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Children of Holocaust survivors : a life history study / by Judy E. Stanger.

Publication | Library Call Number: RC451.4.H62 S736 2004

The experiences of children of Holocaust survivors, and the ways in which they have made sense of their parents' wartime experiences were studied in this qualitative interdisciplinary life history study. The interdisciplinary nature of this study relies on a cross section of textual analysis among the fields of history, sociology, and literature. An emphasis on literature, primarily autobiographical fiction and memoirs written by children of survivors is used to illuminate and analyze the findings from interviews. Data for this project came from interviews with 28 people selected based on their demographic and geographic diversity. The interview process was further informed by a lengthy career in human service and mental health fields, and coursework in multiple disciplines, including feminist studies. Ultimately, this study is concerned with how children of Holocaust survivors have been directly or indirectly shaped by their parents' survival, as intimate second-hand witnesses.The major findings, concepts, and implications of this research are timely considering the importance of this topic at this watershed moment, with the passing of the survivor generation, voices of the next generation are central. This project explores fundamental questions about the second generation's self perception of the shaping influence of their parent's experiences as we contemplate future treatment of the Holocaust. This study clearly departs from the early psychological literature that theorized from a psychopathological perspective, and selectively recognizes positive models to illuminate the experiences of the next generation from a distinct cultural and world view.Two primary findings from this study suggest that both strident resilience as well as trauma stemming from silence and loss has prevailed in survivor families. This aftermath has deeply affected children of survivors and their outlook, resulting in purposeful decisions about the cultivation of families, partners chosen, politics, and social ethics.

Stanger, Judy E.
Record last modified: 2018-05-18 16:19:00
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