Contemporary Jewry

, Volume 29, Issue 1, pp 21–47 | Cite as

Political Tolerance and Intolerance: Using Qualitative Interviews to Understand the Attitudes of Holocaust Survivors

Article

Abstract

The attitudes of victims toward their perpetrators have not been well documented. In examining qualitative interviews of Holocaust survivors, survivors evidenced three different political attitudes. Survivors were intolerant, limited-tolerant, or tolerant toward the perpetrators. Analyzing the political factors of perceived threat, worldview, strength of in-group identity, political ideology, and voting behavior revealed the differences among the three groups. Only intolerant and limited-tolerant survivors perceived the world as a threatening place. Some intolerant and limited-intolerant survivors exhibited anger and acts of revenge toward the perpetrators and the groups they represented, while only tolerant survivors targeted their altruistic behavior to help non-Jews. Finally, more survivors in the tolerant group hid during the war than in the other two groups. They were also more likely to have survived with one or both parents and/or other key family members, which may facilitate the transmission of messages of tolerance to the survivor.

Keywords

Political tolerance Political intolerance Holocaust survivor Perceived threat Worldview In-group identity 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Council For RelationshipsPhiladelphiaUSA

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