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Gratz College
Gratz College
Gratz College
Gratz College

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HGS 524/744 - Transcending Trauma: The Psychosocial Impact of the Holocaust on Survivor Families

The evolution of the fields of Holocaust and Trauma Studies has been striking over the past 60 years. We will present the current knowledge with expanded insights informed by our own research. The foundation for the course will draw upon the interview-based qualitative research of the Transcending Trauma project, the study of coping and adaptation after extreme trauma. The course will present life histories of Holocaust survivors and their family members to contextualize the survivors’ trauma within their pre-war and post-war experiences. The study of the interviews and the important concepts in the literature will illuminate universal aspects of post-trauma challenge and recovery by documenting how survivors cope with: families, child rearing, values, faith, work, friendships, social involvements, communication, love, trust, hope and meaning. Students will find the concepts they study also have relevance to others who have experienced extreme trauma. Examples from other genocides and wars will be included as well.