Monday, 8 August 2011

2nd Generation survivors of the Holocaust
Amcha - The code word that helped survivors identify fellow Jews in war ravaged Europe now stands for another kind of support system: The opportunity for survivors and their families to unburden their hearts and share their life stories with another person.
Children of Holocaust survivors (the second generation)
In a complex process known as the transgenerational transmission of parental trauma, children of survivors unconsciously absorb the repressed emotions of their parents. Thus they carry within themselves the burden of the Holocaust and sense the emotional and spiritual meaning they seem to represent for their parents; to fill the empty spaces of the murdered relatives and to console their parents for their multiple losses. The clinical population of offspring tends to present a specific "psychological profile" that includes a mix of resilience and vulnerability when coping with stress.

Other family members
An often forgotten group who carries a heavy burden on their shoulders is the spouses of the survivors who live day-by-day with the survivors' memories and distress. They are sometimes the only people who know the silent suffering of the survivors. In addition, there are grandchildren, and others.

Holocaust Trauma offers a comprehensive overview of the long-term psychological effects of Holocaust trauma. It covers not only the direct effects on the actual survivors and the transmission effects upon the offspring, but also the collective effects upon other affected populations, including the Israeli Jewish and the societies in Germany and Austria.
It also suggests various possible intervention approaches to deal with such long-term effects of major trauma upon individuals, groups and societies that can be generalized to other similar traumatic events. The material presented is based on the clinical experience gathered from hundreds of clients of the National Israeli Center for Psychosocial Support of Holocaust Survivors and the Second Generation (AMCHA), an Israeli treatment center for this population, and from facilitating groups of Austrian/German participants in Yad Vashem and Europe; as well as upon an extensive review of the vast literature in the field. "...a long awaited text from one of the most experienced and knowledgeable psychologists in the world. The text is groundbreaking in its sensitivity, historical grounding, insight and scholarship." Michael A. Grodin, M.D.

Associated links:

Too many to include here.

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