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Survivor Café: The Legacy of Trauma and the Labyrinth of Memory with Elizabeth Rosner and Anne Germanacos

  • Jewish Community Library 1835 Ellis Street San Francisco, CA 94115 (map)

Free admission with free garage parking on Pierce Street between Ellis and Eddy streets.


As survivors of many of the twentieth century's most monumental events —the Holocaust, Pearl Harbor, the Cambodian Killing Fields ― die, how do we perpetuate their stories to ensure that the past’s horrors are not forgotten? In her new book, Survivor Café, Elizabeth Rosner depicts the efforts to understand the intergenerational inheritance of trauma, as well as the intricacies of remembrance in the aftermath of atrocity. Rosner organizes Survivor Café around three trips with her father to the Buchenwald concentration camp―in 1983, in 1995, and in 2015. She explores similar legacies among the descendants of African American slaves, as well as descendants of the survivors of the Killing Fields, and the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. 

Elizabeth Rosner is a novelist, poet, and essayist living in Berkeley. Her 2014 novel, Electric City, was named among the best books of the year by National Public Radio. Her essays have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Elle, the Forward, and several anthologies; her poems have been published by Poetry Magazine, Catamaran, and other journals. 

Anne Germanacos is the author of the short-story collection In the Time of the Girls and the experimental novel Tribute. With her husband, Nick Germanacos, she ran the Ithaka Cultural Studies Program in Kalymnos and Crete. She currently oversees the Germanacos Foundation in San Francisco.

Co-presented by Lehrhaus Judaica.