2015 was the seventieth anniversary of the end of World War Two, and, for Jews, the seventieth anniversary of the end of the worst Jewish catastrophe in diaspora history. After Genocide considers how, more than two generations since the war, the events of the Holocaust continue to haunt Jewish people and the worldwide Jewish population, even where there was no immediate family connection. Drawing from interviews with "ordinary" Jews from across the age spectrum, After Genocide focuses on the complex psychological legacy of the Holocaust. Is it, as many think, a "collective trauma"? How is a community detached in space and time traumatised by an event which neither they nor their immediate ancestors experienced?"Ordinary" Jews' own words bring to life a narrative which looks at how commonly-recognised attributes of trauma - loss, anger, fear, guilt, shame - are integral to Jewish reactions to the Holocaust. Two chapters consider how these painful feelings shape two central questions: how the Jewish diaspora relates to Israel; and how a community traumatised however indirectly might free itself from the burden of a heavy past.After Genocide opens up a neglected dimension of the post-Holocaust legacy. Written for both lay and professional audiences, Jewish and wider, readers will see powerful feelings reflected and explored in ways which are moving and thought-provoking. In addressing the question of collective trauma, it will speak to other peoples with comparable histories. It is a book which many will want to read.
Sue Lieberman grew up in London in an "ordinary Jewish" family. She studied history at Bristol University and social administration at York. Her first career in community work led her to work at the policy interface between voluntary organisations and government. In 1988 she began training in psychotherapy, and is qualified as a Group Analytic psychotherapist. She describes the practice of psychotherapy as an endlessly fascinating journey into the human unconscious, and psychodynamic theory as a uniquely rich source of insight and inspiration. She lives in Edinburgh.