The Transmittal of the Trauma of the Holocaust to Survivor Children and American Jewish Children
Goldburg, Jay Bernard
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The problem. The purpose of this study was to ascertain if the trauma of the Holocaust, known as Emotional Shoa, was transmitted to survivor children and American Jewish children (Jewish children born to parents, neither of whom personally experienced the Holocaust) in the greater Des Moines metropolitan area. A particular focus was the comparison of possible similarities and/or differences of response to the Emotional Shoa between the two groups. Procedure. An analysis of literature relating to the transmittal of the Emotional Shoa revealed seventeen characteristics of the Emotional Shoa. Twenty-two children--eleven survivor children and eleven American Jewish children--were selected to participate in one of four group interview sessions. An additional twenty characteristics were gleaned from the four group interview sessions. The thirty-seven characteristics were included in a questionnaire. A modified Likert scale was placed adjacent to the thirty-seven characteristics and for each characteristic, the interviewees marked the column that most clearly represented their feeling about each statement. Findings. Survivor children and American Jewish children shared similar responses (1) in feeling insecure, distrustful and angry at the world, and (2) in being grateful that Israel is a haven of new life for Jews. Survivor children and American Jewish children shared different responses, with a significantly higher proportion of survivor childr en(1) feeling alienated from the American Jewish community and (2) feeling a sense of loneliness and homelessness in the world. Conclusions. The statistical analysis indicated that the Emotional Shoa affected survivor children and American Jewish children residing in the greater Des Moines metropolitan area. Recommendations. Recommendations included: (1) the conducting of other comparative studies in the United States about the effect of the Emotional Shoa on survivor children and American Jewish children; (2) the conducting of such studies in other nations of the western world; and (3) the inclusion of American Christian children in a future study.
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