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Book and Media Reviews
August 4, 2010

Holocaust Trauma: Psychological Effects and Treatment

JAMA. 2010;304(5):580-584. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.1102

A physician once asked Elie Wiesel, “How does one treat survivors of the Holocaust?” Wiesel replied, “Listen to them, listen very carefully. They have more to teach you, than you do them.” The 65 years since World War II and the Holocaust have been the most-studied period of world history. Holocaust survivors and their families have likewise been the most-studied group of survivors of genocide and the first group surviving genocidal trauma to reach old age and experience the normal process of aging. Decline in function for survivors, however, must be seen in the context and shadow of the Holocaust. The children and grandchildren of Holocaust survivors are the largest group to experience the intergenerational transmission of trauma. Thus, the publication of this clinically grounded review summarizing what is known about the psychological effects and treatment of Holocaust survivors and their families is a monumental event.

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