The Aftermath: Living with the Holocaust

Overview

The events of the Holocaust have been well documented. Almost ninety percent of European Jewry was murdered. But for the survivors, the psychological impact of the Holocaust has stretched beyond 1945. An innocence has been eradicated. A view of their fellow man has been indelibly imprinted: "What did the world learn from the Holocaust?" a survivor was asked. "What the world learned from the Holocaust is that you can kill six million Jews and no one will care." The Aftermath offers a perspective of how one who has...
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Overview

The events of the Holocaust have been well documented. Almost ninety percent of European Jewry was murdered. But for the survivors, the psychological impact of the Holocaust has stretched beyond 1945. An innocence has been eradicated. A view of their fellow man has been indelibly imprinted: "What did the world learn from the Holocaust?" a survivor was asked. "What the world learned from the Holocaust is that you can kill six million Jews and no one will care." The Aftermath offers a perspective of how one who has lived with terror for years is able to avoid paralysis and move forward. It is a book about how people live with gnawing doubts and uncertainty concerning their past actions and inactions, doubts and uncertainties which can cause them to feel ambivalent about their very existence. It is a tale of the anguish they feel because they possess firsthand knowledge of the evil in people, which so unjustly struck and deprived them of what was rightly theirs. For while Holocaust survivors seem, in most ways, to be like you and me, they are also aware of a subterranean world which may afflict them without warning. It is far easier to extinguish human beings than to extinguish their memories. This is also a book about the incredible resilience of human beings. The survivors you will hear from provide observations of how, after being reduced to less than zero during the formative years of adolescence and young adulthood, men and women were able to revive a self-respect which had been under continuous siege. And because survivors of the Holocaust will soon be gone, this is a unique opportunity to observe a case study of the elasticity of the limits of endurance, and the human need and capacity to reassert a vigorous life. As the mortality of survivors overwhelms them as a group, it may be not only the first but also the final occasion we will have to hear them describe their inner lives.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"In this beautifully written book, Aaron Hass explores human responses to the trauma of the Holocaust from a psychosocial and mental health perspective....The book succeeds in offering a balanced view of survivors as individuals who have been able to move forward following adversity, but at great psychic cost." Jewish Book World
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521474290
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 2/24/1995
  • Pages: 233
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction; 1. A view of survivors; 2. 'Whose Fault Was It?'; 3. Mourning; 4. Vulnerabilities; 5. The mask of the survivor; 6. The importance of age; 7. Intrusions of memory; 8. Survivor families; 9. 'Was God Watching This?'; 10. Revenge; 11. Collective guilt.

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