A Survivor Named Trauma

Holocaust Memory in Lithuania

By Myra Sklarew

Subjects: History, European History, Holocaust Studies, Jewish Studies, Memoir
Paperback : 9781438477206, 228 pages, February 2020
Hardcover : 9781438477213, 228 pages, February 2020

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Table of contents

Part I. Beginnings
1. In the Ponar Forest
2. Versions
3. Out of Sight
4. Leiser's Song
5. Lietūkis Garage Massacre
Part II.
6. Return: Witness, Survivor, Next Generation
7. Trauma Made Manifest: Its Persistent Forms
8. Rescue
9. Who Are Our Teachers?
10. And So I Lived On

Combines personal accounts with insights from psychology to understand the continuing impact of Holocaust trauma in Lithuania.


A Survivor Named Trauma examines the nature of trauma and memory as they relate to the Holocaust in Lithuania. How do we behave under threat? How do we remember extreme danger? How do subsequent generations deal with their histories—whether as descendants of perpetrators or victims, of those who rescued others or were witnesses to genocide? Or those who were separated from their families in early childhood and do not know their origins? Myra Sklarew's study draws on interviews with survivors, witnesses, rescuers, and collaborators, as well as descendants and family members, gathered over a twenty-five-year period in Lithuania. Returning to the land of her ancestors, Sklarew found a country still deeply affected by the Nazi Holocaust and decades of Soviet domination. Interdisciplinary in nature, this book will appeal to readers interested in neuroscience and neuropsychology, Holocaust studies, Jewish history, and personal memoir.

Myra Sklarew is Professor Emerita of Literature at American University and the author of many books, including Over the Rooftops of Time: Jewish Stories, Essays, Poems, also published by SUNY Press. She is the recipient of the National Jewish Book Council Award in Poetry, the Di Castagnola Award, and the PEN Syndicated Fiction Award.


"…what is remarkable about this book is its emphasis on the science of trauma and how that theme is woven in with poetry and personal memoir." — Scene4

"This is an extraordinary work. The result of several decades of labor, rooted in both scientific and humanistic learning and research, it is a transformative book that speaks equally to our current situation and to the past." — Michael C. Steinlauf, author of Bondage to the Dead: Poland and the Memory of the Holocaust