Inheriting the Holocaust / by Frances Kamien
Includes bibliographical references (p. 88-91)
This thesis will explore the phenomenon of children of Holocaust survivors who creatively write about their Holocaust inheritance. Members of the second generation claim the birthright of a unique status which compels them to bear witness to their parents' traumatic Holocaust experiences. My work addresses several crucial issues regarding the second generation exemplified by Leeny Sack's The Survivor and the Translator, Julie Salamon's White Lies, Helen Epstein's Children of the Holocaust and Art Spiegelman's Maus: (1) Implicitly and explicitly, the parents infuse their children with the obligation to "remember" and document the catastrophe, to vindicate survivors' pain and to perform tikkun olam, the mending of a destroyed world. (2) Creativity fulfills the cathartic need of the second generation to understand and come to terms with both their parents' past and their own current lives.
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