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Allison Nazarian Talks New Memoir ‘Aftermath: A Granddaughter’s Story of Legacy, Healing & Hope’

Read The First Two Chapters Here

Years later, as an adult, I was a caretaker of my grandmother. The generation that separated us—namely, my mom—was gone. My grandmother had brought me up, and now it was my turn to take care of her. It was my job to fix whatever I could, so that her life would be as comfortable and easy (and affordable) as possible. I spent many, mostly frustrating, hours corresponding with bureaucrats from the German government, trying to convince them—with the help of doctors and my grandmother—of Bubby’s profound post-traumatic stress disorder, so that they would increase the monthly amount of reparation and pension money she
received from them. These reparations were basically the,  “We’re sorry we sent your family to the gas chamber, but here is
some money to make it better” gestures, and the whole process really made me mad. In my twenties and thirties, I had become
something of a secretary to Bubby, not just managing her correspondence and her administrative life from bills to service calls to trips to renew her driver’s license, but also becoming her advocate with anyone who denied her what she wanted or needed, such as, in her eyes, the German government.

To this day, I still have the “Bubby Germans” folder in my files, despite having no need for it anymore. I can’t bring myself to throw out those letters and receipts of restitution payments. They serve as a reminder, one of injustice and frustration and compassion and overwhelm and now, a reminder to me that I’m not always in control, and that’s OK.

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