Between Culture and Family: Jewish-Israeli Young Adults' Relation to the Holocaust as a Cultural Trauma

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Abstract

This study assessed how Jewish Israeli young adults perceive the impacts of the Holocaust on themselves, their family and Israel society. The written responses of 180 respondents, 90 of which were grandchildren of Holocaust survivors (GHSs) and 90 which are not grandchildren of survivors (NGHSs), connected the Holocaust with issues of security, education and culture, and the impact, or lack of it, on family and self. These responses also suggest that NGHS relate to the Holocaust only through sociocultural mechanisms and that GHSs are influenced by the same sociocultural mechanisms, yet are also divided by the perceived impact of intergenerational processes on their personal and family lives. The overall results of the study suggest that regardless of family connection to the Holocaust, in Israel there are sociocultural mechanisms at work that impact the perception of the Holocaust on the third generation of Holocaust survivors as a cultural trauma.

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