The Sur­vivors: A Sto­ry of War, Inher­i­tance, and Healing

  • From the Publisher
January 1, 2013

The Sur­vivors by Adam P. Frankel, a for­mer speech­writer to Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma, is about the ways the trau­ma of the Holo­caust has rever­ber­at­ed through the gen­er­a­tions in his fam­i­ly. Adam’s mater­nal Zayde sur­vived Dachau, among oth­er Nazi camps, while his mater­nal Bub­bie spent much of the war in the woods of Poland with Jew­ish resis­tance fight­ers and Russ­ian partisans. 

Though they tried to leave the hor­rors of their past behind, the pain they suf­fered crossed gen­er­a­tional lines — a fact most appar­ent in the men­tal health of Adam’s moth­er. When Adam sat down with her to exam­ine their fam­i­ly his­to­ry in detail, he learned anoth­er shock­ing secret — this time one that unrav­eled Adam’s entire under­stand­ing of who he is. The sto­ries Adam shares with us in The Sur­vivors are about the ways the past can haunt our future the resilience that can be found on the oth­er side of trau­ma, and the good that can come from things that are unspeak­ably bad.

Discussion Questions