As firsthand survivors of many of the twentieth century's most monumental events―the Holocaust, Pearl Harbor, the Killing Fields―begin to pass away, Elizabeth Rosner’s new book, Survivor Café, addresses urgent questions: How do we carry those stories forward? How do we collectively ensure that the horrors of the past are not forgotten?
Elizabeth Rosner organizes her book around three trips with her father to Buchenwald concentration camp―in 1983, in 1995, and in 2015―each journey an experience in which personal history confronts both commemoration and memorialization. Examining current brain research, Rosner depicts the efforts to understand the intergenerational inheritance of trauma, as well as the intricacies of remembrance in the aftermath of atrocity. Survivor Café becomes a lens for numerous constructs of memory―from museums and commemorative sites to national reconciliation projects to small-group cross-cultural encounters.