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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
The Ones Who Remember: Second-Generation Voices of the Holocaust is a work of non-fiction in the historical, human interest, cultural, and memoir subgenres. It is best suited to the general adult reading audience due to some upsetting content and harrowing reading material and was edited by Rita Benn, Julie Goldstein Ellis, Joy Wolfe Ensor, and Ruth Finkel Wade. Gathering together sixteen accounts, each of which is told by the children of Holocaust survivors, we explore the traumatic influence that living with such parents may have, but also the unexpected insights and rays of light that it has given the next generation. So begins a journey of many voices to highlight the atrocities of the past but also provide hope for the future.
The editing team behind this superb work deserves immense credit for the sourcing, organization, and presentation of such a sensationally poignant collection of works. Each of the stories within the volume could, in itself, spark incredible projects for students, discussion for book clubs and support groups, and intense personal reflection for those of us fortunate enough never to be touched by such incredible tragedy. For me, one of the most striking was Ruth Wade’s “Not Made of Glass”, in which one of the work’s editors takes up the pen herself to express such raw emotion and explore the ways in which perception and attitude affect us all. Overall, The Ones Who Remember encourages us all never to forget the atrocities of the Holocaust, but it also gives us a universal insight into the power and strength that each human being has to adapt and thrive in spite of it all.