Not In My Family: German Memory And Responsibility After The Holocaust
Even as the Holocaust grows more distant with the passing of time, its traumas call out to be known and understood. What is remembered, what has been imparted through German heritage, and what has been forgotten? Can familiar family stories be transformed into an understanding of the Holocaust’s forbidding reality? Author Roger Frie is uniquely positioned to answer these questions. As the son of Germans who were children during World War II, and with grandparents who were participants in the War, he uses the history of his family as a guide to explore the psychological and moral implications of memory against the backdrop of one of humanity’s darkest periods. From his perspective of a life lived across German and Jewish contexts, Frie explores what it means to discover the legacy of a Nazi past. Beginning with the narrative of his grandfather, he shows how the transfer of memory from one German generation to the next keeps the Holocaust at bay. Not in My Family is rich with poignant illustration: Frie beautifully combines his own story with the stories of others, perpetrators and survivors, and the generations that came after. As a practicing psychotherapist he also draws on his own experience of working with patients whose lives have been directly and indirectly shaped by the Holocaust. Throughout, Frie proceeds with a level of frankness and honesty that invites readers to reflect on their own histories and to understand the lasting effects of historical traumas into the present.