Members’ area

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8 thoughts on “Members’ area

  1. Being 2G means I don’t know where I come from and I don’t know where I belong. I’m attached to two people who lost their pasts – and I don’t always know what is their experience of their past and mine of the present. People who aren’t 2G never really understand what it’s like. Being part of the 2G network connects me with other people who have similar experiences; it is an environment in which I feel normal.

  2. As the daughter of atheist refugees, I felt I did not belong anywhere. My parents did not join any Jewish group, I suffered from anti-Semitism at school as well as the problems of English being my second language. So I felt an outsider for many years and only really felt there was a group for me with the formation of the second generation where others had had similar experiences.

  3. I am a Holocaust survivor’s daughter. I am wholeheartedly, defiantly myself because the generations before me had that right taken away from them. And I am a keeper of secrets in my mother’s village because in the end, she decided to be English. I look and sound as though I have been plucked from a garden fete in Godalming – but I know, at least second hand, what it is to be cast adrift at six and a half and land in a foreign country with nothing. I was brought up by a mother who had no idea what mothers did and an eye for a split infinitive that only a foreigner can give you. I’m half Viennese-Jewish, half Brummie and on ethnic monitoring forms I’m ‘White other’. I have inherited statelessness. It’s made me a good traveller.

  4. To find out that what seemed to me to be a unique experience but is, in fact, a shared experience is helpful to say the least.

  5. Becoming aware over recent years that I had an identity known as ‘second generation’ helped me appreciate and gain perspective on why my growing up was so painful. When I realised that there were others with experiences somewhat like my own, I felt I was not alone. I felt energised to increase my understanding of my background. The Second Generation Network provided an opportunity to talk about and explore further my personal story and to listen to the stories of others. There is something deeply painful and at the same time deeply moving that many of us share in common in our approach to life whether it be in taking risks, or not taking risks; being angry or holding in our anger; feeling different or trying hard to be like others.

  6. It has been an enormous comfort to me to learn that others are also living with one or two parents who have been psychologically and emotionally damaged in the same kind of way.

  7. For the first time ever I belong to a group of people who have the same starting point as me. You can’t beat that understanding nod from across the table!

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