Before the word Holocaust entered modern parlance, Dr. Bernice Lerner (Senior Scholar, Center for Character and Social Responsibility, Boston University) learned about her parents’ wartime experiences. But before she learned what they had suffered and endured, she heard stories about their childhoods and post-war years, which seemed adventure-filled. Of course, the ruptures in their lives were more complicated and tragic than she could imagine as a child. In fact, it has taken decades of research for her to gain an understanding of what happened to members of her family. “All the Horrors of War: A Jewish Girl, a British Doctor, and the Liberation of Bergen-Belsen” answers the question of how—against all odds—her mother survived.
The book follows the remarkable story of Bernice’s mother Rachel Genuth, a 15-year-old Jewish teenager from the Hungarian provinces, and Brigadier Hugh Llewelyn Glyn Hughes, a high-ranking military doctor in the British Second Army. The two stories converge in Bergen-Belsen, where Rachel fights for her life and the doctor struggles to save thousands on the brink of death.
This book launch with Dr. Bernice Lerner and Michael Berenbaum (Director, Sigi Ziering Holocaust Institute, American Jewish University) took place on the eve of the 75th anniversary of the Bergen-Belsen liberation.
Watch the program below.