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Holocaust Memorial Day Event: Starting Over: Reconstituted Jewish Families After the Holocaust

With Beth B. Cohen and Councillor Nadia Shah

With an introduction by the Mayor of Camden, Councillor Nadia Shah

To mark the week of Holocaust Memorial Day 2017, The Wiener Library will host a special lecture by Dr Beth Cohen to reflect on the theme of ‘How can life go on?’.

In the postwar Displaced Persons camps, the birth rate of Jewish babies born to survivors was historically high. While this was true, Cohen provides an alternative narrative to the post-Holocaust picture of survivors’ renewal. She argues that many postwar Jewish families were built on the remnants of ruptured ones: widowed parents who remarried and became blended families of survivors that included children born before or during the war. What did this mean to child survivors who found themselves in new reconfigured groups composed of two-generations of survivors now under one roof? Synthesizing oral testimonies and archival documents, Cohen’s talk will highlight the complexity and long-lasting repercussions of rebuilt families from the children’s perspective.

Beth B. Cohen received her Master’s Degree in psychology from Harvard University and her Ph.D. in Holocaust History from Clark University. After completing her PhD, the US Holocaust Memorial Museum awarded her a Life Reborn Fellowship where she completed her first book, Case Closed: Holocaust Survivors in Postwar America (2007). She has numerous additional publications on survivors’ postwar experiences. Cohen has also served as a consultant to a variety of Holocaust educational organizations including Jewish Foundation for the Righteous, Facing History and Ourselves, March of the Living and others. She now lives in Los Angeles and teaches at Cal State, Northridge. Her current book project, Child Survivors of the Holocaust: The Youngest Remnant and the American Experience (Rutgers University Press, forthcoming 2017) focuses on the experience of child survivors who settled in the United States after the Shoah.


Beth B. Cohen | talks
Councillor Nadia Shah | talks


Date and Time:

25 January 2017 at 6:30 pm


1 hour 30 minutes



The Wiener Library for the Study of the Holocaust and Genocide
29 Russell Square
020 7636 7247

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