August 10, 2011 4:42 pm at 4:42 pm #598546
my father had birthday this week turning 81 he was a teenager when he was taken to auschwitz and other camps. i thought and spoke alot to people about the consequenses of being a child of a holocaust survivor. my experience was and is still that my father somehow turned out to be someone who could never say no to us. we got everything we wanted which of course i now understand was wrong. the second thing was that although my father came from a chasidish family he turned out to be very modern and had(or have)still issues with some points in yiddishkeit which bh we the kids grew out of it but is very hard to understand. is there anyone here who has anything to share about it? thanxAugust 10, 2011 8:13 pm at 8:13 pm #797402cherrybimParticipant
“although my father came from a chasidish family he turned out to be very modern and had(or have)still issues with some points in yiddishkeit”
Don’t ask questions. You are fortunate that your father survived and that he retained some traditions and left enough room for you to continue the chain.August 10, 2011 8:50 pm at 8:50 pm #797403am yisrael chaiParticipant
It’s been said that people should get brachos by ANYONE who went through the war horrors & still retained frumkeit, no matter what type of lvush the survivor chooses.
So please run and get your brachos & get some for EVERYONE here in the CR.
There are known issues of children of survivors, to the point where the Bikur Cholim of Boro Park (718 438-2020) has a special unit devoted to this demographic. I’m sure there are others, too.
Some other traits common that kids of survivors speak of is the hypervigilance on the part of the parents, trying to make sure nothing is going to happen to their kid ch”v.
Another is that the parents save many things because of the massive deprivation suffered during their formative years. Children may have had to finish every last crumb on their plate.
It’s amazing that your dad, despite having been deprived of many basic things during wartime, did just the opposite with his family, making sure no one was deprived of anything. Think about it. Some people would say, “I didn’t have x growing up, why should you?” Because he wanted better for his kids.
He didn’t realize that either extreme is unhealthy. He did the best he could with what he knew.
We sooooooo cannot judge these people for the horrors they went through. They are amazing just in the fact that many want to continue living w/o suffering from major depression despite seeing many atrocities.August 11, 2011 2:25 am at 2:25 am #797404A23Participant
There have been studies showing that even the third generation of survivors have a higher incidence of depression and other mental ailments.August 11, 2011 3:29 am at 3:29 am #797405
I am also second generation survivor and it is a philosophy that rules my life.August 11, 2011 4:29 am at 4:29 am #797406
My mother a.h. was the most extraordinary person I ever knew. She went through sooooo much and I never felt that I or my siblings lost out on anything! We were not spoiled in any way at all!! I wish I could say that about my own children. One thing I find rather sad is the strength I learnt from my parents did not carry over to their grandchildren. I find todays generation to be much weaker….. can not tolerate too much…. why is that?August 11, 2011 7:31 am at 7:31 am #797407
cv i never judged my father. he told me stories he went thru when i was still a child and i understood then that hes diffrent than the fathers of my friends. i just came here to speak about it. one of the points that disturbed me most is that he(together with my mother)were not able to educate us. i was sent to a yeshive high school in israel when i was 14 and sadly they were hardly intrested in what i do what marks i have etc…but i learnt bitochen and emune from him. And my father is always besimche. Thats amazing. The sense for family was always missing(i came across it only after i got married as in my wifes family this sense is soooo present)my niece got engaged just last week and my father wouldnt call his friends about it i had to force him….but for example he loves his grandchildren extraordinary at least i can be sure for the ones that live here in same town. when i think about the horrors he went thru and that he lost his family besides his father i cant imagine how i would survive this
i wanna make one point clear: i am very close to him probably closer than my siblings are.August 11, 2011 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm #797408OfcourseMember
jmj, I could have written the above mself. I definitely identify. My parents knew people who were the biggest Talmidei Chachamim before the war, and “knew Shas backwards and forwards” and decided to chuck it all after they saw their lives shattered to the extent it was, with most family members being murdered and other atrocities.
How dare we judge those who were not 100% frum as a result. Ive heard many say that if todays generation had to survive a Holocaust, very few would remain faithful to their faith. Today people (young and old) are so spoiled, they cant even survive without their cellphones and internet, they go nuts without it. Imagine today’s generation having to survive horrors and how that would affect them ch”v.August 11, 2011 4:41 pm at 4:41 pm #797409
Today’s generation would never survive it chalila!! They just don’t have the tools needed….. Hashem should never test us again in that way……August 11, 2011 6:35 pm at 6:35 pm #797410HaLeiViParticipant
Very few survived it then, too. Not everyone went on to rebuild their lives. Those who did are heroes.August 11, 2011 6:50 pm at 6:50 pm #797411ObaminatorMember
HaLeiVi: What do you mean that some didn’t rebuild their lives? You’re referring to those that abandoned Yiddishkeit? (Like Eli Weisel.)
Does anyone know if most of the frum survivors remained frum?August 11, 2011 7:26 pm at 7:26 pm #797412
Haleivi: You are wrong!! There were many survivors Baruch Hashem!Though I don’t know how many are still with us today!August 11, 2011 7:42 pm at 7:42 pm #797413
Every Jew that lived survived and rebuilt. And NO ONE knows what becomes of the families they raised. There is a pintele yid in every Jew who will turn back to Torah and Mitzvos one day. Anyone who thinks or believes differently has no emunah and does not understand anything about the survivors of the holocaust.
So don’t call MY brethren frei, MO, OTD or anything else. Stop labeling them and just be proud to be one amongst many who can spit on Hitler’s plan.August 12, 2011 6:24 am at 6:24 am #797414HaLeiViParticipant
There is a reason why we admire the survivors who went ahead with their lives and rebuilt families. Many became totally broken and did not move on. Their story is untold. Perhaps for younger people it was easier to look ahead, but what about those who’ve had families beforehand?
a maamin, why 4 exclamation marks in one comment?
I wrote, very few survived, because ofCourse wrote that very few of our generation-type would survive the holocaust.
By the way, I don’t think that whole talk is appropriate. Don’t throw our generation in the garbage. We have toys that take our time, fine. The victims of the holocaust are people we can relate to very much, as you will see when you read personal things about them. There are pictures. We are (mostly) from the same century. We both rode in trains and had electricity. They weren’t from the ‘olden days’, the types that ‘were able to handle these things’. They were people like you and I. During those horrible years simple people reached amazing levels of Chessed, Mesiras Nefesh, and Emuna.
In our generation we had a Yid that was mentioned by President Bush for his selflessness. That wasn’t an everyday thing for him, either.August 12, 2011 2:18 pm at 2:18 pm #797415
I disagree, very few didn’t survive. Most rebuilt because they were saved. Most rebuilt because they had no other choice. Most rebuilt to tell their stories so no one would forget. Most rebuilt so those that died, would be remembered that was the fire that grew from the ashes.August 12, 2011 2:45 pm at 2:45 pm #797416
Second generation survivors are in a category all their own. People who did not live through it don’t understand it, people who are not in the second generation category do not have the same sensitivities, philosophies, inner strengths, inbred guilts, learned responsibilities, a million and one learned and inherited bits and pieces that only a survivor can teach and give over.
For instance “I can’t” is NOT in my dictionary. My mother a”h always taught us that you never know what you are capable of until you are challenged with it, so never say I can’t, try and see what you CAN accomplish.
If someone snuck in one potato in the bunker where there were 20 women, they would either divide the potato among the twenty woman or decide to sneak it across the fence to the men because they worked harder. Can you even imagine why this foolish UO vs MO controversy is so stupid and hurtful to me????? And probably to so many other second generation survivors? Women in the camps would give the men a whole precious potato not caring if they were chassidim, misnagdim, Frum or frei and here in the CR, some are forcing a debate between MO and UO and the moderators don’t shut it down. The Nazis YM experimented on twins, do you think they cared if they were MO or UO twins or what their philosophies were? Get over yourselves already!!! Sit down and eat a potato together and remember you are lucky to share one!August 12, 2011 3:19 pm at 3:19 pm #797417EzratHashemMember
jmj: I wouldn’t push your father into doing anything he is uncomfortable with, such as calling extended family with news. Sometimes he may not be sharing his reasons but we need to respect that. I have seen younger people trying to push survivors to tell, tell, tell– we need to respect their space and privacy, I think. Also, just saying, there’s no need to compare one’s own survivor family with the families of other friends or relatives, and try to push them to be similar. This seems to fill a self-oriented need, not the need of the survivor. On the other hand, I have heard an elderly survivor say she is disappointed with all of the efforts & money that goes to building monuments, tributes, etc. instead of directly helping with the psychological & physical needs of the aging survivors themselves.August 12, 2011 3:31 pm at 3:31 pm #797418EzratHashemMember
jmj: btw, sorry, I know you didn’t ask for advice from people who are not direct descendents, and I am not. Also didn’t mean to imply that children shouldn’t ask the parents what happened to them, I was mostly talking about people who are not family but are curious, want to hear the details, etc.August 13, 2011 8:46 pm at 8:46 pm #797419
gut voch to all. . i never compared because that wouldnt bring me anything. my upbringing i cant change i can only try to work on the things that i was affected of and try to do it diffrently. for example since my parents didnt care about how i am doing in school so im trying to be diffrent to show my kids that i care(maybe i also overdo it…) another thing is how to deal with financial issues. i was never taught how to take care of money as my father gave us everything. but i got married and things had to change and that was and still is difficult.
aries i experienced that total opposite of how your mother dealt with it. i call it aushwitz syndrom. as if they are still on the train there because alot of times my father gave over the message that there is nothing that we can do about when it came to certain things. just like on the train there they couldnt do a thing. again i dont judge. if not for sending me to israel age 14 i probably would never be able to somehow become a mentsh(and i am still far from being perfect)August 14, 2011 2:33 am at 2:33 am #797420ImaofthreeParticipant
My parents also went through the war, and it really has made a big difference in the way I was raised. Right now at this stage of my life I miss having relatives and family (all were killed in the war).
knowing that my relatives died for the “crime” of being Jewish made religion very important to me and I wanted to grow up and have a family and raise Jewish children so there should be a continuation. Judaism was and is very important to me.
Did your parents let you get a job when you were young? my father never let us babysit…he was always watching and worrying about us. we were also taught to not trust anyone…August 14, 2011 6:47 am at 6:47 am #797421
Ima that’s the thing: we could do whatever we wanted. I had no responsibilities to take. Noone cared. I needed money asked for it and got it. My father was 14-15 in the holocaust. I guess those and the life afterwards were crucial in being educated in proper way. The only thing I can remember now is he didn’t let us go to bnei akiva because of the girls. I went through a lot as teenager and had noone I could turn to because there was no true emotional relationship. Shiduchim was a biiiig problem. Noone could handle it bh I am a aba of three and married for many years but that came the hard way on cost of emotional stability.August 14, 2011 7:05 am at 7:05 am #797422
Don’t get me wrong I’m not blaming them for the hardship I had. Its just the way it happend. Btw my father is a wise guy. He had a factory for jewelry and ppl used to come get his advice etc. He also was the menahel of our talmud tora for many years. When my kids were younger I only then realized the impact it had that 6million jews were killed and most of my family too. My kids know a lot about holocaust(age 10 and 9 third one too small)things the other kids have no clue aboutAugust 14, 2011 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm #797423mw13Participant
“For instance “I can’t” is NOT in my dictionary. My mother a”h always taught us that you never know what you are capable of until you are challenged with it, so never say I can’t, try and see what you CAN accomplish.”
I think that’s a great attitude.
“Can you even imagine why this foolish UO vs MO controversy is so stupid and hurtful to me????? And probably to so many other second generation survivors? Women in the camps would give the men a whole precious potato not caring if they were chassidim, misnagdim, Frum or frei and here in the CR, some are forcing a debate between MO and UO and the moderators don’t shut it down. The Nazis YM experimented on twins, do you think they cared if they were MO or UO twins or what their philosophies were? Get over yourselves already!!!”
I’m sorry, but just because two people are debating hashkafos does not at all mean that they would ch”v not help each other if the need arouse. It is entirely possible to disagree, even vehemently disagree with somebody, and have absolutely no animosity towards them as a person. A disagreement is not necessarily a fight.
If Lomed Mkol Adam and Feif Un would have been together in the Holocaust, there is no doubt in my mind that they would have helped each other in any way possible. Having a Hashkafic argument with somebody in no way means that one’s Ahavas Yisroel is lacking.
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.