About Emily

Emily Wanderer Cohen

I am an intergenerational trauma expert, public speaker, and international bestselling author of From Generation to Generation: Healing Intergenerational Trauma Through Storytelling and The Daughter’s Dilemma: A Survival Guide to Caring for an Aging, Abusive Parent.

As the daughter of Holocaust survivors, often called 2G, I understand what it feels like to carry the invisible scars of a trauma I didn’t even experience first-hand. 

Science has proven that intergenerational trauma–trauma that is transferred from trauma survivors themselves to their children and subsequent generations–is more than simply learned behaviors: The effects are passed down through our genes and in our DNA.

Personally, I have found that the expressive arts– writing, art, and drama–are effective ways to allow our subconscious thoughts and emotions to rise to the surface. Using expressive arts, we become aware of our deep-rooted anxieties, fears, resentments, anger, depression, and more. And by becoming aware, we can then discuss the feelings, learn coping skills, and eventually heal.

Because I know what it feels like to live with transmitted trauma–as well as what it feels like to resolve and release that trauma–I want to spread my message that it is possible to stop the cycle of transmission.


“Emily Wanderer Cohen deftly connects the dots between her mother’s Holocaust experiences and her childhood trauma—and beyond. Skillfully organized into helpful chapters, Cohen’s observations are both relatable and touching. While the book’s main audience is children and grandchildren of Holocaust survivors, next generations of any traumatic event will find the book both useful and insightful.”

Marc Smolowitz, Award-winning Independent Filmmaker

What Readers Are Saying

“With wisdom, compassion, honesty and courage, Emily Wanderer Cohen tells us what it was like to be the daughter of a Holocaust survivor. If – like me – you had parents who went into the camps as children and came out as survivors, Cohen’s narrative will have you nodding your head and remembering. If your parents or grandparents were not in the camps, Wanderer Cohen’s book will teach you about the permanence of suffering and the true power of forgiveness.”

– John Guzlowski, author of “Echoes of Tattered Tongues: Memory Unfolded,” Winner of the 2017 Ben Franklin Award for Poetry

What Readers Are Saying

“Emily Wanderer Cohen’s courageous and engrossing memoir of being a child of Holocaust survivors will resonate with other second-generation offspring of historically traumatized parents. A must read!”
– Eva Fogelman, Ph.D., author and co-producer of “Breaking the Silence: The Generation after the Holocaust,” a PBS Documentary


What Readers Are Saying

“Emily Wanderer Cohen has written a powerful and poignant memoir about what it means to grow up as the child of a Holocaust survivor. From Generation to Generation doesn’t pull any punches—it exposes ongoing consequences of the atrocities of the Holocaust of which most of us are totally unaware. While important for the second and third generation survivors, this book is even more relevant for the rest of us. The horrors of the Holocaust don’t die with the survivors. Cohen’s book reminds us that 70+ years later, there’s still work to do.”
– Linda Popky, author of “Marketing Above the Noise: Achieve Strategic Advantage with Marketing that Matters”

What Readers Are Saying

Emily Wanderer Cohen makes an invaluable contribution to our understanding of how historical trauma is inherited and how it manifests in our daily lives. With courage, insight and compassion for her mother, and the traumatized generation who survived the Holocaust, Emily breaks an unspoken taboo and unflinchingly bears witness to her own suffering as a Second Generation survivor. Out of the specificity of her transformative story emerge universal truths that can guide us on our own healing journeys. At once a memoir, as well as a workbook for descendants of any historical trauma wanting to transform their own wounding, Emily’s moving narrative demonstrates the power of self-revelatory storytelling to unburden and heal a traumatic past.

– Armand Volkas, MFT, RDT/BCT
Psychotherapist, Drama Therapist and Theatre Director
Son of resistance fighters and survivors of Auschwitz
Director, Healing the Wounds of History Institute

What Readers Are Saying

“Those of us who carry the legacy of the Holocaust understand why and how the story isn’t over. In fact, for many of us the search has just begun. There are questions and memories that have not only been too terrifying to face, but also some have even been considered forbidden. How do we face or even dare to reveal the agony of abuse from a parent? Their rage would remain a deep secret, a terrible source of shame. In her book, “From Generation to Generation: Healing Intergenerational Trauma Through Storytelling,” Emily Wanderer Cohen defies the boundaries of fear and, with a tremendous sense of courage, opens up a safe space for dialogue. We are known as “The People of the Book.” We are taught that through words we became part of creation. May these words be part of the healing one generation most definitely prayed to bestow upon the next and the next.”

– Chaya Rosen, author of “In the Shadow of God, Poems of Memory and Healing”

What Readers Are Saying

“Emily Wanderer Cohen has written a book with such BRUTAL HONESTY, that I actually—physically—found myself shaking while reading it. Her writing is revelatory, BLUNT, and poetic in its NONCONFORMITY. As a fellow Holocaust artist and historian, I say with complete conviction that this book will be a voice for our entire generation in ways that NOTHING before it has. An EXTRAORDINARY work of art … a MUST read.”
– Toby Gotesman Schneier, Holocaust artist and historian

What Readers Are Saying

“From Generation to Generation tackles difficult, emotional, and painful truths present in families of survivors and ALL families. Congratulations to Emily for this important book that’s incredibly relevant NOW more than ever.”

– Leah Warshawski, Producer and Co-Director, The “Big Sonia” movie (http://bigsonia.com)