Affects of Holocaust on Survivors

Essay by demonize1025A, May 2010

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The Holocaust was a tragic point in history which many people believe never happened. There are, however, many more who know the Holocaust occurred including the survivors. Not only did this horrendous tragedy affect the people who lived through it, the Holocaust also affected everyone who was connected to those fortunate individuals who survived. The survivors were lucky to have made it, but there are times when they themselves wish they were the ones who died instead of living with the horrible aftermath. Survivors include people from Israel, the ghettos, and the camps and although their situations were very similar in some ways, the psychological affects from the aftermath of their experiences differ. The vast number of prisoners from various nationalities and religions in the camps made such differences inevitable. Many contrasting opinions have been published about the victims and survivors of the Holocaust based on the writers' different cultural backgrounds, personal experiences, and intellectual traditions.

Therefore, the opinions of authors from such books and entries on human behavior and survival in the concentration camps in Nazi-occupied Europe are very diverse.

The Survivors of the Holocaust: General Survey

Because the trauma of the Holocaust was both individual and collective, most individuals made efforts to create a "new family" to replace the nuclear family that had been lost. In order for the victims to resist dehumanization and regression and to find support, they shared stories about the past, wishes for the future, joint prayers, poetry, and expressions of personal love and hope. Imagination was an important means of freedom from their crushing reality. It gave them hope and helped them look past the present to formulate plans for an uncertain future.

Looking at the history of the Jewish survivors from the beginning of the Nazi occupation...