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Psychological Effects of the Holocaust

            Extreme trauma was imposed on Jews who were victims of the most massive executions in history, known as the Holocaust. Yet half a century after the war, the Holocausts still manages to make its' existence felt on survivors and their families. World War II ended on May 8th of 1945 in Europe, but those who survived found it difficult to go back to a normal life, as they did not even remember what that life had even been like, and some did not even find a reason to move on or a point to living itself. By then, 6 million of the Jewish population had been wiped out, and only 200,000 survived. Holocaust survivors dealt with many psychological problems because of the horrific sights they witnessed behind the gates of the concentration camps.
             In Elie Wiesel's 1978 collection of writings, A Jew Today, he states "time does not heal all wounds; there are those that remain painfully open" (Wiesel 222). Even though Holocaust survivors and families did everything in trying to go on with their lives without being reminded of their past, traumatic memories would come flooding back along with many emotions. Holocaust survivors differ in many ways, from their post war appearance, their experiences in the camps, and how they adjusted to life after the war. However, it has been shown through medical research that a lot of it has to do with whether you were a clinical or non-clinical survivor. Survivors have shown a gradual improvement of physical strength overcoming their terrifying experiences and losses. However, over the years of analysis, mental health doctors saw many psychological symptoms in Holocaust patients. AMCHA, an organization made for the Psychosocial Support of the Holocaust Survivors and the Second Generation located in Israel (1987), became committed to studying this case.

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