As the growing specter of Nazi anti-Semitism threatens a German Jewish family's existence, they send their twelve-year-old daughter to safety in America. The letters written by Sam Kahn to his daughter, Thea, in Chicago, and her vivid recollections of that time in her young life, form a tiny, yet poignantly personal portrait of an era of constant dread.
There Must Be an Ocean between Us records a father's innermost fears, not only for his distant daughter, but also for the family members whose very lives were at risk in Nazi Germany. The correspondence provides unique insights into the nightmare that Nazism brought to the lives of ordinary people. But even more engrossing are Thea's memories of this difficult time. Her letters not only display a young girl's growing anxiety for her family but also reflect the ironic contrast between her idyllic American circumstances and the harrowing straits of the Kahn family in Europe.
This story offers a unique perspective on one of the twentieth century's most critical periods. This is not the preWorld War II era as seen by the Roosevelts, Stalins, or Hitlers, who shaped so many destinies, but the view from an ordinary family for whom a mere scrap of paper-an exit visa-represented life itself.