No Common Place. The Holocaust Testimony of Alina Bacall-Zwirn
“You know, a lot of people like to talk about it, and I’m always pushing, pushing away, you know, I’m always pushing. I hate to remember, I hate to talk about it.” But in the wake of her husband’s death, and afraid that the story would never be told, Alina Bacall-Zwirn, a survivor of the Warsaw ghetto and four Nazi concentration camps, decided to remember and to bear witness to the history she and her husband suffered together. In a unique format that combines personal testimony, photographs, letters, legal documents and contributions from Alina’s family; No Common Place interweaves a survivor’s story with her reflections on the impact of her traumatic past on herself and her family. As it follows Alina through conversations with Jared Stark and with interviewers at the Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, and as it records her participation in the dedication ceremonies of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, the books speaks to the importance of the individual’s voice in shaping collective memory of the Holocaust. The supporting materials – chronology, maps, and notes – allow the survivor’s voice to serve as a guide to the study of the Holocaust and its aftermath.