Broken on the inside: The War never ended by Simon Hammelburg
Based on 1200 interviews with Holocaust survivors and their children transcribed during telephone calls he received in a 1992 campaign to help American Jews and other individuals reclaiming property they had lost during the Nazi regime in the former DDR.
The phone calls Hammelburg received were often long monologues about experiences in concentration camps like Auschwitz, Bergen-Belsen and even Sobibor, depicting the horrible tales of escapes, hiding, revealing unknown facts about WWII. Also the Japanese occupation of the former Dutch Indies, now Indonesia.
The witness statements provided unique insights into the psychological aftermath of the Holocaust when survivors often received a cold shower returning to their liberated hometowns, where loneliness prevailed in post-war Europe and the US. Other people often were too busy rebuilding their own future or simply didn’t care.
When the claims process was completed by the end of 1992, the author found himself with a wealth of information, particularly about the post-war generations. He felt the importance making this information accessible to a larger audience, especially younger people. The grown-ups of the future should never forget what happened during World War II and the impact it had on the victims, the second and future generations.