There is an incredible book The Survivors. A Story of War, Inheritance, and Healing by Adam P. Frankel. I picked this book up to attempt to find another book I could use in my master class on war, inherited trauma, and healing. This book gave me a completely different view of healing than to others I’ve read.
Whether you are from a family of Holocaust Survivors or not, the themes in this book speak to many of us. As Frankel tells his story we learn about identity, family secrets, family patterns, loyalty, grief & loss, survival, sexual secrets, mental illness, PTSD, shame, anger, familial behavior, and so many other themes associated with war, survival, the physical manifestations of keeping secrets, inherited trauma, and how we each have to choose our own path regardless of our family’s choices. We also learn how his Jewish family, who survived the Holocaust, felt about loyalty and looking the other way on family secrets.
If you were to look at my copy of this book, you would see underlining on many pages. Notes written in the margins, and a lot of questions or correlations I make to my own family. I think any good book makes us think and helps us to see where we are not alone in whatever we are going through and if we are lucky – just how much we have changed and healed ourselves.
By the end of the this book I could see some of myself in Frankel – his experience, how he dealt (and didn’t) with the family secret he learned about himself, and in the end how he began healing. Honestly, I was in tears.
I will spend some time journaling on what I read and going back through the book to see all the passages I marked as important.
Have you read this book? What was your reaction? Do you have another similar book you can recommend I read?
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