Humans are humorous- right? Who can be so humorous than the human race chiseling their own flesh by their own feats? The bars have definitely raised- the limit to our cataclysmic deeds. Genocides aren’t fruitful. Who would rate it as acceptable? But still, they have been the focus of the first page headlines. The intentional action to destroy people usually defined as an ethnic, national, racial, or religious group in whole or in part is no doubted disgraceful. Author and academic Helen Epstein discussed the inter-generational repercussions of genocide at Northeastern University, delivering the 23rd Annual Robert Salomon Morton Memorial Lecture to students, faculty, and staff in the Raytheon Amphitheater.
The daughter of Holocaust survivors, Epstein elucidated that her family’s past had shaped her future, molding her art and her friendships, her fashion sense and her teaching style, her parenting skills and her belief in social justice. She put forward the daunting past of genocides she had undergone through. Both of her parents grew up in the Czech Republic and were the sole members of their families to survive the Nazi occupation. Her parents had no work and no place to live, but the war had not changed their attachment to the Czech Republic.
Both remained in Prague in the immediate aftermath of the war, meeting in 1946 and then bringing Epstein into the world in 1947. But the Communist coup forced the family to flee, and the trio moved to New York City’s Czech community in 1948. Epstein’s mother became the family’s breadwinner, designing dresses for the well-to-do, while her father, a two-time Olympic swimmer, eventually became a fabric cutter in the city’s garment district. She exclaimed, “I believe that my background as a daughter of survivors infused my teaching with a sensitivity to students struggling with all kinds of trauma”.