Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Psychology, Medicine, Science, Politics, Oppression, Integrity, Philosophy, Jews

The Replacement Generation is getting in trouble?

I don’t belong to the Interbellum Generation and I am not part of the Silent Generation. I can’t be counted as one of the Baby Boomers and I don’t consider myself part of Generation X. I’m not a Millennial nor one of Generation Z.

My parents were Holocaust survivors and I was born not so long after WW II. I would call Jews born shortly after WW II, especially from parents who were from Nazi Germany-occupied lands, the Replacement Generation. Not that it was possible to replace anyone.

The Holocaust Generation is dying out; the Replacement Generation is going on pension. Retirement is the time to look back, for those who made it so far.

Many of us spent a good deal of time in therapy; even more of us, it seems, never. When pressure to perform in society wanes, worries and hurts may come up. Problems swept under the rug are still there.

Many of us need to look back on life-long troublesome relationships and lack of peace and fun.

Our parents, with all the war traumas, seem to have done better than us. Is that strange? First of all, their youth was often stress-free. After the War, they worked hard, ignored their distress as much as possible and then they died. They were heroes. But we, we were steeped in the Holocaust before we could walk or talk. That’s not an easy start in life.

The horrors of the Holocaust were behind us — time for a carefree generation. “You weren’t there, you haven’t suffered,” we were told. Wishful thinking — more wishful than thinking.

Anti-Jewish feelings around us were denied — who wanted to be called a Nazi? It became unclear why many of us felt uneasy about revealing our Jewishness. The old biases against Jews went underground. Jews came to feel nervous about being Jewish; Gentiles became super-uncomfortable about having Jews around them.

Jews became a category of oppressed people, who needed to be helped and pitied – and to be whispered about.

Our brave parents, ready to start all over, with the best of intentions, could not help putting their hopes on us. These were often high but not relaxed expectations. We may easily be as tough on ourselves and judge ourselves as malfunctioning. A promising life unfulfilled and ruined by incompetence. Part of such an analysis may be from true failure; another part may stem from trouble to be mild and unassuming about ourselves.

Social workers should be aware of members of the Replacement Generation going on pension and needing help to cope with life, which for many in the West can easily last another one or two generations.

About the Author
MM is a prolific and creative writer and thinker, a daily blog contributor to the TOI. He is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (https://diethylstilbestrol.co.uk/studies/des-and-psychological-health/), born in 1953 to two Dutch survivors who met in the largest concentration camp in the Netherlands, Westerbork, and holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam). He taught Re-evaluation Co-counseling, became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids. He wrote an unpublished tome about Jewish Free Will. He's a vegan for 8 years now. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. * His most influential teachers (chronologically) are: his parents, Nico (natan) van Zuiden and Betty (beisye) Nieweg, Wim Kan, Mozart, Harvey Jackins, Marshal Rosenberg, Reb Shlomo Carlebach and lehavdiel bein chayim lechayim: Rabbi Dr. Natan Lopes Cardozo, Rav Zev Leff and Rav Meir Lubin. * Previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. For a couple of years he wrote hasbara for the Dutch public. His fields of attention now are varied: Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science (statistics), Politics (Israel, the US and the Netherlands, Activism - more than leftwing or rightwing, he hopes to highlight Truth), Oppression and Liberation (intersectionally, for young people, the elderly, non-Whites, women, workers, Jews, GLBTQAI, foreigners and anyone else who's dehumanized or exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust and Jewish Liberation), Ecology and Veganism. Sometimes he's misunderstood because he has such a wide vision that never fits any specialist's box. But that's exactly what many love about him. Many of his posts relate to affairs from the news or the Torah Portion of the Week or are new insights that suddenly befell him. * He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, reassure the doubters but make the self-assured doubt more. He strives to bring a fresh perspective rather than bore you with the obvious. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds must be disputed. In short, his main political positions are: anti-Trumpism, for Zionism, Intersectionality, non-violence, democracy, anti the fake peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, Science, Free Will, anti blaming-the-victim and for down-to-earth optimism. Read his blog how he attempts to bridge any discrepancies. He admits sometimes exaggerating to make a point, which could have him come across as nasty, while in actuality, he's quit a lovely person to interact with. He holds - how Dutch - that a strong opinion doesn't imply intolerance of other views. * His writing has been made possible by an allowance for second generation Holocaust survivors from the Netherlands. It has been his dream since he was 38 to try to make a difference by teaching through writing. He had three times 9-out-of-10 for Dutch at his high school finals but is spending his days communicating in English and Hebrew - how ironic. G-d must have a fine sense of humor. In case you wonder - yes, he is a bit dyslectic. November 13, 2018, he published his 500st blog post with the ToI. If you're a native English speaker and wonder why you should read from people whose English is only their second language, consider the advantage of having a peek outside of your cultural bubble. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me. To see other blog posts by him, a second blog - under construction - can be found by clicking on the Website icon next to his picture.
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