Journal of Clinical Geropsychology

, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp 189–201 | Cite as

The Phenomenology of Posttraumatic Distress in Older Adult Holocaust Survivors

  • Danny Brom
  • Nathan Durst
  • Gafnit Aghassy


This paper focuses on the effects of the Holocaust on its survivors more than 55 years after the end of World War II. The emphasis is on survivors who were either adults during the Holocaust and who are now over the age of 70, or survivors who were children during the Holocaust and whose age is now between 56 and 70. The central question was: What kinds of posttraumatic phenomena are seen in older adult survivors? After an overview of the field, the situation of survivors in Israel is presented in 2 ways. Results of a survey of survivors who were referred to Amcha, the National Israeli Center for Psychosocial Support of Survivors of the Holocaust, is provided to give some insight in a clinical population. In addition, 2 case histories of survivors are presented to give a more in-depth perspective. The gap between the data from the questionnaires and the clinical material has relevance for the way in which we conceptualize the late consequences of massive trauma.

Holocaust survivors posttraumatic phenomena World War II 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Danny Brom
    • 1
    • 2
  • Nathan Durst
    • 1
  • Gafnit Aghassy
    • 2
  1. 1.Amcha, The National Israeli Center for Psychosocial Support of Survivors of the Holocaust and the Second GenerationJerusalemIsrael
  2. 2.The Israel Center for the Treatment of PsychotraumaHerzog HospitalJerusalemIsrael

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