Belonging here, not there: The case of attaining European passports by grandchildren of Holocaust survivors

Tal Litvak Hirsch, Alon Lazar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The paper presents findings obtained from interviews conducted with sixty Israeli grandchildren of Holocaust survivors, discussing their views regarding Israel and Europe as expressed by their intentions to live in Israel and acquire European citizenship. Analysis of the interviews revealed that the majority view Israel as the place in which they choose to live because of family and cultural bonds, as well as from the long-lasting impact of the Holocaust. Others felt less anchored and viewed the opportunity to immigrate to their forefathers' European homelands more positively. Their reasons were based either on the unstable Israeli security situation, compounded by the anxieties elicited by the memory of the Holocaust, or as a result of perceiving Europe as a gateway to the globalized world and its financial gains.The emerging image of Europe for this third generation vacillates between two poles, each anchored in a different time and cultural frame. The first is the " Europe of the Holocaust" ; image which emerged as a result of the events that took place on European soil during the period 1933-1945 together with current anti Semitism. The second is " Europe of the Globalized world" , that is, the Europe of the era beginning in the late 1980s, with its ever-expanding social, cultural and economic boundaries. Moreover, the willingness of the third generation to openly discuss the option of either staying or leaving Israel, represents a significant change in attitude from the first and second generation of Israeli Holocaust survivors. The change is seen, as part of a process of maturation of the Israeli identity which allows for multi voices to be heard on issues of belonging and citizenship.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)387-394
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Intercultural Relations
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2011


  • Belonging
  • Citizenship
  • Cultural trauma
  • Europe
  • Grandchildren of Holocaust survivors
  • Israel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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