3rd Generation DialogueApril 18, 2011
Here is a query that I received from two readers. Please respond directly to them:
We are beginning a project that we believe might be interesting to you. Our intent is to bring together 3rd generation (grandchildren) of victims and perpetrators of the WW2 Holocaust such as Jews, homosexuals, sympathizers, Nazi, SS, Polish, Vichy, etc. We wish to create a safe, open space to inclusively listen and experience each other’s stories of growing up and living with family members who lived during the Nazi period. This space will be open in many ways and might include modes of expression that go beyond words, like movement, free association, and expressive theater.
We will use questions about our formative experiences with family, in school, and with friends to structure the circle.
Questions might look like the following:
- When did you first learn about the Holocaust?
- What ideas do I have about my own community and about the ‘others’ community?
- What do we know about our own historical links to the Holocaust?
- What was it like to be a grand-daughter of a Nazi soldier or a survivor?
- What is guilt, what is forgiveness, what is reconciliation?
- What do you feel when you meet a German/Jew?
- What is the role of commemoration?
We ask that all participants hold the intention to go beyond blame. We hope that in experiencing the stories of each other, we will begin to build a shared experience, one which struggles to move beyond the conventional notions of the ‘other’ with which most of us have been raised. Meetings will be facilitated and will follow guidelines to maintain structure, confidentiality and the emotional safety and stability of the circle. The purpose of the group is not to debate or argue historical facts, but rather to encounter each other and listen deeply to each other’s stories and truths. Participants must be committed to a self-transformative process.
At this stage, we call for all those interested to write in with a short statement including an introduction, your relation to the Holocaust, and your intent for joining. Once we gather a solid group we will announce our first meeting. If you know of others that are linked historically to the Holocaust and might be interest, please send this invitation along.”
Rami Efal and Charla Malamed, Charlarubym@gmail.com