Summary: Psychological Aftermath Of The Holocaust

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Psychological Aftermath of the Holocaust It has been nearly six decades since the end of World War II and humanity is still learning how a mass genocide, such as the Holocaust, continues to affect its victims to this day. After suffering through arguably the most extreme expression of genocide in the twentieth century, how does one return to normalcy? What does it take for a Holocaust survivor to erase the images of crematoriums and rotting skeletons from his mind? How can a human being possibly forget the smell of burning flesh, the feeling of endless hunger, the loss of friends and family members right before his eyes? It seems as though Mr. Elie Wiesel was right when he stated “time does not heal all wounds; there are those that remain painfully open” (1, p. 222). Even though Holocaust survivors have made great efforts in order to rebuild their lives and families since the end of the war, the psychological impacts of the atrocities…show more content…
Passing down traditions from parent to child is a common practice in many cultures, especially Judaism. The child watches the parent take part in holidays, customs, and practices, eventually growing up to create their own version of what they learned. Unfortunately, after experiencing such suffering, the survivors did not have much to pass down to their children besides constant fear, paranoia, and trauma. The mechanism of such transmission occurs though parent-child learning experiences such a modeling, socialization, projective identification, and vicarious learning. Indirect and unconscious transmission of negative memories from the Holocaust has been described in various psychoanalytic terms as “remembering the unknown” (6). Additionally, growing up with a tortured parent and constantly watching their distress could be considered in itself a trauma for the

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