Skip to main content


Hell's Traces (Digital Audiobook)

One Murder, Two Families, Thirty-Five Holocaust Memorials

By Victor Ripp, David Colacci (Narrator)

Publication Date: March 30, 2017

Other Editions of This Title:
Paperback (3/20/2018)
MP3 CD (3/31/2017)
Compact Disc (3/31/2017)
Hardcover (3/21/2017)

Description

In July 1942, the French police in Paris, acting for the German military government, arrested Victor Ripp's three-year-old cousin, Alexandre. Two months later, the boy was killed in Auschwitz. In Hell's Traces, Ripp examines this act through the prism of family history. In addition to Alexandre, ten members of Ripp's family on his father's side died in the Holocaust. His mother's side of the family, numbering thirty people, was in Berlin when Hitler came to power. Without exception they escaped the Final Solution.



Hell's Traces tells the story of the two families' divergent paths. To spark the past to life, he embarks on a journey to visit Holocaust memorials throughout Europe.



A memorial in Warsaw that includes a boxcar like the ones that carried Jews to Auschwitz compels Ripp to contemplate the horror of Alexandre's transport to his death. One in Berlin that invokes the anti-Jewish laws of the 1930s allows him to better understand how his mother's family escaped the Nazis. In Paris he stumbles across a playground dedicated to the memory of the French children who were deported, Alexandre among them. Ultimately, Ripp sees thirty-five memorials in six countries. He encounters the artists who designed the memorials, historians who recall the events that are memorialized, and survivors with their own stories to tell.


About the Author

David Colacci has been an actor and a director for over thirty years, performing coast-to-coast in lead roles of plays by a variety of playwrights, from Shakespeare to Sam Shepard to Steve Martin. He has worked as a narrator for over fifteen years, during which time he has read the works of such authors as Jules Verne, Henry Adams, John Irving, Michael Chabon, and John Lescroart. He has won AudioFile Earphones Awards, earned Audie nominations, and been included in Best of the Year lists by such publications as Publishers Weekly, AudioFile magazine, and Library Journal. David was a resident actor/director with the Cleveland Play House for eight years and has been artistic director of the Hope Summer Rep Theater since 1992. He currently lives in New York with his wife, narrator and actress Susan Ericksen, and his children, Mario and Elena.