Those Who Forget: My Family's Story in Nazi Europe--A Memoir, a History, a Warning
ISBN: 1797102613
EAN13: 9781797102610
Language: English
Pages: 0
Format: Compact Disc

Those Who Forget: My Family's Story in Nazi Europe--A Memoir, a History, a Warning

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Book Overview
Those Who Forget , published to international awards and acclaim, is journalist G raldine Schwarz's riveting account of her German and French grandparents' lives during World War II, an in-depth history of Europe's post-war reckoning with fascism, and an urgent appeal to remember as a defense against today's rise of far-right nationalism. During World War II, G raldine Schwarz's German grandparents were neither heroes nor villains; they were merely Mitla fer --those who followed the current. Once the war ended, they wanted to bury the past under the wreckage of the Third Reich. Decades later, while delving through filing cabinets in the basement of their apartment building in Mannheim, Schwarz discovers that in 1938, her paternal grandfather Karl took advantage of Nazi policies to buy a business from a Jewish family for a low price. She finds letters from the only survivor of this family (all the others perished in Auschwitz), demanding reparations. But Karl Schwarz refused to acknowledge his responsibility. G raldine starts to question the past: How guilty were her grandparents? What makes us complicit? On her mother's side, she investigates the role of her French grandfather, a policeman in Vichy. Weaving together the threads of three generations of her family story with Europe's process of post-war reckoning, Schwarz explores how millions were seduced by ideology, overcome by a fog of denial after the war, and, in Germany at least, eventually managed to transform collective guilt into democratic responsibility. She asks: How can nations learn from history? And she observes that countries that avoid confronting the past are especially vulnerable to extremism. Searing and unforgettable, Those Who Forget is a riveting memoir, an illuminating history, and an urgent call for remembering.