Havurah to host author contending with family ties to Nazis

  • Tuesday, May 8, 2018 12:06pm
  • News

The second event of the spring Havurah lecture series, set for Thursday evening, will feature Dr. Roger Frie, who will speak about about his new book, “Not in my Family: German Memory and Responsibility After the Holocaust.”

After many years Frie came to suspect that his beloved German grandparents had a Nazis past. He embarked on a long and painful research project in order to find the truth and struggle to deal with it. The book is about that struggle.

Psychologist Philip Cushman, Vashon resident, will introduce the program. He said that many commentators have noted that one of the biggest problems today is the defensive inability to admit our mistakes and the mistakes or limitations of the groups or communities with which we most identify. But without facing the past we cannot heal our communities and change the future.

“Frie’s courageous public discussion of his family during World War II is a model of honesty and integrity for us all, regardless of our personal histories, group affiliations, race, age or gender,” Cushman said.

“Not In My Family” (Oxford University Press) received the 2017 Canadian Jewish Literary Award and will be awarded a Holocaust Prize later this month. About the book, acclaimed psychoanalyst Donna Orange wrote “Roger Frie asks us to face the unavoidable: how are we responsible for what we only half know, and may not have personally lived?”

Frie is a philosopher and historian educated in London and Cambridge and a psychoanalyst and psychologist trained in New York City. He is Professor of Education at Simon Fraser University and Affiliate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, and Psychoanalytic Faculty and Supervisor at the William Alanson White Institute of Psychiatry, Psychoanalysis, and Psychology in New York. He has written and lectured widely on historical trauma, culture and memory and human interaction. His new edited book “History Flows Through Us: Germany, the Holocaust and the Importance of Empathy” (Routledge Press), creates a dialogue between Holocaust historians and psychoanalysts.

The presentation is free; the book will be available for purchase, and donations to the Havurah will be accepted. They will help the Havurah with important repairs to the building, which it shares with the Puget Sound Zen Center.

The presentation will be at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 10. The Havurat Ee Shalom is located at 15401 Westside Highway.

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