Intergenerational Trauma Holocaust

858 Words4 Pages
From 1941-1945, during World War II Jews were systematically massacred in Nazi Germany that was led by Adolf Hitler. Historical records estimated that over 6 million Jews were killed from concentration camps in the most degrading and inhuman manner. The gruesome death of Jews left many survivors to experience severe trauma to date. Intergenerational trauma has been evidenced through various studies and through accounts of eye witnesses. The holocaust had and continues to have a deep effect on the children of the survivors. This is because they grew up in Psychic conflicts, resulting from severe bereavement, morning, guilt feelings and anxiety, which often resulted in overprotection and over expectation. The study of trans generational transmission…show more content…
The assumption that these expectations would diminish over time proved false. Not only did they not disappear with time but as the survivor’s themselves began to age and became more demanding, the sense of burden, and responsibility the children felt became more extreme in their intensity. Much has been written on the topic of children of Holocaust survivors, but for the purpose of this paper, I am going to concentrate on how the intergenerational transmission of the Holocaust trauma onto the second generation has impacted their ability to separate and individuate. By relating to their children as an offshoot of themselves, the parents satisfy their inner need for identity and identification and in this have inadvertently prevented their respective children from being able to individuate and to create a unique…show more content…
In following the Jewish tradition of being named after a deceased relative, being named after dead relatives killed in the Holocaust carries a tremendous responsibility and weight. Some second generation survivors feel they are now literally carrying the dead on their backs. When given the names of deceased family members, the burden of filling the emptiness can be all encompassing for a young child. In the movie “A. Generation Apart”, one of the people interviewed explained that he was the first born in his family and named after both of his grandfathers. He felt tremendous pressure to be good, to be the best and to never cause grief to his parents. Like many second generation survivors, he feels that he represents all the perished people in their
Open Document