Culture

Children of Holocaust survivors more anxious about Iran nuclear threat

A man with his daughter on his shoulders holds an Israeli flag as they participate in the annual "March of the Living" to commemorate the deaths of around half a million Hungarian Jews during the Holocaust in World War Two, in Budapest on April 12, 2015. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Laszlo Balogh *Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-HOLOCAUST-IRAN, originally transmitted on April 14, 2015.
A man with his daughter on his shoulders holds an Israeli flag as they participate in the annual "March of the Living" to commemorate the deaths of around half a million Hungarian Jews during the Holocaust in World War Two, in Budapest on April 12, 2015. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Laszlo Balogh *Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-HOLOCAUST-IRAN, originally transmitted on April 14, 2015.

A man with his daughter on his shoulders holds an Israeli flag as they participate in the annual “March of the Living” to commemorate the deaths of around half a million Hungarian Jews during the Holocaust in World War Two, in Budapest on April 12, 2015. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Laszlo Balogh
*Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-HOLOCAUST-IRAN, originally transmitted on April 14, 2015.

JERUSALEM (RNS) As Israelis mark Holocaust Memorial Day on Wednesday (April 15), a study by researchers at Bar-Ilan University has found that the adult children of Holocaust survivors are more fearful than their mainstream peers about the threat of Iran developing a nuclear weapon.

Given that many studies over the decades have found that children of Holocaust survivors are deeply affected by their parents’ traumatic experiences, Amit Shrira, the study’s author, set out to discover whether these second-generation survivors were more anxious over a potential Iranian bomb than others of their generation. His study was published in Psychological Trauma, a journal of the American Psychological Association.

Shrira compared the feelings of 63 children of Holocaust survivors whose parents lived under a Nazi or pro-Nazi regime to those of 43 children whose parents either fled to unoccupied countries or immigrated to Israel.

The study found that second-generation survivors “exhibit greater preoccupation with the Iranian nuclear threat” than the comparison group. In addition, second-generation survivors are “more sensitive to nuclear threat” and have a “more ominous outlook on the world in general — a world of threat and significant danger that can fall upon them.”

“The link between the Iranian threat and the Holocaust is frequently made by Israeli politicians, the Israeli media and the Iranian regime,” Shrira said. “Offspring of survivors are sensitive to these statements.”

 A follow-up study of 450 subjects — 300 second-generation survivors and 150 of their contemporaries — found identical results.

“In second generation survivors we most often see that they are a group with resilience and mental resources, and they generally exhibit good functioning on a daily basis. But they do have vulnerabilities which can be manifested during times of stress,” Shrira said in a statement.

YS/MG END CHABIN

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Michele Chabin

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  • Understandably, yes. You don’t arm a mentally unstable person with material that is potentially hazardous to people around that person.
    Likewise, you don’t arm anything that threatens and does not recognize the State of Israel’s right to exist.

  • True on both counts. However there is a strong reason to believe Iran is bluffing on the nuclear front and the real danger of the regime lies in the money and arms they send to Islamicist forces worldwide.

    Iran has been announcing its uranium enrichment program to the public in an effort at bravado that no nation with serious nuclear ambitions does. Uranium enrichment is slow, expensive, and can be easily disrupted by outside efforts.

    EVERY country which has developed nuclear weapons makes concerted efforts to hide the enrichment stage of the process. Usually not revealing the fruits of their efforts until the first test, which would be far too late for anyone to stop it (Israel is the sole exception) The enrichment phase is very very easily hidden. Failing to do so makes little sense.

    Iran is announcing its efforts in order to be taken more seriously without spending the time and energy to actually produce nukes. Its a bluff.

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