Told for the first time from their perspective, the story of children who survived the chaos and trauma of the Holocaust―named a best history book of 2020 by the Daily Telegraph
'Will be a major milestone in the history of the Holocaust and its legacy.'―Mark Roseman, author of The Villa, the Lake, the Meeting
'How can we make sense of our lives when we do not know where we come from? This was a pressing question for the youngest survivors of the Holocaust, whose prewar memories were vague or nonexistent. In this beautifully written account, Rebecca Clifford follows the lives of one hundred Jewish children out of the ruins of conflict through their adulthood and into old age.
Drawing on archives and interviews, Clifford charts the experiences of these child survivors and those who cared for them―as well as those who studied them, such as Anna Freud. Survivors explores the aftermath of the Holocaust in the long term, and reveals how these children―often branded “the lucky ones”―had to struggle to be able to call themselves 'survivors' at all. Challenging our assumptions about trauma, Clifford’s powerful and surprising narrative helps us understand what it was like living after, and living with, childhoods marked by rupture and loss.
'In this major contribution to the history of the Holocaust, Clifford has written a highly original, deeply moving and perceptive study of the way child survivors struggled to come to terms with their personal tragedies.'--Saul David, The Sunday Telegraph
'Really impressive, beautifully written, judicious and thoughtful. I have no doubt Survivors will be a major milestone in the history of the Holocaust and its legacy.'--Mark Roseman, author of The Villa, the Lake, the Meeting
'A wonderful piece of writing, its power and intelligence so delicately crafted, a truly significant contribution to our understanding of the consequences over time of the interplay between trauma, memory and identity.'--Philippe Sands, author of East West Street and The Ratline
'A comprehensive and highly readable examination of the experiences of child holocaust survivors by an historian sensitive to the many variables that determined their survival during the Second World War and after. Drawing on her own interviews with child survivors, other people's interviews, interviews with care workers, foster parents and mental health professionals, as well as archival documents, Professor Clifford ably navigates through this complex history and historiography with skill and great nuance.'--Helen Epstein, author of The Long Half-Lives of Love and Trauma
'In this moving and beautifully written book, Rebecca Clifford has produced one of the best analyses of child Holocaust survivors to appear to date. Subverting commonplace assumptions about children yet remaining ethically attuned to their needs, suffering and hopes, Survivors is a book which demands our attention.'--Dan Stone, author of Liberation of the Camps
About the Author
Rebecca Clifford is associate professor of modern European history at Swansea University and author of Commemorating the Holocaust: The Dilemmas of Remembrance in France and Italy. She lives in Swansea, Wales.