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Janet Wolff

volumes I still have on my shelf testify to the continuation of a careful, obedient and dutiful childhood. Half a century later it has become possible to understand something of the complex familial, social and psycho-dynamic aspects of what now seem, in retrospect, to be rather sad successes. hH Austerity baby [ 87 ] [ 88 ] Prize bookplates Austerity baby [ 89 ] Austerity baby [ 90 ] The British journalist Anne Karpf, daughter of Holocaust survivors, has written movingly about her anxious childhood in London. Her parents came to England from Poland in 1947

in Austerity baby
Open Access (free)
Janet Wolff

to do so. After the National Socialists took power, Louis Schwarz sponsored the immigration of his nephew, Albert, to New York. Albert, the son of Max’s and Louis’s brother Alfred, arrived in New York in 1938 at the age of fifteen. He was the only one of his immediate family to survive the Holocaust. Louis’s brother Max sponsored his niece, Eri – Leonie’s only child – who arrived in New York on the USS President Roosevelt on 31 July 1937, at the age of twenty-four. She found work as a baby nurse for a family, and in 1940 married William Cohen, another refugee

in Austerity baby
Open Access (free)
Janet Wolff

they honour those who died in the Holocaust. Speakers recalled a time when Jews and Christians had lived together in peaceful and mutually enriching relations. The afternoon started out sunny, but a storm broke in the middle of the proceedings, and the speeches continued under heavy rain. Among those attending – about fifty people – was Claude Levy. The local paper, the Pirmasenser Zeitung, notes his presence: Berührend war die Anwesenheit des ältesten Teilnehmers, Claude Levy, der einst als Kurt Levy in Busenberg das Licht der Welt erblickte. Aufrecht stehend wohnte

in Austerity baby
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Janet Wolff

together by the wish to preserve and consolidate established privilege vis-à-vis those without privilege. Levi included himself among those in the grey zone, exploring his residual feelings of guilt in an essay on shame. Still, he is less concerned to identify and judge levels of collaboration than to insist on the recognition of circumstances of confusion and ambiguity. Scholars of the Holocaust have since shown how many ‘grey zone’ areas there were outside the camp and the ghetto – in industry, in the church, in the French detention centres, even in the area of

in Austerity baby
Open Access (free)
Janet Wolff

Philately and chemistry [ 171 ] Palatinate – forced expulsion to France in October 1940 was the beginning of a new nightmare. [ 172 ] After the Second World War, with the Saar under French administration again, the complicated sequence of stamp issues reflects the political changes (‘Saarpost’, ‘Saar’, German currency then French currency), ending with the return of the region to Germany in January 1957, and special stamps inscribed ‘Saarland’ and ‘Deutsche Bundespost’. hH The Holocaust memorial in Saarbrücken, capital city of Saarland, is an example of what James

in Austerity baby
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Janet Wolff

parents were small children when antisemitic pogroms in Eastern Europe obliged the families to travel west. Now I began to see both how interesting these lives had been, and how the memory of forced exile persists through the generations. Although I have some resistance to the notion of ‘second-generation’ Holocaust survivors (that is their children, assumed to inherit their trauma at one remove), I am entirely persuaded by Marianne Hirsch’s notion of ‘postmemory’. Postmemory characterizes the experience of those who grow up dominated by narratives that preceded their

in Austerity baby
Open Access (free)
Janet Wolff

something I began to read about a few years later: Anne Karpf’s book about growing up as the child of Holocaust survivors was published in 1996. But in that moment I wasn’t thinking about explanations. I was simply struck by seeing an image of what an unobstructed expression might look like. I am surprised now to see in my old school reports that my teachers sometimes referred to my ‘originality’ and ‘imagination’. I am almost certain that I never exhibited much of either, at primary or at secondary school. A report when I was seven says ‘Her work is neat, and shows

in Austerity baby
Open Access (free)
Janet Wolff

of thanks she had quite forgotten how furious they were with their driver, who rushed them away too early.) hH Alessandra Comini is one of a growing number of women academics writing memoirs. Some of the books, like hers, are accounts of an intellectual or political life, told in personal terms. Other writers have told stories of their lives as Holocaust survivors, or as children of survivors. For some, the nature of memoir and autobiography is the point of the work, which both contributes to the academic study of life-writing and at the same time tells the reader

in Austerity baby