Child Survivors and Children of Survivors: A 30 Year International Perspective

Presented by Helen Epstein.

Helen Epstein

The terms «hidden child» and «children of survivors» have, I think, served their function and  become increasingly become inappropriate for the group assembled here.  We are, most of us, between 40 and 70, parents and sometimes grandparents –- not children. We are a far more homgenous and empowered group than our parents: the overwhelming majority of us are extrraordinarily well-educated, have businesses or professions, own our own homes, enjoy access to people and places our parents could not have imagined. Although we grew up in the shadow of the Holocaust and many of us served as what Israeli psychologist Dina Wardi called ‘memorial candles,’ preserving and transmitting family history, most of us are fully engaged in the present working in many sectors of the Jewish and the American world.

Our hosts here in Detroit have modeled a multifaceted way of engaging our pasts in the service of the present. They are engaged on many fronts: for many years they have provided an extended family for the entire greater Detroit survivor community; they have been engaged in the care of aging survivors; they have become an important force within the local Jewish community; and at the same time have worked for many years on outreach to other ethnic Americans including the Arab-Americans of the greater Detroit area. Some of them will be discussing their activities in workshops this weekend.

To read the entire presentation, click here:  Child Survivors and Children of Survivors: A 30 Year International Perspective

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