Stephen Maitland-Lewis was always fascinated by the Holocaust while growing up in in post-World War II England as a Jewish boy.
In his latest work of fiction, Emeralds Never Fade, Lewis brings the reader a story about two boys growing up in Germany. The story tracks the paths of Leo Bergner, a Jewish boy, and Bruno Franzmann, a German who is called upon to serve in the Hitler Youth.
The story unfolds around the Holocaust and how it affects each of the young boys in a different way. The book follows the lives of the characters post-Holocaust in a plot line that consists of conspiracy, desertion and a family heirloom that links the men throughout their lives.
While Lewis was not personally affected by the Holocaust, he said growing up he was surrounded by World War II history. “I’m speaking as a layman,” he said.
His passion for telling the story of Nazi atrocities is an attempt to prevent them from happening again.
“I think it’s crucial that the stories of the Holocaust be told time and time again,” Lewis said.
Lewis, who now lives in California, is a member of the board trustee for the Louis Armstrong House Museum at Queens College. When he was 12, he began a correspondence with the world famous jazz musician, who actually wrote Lewis back. He considered himself lucky to correspond with Armstrong roughly six times a years.
Lewis will be reading experts from his novel on April 21 at Queens College.