Phyllis Schieber Author

Women's Fiction by Phyllis Schieber

Another Child of the Holocaust

I am a child of Holocaust survivors. It is a unique legacy that has informed my life in some extraordinary ways, yet I have never really written about how it feels to shoulder the responsibilities, the burdens, and even the surprising joys of all that has shaped my consciousness. I’ve skirted the edges of my history, but I’ve never actually taken it head on and allowed myself to explore the truths of what it means to grow up as a child of survivors. Both my parents are gone now, and in some way I believe this has freed me to consider the possibilities of tackling a piece of fiction in which the Holocaust and its generational implications figure in the lives of the children and grandchildren of a dwindling population.  As my new novel begins to take shape, I certainly find myself drawing on experiences from my own life, experiences that seemed ordinary to me as I went through them. In retrospect, however, I know the opposite is true. Surrounded as I was by other children whose parents had equally remarkable tales of courage and survival, it seemed quite commonplace to me that the Holocaust was not the background music of everyone’s life. Perhaps the turning point in my understanding of how this event had shaped me came about after I read Children of the Holocaust by Helen Epstein. For the first time. I realized the import of my legacy. And for the first time, I opened up conversations with the people closest to me who had similar backgrounds and began to explore exactly what was expected of us.

I know that this a legacy I now pass along to my son. He shoulders the burden with irony, but he shoulders it nonetheless. It is inescapable, and he senses that with profound understanding. We often hear that we should write about the things we know… and I know this subject well. I have taken it into my heart. Now it up to me to do it justice.

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April 21, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , ,

3 Comments »

  1. Beautifully expressed, Phyllis. I look forward to reading your book. It was nice to meet you also on Facebook.

    Comment by Jean Henry Mead | April 28, 2010 | Reply

    • Thanks, Jean. And thank you for taking the time to comment.

      Comment by phyllis | April 28, 2010 | Reply

    • And I look forward to hearing from you after you read my book! Thanks, Jean.

      Comment by phyllis | May 11, 2010 | Reply


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