Inheriting Discontinued Bonds: Trauma-Descendant Relations With the Genocide Dead

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Despite the scholarship on continuing bonds with the dead and the critique of pathologizing paradigms in trauma theory, little is known of the engagement between trauma descendants and relatives who perished prior to their birth. A sample of 55 Holocaust descendants was recruited in Israel to participate in semistructured ethnographic interviews. Descendants reported on the normalized presence of and engagement with the dead and the restoration of previously "discontinued" bonds. Findings were consistent with the scholarship on the therapeutic role of continuing bonds and with meta-analyses normalizing descendant psychosocial legacies. Jewish-Israeli paradigms of memory facilitated therapeutic bonds with the dead.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)322-334
Number of pages13
JournalDeath Studies
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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