Group

, Volume 26, Issue 1, pp 29–48 | Cite as

From Working Through the Holocaust to Current Ethnic Conflicts: Evaluating the TRT Group Workshop in Hamburg

  • Ifat Maoz
  • Dan Bar-On
Article

Abstract

The TRT (To Reflect and Trust) approach of bringing together descendants of Holocaust survivors and descendants of Nazi perpetrators relies on group dialogues in which participants share their personal life stories, thereby enabling them to reflect on their personal and collective histories as victims and victimizers. This process was initiated and led by the second author—an Israeli psychologist and a specialist in group processes—in the context of the socially and historically contextualized approach to group interventions that he has developed. The present study describes a new phase of the TRT group that brought together, in the framework of a workshop, professionals from South Africa, Northern Ireland, and Israel and the Palestinian Authority—all of whom were working with victims and victimizers in current conflicts. Our question was whether the TRT process, using methods of storytelling to address a past catastrophe of human making, could help the professionals who try to help other people move out of current conflicts into peace-building. We found that the TRT storytelling approach facilitates the working through of current ethnic conflicts. Participants' responses to the workshop indicated the importance of the storytelling process and of the emotional support provided by the TRT group members. We focus here on the special significance of the group process between Germans, Jews, and Palestinians, which emerged as highly significant for the Jewish participants in their efforts to reconcile being both victims and victimizers (within two separate historical contexts: German/Jewish and Israeli/Palestinian).

holocaust ethnic conflict working through Israeli–Palestinian conflict storytelling group processes peace-building evaluation victims and victimizers 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

REFERENCES

  1. Adwan, S.,& Bar-On, D. (Eds.). (2000). The role of non-governmental organizations in peace-building between Palestinians and Israelis. Jerusalem: PRIME (Peace Research Institute in the Middle East), with the support of the World Bank.Google Scholar
  2. Allport, G.W. (1954). The nature of prejudice. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.Google Scholar
  3. Azar, F., Mullet, E., & Vinsonneau, G. (1999). The propensity to forgive: Findings from Lebanon. Journal of Peace Research, 36 (2), pp. 169–181.Google Scholar
  4. Bar-On, D. (1989). Legacy of Silence: Encounters with children of the Third Reich. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Bar-On, D. (1993). First encounter between children of survivors and children of perpetrators of the Holocaust. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 33 (4), pp. 6–14.Google Scholar
  6. Bar-On, D. (1995). Encounters between descendants of Nazi perpetrators and descendants of Holocaust survivors. Psychiatry, 58 (3), pp. 225–245.Google Scholar
  7. Bar-On, D. (1999). The Israeli society between the culture of death and the culture of life. In Nader, Dubrow & Stamm (Eds.), Cultural issues in the treatment of trauma and loss: Honoring differences. New York: Francis & Taylor, pp. 211–233.Google Scholar
  8. Bar-On, D. (1999a). The “Others” within us: A socio-psychological perspective on changes in Israeli identity. Beer-Sheva: Ben-Gurion University of the Negev Press (in Hebrew).Google Scholar
  9. Bar-On, D. (Ed.). (2000). Bridging the gap. Hamburg: Koerber.Google Scholar
  10. Bar-On, D. (2001). Who counts as a Holocaust survivor? Who suffered more? Why did the Jews not take revenge on the Germans after the war. Freie Assoziazionen, 4, 2, 155–187. (In German).Google Scholar
  11. Bar-On, D., Ostrovsky, T., & Fromer, D. (1997). “Who am I in relation to the other?”: German and Israeli students confront the Holocaust and each other. In Y. Danieli (Ed.), International handbook of multigenerational legacies of trauma. New York: Plenum.Google Scholar
  12. Bar-On, D. & Chaitin, J. (2000). Parenthood and the Holocaust. Jerusalem: Yad Vashem.Google Scholar
  13. Bar-Tal, D. (2000). From intractable conflicts through conflict resolution to reconciliation. Journal of Political Psychology, 21 (2), 351–365.Google Scholar
  14. Dorff, E.N. (1992). Individual and communal forgiveness. In D. Frank (Ed.), Autonomy and Judaism. New York: State University of New York Press, pp. 193–217.Google Scholar
  15. Enright, R., & the Human Development study group (1991). The moral development of forgiveness. In W. Kurtines & J. Gerwitz (Eds.), Handbook of moral behavior and development, Vol. 1. Hillsdale: Erlbaum, pp. 123–152.Google Scholar
  16. Goschalk, J. (2000). A challenge to my world view. In D. Bar-On (Ed.) Bridging the gap. Hamburg: Koerber (pp. 41–47).Google Scholar
  17. Hamber, B.E., & Kibble, S. (1999). From truth to transformation: The truth and reconciliation commission in South Africa. London: Catholic Institute for International Relations.Google Scholar
  18. Kelman, H. (1999). Transforming the relationship between former enemies: A social-psychological analysis. In R. Rothstein (Ed.), After the peace: Resistance and reconciliation. London: Lynne Rienner publishers.Google Scholar
  19. Maoz, I. (2000a). Evaluation of the Hamburg Seminar. In: D. Bar-On (Ed.) Bridging the gap. Hamburg: Koerber (pp. 135–164).Google Scholar
  20. Maoz, I. (2000b). Power relations in intergroup encounters: A case study of Jewish-Arab encounters in Israel. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 24 (4), 259–277.Google Scholar
  21. Maoz, I. (2000c). Multiple conflicts and competing agendas: A framework for conceptualizing structured encounters between groups in conflict-the case of a coexistence project of Jews and Palestinians in Israel. Peace and Conflict: Journal Peace Psychology, 6(2), 135–156.Google Scholar
  22. Maoz, I. (2000d). An experiment in peace: Processes and effects in post-Oslo reconciliation-aimed workshops of Israeli and Palestinian youth. Journal of Peace Research, 37 (6), 721–736.Google Scholar
  23. McNamee, S., & Gergen, K. (1999a). Relational responsibility. In S. McNamee & K. Gergen, et al. (Eds.), Relational responsibility: Resources for sustainable dialogue. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  24. McNamee, S., & Gergen, K. (1999b). Continuing the conversation. In S. McNamee & K. Gergen, et al. (Eds.), Relational responsibility: Resources for sustainable dialogue. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  25. Minow, M. (1998). Between vengeance and forgiveness. Boston: Beacon Press.Google Scholar
  26. Miari, M. (1999). Attitudes of Palestinians toward normalization with Israel. Journal of Peace Research, 36, pp. 339–348.Google Scholar
  27. Pettigrew, T. F. (1998). Intergroup contact theory. Annual Review of Psychology, 49,65–85.Google Scholar
  28. Ross, M.H., & Rothman, J. (1999). Theory and practice in ethic conflict Management. London: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  29. Rouhana, N. N., & Bar-Tal, D. (1998). Psychological dynamics of intractable ethnonational conflicts: The Israeli-Palestinian case. American Psychologist, 53, pp. 761–770.Google Scholar
  30. Rummel, R. J. (1992). Power kills. Absolute power kills absolutely. Internet on the Holocaust & Genocide, 38, pp. 1–12.Google Scholar
  31. Staub, E. (1998). Breaking the cycle of genocidal violence: Healing and reconciliation. In J. H. Harvey (Ed.), Perspectives on loss: A sourcebook. Bruner/Mazel, pp. 231–238.Google Scholar
  32. Suleiman, R. (1997). The planned encounter between Israeli Jews and Palestinians as a microcosm: A social-psychological perspective. Iyunim Bechinuch 1(2), pp. 71–85 (in Hebrew).Google Scholar
  33. Time Watch (1993). Children of the Third Reich. London: BBC production.Google Scholar
  34. Vardi, D. (1990). The memorial candles: Dialogues with children of Holocaust survivors. Jerusalem: Keter (in Hebrew).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Eastern Group Psychotherapy Society 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ifat Maoz
    • 1
  • Dan Bar-On
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of CommunicationHebrew University of JerusalemJerusalemIsrael
  2. 2.Department of Behavioral SciencesBen-Gurion University of the NegevBeer-ShevaIsrael

Personalised recommendations