Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Holocaust Survivors

A really powerful book I read recently is titled I Was A Child Of Holocaust Survivors written by Bernice Eisenstein (who also does some illustrations throughout the book). Bernice Eisenstein was born in 1949, her parents having survived Auschwitz. This book is Eisenstein's examination of her lifelong struggle to understand the horrors that her parents endured and how this examination shaped her life.

Eisenstein writes: "Without my family's knowledge or even understanding, their past has shaped my loneliness and anger, and sculpted the meaning of loss and love. I have inherited the unbearable lightness of being a child of Holocaust surviviors. Cursed and blessed. Black, white, and shadowed."

Throughout most of my adult life I've sought out stories (mostly non fiction books and documentaries) that have as their subject people who've experienced the horrors of WWII, specifically concentration camps. These stories, for me, illustrate some of the worst horrors that people have had to endure and how those horrors transformed them and or how people were able to transcend those horrors. Fortunately nothing this horrible has happened to me or anyone I know, but I think reading / viewing these type of stories puts everything else that happens in the world into perspective.

The following are at the top of my highly recommended comics, books, and movies about the Holocaust: Maus, by Art Spiegleman; We Are On Our Own, by Miriam Katin; Alicia, by Alicia Aplpeman-Jurman; The Pianist; Into The Arms Of Strangers - Stories of the Kindertransport; Out of the Ashes; Life Is Beautiful; Shindler's List; Bent; The Grey Zone; Uprising; Sophie's Choice; Rosenstrasse; and I'd definitely say Bernice Eisenstein's memoir, I Was A Child Of Holocaust Survivors belongs in this company.

1 comment:

Von Allan said...

It really is a wonderful book!

Von

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