Drawing on testimonies, memoirs, and personal interviews of Holocaust survivors, Françoise S. Ouzan reveals how the experience of Nazi persecution impacted their personal reconstruction, rehabilitation, and reintegration into a free society. She sheds light on the life trajectories of various groups of Jews, including displaced persons, partisan fighters, hidden children, and refugees from Nazism. Ouzan shows that personal success is not only a unifying factor among these survivors but is part of an ethos that unified ideas of homeland, social justice, togetherness, and individual aspirations in the redemptive experience. Exploring how Holocaust survivors rebuilt their lives after World War II, Ouzan tells the story of how they coped with adversity and psychic trauma to contribute to the culture and society of their country of residence.
Archives and Abbreviations
Introduction: Humiliation and Life Reborn
1. From Victims to Survivors and Social Actors
2. Struggling to Rebuild in France: Concentration Camp Survivors
3. High Achievers among "Hidden Children" in France
4. Death Camp Survivors and Partisan Fighters in America
5. Visibility of Hidden Children and Refugees in America
6. "To Build and to be Built" in Israel
7. Israel, Jewish Identity, and the Diaspora
8. International Impact of Survivors and Universal Issues
9. An Unbroken Chain?
"Far from painting all survivors with a broad brush, Francoise S. Ouzan's careful ear and nuanced writing demonstrates that survivors have coped with their wartime trauma, loss of family, beginning lives anew, and more in various ways that cannot be easily categorized or simply generalized. Few works have done what this one does."
Avinoam Patt, author of Finding Home and Homeland
Far from painting all survivors with a broad brush, Françoise S. Ouzan's careful ear and nuanced writing demonstrates that survivors have coped with their wartime trauma, loss of family, beginning lives anew, and more in various ways that cannot be easily categorized or simply generalized. Few works have done what this one does."
Avinoam J. Patt, author of Finding Home and Homeland: Jewish Youth and Zionism in the Aftermath of the Holocaust
The comparative approach of How Young Holocaust Survivors Rebuilt Their Lives is original and crucial to our understanding of how diverse political environments crystallized the differences and the similarities between the survivors who each experienced the persecution and war differently, whether in hiding, in camps, or fighting in the forests."
Dalia Ofer, editor (with Shmuel Almog, David Bankier, and Daniel Blatman) of The Holocaust: The Unique and the Universal
This multi-disciplinary, comparative, intimate, and ultimately uplifting book recounts how Jewish survivors from the Holocaust rebuilt their lives in Israel, the United States, and France. Drawing upon individual case studies and decades of scholarly research, Françoise S. Ouzan shows that wartime experiences as well as the character of their new host countries made a difference for survivors, and that many of them, in diverse ways, transformed their suffering and emotional wounds into personal and social achievements. A valuable contribution to Holocaust Studies and the study of trauma."
Jonathan D. Sarna, author (with Benjamin Shapell) of Lincoln and the Jews: A History
"Based on the memoirs, testimonies (some of which she collected herself), declarations, and writings of Holocaust survivors, Francoise S. Ouzan explores the activities, careers, family relations, and social contacts as a mirror to their personalities and values in the context of the countries they chose to make their home after the war."
Dalia Ofer, author of Escaping the Holocaust
"How Young Holocaust Survivors Rebuilt Their Lives is an important contribution to the historical record because it focuses not only on individual heart-wrenching narratives in the different countries, but it also documents the contributions of child survivors to each of their societies."
The Hidden Child
[Ouzan's] writing shines light to the world through the individual stories of people who came through darkness and showed us the way. It will certainly remain a book of courage, strength and inspiration."
The Jerusalem Report
Françoise Ouzan has given the now elderly survivors one last opportunity to tell their stories and to ensure that they will be preserved for their children and the children of their children."
Jewish Political Studies Review
In sum, the conceptual contribution of this book is important: it is a synthesis that was missing about the paradox of a 'distinct generation' wounded by their trials and yet, that came out reinforced from the destruction of the Jews. "
Cahiers Bernard Lazare