"Living with" the past: Coping and patterns in families of Holocaust survivors

Julia Chaitin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


This exploratory study looks at how families of Holocaust survivors work through the traumatic past by considering the coping patterns adapted by family members. Life-story interviews (Rosenthal, 1993) with 57 individuals from 20 families, in which there were two to three generations, were used in order to learn about the significance they attach to the Holocaust past. The interviews were analyzed using Rosenthal's methods and Danieli's (1988) typology of post-war adaptation (victim families, fighter families, those who made it, and numb families). Results showed that in order to differentiate between the coping styles exhibited by the families, two new categories had to be added to Danieli's typology. These were entitled "life goes on" and "split families." It was concluded that survivor families exhibit heterogeneity in the ways in which they cope with the Holocaust past.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)305-322
Number of pages18
JournalFamily Process
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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