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Her ancestors survived the Holocaust. She returns to Germany to reclaim her identity

Memory Wars logo.
Memory Wars
Memory Wars logo.

Today is International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Every year there are fewer Holocaust survivors still with us. But the trauma they experienced continues to reverberate through generations.

Today we bring you the story of a descendent of Holocaust victims.

Haley's ancestors were Holocaust survivors. But she's chosen to return to Germany anyway. We follow her journey to reclaim the things stolen from her family — an identity and a homeland. Why would someone return to a place of unspeakable trauma and what does it take for them to feel welcomed?

Memory Wars is a six-part series about how Germany has confronted its horrific past and whether America could ever do the same. Reported by Mallory Noe-Payne and featuring conversations with Richmond Times-Dispatch columnist Michael Paul Williams. Listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or NPR One.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit

Mallory Noe-Payne
Mallory Noe-Payne is a freelance reporter and producer based in Richmond, Virginia. Although she's a native Virginian, she's most recently worked for public radio in Boston. There, she helped produce stories about higher education, including a nationally-airing series on the German university system. In addition to working for WGBH in Boston, she's worked at WAMU in Washington D.C. She graduated from Virginia Tech with degrees in Journalism and Political Science. For more frequent updates from Richmond, or occasional commentary on rock climbing and vegetable gardening, you can follow Mallory on Twitter @MalloryNoePayne.