It was such a pleasure and a privilege to speak at the Jewish Book Council last month introducing my book Beverly Hills Concentration Camp; a healing journey and memoir. I was so moved by the many interesting and heartfelt stories told by all the authors covering a wide variety of genres and interests. My focus in this two-minute presentation was the explanation of my title and how my life circumstances lead me to helping others heal.
Beverly Hills Concentration Camp; a healing journey and memoir
I titled my book “Beverly Hills Concentration Camp”, because that’s what I had lived. My truth is in this title. It underscores the unlikely emotional juxtaposition of growing up in a beautiful Spanish house in Beverly Hills with the weight of my family’s traumatic history in the concentration camps.
I am the child of two Holocaust survivors. My life has been a reflection of my mother’s experiences in the ghettos, and in Auschwitz. Like many victims of extreme trauma, she couldn’t get over what happened to her, and did not have the tools to stand up to my brothers after my father died when I was four.
The same types of the horrific experiences she had faced during the war literally played out again and again in our home, including ongoing emotional, physical – and even sexual – abuse manifesting in unbearable physical pain for me as an adult.
My mother reacted as if everything were normal because assault, and neglect were embedded into her psyche. She was as paralyzed as if she were still in the camps.
Recent research from Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York confirms that the genes of holocaust survivors’ children and grandchildren show an increased likelihood of having stress disorders, when compared with Jewish families living outside Europe during the war.
This award-winning book is my journey out of chronic pain and suffering and into life. It focuses on specific techniques including breathwork meditation that has brought me such astonishing results that I am now a breathwork healer. If the title “Beverly Hills Concentration Camp” shocks or intrigues a potential reader enough to pick the book up and learn more, I’ve done the job I set out to do—to heal myself and to help others know that healing ourselves and the next generation is possible no matter the trauma.