This paper discusses the complex attitudes of Israeli society and mental health professionals toward the survivors of the Nazi Holocaust. While the nascent state of Israel provided refuge for the Holocaust survivors and offered them a new identity and opportunity to rebuild their lives, it also demanded that they abnegate their former identities, their Holocaust experiences above all, and repress all the emotional problems that the Holocaust created. In the nearly 5 decades since the first survivors arrived on Israel's shores with their accounts of barely imaginable horror, society's attitudes toward the survivors have traced a tortured course, throughout which the views of the helping professions have mirrored, rather than led, those of the general public. This paper describes the process of change in attitudes and attempts to explain this process.
- Holocaust survivors