Member Loginmenu
The Fiftieth Gate

The Fiftieth Gate: A Journey Through Memory

Mark Raphael Baker

What right did I possess, as a child of survivors, to recreate an account of the Holocaust as if I was there? In writing The Fiftieth Gate, Mark Baker describes a journey from despair and death towards hope and life; it is the story of a son who enters his parents’ memories and, inside the darkness, finds light. In his evocative prose, Baker takes us to this place of horror, and then brings us back to reflect on these events and remember: ‘Never again’.

Across the silence of fifty years, Baker and his family travel from Poland and Germany to Jerusalem and Melbourne, as the author struggles to uncover the mystery of his parents’ survival: his father Yossl was imprisoned in concentration camps and his mother Genia was forced into hiding after the Jews of her village were murdered.

Twenty years on from its first publication, The Fiftieth Gate remains an extraordinary book. It has become a classic and has now sold over 70,000 copies. In Baker’s new introduction, he recalls his motivations for writing this important memoir, and highlights how the testimonial culture in Holocaust studies has spread to awareness of other genocides and our responsibility (and failure) to prevent them.

Mark Raphael Baker
About the Author

As well as The Fiftieth Gate, A Journey Through Memory, a seminal book on his parents’ experience during the Holocaust, Mark Raphael Baker has written a compelling memoir, Thirty Days, A Journey to the End of Love, about the recent death of his wife. He is Director of the Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation and Associate Professor of...

Read Moreright
Text publication date:
3 July 2017
AU Price:
NZ Price:
Loading Rating
Praise for Mark Raphael Baker
andThe Fiftieth Gate

‘Combining precise historical research and poetic eloquence, Mark Baker’s The Fiftieth Gate remains the gold standard of second generation Holocaust memoirs on the occasion of its twentieth anniversary edition.’

‘Baker does with memory, what Rembrandt does with light. He uses it to model, to imagine, to illuminate, to astonish.’

‘Heartrending and beautiful…This simply written, subtly complex narrative is instantly recognisable as a masterpiece, and the reader is rewarded by the light it sheds.’

Other editions ofThe Fiftieth Gate
Other Titles byMark Raphael Baker