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Debra Barnes_0078_PSEdit_PSEdit.jpg


Debra is the debut author of The Young Survivors. The book was inspired by her mother, Paulette, who was born in France in 1938 and lost her parents and two siblings in the gas chambers of Auschwitz, including her twin sister at just six years old. 

Since studying journalism in London, Debra has worked in a number of different communications roles as diverse as PR for Newcastle Brown Ale and internal communications manager for Mothercare.

Debra joined The Association of Jewish Refugees (AJR) in 2017 to run their My Story project. This initiative produces individual life-story books for Holocaust survivors and refugees with the participation of volunteers as interviewers. Debra has recently also been asked to the lead the new Second Generation project for the AJR, helping to plan the future of the organisation.


Debra said, "I wanted to write this story to shed light on the fate of Jews in France during the war, something which is not often considered. The book is dedicated to my mother who managed to live a full and happy life despite the horrors of the Holocaust. I often wondered how she managed to live with the burden of having survived when her twin sister perished, something she never spoke about.


"My extensive research included numerous trips to France where I visited my mother’s birthplace in Metz, the Jewish children’s homes and orphanages in Paris and Louveciennes, and the lady who looked after my mother in the orphanages and reunited with her sixty years later in Cannes. Writing this book has been a bittersweet experience for me."

There is detailed information on Debra's research in the Blog section of this website. Debra lives in London with her family.

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