Though not a holocaust survivor herself, author Faith Feldman illustrates the many residual effects the holocaust has left her with as the daughter of a Holocaust survivor. Not only has she been taught to mistrust gentiles, but also to hate everything that has anything German attached to it. In her book, Inherited Enemies: Through My Father's Eyes, Feldman shares her father's story which not only shaped his views post World War II, but also left Feldman dealing with that same anger and anxiety throughout her life as well.
Though she had been raised to identify gentiles and everything German as her potential enemy, she finds herself desperately trying to get rid of that anger. Through short, easy to read chapters, Feldman takes you through the many ways in which she tries to let go of these feelings. She tries everything from going through an interfaith ministry to hosting anti-hate crime workshops to starting a dialogue with a German son of an SS officer.
The first part of this book was very engaging. However, when Feldman starts her journey into change, that's where it became less about the messages she wanted to share, and more about her and her struggles. I felt this book would have a lot more impact had it been cut a little shorter and stuck to one subject focus. But I should point out that this is a very easy and quick read.
There are a few things that I do want to give this author props for:
-Sharing the dialogue she had with the son of an SS officer. In email correspondence, he shares his shame for his heritage and the atrocities his father and grandfather had partook in. As a granddaughter of a holocaust survivor, it was really good for me to read his views.
-Opening herself up and telling her personal story in order to help others let go of the hatred or prejudice they may have towards others, regardless of the religion and ethnicity.
Midwest Book Review
Forgiveness is not forgetting what has happened - to do so would be idiotic. "Inherited Enemies: Through my Father's Eyes" is the tale of Faith Feldman, daughter of a Holocaust survivor as she reflects on her father's suffering decades ago in Europe. She meets eye to eye with the son of a Nazi during World War II, and writes about her feelings and conflicts between hatred and the need to forgive to make the world a better place. "Inherited Enemies: Through my Father's Eyes" is highly recommended for community library Holocaust studies collections.
This book is a wonderfully written personal and family account of one's journey
to be free from hate and fear and its aftermath to the soul of the generations who come after.
I highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to read what a journey to overcome prejudice,
hate, and fear looks like - and for the hope you will receive in reading it. It made me cry and
filled my heart with faith, hope, and love.
Shay Hays, KS
Richard H. Holtzberg
This book gave me an insight to the Holocaust that I never considered. That of the next generation. The authors honesty and disclosure of her deepest feelings demonstrates the long lasting effects of the darkest hours in human history.Worthwhile read for anyone exposed to prejudice of any kind.