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Holocaust Child Survivors


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Late-life effects of early life traumatization by Nazi- Holocaust persecution.
Doctorate study 2007 by Elisheva van der Hal PhD.

Concerns the youngest Holocaust survivors, born between 1935 and 1944, who often had endured persecution, deprivation, separations and losses during their first and most formative years. Findings of this study – compiled in three articles, published 2007-2008 – show the consequences the Nazi persecution and its aftermath on their present state of health.
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Child Holocaust survivors cortisol patterns
SOC, Early Childhood Holocaust Exposure
Child Holocaust Survivors Quality of Care

Time Does Not Heal All Wounds: Quality of Life and Psychological Distress of People Who Survived the Holocaust as Children 55 Years Later
By: Marianne Amir, and Rachel Lev-Wiesel

The present study assessed posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, psychological distress, and subjective quality of life (QoL) in a group of 43 child Holocaust survivors and a community sample of 44 persons who had not personally experienced the Holocaust. The participants were administered the PTSD-Scale, the SCL-90, and the WHOQOL-Bref. Results showed that the child survivors had higher PTSD symptom scores, higher depression, anxiety, somatization, and anger–hostility scores; and lower physical, psychological, and social QoL than did the comparison group. The findings suggest that the psychological consequences of being a child during the Holocaust can be long lasting.
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Multigenerational Perspectives on Coping with the Holocaust Experience: An Attachment Perspective for Understanding the Developmental Sequelae of Trauma across Generations.
Authors: Dan Bar-On Jeanette Eland Rolf J. Kleber Robert Krell Yael Moore Abraham Sagi Erin Soriano Peter Suedfeld Peter;  G. van der Velden Marinus; H. van IJzendoorn

In this paper, we advance a new approach to the intergenerational transmission of Holocaust experiences, by focusing on attachment theory. The approach is used as a framework for interpretation of the results of three studies on Holocaust survivors and their offspring, from different countries (The Netherlands, Canada, and Israel), and based on different conceptual approaches and methods of data collection (quantitative as well as qualitative). The literature is divided with regard to the extent and depth of long-term effects of the Holocaust. Attachment theory allows the integration of the phenomena of attachment, separation, and loss, which appear to be core concepts in the three studies presented here. The notion of insecure-ambivalent attachment sheds some light on the observed preoccupation with issues of attachment and separation in thesecondgeneration.Furthermore,the theme of "the conspiracy of silence" is discussed in the context of attachment disorganisation. Attachment theory transcends the traditional boundaries between clinical and nonclinical interpretations, in stressing the continuous and cumulative nature of favourable and unfavourable child-rearing circumstances. In this context, insecure attachment should be regarded as coping with suboptimal childrearing environments.
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Author: Natan P. F. Kellermann

The present article gives an overview of the long-term psychological effects of Holocaust traumatization on survivors and their offspring and suggests possible treatment strategies for these client populations. Based on interviews with and treatment of hundreds of such clients and on an extensive review of the literature, it also represents some of the cumulative experience of AMCHA, an Israeli treatment center devoted specifically to this issue.
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Under Siege: A Mother-Daughter Relationship Survives the Holocaust
Author: Johanna Bodenstab

In this article, I look at a mother-daughter relationship under the traumatic circumstances of the Holocaust. I present two vignettes from the video testimony of a mother and daughter who survived the camps together and reflect on certain dynamic aspects of their dyadic relationship in the context of starvation and of witnessing infanticide. I reconstruct the perspective of the adolescent daughter and explore connections between developmental issues of female adolescence and her real-life experience as a camp inmate. Psychoanalytic interpretation is balanced with historical background information to show the importance of the dyadic space of the mother-daughter relationship for the (emotional) survival of both women and to acknowledge the limitedness of the protection the dyadic shell of their relationship could provide in the face of external trauma. During the testimony, these limits are revealed in moments of disintegration of an otherwise highly elaborate and contained mother-daughter narrative and through empathic absences of both survivors from each other. 
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When the Victim Forgets

People who went through the horrors of the Holocaust struggle with their memories in different ways. Many experience overwhelming and intrusive recollections accompanied by strong emotions, even more so fifty years after the end of the war than earlier. Others have tried to silence their memories by attempts to keep the memories away or by dissociating themselves from the memories. Not much has been written about this other side of the coping process, that is, to what extent do survivors of the Holocaust succeed to distance themselves from their experiences.
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Late-onset of post- traumatic reactions in Holocaust survivors at advanced age
By: Haim Dasberg

Delayed, postponed or late-onset PTSD or equivalent post-traumatic (P.T) reactions at an advanced
age in Holocaust survivors (H.S.) are a well known clinical phenomenon, as the ageing and aged
H.S. themselves, as well as their spouses and adult children know, and as their family physicians
and psychiatrists know as well.
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By: Natan P. F. Kellermann, AMCHA, Jerusalem, Israel

Survivors of the Holocaust and their children have tended not to be given formal diagnoses by their therapists. There seem to be a series of reasons: the events themselves were so terrible that it seems inappropriate to focus on the response, diagnosis implies comparing the condition with responses to other more minor traumata, the process of diagnosis is dehumanizing, the evil nature of the perpetrator is neglected, therapists feel it distances them from their patients, and it ignores the extraordinary achievements of many survivors who cope and live full lives. The DSM and its five axes are proposed as a suitable diagnostic vehicle, and Holocaust survivors with serious symptoms will tend to be diagnosed as chronic PTSD, child survivors as complex PTSD often with associated personality disorders, and second generation may wel1 have identity problems and personality disorders. Only by using diagnoses can comparable research be carried out.
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The Children’s Voice: Postwar Collection of Testimonies from Child Survivors ofthe Holocaust
Boaz Cohen, Bar-Ilan University, Sha’anan College, Western Galilee College

In the aftermath of World War II, adults—mainly survivors—collected thousands of hand-written testimonies from child survivors of the Holocaust. In this article, the author describes the process by which the testimonies were collected and examines the underlying sensibilities of its initiators. Further, he outlines the widespread publication of children’s testimonies in the immediate postwar period and the evolution of anthologies of children’s testimonies. His analysis sheds new light on the social, cultural, and historical facets of the post-Holocaust Jewish world’s interest in the experience of child survivors.
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