Lutz van Dijk/Rozette Kats & Francis Kaiser

My Name was Rita Back Then

Damals hiess ich Rita

Trust in a world of horror
The story of a Jewish girl, told for children

If little Rozette had not found protection as a baby with a couple she did not know, she would have been murdered in Auschwitz like her Jewish parents. She survived because she was given a new identity. Because Rozette became Rita.

Decades later, she tells her story. Lutz van Dijk and Francis Kaiser have listened to her and, with their picture book, have found a format in which they can tell even younger children about the Holocaust.

In impressively realistic pictures, Francis Kaiser shows 80-year-old Rozette talking to young listeners. Lutz van Dijk, who retells her life story, creates an atmosphere of empathy and security that makes it possible to learn about Rozette’s trauma and at the same time be comforted by her cheerfulness and confidence.

Peter Hammer Verlag

Picture Book

Original title: Damals hieß ich Rita. Die Geschichte von Rozette Kats
Age 8+
38 pp | € 20
hc | 220 x 280 mm
Publication: February 2024

Author: Lutz van Dijk & Rozette Kats
Illustrator: Francis Kaiser

All rights available


“The almost cinematic illustrations emphasise the documentary aspect of the true story. It is an oppressive yet captivating book, because it visually captures the atmosphere of a bygone world, but thematically never loses the connection to the present. It can be read by anyone of any age.” – Eselsohr, March 2024

“Through dialogue-based, constructive storytelling, we become part of an incredible rescue story that is deeply moving and touching. A picture book against forgetting, an absolute must-read not only for children but also for adults.” – Janett Cernohuby / Bücherkarussell

“Lutz van Dijk has written down this story of survival based on Rozette Kats’ report and retold it in a child-orientated way for today’s adolescents. Francis Kaiser has also sensitively realised pictures of memory and the few surviving photographs of that time. It is to be hoped that many teachers, educators and above all parents will convey this profound true story to their own children, warning them against hatred, intolerance and religious mania.” – Frank Becker, Musenblätter

By the same author and illustrator