Shelly Ben David
Columbia University and New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, New York, USA
War and Suicide. Hauppauge, New York: Nova Science Publishers, 2009, 306 pages.
As a grandchild of holocaust survivors, in a short narrative, Shelly Ben David weaves together family stories that she heard about the holocaust as a child, from her mother and stories from her own memories of her grandparents. She tries to identify what it means to be a grandchild of holocaust survivors in contemporary society now that they are no longer alive. She explores how her own third generation trauma from her grandparents still affects her identity and led her to take certain paths in her life. The alchemy of weltshmertz operates in mysterious ways. Did their abbreviated education crowd her into academia? An undergraduate degree in psychology and a Masters in Social Work seemed like a perfect fit at the time but their real liberation seems imminent through her story telling, her narrative becomes their unwritten epitaphs, dedicated to their struggles and haunting stories.