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The transgenerational transmission of trauma: Children of Holocaust survivors

Miriam Victory Spiegel

This paper seeks to address the situation of the Jewish survivors of the Shoah (Holocaust in Europe 1933-45) and their children (the "second Generation") by focusing on those parental messages and individual coping mechanisms that may have impacted the communication between the generations. The Second Generation was born under the shadow of this personal and collective catastrophe. Many survivors of the Shoah have borne its emotional and physical scars until the end of their lives. Most of their children received or perceived messages from their parents - sometimes clearly articulated, sometimes unspoken - that they had a special task: their lives should give meaning both to the senseless slaughter of so many other family members and to the suffering of those who survived.

Recorded: October 2009, Dubrovnik - Cavtat, Croatia.
Coping & Resilience International Conference

Organiser: The Brisbane Institute of Strengths Based Practice

Miriam Victory Spiegel
Miriam Victory Spiegel
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Miriam Victory Spiegel

Miriam Victory Spiegel was born in New York City in 1945 and grew up there. After receiving her Bachelors Degree at Barnard College, Columbia University, she obtained a Master of Social Work (MSW) from New York University in 1970. She has worked as an independent psychological counselor in Switzerland since 1983, running her own practice as a systemic couples and family therapist. She also works with people who have experienced persecution and abuse as well as for the prevention of discrimination.

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