Author Lev Raphael Discusses His Memoir "My Germany"

This event was held on March 28, 2011 at Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

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When you grow up hating Germany because your parents are Holocaust survivors, what happens when you're invited to speak there about your books?

Lev Raphael haunted by his parents' suffering and traumatic losses under Nazi rule, was certain that Germany was one place in the world he would never visit. Those feelings shaped his Jewish and gay identity, his life, and his career. Then the barriers of a lifetime began to come down, as revealed in this moving memoir "My Germany." While researching his mother's war years, Raphael found a distant relative living in the very city where she had been a slave laborer.

What would he learn if he actually traveled to the place where his mother had found freedom and met his father? Not long after that epochal trip, a German publisher bought several of his books for translation. Raphael was launched on book tours in Germany, discovering not so much a new Germany, but a new self: someone unafraid to face the past and transcend it.

Lev Raphael is a pioneer in writing fiction about America's Second Generation, publishing his first short story about children of survivors in 1978. Many of his early stories on this theme were collected in his award-winning book, "Dancing on Tisha B'Av," while the best of those appear in his second collection "Secret Anniversaries of the Heart." He is the author of 17 other books including two novels about survivors, "Winter Eyes" and "The German Money," two memoirs, "Journeys & Arrivals" and "Writing a Jewish Life" and dozens of essays, articles, and stories in a wide range of publications

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