Book Review

The State of Dark: Powerful memoir gives voice to a family the Nazis tried to silence

Judith Mok, whose grandparents and aunt died in the Nazi concentration camps, reveals how her family did their best to carry on with their lives, despite ever-present ghosts of a deeply traumatic past

Judith Mok: her unforgettable book works as not just a cry of rage at insufferable loss, but also brings her family back to be seen in the fullness of their rich, bohemian, artistic lives

At the age of five, Judith Mok ran away from her kindergarten in Holland. Classmates, who had already called her weird because she didn’t spend her holidays visiting grandparents or relations, dubbed her a liar after she explained that she actually had no grandparents.

A year later, she heard the name of Anne Frank for the first time when a sombre stranger called Otto knocked at her family’s door. He had travelled from Switzerland to ...