Emotional memories of family relationships during the Holocaust

Julia Chaitin, Dan Bar-On

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


This article examines psychosocial aspects of family/parent-child relationships during the Holocaust by focusing on the emotional memories of such relationships. Global and thematic analyses were undertaken on 93 life story interviews and testimonies with Holocaust survivors. Results showed that survivors who lived through most of the war with parents/family and those who had lived approximately an equal time with loved ones and without them were able to recall and narrate more emotional memories, both positive and negative, than people who had experienced the traumatic period mostly on their own. However, going through the war with family did not guarantee the narration of emotional memories; close to half of these victims could not recall/narrate such memories. In general, when the survivor recalled relative emotional security, she or he felt safe, even when physical danger was imminent. However, this feeling did not always continue when the physical situation worsened or when the survivor was separated from loved ones. It was suggested that the ability to recall and narrate emotional memories highlights the heterogeneity in family relationships that existed during the Holocaust and the kinds of family relationships that developed after the Holocaust.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)299-326
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Loss and Trauma
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Psychiatric Mental Health
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Emotional memories of family relationships during the Holocaust'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this