In 20091 published the book Mother s Secret: On the track of a Jewish immigrant (hi) story. After the death of my French mother I discovered that she was in fact the child of Romanian Jews immigrating to Paris around 1900, a secret I had never been told. In the book I take the reader along on my journey finding documents and still living relatives, trying to figure out why my mother wanted to keep this background a secret. At the same time I view this little family history in a greater European perspective and write about daily life for Eastern European Jewish immigrants. Silence is the opposite of speech, but silence is also an expression of oblivion. In my book I reflect on private people's right to forget, to let the past sink into oblivion and to leave it behind. I try to understand my mother's motives for not talking about her background but I also accept her right not to tell. I also study the duty of national states to remember their past and I look into the politics of memory developed around Holocaust. My mother did not want to talk about her Jewish background and what happened during the war, whereas the French Republic in the last decades has been imposed the duty to remember and to talk publicly about the deported Jews.
|Translated title of the contribution||The right to silence, the duty to speak. On family secrets and national politics of memory|
|Number of pages||19|
|Publication status||Published - 2012|