Granddaughters of the Holocaust: Never Forgetting What They Didn’t Experience (Psychoanalysis and Jewish Life)

Granddaughters of the Holocaust: Never Forgetting What They Didn’t Experience (Psychoanalysis and Jewish Life)

Granddaughters of the Holocaust: Never Forgetting What They Didn't Experience (Psychoanalysis and Jewish Life)

Granddaughters of the Holocaust: Never Forgetting What They Didn t Experience delves into the intergenerational transmission of trauma to the granddaughters of Holocaust survivors. Although members of this generation did not endure the horrors of the Holocaust directly, they absorbed the experiences of both their parents and grandparents. Ten women participated in psychoanalytic interviews about their inheritance of Holocaust knowledge and memory, and their responses to this legacy. These women provided startling evidence for the embodiment of Holocaust residue in the ways they approached daily tasks of living and being. The resulting narratives revealed that frequently unspoken, unspeakable events are inevitably transmitted to, and imprinted upon, succeeding generations. Granddaughters continue to confront and heal the pain of a trauma they never experienced.

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3 Comments so far »

  1. Sylvain Yehuda said,

    Wrote on January 12, 2013 @ 2:09 pm

    4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    A powerful and highly accessible narrative – a must read!, July 5, 2012
    By 
    Sylvain Yehuda (NY, USA) –

    This review is from: Granddaughters of the Holocaust: Never Forgetting What They Didn’t Experience (Psychoanalysis and Jewish Life) (Hardcover)

    Traumatic events not only impact the directly affected individuals, but also their families and friends, as well as their future generations. The question is how far, and to what extent, does trauma ripple through generational layers.

    In the case of the Holocaust, extensive quantitative and qualitative research has demonstrated the harrowing impact on the children of the survivors. What has not yet been fully researched is whether the trauma of the Holocaust transmits into the third generation, a generation, which in principle, should have been two steps removed from having directly experienced the horrors of the Holocaust.

    This book is an important first step in answering the question around the intergenerational transmission of trauma into the third generation of the Holocaust. The research described in this book is not intended to make broad statistical statements; on the contrary, it is anecdotal, specific to a group of individuals, very personal, and at the same time, exceedingly powerful.

    The author, a trained clinical psychologist, conducts psychoanalytic interviews with ten granddaughters of Holocaust survivors. The narratives from these interviews reveal that these women are not only deeply impacted by their grandparents’ traumatic experiences, but also their parents’ own battles in confronting the Holocaust. While the author, herself a granddaughter of a Holocaust survivor, provides a highly professional, neutral and supportive environment for the interviews, she opens up to her own struggles in a very personal Epilogue.

    A very gifted writer, the author was able to create a page-turner, a fascinating narrative about the manifestation of the intergenerational transmission of trauma. I completely agree with Professor Dori Laub, Deputy Director of the Genocide Studies Program at Yale University, who concludes his Foreword to this book by referring to the ten women: “It goes without saying that history is very much alive and ongoing, and takes on a very personalized meaning in each one of them. One must read the book in its entirety in order to appreciate that.”

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  2. Vincent C. Frank said,

    Wrote on January 12, 2013 @ 2:34 pm

    2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    A fascinating book that hits close to home, October 21, 2012
    By 

    This review is from: Granddaughters of the Holocaust: Never Forgetting What They Didn’t Experience (Psychoanalysis and Jewish Life) (Hardcover)

    As somebody who has been intimately concerned his whole life with the Holocaust – both on a personal level and as the long-time chairman for the Anne Frank-Funds (no relation), Basel -¬ this book opened up new unexpected dimensions. Like the author’s grandmother, I was able to escape Germany as a child just months before WWII began. Does this make me a Holocaust survivor, or is this designation reserved for those who survived under Nazi regime? How do we differentiate between survivors who lived the years of the Holocaust outside German power from those who suffered the experience e.g. in death camps?

    As the book expertly argues, this designation is secondary to the actual trauma, which is as diverse as the number of survivors and descendants. Striking for me is the observation that the trauma from the Holocaust ripples through generations, impacting individuals in such a way that the actual physical experience is not a prerequisite for the pain. The ten granddaughters of Holocaust survivors interviewed for this research will indeed “never forget what they didn’t experience.”

    This book has unveiled new dimensions to my conceptualization of the Holocaust and, at the same time, has forced me to re-evaluate my own history. I thank the author for an incredibly insightful book.

    Dr. Vincent C. Frank, Basel/Switzerland

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  3. nancynevins said,

    Wrote on January 12, 2013 @ 2:46 pm

    1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Teacher n.y.c, October 9, 2012
    By 
    nancynevins (HICKSVILLE, NEW YORK, US) –

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Granddaughters of the Holocaust: Never Forgetting What They Didn’t Experience (Psychoanalysis and Jewish Life) (Hardcover)

    Great book very interesting and well written. I would recomend this book to anyone who enjoys reading a sensitive book. This book is easy to read on a topic that is often misunderstood and hard to talk about.

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