This week on Unorthodox, we’re observing Tisha B’Av, the commemoration of the destruction of both temples in Jerusalem. Observant Jews typically fast on this day, and because the ninth day of the Hebrew month of Av falls during the summer months, it makes for one strange and somber day at Jewish summer camps.
Because the destruction of the ancient temples can seem a bit, well, distant, the Ninth of Av has become in recent years a kind of catch-all day for Jewish mourning: a commemoration of all the historic suffering we’ve faced as a people.
Today we’re focusing on the legacy of the Holocaust, as seen through three different families. Our guests are the children and grandchildren of Holocaust survivors who pieced together their family’s story through research, travel, and interviews, and who now are sharing those stories in book—and podcast—form.
Our first guest is Esther Safran Foer, whose memoir I Want You to Know We’re Still Here is about her journey to uncover what happened to her parents during the Holocaust. Tragedy followed her parents when they immigrated to America, and only later in life did her mother finally open up about her painful past.
Next we speak with British musician Andrew Evans, who was raised in the Church of England but was inspired by Brexit to dig into his unspoken family history and uncover the true story of his Holocaust-surviving grandfather. He chronicles his discoveries in the podcast “Unbordered.”
Our third guest is Daphne Geismar, a book maker by trade, who turned her craft on her own family’s story of survival in Nazi-occupied Netherlands. The result is her book Invisible Years.
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