holocaust-studies3 - Faculty Research

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Between Trauma and Perpetration: Psychoanalytical and Social Psychological Perspectives on Difficult Histories in the Israeli Context

Professor Tsafrir Goldberg, PhD, teaches From Silence to Omnipresence: Holocaust in the Curriculum and Beyond.  

In his most recent academic article, Professor Tsafrir Goldberg addresses a ground-breaking question in the realm of Holocaust education, asking whether the Holocaust should still be understood to be an episode of ‘difficult history’ in Israel today?

Episodes of ‘difficult history’ are those which challenge self-identity and in some way threaten the student’s self-esteem. From a psychoanalytical perspective, historic topics covering collective trauma constitute ‘difficult history’. Experiencing historical testimony can bring a sense of ‘return of suffering’ to the student, which needs to be processed in order to restore the learner’s sense of self-identity as part of the victimized group.

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Was Soviet Jewish Identity Strengthened by Russian Anti-Semitism During the Second World War?

Professor Arkadi Zelster teaches the “Holocaust in the former USSR”- here’s a link to the syllabus. 

In a recent article in the academic journal “Eastern European Jewish Affairs”, Professor Arkadi Zeltser of the University of Haifa examines suspicion of Jews by non-Jewish Soviets during the latter phase of the Second World War, in the years 1941-45. In this time period, many non-Jews asked the question “Where are the Jews at the Front?”, with particular unintended consequences for Soviet Jewish identity.

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On Failed Intersubjectivity: Recollections of Loneliness Experiences in Offspring of Holocaust Survivors

Dr. Hadas Wiseman teaches “Psychological Aspects of the Memory of the Holocaust” for the Weiss-Livnat International MA in Holocaust Studies, as an elective course. Here’s a link for the syllabus to this course. 

In a 2008 article for the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, Hadas Wiseman of the University of Haifa examines accounts of loneliness from children of Holocaust survivors and considers them in light of the psychiatric theory of failed intersubjectivity.

While feelings of loneliness are part of the universal human experience, persistent and severe loneliness is not. In her study, Wiseman focuses on childhood and adolescent loneliness in the children of Holocaust survivors. She notes that loneliness was one of the types of trauma experienced by Holocaust survivors, but adds that loneliness trauma in their children does not seem to have been caused by a transmission of traumatic memories. Rather, she writes, it was provoked by the interpersonal relationship and parent-child dynamic between Holocaust survivors and their children, which was itself shaped by the echoes of the loneliness trauma of the survivor parents.

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Strochliz Institute for Holocaust Research
University of Haifa
1 Abba Hushi Blvd.
Mt. Carmel, Haifa 3478601,
Israel.
Tel: +972+48240613
9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Sunday through Thursday
email: ygranot@univ.haifa.ac.il