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Book details
  • SubGenre:Personal Memoirs
  • Language:English
  • Pages:118
  • Format:Paperback
  • eBook ISBN:9781098353056
  • Paperback ISBN:9781098353049

Don't Forget to Remember

by Aviva Haber Levin

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Don’t Forget to Remember reveals how seconds and inches can mean life or death, literally. Two stories of survival merge, one of parents who experienced unspeakable torture, trauma, and loss, the telling of which fulfills a promise. The other is a story of promise, a daughter’s struggle to break free from the ever-present demons of her parents’ trauma, which had become hers. Feeling as if she was outside of her life, she secretly self-medicated to escape. Years later, when she was willing to look, the answers started to come.


Born in the Bergen-Belsen Displaced Persons camp, Aviva spent the first three years of her life among Holocaust survivors. Her earliest memory, which still haunts her today, was of a strange odor lingering over the camp, which people referred to as the smell of dead people. 


Aviva brings her parents’ stories of their experiences during the Holocaust to life, creating a context for the unfolding of her story, one of her struggle with the fear and anxiety that dominated her thoughts, actions, and interactions throughout her life.  


This constant state of worry affected her ability to eat, to interact with other children, and to concentrate in school. Knowing what her parents had suffered, she felt the need to protect and watch over them at all times. With no one to help her process her feelings, Aviva developed coping strategies to help numb her tangled emotions. By the time she was a teenager, she had turned to alcohol and drugs. 


Her parents watched their only daughter slowly kill herself as her struggle with alcoholism continued for decades. After many years of attempts at recovery, the unrelenting support from her family and friends and a change in perception gave her the strength and commitment to recover. No longer tormented with the cravings of alcohol, she hopes her story will help others. 


To her parents, Aviva says, “I’ll never forget to remember. That’s what you always said about life. You were my greatest teachers, and I’ll remember you every day.”

About the author

Aviva Haber Levin inspires audiences by sharing her personal experiences to help others on their path to healing and recovery. Her Holocaust survivor parents began the family tradition of storytelling by providing their powerful audio-visual testimonies of their firsthand experience with genocide for the Shoah Foundation. Aviva continues to carry her parents' message to educate others. Currently, her primary mission is to help people who feel hopeless, struggling with fear, addiction, or abuse by talking about her spiritual journey of recovery from alcoholism. Powerfully connecting with her audiences, she instills hope that they, too, can change their lives. Formerly from Manhattan, Aviva now resides in South Florida.

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