Trauma and Healing Across Generations

I grew up knowing something was off. Though I didn’t “hear” my father’s heavy German accent as my friends did, I had a sense there was something deeply troubling from his younger life. The secrets lived but weren’t discussed. I didn’t ask.

In August 2017, my “one day I’ll do this” had finally arrived. I clicked the play button to hear the testimony video my father made in 1993, a few months before his death. This led me on a journey to locate the homes of my ancestors and to trace the route of my father’s escape from Nazi Germany on November 10, 1938 (his twelfth birthday) through hiding and liberation.

My family, the Sterns (sterne means stars in German) had been shattered. Could healing be found?

Irene Stern Frielich regularly speaks about her father’s Holocaust survival experience and how she unraveled his story. She is a periodic blogger covering topics such as Holocaust and WWII history, current events, memory, and hope. She is also the owner of an award-winning instructional design consulting firm in Sharon, Massachusetts. Irene is deeply grateful to the eighteen courageous individuals who helped her family survive the Holocaust. She carries their legacy forward through her book and through her acclaimed multimedia presentations.

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