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Can of Worms acquires Holocaust memoir

As the world remembers the 75th anniversary of D Day today 5th June, there seems no more fitting time to announce Can of Worms’ newest acquisition from the 2019 BookExpo in New York. Shores Beyond Shores is the memoir of Irene Butter, a renowned peace worker, activist, and Holocaust survivor, and we are so pleased that it will be joining the shelves of our imprint Civic Books later this year.

When the Dutch police knock on their door, Irene and her family are forced to leave their home and board trains meant for cattle. They are taken to Nazi-controlled prison camps and finally to Bergen-Belsen, where Irene is a fellow prisoner with Anne Frank. With limited access to food, shelter, and warm clothing, Irene’s family needs nothing short of a miracle to survive. Irene’s memoir tells the story of her experiences as a young girl before, during, and after the Holocaust, highlighting how her family came to terms with the catastrophe and how she, over time, came to view herself as a survivor rather than a victim. Throughout the book, her first-person account celebrates the love and empathy that can persist even in the most inhumane conditions.

“Irene’s message about the role one voice can play on the world is more relevant than ever,” says Can of Worms publisher, Tobias Steed, “we are particularly delighted with the acquisition of Irene’s memoir, her words send a poignant message against hate at a time when anti-Semitic, fascist and xenophobic movements around the globe are experiencing a resurgence. Irene, through her book, reminds us of the impact one person can have in choosing to follow the mantra, ‘never a bystander’ — a phrase she adopted only 33 years ago, after her own voice was silenced by her cousins in the years after the Holocaust. Now, Irene Hasenberg Butter is a well-known inspirational speaker on her experiences during World War II. We are indebted to agent Mary Bisbee-Beek for bringing Irene’s story to our attention.”

Shores Beyond Shores is set to launch in New York City on 15 September at the Museum of Jewish Heritage where Irene Butter will be in conversation with National Book Award winner Andrew Solomon, author of Far from the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity. Publication in the UK is on 8 November to coincide with commemorations of Kristallnacht.

About Irene Hasenberg Butter. Irene was born in Berlin in 1930. She is a well-known peace activist, Holocaust survivor, and Professor Emerita of Public Health at the University of Michigan. She is a frequent and favoured inspirational speaker, talking about her experience during World War II. Irene is a co-founder of Zeitouna, an organization of Jewish and Arab women working for peace, and a founder of the Raoul Wallenberg Project at University of Michigan, which honours the Swedish diplomat who saved thousands of Jews with fellowships and an annual award for peace workers such as the Dalai Lama, Elie Wiesel, and Desmond Tutu. She received a PhD in Economics from Duke University. More info at:

For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact: Tobias Steed, Publisher, Civic Books and Can of Worms. Tel: +44(0)7480058978

Title: Shores Beyond Shores: From Holocaust to Hope, My True Story

Author: Irene Butter with John D. Bidwell and Kris Holloway ISBN: 978-1-904104-98-8 Price: RRP£14.99 Paperback

“Not since the Diary of Anne Frank, have I been so touched by a book that grapples with the dark abyss of the human condition.” Jacqueline Sheehan, NYTimes bestselling author

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