Those Who Forget follows author Géraldine Schwarz as she discovers more about the lives of her German and French grandparents during World War II. An exploration of the history of Europe’s post-war reckoning with fascism, the memoir urges the reader to remember the lessons learned in World War II in light of recent far-right and nationalist sentiments.
During the war, Schwarz’s French grandfather was a police officer in Vichy France; on her German side, her grandparents were non-innocent bystanders, sometimes even taking advantage of Nazi policies. In this exploration, Schwarz considers the roles her grandparents played in perpetuating fascist policies during the war. Following three generations of her family’s history in post-war Europe, Schwarz investigates the ideologies that came into play, as well as the role of collective guilt in creating a democratic responsibility, highlighting the importance of being able to look back on history so as not to repeat it.
Translated by Laura Marris from French, Those Who Forget its paperback was released in September 2022.
Based in Berlin, Géraldine Schwarz is a German-French journalist, documentary filmmaker, and author. Those Who Forget is her first book. It won the European Book Prize, Germany’s Winfried Peace Prize, and Italy’s NordSud International Prize for Literature and Science and is currently being translated into eight languages.
This event is made possible by the Knapp Family Foundation