Sharing past traumas: A comparison of communication behaviours in two groups of holocaust survivors

Sophie Kav-Venaki, Arie Nadler, Hadas Gershoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The present study explores patterns of sharing past traumatic experiences. Holocaust related communication behaviours and their consequences in terms of attitudes and knowledge were studied in two groups of families who survived the Holocaust; fifteen families whose parents were imprisoned in a concentration camp, and fifteen families whose parents were involved in active resistance during World War II. Both parents and first-born child were interviewed by means of a structured interview. The results indicated that there was more sharing of the traumatic experiences in the families of ex-partisans: (a) communication on Holocaust related issues was more legitimate in these families, (b) children of ex-partisans had more knowledge about the Holocaust and about their parent's past and (c) they expressed more positive attitudes toward the survivors. The implications of these findings for the understanding of the psychological consequences of massive psychic traumas are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-59
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Social Psychiatry
Volume29
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1983

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