Child Survivors of the Holocaust in Israel

Social Dynamics and Post-War Experiences: "Finding Their Voice"

By Sharon Kangisser Cohen

The life stories of child survivors who rebuilt their post-war lives in Israel have been largely left untold. This work is the first exploration into the experience of child survivors in Israel, focusing on the child survivors' experience in telling his/her past to a wider audience and in publicly identifying themselves as Holocaust survivors. While psychological research focuses on the survivor's personal inhibitions and motivations in retelling his/her past, Child Survivors of the Holocaust in Israel attempts to understand the impact that the post-war environment has had on the individual's relationship to it. Using a qualitative narrative approach, this study examines the dynamics of "silence" and "retelling" in the post-war experience of child survivors. This work demonstrates the ways in which social dynamics, as well as internal motivations, had an impact on the extent to which these people were likely to speak publicly about their war-time experience or whether they were more inclined to remain silent. The interviews with survivors are presented using their own voice, and can thereby be understood in their own unique context. The result is a unique work that synthesizes social science fields as disparate as history and psychology.

293 pages

Publication Date: 9/1/2005
Format: Paper
ISBN: 9781845190880

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