Attitudes of therapists toward holocaust survivors

Irit Ofri*, Zahava Solomon, Haim Dasberg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study examined current feelings and attitudes toward Holocaust survivors in a sample of 205 Israeli mental health professionals. Subjects were asked to read two vignettes each describing an aged trauma victim who has recently applied for treatment. The first vignette presented a Holocaust survivor and the second a war veteran. The two "patients" were otherwise similar in background and clinical picture. After reading each vignette, subjects were asked to report their feelings toward the patient. Subjects also completed a detailed questionnaire that assessed attitudes on several issues related to the Holocaust. Feelings toward the Holocaust survivor were found to be more intense and more positive than feelings toward the combat veteran. Therapists' attitudes toward Holocaust survivors were also found to be highly and consistently positive. Compared to previous reports, they appear to reflect a change of heart in relation to the past. Therapist background variables were not found to play a major role in determining attitudes toward Holocaust survivors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-242
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Traumatic Stress
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1995


  • Holocaust survivors
  • survivor syndrome
  • therapists
  • victims


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