Pillar of Salt: A Daughter’s Life in the Shadow of the Holocaust By Anna Salton Eisen with Aaron Eisen
In recognition of Yom Hashoah, (Holocaust Remembrance Day), the public is invited to a special presentation by author Anna Salton Eisen at the Georgetown Public Library Hewlett Room on Sunday, April 24, 2022 at 2 p.m. The program is FREE, and there will be a book signing after the lecture. In her presentation Ms. Salton Eisen will discuss her understanding of her legacy as a child of Holocaust survivors, how trauma is revisited upon subsequent generations, and antisemitism today. Accompanying her will be Aaron Eisen, her son, third generation descendant, and co-author of the book. He is also involved in a documentary film, “In My Father’s Words”, that will be released this summer.
Anna Salton Eisen has conducted extensive research into the Holocaust and its impact on survivors and the children of survivors. “The children of Holocaust survivors are collectively referred to as ‘second generation.’ Their parents’ entire world was destroyed; they had to begin anew; but they suffered the memories in silence.” “I am Adam,” said her father when questioned about his past, indicating everything that came before is no more; he is the beginning of a new life. But the past loomed mysteriously and darkly before his children. As the survivors have aged, the responsibility to bear witness has to pass down to their children and to their children’s children.
She was an adult when Ms. Salton Eisen finally broke her parents’ silence about their Holocaust experiences. She confronted her father about the importance of sharing his story, the loss of his family, and his experiences in 10 concentration camps before being liberated by the Americans. And so she says began “a backwards tumble into the black hole that had swallowed my father’s past and left his heart broken: the Holocaust.”
According to a review of the book, “Pillar of Salt: A Daughter’s Life in the Shadow of the Holocaust,” “she combines the meticulous work of an archaeologist with the compassion of a daughter, courageously embracing her legacy as a second-generation survivor.” This memoir completes the story told in her prior book, “The 23rd Psalm: A Holocaust Memoir,” which she wrote with her father about his experiences.
In her remarks about Salton Eisen’s use of Ancestry.com to find the descendants of those Holocaust survivors her father was with in the camps, Deb Lui, CEO of Ancestry.com wrote, “Anna Salton Eisen’s important exploration of her Holocaust heritage is about building community, building connection, through history, through your family, through your story.”
“…Anna bears eloquent witness to the scope of the Holocaust that continues to cast its shadow over generations… Anna found the courage to pen these powerful words (and) we must find the courage to read them and be transformed into witnesses,” wrote David Patterson, Hillel A. Feinberg Distinguished Chair in Holocaust Studies, University of Texas at Dallas.
Anna Salton Eisen is a licensed social worker, and a founding member and first president of Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville Texas. She was an interviewer for Steven Spielberg’s Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation. She lives in Westlake Texas.
For more information, contact Ellen Silverman, firstname.lastname@example.org, 512-943-0600; 908-507-3449.
Photo courtesy of Ellen Silverman
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