Social Resources and the Mental Health of Aging Nazi Holocaust Survivors and Immigrants

  • Zev Harel
  • Boaz Kahana
  • Eva Kahana
Part of the The Plenum Series on Stress and Coping book series (SSSO)


A review of the literature dealing with the effects of the Nazi Holocaust documents a wide range of physical and psychic impairments suffered by survivors (Chodoff, 1966; ). There is a basic agreement among most of the writers that survivors have indeed suffered lasting physical, mental, psychological, and social impairments. As a result, many survivors are characterized as being severely handicapped in a variety of life situations (Chodoff, 1966; Eitinger, 1961; Krystal, 1968). Recent reports within the clinical psychiatric tradition continue to provide evidence of the scarring effects of the Holocaust on survivors (). The literature also suggests that following World War II, the survivors’ recovery was made more difficult because the families and communities, through which they might have found comfort and help, no longer existed (Davidson, 1979; Levav & Abramson, 1984).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zev Harel
    • 1
  • Boaz Kahana
    • 2
  • Eva Kahana
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Social Work and Center on Applied Gerontological ResearchCleveland State UniversityClevelandUSA
  2. 2.Department of Psychology and Center on Applied Gerontological ResearchCleveland State UniversityClevelandUSA
  3. 3.Department of Sociology and Elderly Care Research CenterCase Western Reserve UniversityClevelandUSA

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