Ivan Jablonka, Professor of Contemporary History at the University of Paris 13, and Steven Zipperstein, Professor of History at Stanford discuss Jablonka's new book, A History of the Grandparents I Never Had.
Considered “a masterpiece” by Le Monde when it was published originally in French, this book uncovers the story of Jablonka’s grandparents Matès and Idesa. Persecuted as communists in Poland, as refugees in France, and then as Jews under the Vichy regime, they were overcome by the tragedies of the twentieth century: Stalinism, the mounting dangers in Europe during the 1930s, the Second World War, and the destruction of European Jews. Jablonka’s challenge was, as a historian, to rigorously distance himself and yet, as family, to invest himself completely in their story. The result is a gripping account, a profound reflection, and an absolutely extraordinary history.