A NOTE FROM EVA HOFFMAN
I was born shortly after World War II. My parents had survived the Holocaust with the help of Ukrainian and Polish neighbours; but their whole families had perished. This was the knowledge with which I have struggled in various ways throughout much of my life.
Several developments led me to feel that I wanted to address questions of the Holocaust legacy more fully. As public preoccupation with the Holocaust increased, I started feeling uneasy at some of the sentiments I sensed in the discussion of the subject. Then, my parents died; the survivors as a group were reaching the end of their natural life span. I had listened to their stories throughout my life; now, I felt that the legacy of the Shoah was being passed on to us. We were the closest to its memories; we had touched upon its horror and its human scars. If I did not want the "memory" of the Holocaust to be flattened out through distance or ignorance, if I wanted to preserve some of the pulsing complexity I had felt in the survivors' personalities and perceptions, then it was up to me. But if I wanted to accept the wand, then I needed to bring my own, and my peers' story out of its looming shadow, to address frontally what I had only thought about obliquely: the often profound effects of a traumatic legacy--and its paradoxical richness; the ways in which we have coped--or failed to--with its burdens; the attitudes we ought to have--and actually have--towards the post-war generation of Germans. On all these matters, I had thoughts and strong feelings; now it was time to make conscious the responsibilities and limits of memory. It was time, after living this history-laden story, to write.
Pub date: 04/04/05
Price: $14.00/19.95 Canada
5 1/2 x 8 1/4
Carton Quantity: 36
Biography, History, Jewish Studies
Selling Territory: WxUK, CW