Family Life During the Holocaust
- Names: Hadar Dalman and Eitan Margulis
- Research question: How does the holocaust effects on the family life in the next generation
- Teacher's name: Nellie Deutsch
- Grade: 11
- School:Ort Guttman, Netaniya
Our research deals with the consequences of the holocaust and with the effect of the holocaust on the next generation.
The Holocaust is known as the most traumatic event that humanity has ever known. This event left physiological and physical scars on all the survivors and the world, too.
We would like to find out how those scars moved to the next generation and affected it. We chose this topic because we were interested on what is happening in our houses as families to survivors.
We would like to know how the holocaust affected us as the second and third generation survivors of the holocaust.
The Holocaust is a word that none of us can really understand its true meaning. It has so many directions and so many levels and layers that as kids and as the third generation to the holocaust, we just do not really know and feel what has gone there. But if we think we only encounter the holocaust in our history books or on the memorial day, we are so wrong. Holocaust is simply everywhere, stories about survivals and the effects that the holocaust has left in them keeps passing and living in all of us as Jewish kids whose families survived this horrible event.
If we focus on the effects and the consequences of the holocaust in us as the third generation to the holocaust or as second to the survivors, we will find some interesting facts that we have never thought about before. As we said, we meet the holocaust every day, but how? Well, there are so many examples of that; things that we do or see without even noticing is a straight effect of the holocaust. When we eat and simply can't finish our meal usually our grandparents will force us to finish and eat the rest of the food even though we can't or even the need to be clean all the time and to shower every day are straight effects of the holocaust. Those examples developed because of the trauma and the scars that the holocaust has left in the survivors and their children. The hunger and the lack of the hygiene left those customs and turned them to a regular reality that will reject any similarity with the hunger and the holocaust.
According to studies, the long-term effects of the Holocaust on the children of survivors suggest a "psychological profile." Their parents suffering may have affected their upbringing, personal relationships and perspective on life. Eva Fogelman, a psychologist who treats Holocaust survivors and their children, suggests a second generation 'complex' characterized by processes that affect identity, self-esteem, interpersonal interactions and worldview.
So as we see, the holocaust did have a psychological affect on us and our families, another evidence to how we meet the holocaust is the segmentation of families all over the world. Because of the division at concentration camp, the survivals escaped at the beginning and while the holocaust, most of the survivors believed they would stay alone in the world and build their families in different countries in the world. There are a lot of stories about brothers, sister, parents, couples that were certain that the other one didn't survive and met each other very long time after the holocaust.All this made lots of family's separated all over the world and made the trial of keeping the relationship close, much difficult.
With all those affects, we can add our personal story about how the holocause affect on our familys. The "habit" of finishing the meal and the need to be clean are regular action for us, actions that we see and do every day. Another thing that we can see in our familys is that our relatives were separited after the holocaust so we have relatives in United sates, Russia, Gremany and south america.Our grand parants don't like to talk about the holcaust, what happend to them is like a secret that no one should know and only in the memorial day the say something about it, about the fear, the view and about those who didn't survive.
Silence is another example of how the holocaust affect on us. Many survivals do not talk about those years in their life, like it didn't happen at all. The fear and the bad memories are still alive in their mind so they just can't tell their story cause they don't want to go back to those years. This affect is the most tragic one because it won't let the survivals the opertunity to share their story and to feel good about it. Another example for this that we discoverd during the project is a story of two brothers, that were sure that the other one died at the camps, however 65 years later, a grandson of one of the brothers who did his root history work found out that his grandfather's brother is alive.
Finally we can say that the holocaust left a scar in the family chamber, a scar that we deal with her right now and we will deal with her in the future. It's something that will pass to the next generations in a memory of this horible event.
In the end of our work, we cleared some important points and issues that we were skeptical about them at the beginning.
First, we proved that the holocaust didn't end, there are so many effects that she left that we have to live with them even today. Those effects turned into a normal reality and actions that we do every day. Things like the need to finish the meal until the smallest crumb will be eaten and the need to be clean all the time are things that we do every day because of the holocaust.
Second, holocaust teared family and scattered in all over the world. Today there are families that live with the thought that their relatives are dead while they live in other countries, or there are even couples that were taken to other countries and they live today without each other.
Holocaust has big effect on us as families of survivors, there are even associations that helps to the children of the survivals that the physiological trauma passed on to them and they live in fear even now after almost 63 years with those horrible views and thoughts that refuse to disappear.
I think that the process of making the work was great. Hadar and I are a great team and we have great communication. It was an experience to find out how much the holocaust had an affect on my family. My grandmother lives with us and she always made me eat a lot and finish my meals, now I can see why she does that and to see where this habit came from. I think that reading this specific work can open your eyes and help you see your grandparents in a different way.
The holocaust is a very sensitive subject in my family, because of the trauma and fear nobody in my family (besides my grandmother) knows what exactly happened so it was challenging to find out what happened to her and why can't she talk about it. I hope that this work will develop some understanding and sensitivity among us as the third generation to the holocaust.
At the begining I wasn't sure about the subject we chose to do the project on. During the working process I developed great intrest on the subject because I discoverd many things that exist in my family such as obssesive cleaning, extra hygenic awareness and finishing everything from the plate during a meal for the reason that there are people who don't have something to eat.
I was amazed to discover stories of families that found each other a long time after the war. I believe that the combined work with Eitan allowed to get to know his family better and I believe that the ability of us to work together really helped us.
1.http://judaism.about.com/od/holocaust/a/hol_gens.htm (pages 1-3)
4.http://judaism.about.com/od/holocaust/a/darrensash.htm (pages 1-5)