Scars and wounds of the second generation

  • February 13, 2010
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In another blog entry, I wrote that the second generation has the scars without the wounds of Nazi Germany. But, in his book Child Survivors of the Holocaust, Dr. Paul Valent claims that the second generation has the scars and the wounds.

“Second generation children are dominated by the shadow of the Holocaust without ever understanding the original context,” he writes.”They were in some ways more vulnerable than child survivors because they carried scars and emotions with no possibility of remembering their origin. While they had the advantage of being born in an objectively better world, they were subject to the memories, anguish and struggles of their parents, who often kept them in the dark about them…

“The lack of memories is indeed a lack, a deprivation, because without memories the scars one carries in the form of emotions and behavior are believed to be senseless and irrational. This is because the scars cannot be connected with the original wounds. Further, because there are no words or concepts for the original traumas, they cannot be integrated into higher level views such as of parents, blame and identity…

“The younger the person (who experiences trauma), the greater is their vulnerability, the less their ability to know and to speak, or even to know what they would like to say.”

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