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Unspoken memories of Holocaust survivors find silent and nonpathological expression
Date:6/22/2009

perceive themselves as suffering from such effects.

Moreover, the "knowledge", the silent day-to-day presence of Holocaust memories that the descendents of Holocaust survivors gleaned, sufficed: As children, they frequently felt no need to question their parents in depth. They had no desire to document their families' Holocaust history. A prominent 95 percent of the interviewees assured that they were not interested in telling the story of their parents' Holocaust experiences in the public domain, or their own. "By forming an experiential matrix, these silent traces maintain an intimate and nonpathological presence of the Holocaust death-world in the everyday life-world," Dr. Kidron explained.

This study disputes the more common views that a survivor's silence results in a damaged relationship with his or her children, or in the absence of an inter-generational Holocaust legacy transmitted to the second generation. It is precisely the presence of the Holocaust past in everyday silent interaction, rather than the vocal transmission of Holocaust testimony or history, that sustains and commemorates the genocidal past in the private familial domain. The accounts provided by the interviewees in this study "depict the dynamic, normative, and self-imposed silent presence of the Holocaust death-world interwoven with everyday life" and indicate that children's relationships with their survivor parents were equally normative.

Dr. Kidron presented the above study, alongside her present extended comparative research on Cambodian Canadian children of survivors of the Cambodian genocide, at a conference hosted by the University of Haifa: "The Holocaust: Its traumatic and inter-generational effects in comparison to other persecutions and its reflection in the arts."


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Contact: Rachel Feldman
rfeldman@univ.haifa.ac.il
972-482-88722
University of Haifa
Source:Eurekalert

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