Survivors: Children’s Lives after the Holocaust Rebecca Clifford, Durham University
York Holocaust Memorial Day Lecture
Join us as we commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day 2023 with a special in-person conversation with author Rebecca Clifford, in which Rebecca will reflect on the creation of the remarkably moving book Survivors: Children’s Lives after the Holocaust.
How can we make sense of our lives when we do not know where we come from? This was a pressing question for the youngest survivors of the Holocaust, whose pre-war memories were vague or non-existent. In her beautifully written account, Rebecca Clifford follows the lives of one hundred Jewish children out of the ruins of conflict through their adulthood and into old age.
Drawing on archives and interviews, Rebecca charts the experiences of these child survivors and those who cared for them—as well as those who studied them, such as Anna Freud. Survivors explores the aftermath of the Holocaust in the long term and reveals how these children—often branded “the lucky ones”—had to struggle to be able to call themselves “survivors” at all. Challenging our assumptions about trauma, Clifford’s powerful and surprising narrative helps us understand what it was like living after, and living with, childhoods marked by rupture and loss.
About the speaker
Rebecca Clifford is Professor of Transnational European History at Durham University. Survivors: Children's Lives After the Holocaust was shortlisted for the 2021 Wolfson History Prize, and a finalist for the 2021 Cundill History Prize, and was named a Book of the Year by the Daily Telegraph and the Globe and Mail.
Lisa Peschel (Chair) is Associate Professor in Theatre at the University of York. She has been researching theatre in the Terezín/Theresienstadt ghetto since 1998. Her research on survivor testimony and scripts written in the ghetto has been published in English, Czech, German and Hebrew.