Holocaust Syndrome is the story of Emmi Fischer, child Holocaust survivor and daughter of a survivor and resistance fighter. Now a prominent professor of Holocaust studies, her seemingly successful life begins to break apart with her mother’s death. The ultimate questions are whose memories has she been living and can she begin to separate from and forgive her mother. Emmi's search for solace, closure, and separation examines how the Holocaust determined the lives of survivors, their ability to nurture, and the hidden emotional lives they led in the post Holocaust world.
Holocaust Syndrome is based on playwright Aliza Erber’s own history. From being a hidden child in an underground bunker somewhere in Holland, to Israel, and then to the United States, Holocaust Syndrome examines a life’s journey trying to understand her own and family trauma. In 2002, Dr. Erber travelled to Budapest and Prague to perform as a Rebbitzin smuggled out of a camp by the Jewish Resistance in Promised Land by Jessica Litvak, directed by Mara Mills. A side trip to the Terezinstadt concentration camp brought Dr. Erber her first information about the history of her father who was in Terezinstadt before being shipped to Auschwitz, where he died. “The trip,” says Dr. Erber, “and the role, changed my life and set me on the search for identity, understanding, and teaching.” Holocaust Syndrome was inspired by her experience and her family history.
Aliza Erber is a Rabbinic Pastor, College Professor, Hebrew Teacher, Actor, Playwright, Author, Speaker, and a former Podiatric Physician.