Sequel of the second generation of the Holocaust survivors

The Holocaust, mainly known as one of the most tragic events in history, and discriminatory attack not only to Jews, but also to homosexuals, gypsies, people with disabilities and anyone who was not considered an Aryan, caused a stage of suffering that would end with the lives of many innocents. In Nazi Germany the “purification of the population” was sought, and to achieve its goal, the followers of the national-socialist party would commit any atrocity in order to exterminate anyone who was considered “impure”.

Unfortunately more than 6 million of Jews were killed, however, some of them survived to tell their story. In spite of having gone through a great suffering they tried to keep going, nonetheless, the wounds were simply impossible to heal.

Sadly, what happened was not left in the past, although the survivors did not give their last breath during the Holocaust, the facts did not change and the trauma they lived lasted, so it was transmitted to the next generation, leaving on them a part of their history.

The second generation was affected, not directly by the Nazis, but by the feeling transmitted by their parents, leaving them habits in common followed by their fears. In fact, it can be noticed that the house belongs to a member of the second generation because of its distinctive characteristics. In some cases, they usually leave a piece of bread and a glass of milk in the bureau for fear of going hungry, but at the same time, they could not waste food because of the feeling of guilt. In other cases, there were people who never bought a house of their own or a department, because their parents thought it was better to have cash in case they had to migrate to another country.

“Even so, I allow myself to be happy even when 220 relatives were killed in my family. I say to myself: “I can be happy to pass on that my mother survived the concentration camp; she lived another reality.” But it is difficult to achieve: in a certain way, we all feel responsible and unfaithful in the face of suffering in our families” (Orly Beigel, 2017) We can see how it harms each and every one of them, to all it affects them and they digest it in their own way, however they all have one thing in common: the transmission of this tragedy on behalf of their parents.

A huge storm of emotions accompanies the birth of every descendant of a Holocaust survivor, each mother was afraid of being sterile because of the damage caused in the war, each father feared not to see their children again, each child suffered when facing the sad reality and every person who survived would face what is now the pain of the second generation.

The survivors tried at any cost to get ahead; they wanted to make another family in order to try to forget the fact that they had lost theirs. They looked for a new future but the world had already shown them to be a dangerous place especially for minors, and yet it was important to return to feel love and hope, they needed to find happiness once more and what better way to do it than to feel the security that gives you a family, to feel that you are not alone. For the Nazis to provoke the abortion of the mothers and prevent that Jewish life from touching the earth was a kind of final defeat. However, thanks to the fact that the survivors fulfilled the biblical mandate that says “Grow and multiply” (Genesis 1:28) the Nazis did not achieve their goal, and today we can march for the life that they took from 6 million of us.

Rachel Preciado and Perla Sofer

 

About the Author
Celia Cohen Turquie is from Mexico.
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