Through My Grandmother's Eyes: A Blended History

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Title: Through My Grandmother's Eyes: A Blended History
Author: Doi, Courtney Cleary
Advisors: John Kessel, Committee Member
Elaine Orr, Committee Chair
Laura Severin, Committee Member
Abstract: This memoir documents the physical and emotional journey I experienced during a trip to Berlin, Germany in December 2001. During our eight-day trip, my grandmother shared her family history with me, revealing for the first time intense personal memories about her life in Nazi Germany and in England during World War II. My grandmother was born in Berlin in 1925, the youngest of six children. Her mother, an ambassador's daughter, was from a Protestant family. Her father, a prominent lawyer and member of the appeals court, was Jewish. Between late-night confessionals at the hotel bar, my grandmother and I visited the two houses where she lived, the family plot at the old Jewish cemetery, and the country estate that we fought for in court. I celebrated my first Hanukah in a historical synagogue that was guarded by armed police. We saw Holocaust memorials, old synagogues and the former law offices of my great grandfather. The stories and tears exchanged on this journey forever changed our relationship and my perspective on family, faith and survival. While there have been many books by survivors, children of survivors, and Holocaust rescuers, there are few, if any accounts, from people who were not directly involved. Being two generations removed from this tragic history allows me a perspective from which to study how it has affected my family's interactions, life choices, and patterns of behavior. In addition, my memoir examines the relationship between grandmother and granddaughter, instead of the oft-explored mother/daughter relationship.
Date: 2006-10-31
Degree: MA
Discipline: English

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