Representations Of The Holocaust Essay

1592 Words 7 Pages
Inherited identities become a reality for many victims of transgenerational trauma victims. In the case of many second generation Holocaust survivors, their parents describe in detail the horrors of the Holocaust, and their family’s losses to the children. These memories of the past are transferred to the next generation unintentionally, and they become engrained within the next generation’s identity. Cited in “Representations of the Holocaust” by Karein Goertz, Nach Der Shoa Geboren who was the daughter of a Holocaust survivor described the impact on her identity her parents trauma says, “The frozen terror on my father’s face every time he entered the room prevented me from growing into a present that was clearly separated from the past.” …show more content…
This past they never experienced firsthand, yet it impacts them so much that they identify as victims themselves. The past and present are one to many children of victims of trauma because of the environment they were raised in. Growing up with people living in the past will cause the children to feel as though they are living in the past as well therefore creating false memories within the children. The false memories continue to haunt second generation survivors such as Nach Der Shoah Geboren, and they have a difficult time overcoming these engrained memories of the Holocaust that they grew up living as a reality. Transgenerational trauma not only affects those with direct relations to actual survivors, but impacts those who are a part of the culture through a strong collective identity. In the case of the Jews, this collective identity of resilience and victims of the past is appealing to many people who are Jewish but have no relation to any survivors of the …show more content…
Their identities are shaped and defined from the historical trauma; therefore, by looking to the past and accepting it, the victims are able to cope with their identities. The true story of Woodrow F. Morrison Jr., a Native American boy dealing with the effects of historical trauma in the article “Transcending Historical Trauma” from discoveringourstory.com gives us an example of how facing the past is able to heal. Woodrow was sent to a Christian Indian boarding school where he got into many fights. He was very troubled by his ancestor’s past, and when the teacher insulted his grandparent’s culture, he tore up the classroom and knocked desks over, resulting in his expulsion. Years later, he abused his wife and kids, and his wife divorced him, but just when he was at his low, he turned back to his roots through the help of other Native Americans. He confronted his identity as a past. Woodrow is now, “a treasured elder and Haida story keeper, he utilizes his education and his culture to help others transform abuses and anger by exploring their own heritage.” (Transcending”) Accepting his past has allowed Woodrow to overcome his anger and gave him insight into his own cultural identity. His ancestral history was a large part of his identity, and when that was not acknowledged by his teacher, he felt the discrimination from the past. Until other Native Americans helped him discover

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