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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