Transcending Trauma Project: Inter-generational Communication in Holocaust Families

December 8, 2017

Since 1991, the Transcending Trauma Project, as part of Council for Relationships, has conducted 305 in-depth life histories with 98 Holocaust survivors, and their children and grandchildren to better understand coping and adaptation after extreme trauma.

Dora with her daughter, Elaine

This podcast will explore the post war communication dynamics of one family, specifically the relationship between a Holocaust survivor mother, Dora, and her daughter, Elaine. This mother daughter pair highlights interesting points from the research about how an essentially positive parental relationship can mitigate the potential negative effects on the child of being exposed to parental pain at an early age.

This family illustrates how, in the context of strong familial relationship, a child of survivors has been able to metabolize her parents’ pain into a set of positive lessons and values, which then became the basis for her life’s work.