The Seven, a Family Holocaust Story is a different story of the Holocaust, one that has been mainly lost to history and needs to be told. Most Polish Jews who survived the war did not go to concentration camps but were banished by Stalin into the remote prison settlements of the Soviet Union where the author, Ellen G. Friedman was born—deep in Kyrgyzstan just over the Tian Shan Mountains of China. Less than 10% of Polish Jews survived World War II, and Soviet exile was their main chance for survival. The title of The Seven comes from the unusual unity that set the seven Polish Jews of the title apart from the hundreds of thousands of other refugees in the gulags and prison settlements of the U.S.S.R. The Seven is the name that other exiles, stranded without their loved ones, called them. Based on interviews Friedman conducted beginning in 1985, this book brings together the radically different perspectives of the survivors and others who came to be related to them. Set side-by-side and in juxtaposition to one another, their voices add up to a new Holocaust story that resonates with the experience of today’s exiles and refugees that occupies the daily news
Ellen G Friedman is a Professor of English and Holocaust Studies at The College of New Jersey, she has published books with Princeton and Minnesota University Presses, among others, as well as many articles in a range of scholarly and popular journals.
She inaugurated the Holocaust and Genocide Studies program at her college and teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on The Limits of Representation and the Holocaust, The Holocaust and Memory, Art and Literature of the Holocaust, and Reading and Writing the Holocaust. She led an NEH grant on Women and the Holocaust for N.J. teachers. The New Jersey Council for the Humanities designated her as a New Jersey Public Scholar. She is a member of the Faculty Advisory Council of the Fortunoff Video Archive of Holocaust Testimonies at Yale University.
She has given lectures and keynote addresses in the US, Britain, Europe, and Russia and was twice invited as visiting professor at the Institute of English and American Studies, J. W. Goethe Universität in Frankfurt, Germany. She has also taught in Paris.
She has appeared on NPR and on other radio and television stations in the U.S., Canada, and Australia. She is a Princeton University Press legacy author. While writing The Seven, A Family Holocaust Story, she was appointed a Visiting Scholar at the international Biography Center at the University of Hawaii, Manoa and was appointed to Faculty Council, University of Turku, Finland. Spring 2012. She has given book talks based on her memoir in Europe and the U.S., including Hawaii.