Na’ama studies the Jewish female experience in Auschwitz-Birkenau. In addition to her native Hebrew, she has full mastery of English, and plans to study Yiddish improve her German. She has published several articles concerning her primary research focus, the mother-daughter relationships in the camp, and on the corpus of early testimonies from Auschwitz and about sexual abuse there. Her dissertation advisor at Tel Aviv University is Professor Shulamit Volkov.
“I was born in 1969 in Israel, in Kibbutz Lehavot Haviva, named after Haviva Reich. The Kibbutz was founded in 1949 by Auschwitz survivors. I am the second daughter of Ze’ev, my father – an Auschwitz survivor – and Hava, my mother, who survived by hiding in a convent. My father was a poet who wrote mainly about the Holocaust.
It is difficult to write what the main reason for my interest in the Holocaust was, but I think one can figure it out from my autobiography. I grew up on stories about the Holocaust. There was an absence of family and, sometimes, a silence that was very loud. I encountered the pain as well as the amazing power of my parents and the other Holocaust survivors from the Kibbutz to rebuild their lives. I witnessed their inner power to create new lives for themselves, their courage to create new families and to believe in humankind and in the world, their courage to be happy and optimistic. When I started my academic studies I decided that the subject must be further explored in order to knew more about it and to continue Holocaust education. I was thinking about R. Panje’s sentence: ‘Much must be said to be able to fall silent.’
As can be understood, no less important to me is the educational work which I am doing at The International School for Holocaust Studies in Yad Vashem. As part of my work in Yad Vashem, I travel to many countries in order to teach and lecture about the Holocaust. I have also traveled several times to Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum for my research. In my research I also interviewed Holocaust survivors and I have a strong and warm connection with many of them.
I live in Tel Aviv. I am the proud mother of Uri. My other loves are reading and writing.”
Na’ama Shik received her Ph.D. from Tel Aviv University in 2011. She is the Director of the Internet Department at the International School for Holocaust Studies, Yad Vashem.