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By Asa Kasher

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The comparator group’s parents were either born in North America or left Europe before World War II began. Figure 1a: 45 Adult Children of Survivors Respond 20 15 10 5 0 Canada USA Israe l O the r Countries Paula David 31 ____________________________________________________________ Figure 1b: 45 Adult Children of Jewish Parents who are not Survivors Respond 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 Canada US A Israel Other Countries Figures 2a and 2b show a remarkable difference. Survivor families often consisted of the nuclear family only, with perhaps a distant cousin or two.

His family did not make a mystery of it. I decided to try to do better and took my children to the cemetery to visit my fathers’ grave. I spoke of him often. He is a real person to them, not like my many dead relatives who are ghosts to me. I always took them on shiva (bereavement) calls. They grew up understanding the rituals and most of all, not being afraid. My mother used to tell me that I told them too much. I told her there was no such thing as telling them too much. ” (adult child of Survivors) Since the children of survivors felt less prepared to cope with the loss of a parent, the question was asked if they were better prepared after their first parent died.

The level of mutual acceptance and support within the group is remarkable based on their differences and understandable when they define and discover their own commonalties rooted in the Holocaust. All adult children, in mourning their parents’ death cope with the pain of inevitable separation and this study was conducted to establish whether the issues, mourning process and response to parental death notable differed in adult children of Holocaust survivors. In order to understand how survivor families respond to the challenges of parental loss and to see how their response differed from non-survivor families, a questionnaire was developed.

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