First Encounter Between Children of Survivors and Children of Perpetrators of the Holocaust

Dan Bar-on

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

This is a first report of an unusual 4-day workshop that took place in Wuppertal, Germany, in June 1992. Five American and three Israeli children of Holocaust survivors encountered for the first time a group of children of perpetrators of the Holocaust who met regularly as a self-help group since the author interviewed them as part of an exploratory study, between 1985-1988. The workshop was not predesigned, so the members of both groups could help structure its schedule. The members devoted most of the time to getting acquainted with each other's personal stories. A very supportive and open atmosphere evolved, which helped people share intimate details of their life stories. Members of both groups evaluated the workshop as being a beginning of a “therapeutic and inspiring” process. The group decided to meet for two additional workshops in April and July, 1993, in Israel and in the United States. What was learned from this process can be applied to other contexts, like Latin America, Eastern Europe, South-East Asia or the Middle-East, in which families of victims and victimizers in former totalitarian regimes are morally and emotionally still committed to their mutual past.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6-14
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Humanistic Psychology
Volume33
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Philosophy
  • Sociology and Political Science

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