- An Era Looking Back: A retrospective of a second-generation Holocaust survivor
- Grow your lecture, speaking business
Joseph I. Kessler’s “An Era: Looking Back ” Provides educators with the resources to teach about the Holocaust. Teaching about the Holocaust can inspire students to think critically about the past and their roles and responsibilities today.
Unfortunately — and, of course, thoroughly depressingly — it is almost entirely impossible to recollect — and, ergo, cherish — most of the elements of those millions of people who lost their lives during World War II!
Trying to describe the events firsthand or experiences would be impossible. There are no easy answers in retracing the steps or easy solutions to finding all the facts. Given the passage of time, trying to recollect the facts of that horror has become impossible.
My parents and other surviving family and friends provided bits of information and shared their stories, mainly orally passed on to me.
Pondering and looking back at my notes pieced together with much thought, sometimes being overly aggressive and occasionally obsessive. Putting this book together has become all-consuming, with a lot of compilation, editing, and countless hours of intensive investigation into many events. The process slowly revealed and led me into following journeys after finding information on the many brave souls, some surviving and the majority not.
Creating a logically-rendered written legacy: “An Era: Looking Back.” So, with due respect to you, the reader, my writing leaves an account of past and current events to explore, elicit, evoke, or draw out and find information about what happened to my family.
It is the experience of the past that inspires the future. “Each generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it and wiser than the one that comes after it.” George Orwell
To paraphrase Anthony S. Pitch, “…a gargantuan effort…”
“To anyone who feels invisible, please know that your story matters. Your ideas matter: Your experience matters.” – Michelle Obama.
“An Era: Looking Back” is a reflective, retrospective memoir through Joseph Israel Kessler’s thoughts, views, and research as a second-generation Holocaust survivor. (The children of those who lived through the Holocaust are predominantly Jewish, known as second-generation survivors, who lost family, and whose only crime was being born Jewish.)
Today, you may ask any young or older person, male or female, who has been educated about what they know or remember about the years 1939 – 1945 regarding the Holocaust, despite the horrific nature of the survivors’ wartime experiences. It is unreasonable to expect their children not to delve into their past. Yet how justifiable is it for the postwar generation to claim, like me, that my parents’ history also belongs to me?
Most assuredly, most of us would be embarrassed by our lack of knowledge and or understanding of the seriousness of this period in our history, and with that, I wrote An Era: Looking Back: A Retrospective of a Second Generation Holocaust Survivor.
“An Era: Looking Back”: An introspective, a retrospection, a memoir, and thoughts and views as a second-generation Holocaust survivor.
“An Era: Looking Back” is a valuable resource for educators, offering insights into the Holocaust and its profound impact on humanity.
Through Joseph I. Kessler’s memoir, educators gain access to firsthand accounts, emotions, and historical context that can enrich classroom discussions and foster empathy.
Here are ways in which “An Era: Looking Back” supports education about the Holocaust:
1. Authentic Narratives: Kessler’s subjective experiences provide an authentic and intimate perspective. Educators can use excerpts from the memoir to illustrate the human cost of hatred, prejudice, and genocide.
2. Discussion Prompts: The memoir offers discussion prompts about resilience, survival, and memory. Educators can engage students in critical conversations about empathy, tolerance, and remembering history.
3. Multidisciplinary Approach: “An Era: Looking Back” transcends mere historical facts. It delves into emotions, family dynamics, and the impact of trauma. Educators can integrate these aspects into various subjects, including history, literature, psychology, and ethics.
4. Legacy and Responsibility: Kessler’s commitment to advocacy becomes a lesson in responsibility. Educators can explore how individuals can make a difference by sharing their stories and advocating for justice.
5. Connecting Generations: Kessler’s memoir encourages intergenerational dialogue by bridging the past and present. Educators can facilitate connections between students and survivors or their descendants, fostering empathy and understanding.
In classrooms, libraries, and educational programs: “An Era: Looking Back” becomes a powerful tool to ensure that the Holocaust remains a vivid part of our collective memory.” And through education, we honor the victims, celebrate resilience, and strive for a hatred-free world.
In contrast to my own Holocaust experience, I lost my entire family at age six and was raised in four foster homes and one orphanage in two countries. Holocaust education, a missing element, continues to be the story of the millions of children whose lives were dramatically uprooted and whose families were exterminated. Your reference to JFK and the Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962 was a possible indirect intersection between you and me. I served in President Kennedy’s National Security Council. Your book An Era: Looking Back is an excellent study/text/reference guide to not only the Holocaust but also this history of Jewish migration, relevant geo-political history, and, of course, your own family with its experience.
I consider your book part of a class or lecture series to be used as a primary text instead of a book to be picked up and read end to end over several days. Gunther Karger: Author, President Kennedy’s National Security Council, Cyber Columnist, Aerospace Engineer, Editor Emeritus – Discovery Letter
“A breathtaking experience, reading “An Era: Looking Back,” the book will keep the era alive for generations and thereby not be forgotten.” Dale R. Moss, U.S.A.’s State Department
“What a monumental achievement. Your life story during World War II, all your adventures through such troubled times, and your survival. You have poured your heart and soul into the book.”- Bernard Chaplain, London, England.
“Wow, you have put a lot of work into the book. It is an excellent explanation of how this book came about. Bravo!” – Lori & Neil Shocket, M.D.
“What a great endeavor, a painful heritage, obliged to remember and pass on as a second-generation survivor while World War II raged. I commend Joseph for telling his stories for posterity.” – Sara Borezuk Applebaum, School Principal & Author.
“I applaud Joseph Israel Kessler’s work. Requisitely rendered to remind us that we must never forget that inconceivable monstrosity so that nothing like it can / will ever happen again.” – George Kovacs, Ph.D. – The Einstein of English
“Thanks for the privilege of going through your book.” – Joe Gero, Academia, South Africa
“A life well lived but not yet finished. Appreciate the experiences, the lessons learned, the joys, and the sorrows. And now onto the next chapter.” – Ron Palczynski, Engineer Guru
I have read many Holocaust books, but I have never read a book that captured my mind and heart like “An Era: Looking Back.” I hope that people of all backgrounds will get the opportunity to read this book. The details, photos, and thoughts the author Joseph I. Kessler presents take the reader through a harsh and cruel world. Avi Shafran, General Contractor
An Era is impressive, and I love reflecting on my family history as my brother’s name is Israel, my father fought in the Polish Army, and they were in a ghetto in Poland. Thank you for letting me share in this gift you are giving your family. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about this time in history, and you should be proud of your writing and communication skills. I will continue reading until I get to the last page. Shirley Greenberg, commercial real-estate
The penultimate day of my “Advocate Calendar” features Joseph Israel Kessler’s An Era: Looking Back – A Retrospection and Perspective as a Second-Generation Holocaust Survivor! Dorie Clark, speaker, author – Wall Street Journal bestseller
I’m reading your book; it is very well-written and informative. I’m having my husband read it next. Shelly Perchick
Joseph I. Kessler has authored a powerful book that should be in every school and college around America and the world. It is a tremendous and historical account of the Holocaust from a writer who is a second-generation Holocaust survivor. I have never seen a more detailed account of the Holocaust and its impact on history. Not only does the book share the impact the Holocaust had on his family, but also on how this horrific event shaped the world. I highly recommend this book! I thought I knew about the Holocaust, but this gave me new, in-depth, incredible insights to make me a better human being! Thank you, Joseph Israel Kessler, for this book. It will enlighten and empower many people worldwide to be better human beings! Dr. Willie Jolley, Hall of Fame Speaker, Sirius XM Radio Host, and Best-Selling Author of A Setback Is A Setup For A Comeback and An Attitude of Excellence
Kessler’s comments: “A biography, memoir, and retrospection compiled with a heartfelt desire to pass findings on to the next generation. Holocaust survivors’ children are known as Second-Generation Survivors. Millions of Jews lost entire families, and their only crime was being born Jewish.
You will be enlightened by the knowledge and its ramifications for a whole generation.
The stories that stick with readers are the ones that connect to their emotions and inspire them to reflect on their own experiences.
You will be hooked by impactful stories that take you through every emotion while offering valuable lessons on grit, determination, and achieving the impossible.”
Joseph Israel Kessler
Books by Joseph I. Kessler