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Recording Now Available of the Second Segment in the Series “Voices of the Second Generation in Writing”

The recording of the second segment of the series “Voices of the Second Generation in Writing” is now available at this link. This was an extraordinary meeting in which representatives from two writing groups of children of survivors shared their experiences. One group met for several years in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and the anthology of their personal stories and memories as children of Holocaust survivors have been published as a book entitled “The Ones Who Remember: Second-Generation Voices of the Holocaust“.

The other group met in Jerusalem for several years, and their book, which appeared in Hebrew and is now being translated to English, is entitled: “But There Was Love There”. The book comprises of personal essays on the memory of the Holocaust, as seen from the unique intersection between the professional perspectives of the groups members, who are experts in literature, theater, neurology, and more – and their experience as children of survivors. Based on the work of this group, a Holocaust-commemoration Haggadah was created, which was adapted to English and published by the Shalom Hartman Institute and is available at this link.

The discussion among the presenters touched upon their experience of the writing itself, the emergence of, and the support offered by, the group format, and the changing perceptions of the Holocaust survivor parents as we, the children, enter older adulthood. The poignant message from the authors was focused on the ethical imperative to write about our families’ stories, not only as a commemoration of the past, but as a call for conscience and for action with regards to the suffering of the “Other” where-ever it still takes place.

             Irit Felsen


  1. Hannah R Sherak says

    Thank you so much for this. I look forward to reading, joining the conversation, and writing about my family.

    • Irit Felsen, Ph.D. * says

      I am very excited about the interest in writing our memoirs! I am discussing with colleagues the creation of 2G writing groups, and will post about it when I know more. Thank you for your email. Irit

  2. Stacey LaMotte says

    This is amazing for me as a daughter of a survivor. I look forward to the writings and audio experience and am even in this moment of not yet knowing…excited to come back for more. Thank you Irit for bringing all of us together and for carrying on the memories for generations to come.

  3. I am relieved to know that there are enough second geners out there that feel the “moral imperative” to remind society of their obligation to not dismiss, disregard or diminish our history truly in order not to repeat or even perpetuate the horrors and inhumanity suffered and witnessed. It is but a short step that separates callousness and denial from not having been able to recognize the truth. I had wanted to reach out to you to describe my impressions after visiting the memorial at Yad V’shem recently. It was extremely crowded that day and after having seen the site initially over fifty years ago, I went away feeling that the expansion and renovations made it into a more commercial enterprise. But the worst part was that the lack of impact it made on this current generation and the skepticism of foreign gentiles is even more tragic. As genocides and racism continue, I wonder if we will be left to carry this in our hearts silently.

    • Irit Felsen, Ph.D. says

      Thank you for your comment, Lea, I can hear the pain you express. I , too, had a special feeling about the old original Yad Vashem building. Most importantly, it is really difficult to see when visitors in the memorials that are so terribly sad for us, behave as if it is not touching them. But many do feel touched, and that is important.



  4. Shelly Cohen says

    It was reading Helen Epstein’s book Children of The Holocaust over 30 years ago that made me realize that the feelings I had about my parents and their experiences in concentration camps were not mine alone. I cried like a baby but felt validated. I look forward to being part of the discussion and memoirs. Thank you for your all your hard work and diligence Irit. Never an easy task but so important. Shelly

    • Irit Felsen, Ph.D. says

      Dear Shelly,

      Thank you so much for your email. I have heard the same statement about Helen Epstein’s book so many times, the most recent time being yesterday, from another 2G man. This is why it is so helpful to share the individual experiences, since varied as they may be, they are part of the great shared mosaic of this phenomenon which we share. I am so happy that you find my work meaningful, it means a lot to me!

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