The Long Shadow of the Past

The Long Shadow of the Past
Descendants Face Their Nazi Family History
Alexandra Senfft
Language German
World Rights available
Hardcover, 336 pages, 2 May 2016
ISBN 978-3-492-05739-4
€ 22,00 [D], € 22,70 [A]
Paperback, 352 pages, 12 January 2018
ISBN: 978-3-492-31213-4
€ 11,00 [D], € 11,40 [A]

Also available as eBook
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«Even today, the trauma of the Second World war, the still-raw crimes committed by the Nazis and the silence of those responsible are making themselves felt.»
Alexandra Senfft

During numerous events for her previous book Schweigen tut weh (Silence Hurts), Alexandra Senfft witnessed, how children and grandchildren of Nazi perpetrators break their silence: Her conversations reveal long-kept family secrets with painful emotional effects. In this book, for the first time, the silence within the families is related to other traumas that were passed on through generations. Building on research on transgenerational transmission, she illustrates in 9 moving portraits how silence became a burden. The very personal point of view helps to break the ritualised patterns of narration, reveal identification with the perpetrators and point out ambivalences. Most protagonists have come to terms with their family past and are taking an active stance against Xenophia and radical right wing. The portraits do not deal with perpetrators from the first row but with blind followers and war profiteers who, after the war, were caring mothers and fathers – but have never been held to account and could settle in their silence.