From Scapegoats to Survivors
Author Jan Jarboe Russell will be discussing how the pattern of scapegoating, universal in wars, took place in the Crystal City Internment Camp. During the talk, Jan Jarboe Russell will describe how the book, The Train To Crystal City, reveals the unending tally of war in the lives of ordinary families. German-American and Japanese-American characters in the book experienced heartbreaking dislocation, lives smashed and ruined, and yet most demonstrated unbelievable human endurance. Many rebuilt their lives after the war with resilience and determination.
The book demonstates a central archetypal pattern of war: The Scapegoat, who carries both the dark and the light. Many of the children in the book were cast out of their homes and culture and experienced shame and inexplicable punishment yet paradoxically by the war's end many had emerged as the saviors of their families and to the country that had betrayed them.
The structure of the talk will be to introduce the main characters, describe how each coped with their internment and the conflicts within the families, and provide conclusions regarding how each lived out the pattern of scapegoats. In addition, Russell will describe her process of using both the memories of the main characters as well as historical documentation gleaned from primary documents pulled from the National Archives in Washington, DC and other institutions. She will also discuss her own dreamwork and how this fascilitated the research and writing of the book, as well as her own understanding of scapegoat.
The book is available here from the Twig Bookstore
Here are some articles that have been written about the book:
The New York Times
The Daily Beast
Click here to download a brochure for the event.