(RNS) — Holocaust survivors are generally valorized for their courage and held up as exemplars of endurance and grit in the face of unimaginable pain, suffering and loss. Less understood — especially as those survivors die off — are the ways their trauma has reverberated onto their children.

Adam Frankel’s new book “The Survivors: A Story of War, Inheritance and Healing,” explores some of those psychic wounds as they played out in his own personal history.

A former speechwriter for Barack Obama, Frankel was known in the Obama administration for writing stirring eulogies. And in “The Survivors,” he has written a heart-wrenching memoir in clear, succinct prose.

The book also offers a peek at two starkly different American Jewish experiences.

Frankel’s maternal grandfather, a watchmaker,

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