Volume 3, Issue 4
  • ISSN 1053-6981
  • E-ISSN: 2405-9374
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AbstractSignificant work has been done on effects of the Holocaust on the second generation. Research shows there is a link between the parents' trauma and a variety of psychological symptoms in children of survivors. Children of Nazis have also been a topic of psychological and journalistic inquiry. The research suggests that many of these children experience conflict, shame, and personal guilt when dealing with their parents' Nazi past. The much discussed "inability to mourn" has been identified as the central reason for why these children were traumatized. These findings have been central to our awareness of the intergen-erational effects of the Holocaust. There is to date, however, no systematic research that compares the effects on these two groups of descendants. Thus, in an effort to advance research in this area, this study was undertaken to explore similarities between these two groups. Whereas previous studies have focused on the pathological effects of trauma on each group separately, the focus of this study was on comparative coping responses of individuals whose parents were involved in an extreme social injustice. An additional later aim is to study the interpersonal behavior between children of survivors and children of Nazis. The study consisted of interviewing 20 subjects, 10 children of Nazis and 10 children of concentration camp survivors. The former subjects were interviewed by a child of a Nazi (Kuphal), and the latter were interviewed by a child of concentration camp survivors (Weissmark). The interview was de-signed by a neutral party (Giacomo) to generate data by focusing on broad areas. The investigators hypothesized that these areas would yield useful data for comparing the similarities and differences between the two groups of sub-jects. Responses of children of survivors and Nazis revealed similar threads of images and associations to the past that run through their lives. These include: information-seeking, meaning-making, a personal sense of injustice, and re-dressing actions. (Psychology)


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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