The Long Shadow of the Perpetrators

This article addresses the transgenerational consequences of the Second World War and the Holocaust for the descendants of the Nazi perpetrators and bystanders. Using the example of her own family, the author traces the external obstacles and the psychological difficulties arising from working through a legacy of crime, compounded by the fact that an atmosphere of taboos, silence and denial has persisted within German families – in spite of all the research and enlightenment in the academic and political spheres. The author argues that the patterns of feeling, thinking and action are often passed down when they are not scrutinised. Meaningful dialogues with the survivors and their descendants, as well as authentic remembrance, the author claims, can only take place if descendants of the victimisers break away from those generationally transmitted narratives which continue to evade the entire truth about the crimes committed by the Nazis and their accomplices in Europe.
European Judaism, Volume 53, September 2020
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Streitfall Antisemitismus

Anspruch auf Deutungsmacht und politische Interessen
Ein Sammelband zur Orientierung in der Debatte

Wolfgang Benz (Hrsg.)
Mit Beiträgen von: Shimon Stein/Moshe Zimmermann, Daniel Cil Brecher, Juliane Wetzel, Wolfgang Benz, Daniel Bax, Michael Kohlstruck, Peter Widmann, Micha Brumlik, Thomas Knieper, Dervis Hızarcı, Katajun Amirpur, Alexandra Senfft, Muriel Asseburg, Gert Krell

Metropol Verlag, Juli 2020
ISBN: 978-3-86331-532-0
Hardcover, 328 Seiten, 24,– €
ISBN E-Book/pdf:
978-3-86331-981-6, 19,– €

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Working on the Trauma

Maya Laster-Wallfisch’s mother survived the Holocaust. It affects the family over generations

First published in Der Freitag, Number 16, April 15, 2020

Maya Lasker-Wallfisch

The Holocaust was not ended with the liberation of the concentration camps. It lives on in all those who were in contact with it,” writes Maya Jacobs, née Lasker-Wallfisch, in her debut. The 62-year-old tells very personally how the persecution and murder of her family affected her. Her mother Anita Lasker-Wallfisch survived Auschwitz because she “was allowed” to play the cello in the orchestra there – for the forced laborers and those doomed to die on their way to the gas chambers, day after day. The cellist was also able to save her older sister Renate. The teenagers overcame typhus and in 1944 were transported to Bergen-Belsen, where they were liberated. Anita was 19 then and had been an orphan for three years: The Nazis had murdered her parents.

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