> Skip to content
  • Published: 4 November 2020
  • ISBN: 9781635420494
  • Imprint: Other Press
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 304
  • RRP: $32.99

Where Memory Leads

My Life




In this sequel to the classic work of Holocaust literature When Memory Comes, a Pulitzer Prize–winning historian returns to memoir to recount this tale of intellectual coming-of-age on three continents

Forty years after his acclaimed, poignant first memoir, Friedländer returns with WHEN MEMORY COMES: THE LATER YEARS, bridging the gap between the ordeals of his childhood and his present-day towering reputation in the field of Holocaust studies. After abandoning his youthful conversion to Catholicism, he rediscovers his Jewish roots as a teenager and builds a new life in Israeli politics.

Friedländer's initial loyalty to Israel turns into a lifelong fascination with Jewish life and history. He struggles to process the ubiquitous effects of European anti-Semitism while searching for a more measured approach to the Zionism that surrounds him. Friedländer goes on to spend his adulthood shuttling between Israel, Europe, and the United States, armed with his talent for language and an expansive intellect. His prestige inevitably throws him up against other intellectual heavyweights. In his early years in Israel, he rubs shoulders with the architects of the fledgling state and brilliant minds such as Gershom Scholem and Carlo Ginzburg, among others.

Most importantly, this memoir led Friedländer to reflect on the wrenching events that induced him to devote sixteen years of his life to writing his Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece, The Years of Extermination: Nazi Germany and the Jews, 1939-1945.

  • Published: 4 November 2020
  • ISBN: 9781635420494
  • Imprint: Other Press
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 304
  • RRP: $32.99

Also by Saul Friedlander

See all

Praise for Where Memory Leads

“When Memory Comes retains the very texture of recollection in a literary style characterized by tact and elegance…[the book] is faithful to the workings of memory: It doesn’t arrive all at once; it reappears, often without warning, to interrupt the present with the aroma, and the pain, of the past… Where Memory Leads describes in more prosaic, chronological form the itinerary of a historian whose life work has been to piece together an account of massive, state-sponsored crimes while making a place for the voices of those mercilessly persecuted…When Memory Comes was written in the key of memory, a register replete with sensation and emotion but that can offer no lessons. Where Memory Leads is written in the key of history, a register that moves from meaning to message. Here, the author is crystal clear. ‘The only lesson one could draw from the Shoah was precisely the imperative: stand against injustice.’ Obligation fulfilled.” — Wall Street Journal “[When Memory Comes] is a small classic of Holocaust literature. With a light brush, bringing events in and out of focus, the author depicts his early years in Prague, where he was born in 1932 to Jewish parents who considered themselves culturally German; the family’s move to Paris and flight to Vichy; his seclusion and conversion in a Catholic seminary; his parents’ attempted escape to Switzerland and their disappearance, ultimately to die in Auschwitz. It is a shattering story, written in 1977 in Israel, where Friedländer went first to fight and later to teach, salted with observations on the Jewish state and relations with the Palestinians, a never-ending debate in which he participates forcefully from the left. Where Memory Leads follows suit, telling a painful post-war story both personal and national, woven into discussions of teaching posts outside Israel, in Geneva and Los Angeles, where he is emeritus professor of history at UCLA.”  Guardian (US)  “Friedlander, who lost his parents in the Holocaust and survived as a child hidden in a catholic seminary in central France, went on to become an accomplished polyglot, at home in Israel, Europe and the United States. Friedlander's childhood…was the subject of a first, more typical "survivor" memoir, titled "When Memory Comes."…the book is a fractured and evocative account of Friedlander's early years and separation from his parents, written in Israel in the heavy aftermath of the Yom Kippur War. ”Where Memory Leads” is a more literal project...More than anything else “Where Memory Leads” chronicles Friedlander’s professional success, in particular his most significant achievement: a two-volume history of the Nazis and the Jews from 1933 to 1945, a period he divides into “the years of persecution” and “the years of extermination.”… In it, Friedlander deftly wove an account of Nazi policies with records of the daily life of Germans and testimony from victims…Friedlander, more than most, has made lasting contributions to scholarship – in his writing on the Nazi era, but also in his role investigating the relationships between the Nazis and powerful institutions, corporations and nations. With a cleareyed moral imperative, he opposes the Palestinian occupation, repeatedly demands accountability from Israeli leaders for their support of West Bank settlements and rails against use of the Shoah as a pretext for mistreatment of Palestinians.” — The New York Times Book Review  “Friedländer (history, Univ. of California, Los Angeles; The Years of Extermination: Nazi Germany and the Jews, 1939–1945), a leading Holocaust scholar, has given us a follow-up of sorts to his 1977 memoir, When Memory Comes. While that title focused on h

Related titles