On the Other Side of the River


As a young woman, Anna Sput-Stern was caught in the midst of the German invasion of Poland in the Second World War, and was to suffer the pain of exile, labour camps, illness and indescribable loss.
‘On the Other Side of the River’ is a collection of stories based on the experiences of Anna and those around her during and after the Holocaust. Divided into two parts, the first part recounts stories about the immense hardship suffered by ordinary people during the War, while the second focuses on life after the War, and the difficulties – and occasional humour – faced by displaced people forced to settle in new countries and cultures.
These are life stories written with compassion and insight, and with the quiet authority of one who writes from one’s own experience. While the tragedy of what has been endured is never far from the surface, a compelling sense of optimism runs through the collection, as does an unshakable conviction in the strength of the human spirit.

Anna Sput-Stern

Anna was born in Poland. She survived the Holocaust and migrated to Australia in 1948. As one of many homeless people who survived the war years, she has come to understand her experiences and has found solace in the life she lives. Her previous publications, Images and Reflections (poetry) and On the Other Side of the River (prose) explore the experience of civilians during World War II. She writes about love and hate, the pain of loss, the joy of growth of a family and misery that comes with the feelings of ‘who am I and where do I belong?’ For some Jewish families it has meant living under assumed names for a life-time In Clan, Anna writes about life in Australia for herself, her family and friends. Anna’s latest book, A New Identity, deals with the complexities of identity, adjustment and survival in difficult and sometimes dangerous conditions.