Survivor Cafe: The Legacy of Trauma and the Labyrinth of Memory

Unabridged Audiobook

Written By: Elizabeth Rosner

Narrated By: Elizabeth Rosner

Publisher: Novel Audio

Date: September 2017

Duration: 9 hours 15 minutes

Summary:

As firsthand survivors of many of the twentieth century's most monumental eventsthe Holocaust, Pearl Harbor, the Killing Fieldsbegin to pass away, Survivor Café addresses urgent questions: How do we carry those stories forward? How do we collectively ensure that the horrors of the past are not forgotten?



Elizabeth Rosner organizes her book around three trips with her father to Buchenwald concentration campin 1983, in 1995, and in 2015each journey an experience in which personal history confronts both commemoration and memorialization. She explores the echoes of similar legacies among descendants of African American slaves, descendants of Cambodian survivors of the Killing Fields, descendants of survivors of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the effects of 9/11 on the general population. Examining current brain research, Rosner depicts the efforts to understand the intergenerational inheritance of trauma, as well as the intricacies of remembrance in the aftermath of atrocity. Survivor Café becomes a lens for numerous constructs of memoryfrom museums and commemorative sites to national reconciliation projects to small-group cross-cultural encounters.



Beyond preserving the firsthand testimonies of participants and witnesses, individuals and societies must continually take responsibility for learning the painful lessons of the past in order to offer hope for the future. Survivor Café offers a clear-eyed sense of the enormity of our twenty-first-century human inheritancenot only among direct descendants of the Holocaust but also in the shape of our collective responsibility to learn from tragedy, and to keep the ever-changing conversations alive between the past and the present.

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