Wicked Son

Holocaust Holiday: One Family’s Descent into Genocide Memory Hell


In this alternately humorous and horrifying memoir, a Jewish father drags his reluctant children around Europe on a hard-charging tour of Holocaust sites and memorials in order to impress on them the profound evil of Hitler’s war against the Jews and the importance of combatting genocide.

In 2017, renowned author and rabbi, Shmuley Boteach, decided to take his family on a European holiday. But instead of seeing the sights of Rome or Paris, he took his reluctant—and at times complaining—children on a forced march though Auschwitz, Treblinka, Warsaw, and many other sites associated with Hitler’s genocidal war against the Jews. His purpose was to impress upon them the full horror of the Holocaust so they would know and remember it deep in their bones. In the process, he and his children learn a great deal about the scope and nature of the European genocide. The resulting memoir is an utterly unique blend of travelogue, memoir and history—alternately fascinating, terrifying, frustrating, humorous, and tragic.