Children Surviving Persecution: An International Study of Trauma and Healing

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This international study of children's experiences of organized persecution, explores the Holocaust and its aftermath as prototypical social trauma. Traumatized persons' feelings of shame and guilt as well as a sense of being different may prevail, and they may attribute great power to others, seek safety in isolation, or search for a rescuer. Nevertheless, as a group, the child survivors of the Holocaust have achieved remarkable success as adults.

Drawing on the wealth of personal and interview information, the contributors create a synthesis of personal history and psychological analysis. Adult memories of traumatic childhood experiences are accompanied by discussions of their effects and by analysis of the various coping mechanisms used to establish a viable post-war existence. These accounts are distinguished by the fact that they are by and about individuals who grew up in undistinguished Christian and Jewish families; not those of prominent figures or resistance fighters or rescuers. All experienced unrest and many suffered trauma during the Nazi regime, as a result of the war, and during the post-war turbulence. An important collection for students and scholars of the Holocaust and for those professionals in a position to help surviving victims of other organized persecution, civil violence, strife, and abuse.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780275962616
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/23/1998
  • Pages: 264
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

JUDITH S. KESTENBERG was cofounder and director of the International Study of Organized Persecution of Children.

CHARLOTTE KAHN is a psychoanalyst in private practice.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
Pt. I Psychohistorical Perspectives 11
1 The Background of Persecution and Its Aftermath 19
2 Historical Trauma: Psychohistorical Reflections on the Holocaust 43
3 Adult Survivors, Child Survivors, and Children of Survivors 56
4 Man Behind Walls 66
5 Interviewing for Indemnification 74
6 Impact on the Second and Third Generations 82
7 Antisemitism and Jewish Identity in Hungary Between 1989 and 1994 90
Pt. II Children's Responses to Persecution 103
8 Child Survivors: A Review 109
9 Nazi Fathers 124
10 The Persecution of Polish Children 139
11 Yugoslavian Child Survivors 145
12 German-Jewish Identity 155
13 Kindertransport: A Case Study 169
14 Sweden and the Holocaust 173
15 History of the Australian Child Survivor Groups: Melbourne and Sydney 188
16 Trauma: A View from the German Side 195
17 My Contra-Program: A Response to My Father 214
Afterword 231
Bibliographical Essay 239
Index 243
About the Editors and Contributors 251
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