This winter, on her way home from an exhausting speaking tour, Vivien lugged her suitcase off the airport carousel, lost her balance, broke her right leg and injured her shoulder. She now must undergo physical therapy and recuperate from a wheelchair. For the first time in eight years, she cannot speak publicly during Holocaust Awareness Week, which begins on Sunday.
Instead, she will sort through her files and photographs and prepare a project that has rattled in the back of her mind for more than fifty years: A personal account of the Nuremberg trials. At age 74, Vivien is among the last surviving participants.
Although volumes already have been written, she has something to add. She is not Jewish. She is Catholic. And she is part German. To her, those are only more reasons to write her book. Not for the talk shows, the bestseller's lists or the royalties, she says. But for that eleventh-grade boy in Golden.