carol Ann Fried, Motivational Speaker

“I have just finished reading your memoir. there was much which was very emotional as well as horrifying in the story on the one hand and and uplifting on the other.  but what I believe is especially unique is your perspective.” – Maurice Bloch, Professor of Clinical Psychology, UBC

“I’ve been meaning to tell you how much I enjoyed your book launch and how quickly I consumed your book.  I have been telling many people about it.” – Jennifer Kramer, Curator, Museum of Anthropology, UBC




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