Keepers of Memory: The Literature and Art of Children of Holocaust Survivors
University Library, UC Santa Cruz
"I set out to find a group of people who, like me, were possessed by a history they had never lived," wrote Helen Epstein in her groundbreaking 1979 book of interviews with children of Holocaust survivors„who have come to be known as "the second generation." Raised by parents who survived the trauma of the Holocaust, and carry both deep pain and a tremendous passion for life, we grapple with what Cynthia Moskowitz Brody calls "the bittersweet legacy." We carry the memories of our parents into the future, as secondhand witnesses to a history some would like to erase, but how do we also define our own lives, identities, apart from the Shoah? And how does our experience vary internationally, as, for example, some children of Holocaust survivors in Europe today seek to renew Jewish life, defining themselves not as the second generation but as, "the first generation after the Shoah, wanting to build something new." These, and other questions have inspired the powerful memoirs, novels, poems, oral histories, psychological studies, websites, visual art, theater, and films included in this exhibit.
--Irene Reti Library Exhibit Coordinator and author of "The Keeper of Memory: A Memoir"
Bibliography of books featured in "Keepers of Memory":