Transgenerational trauma – a curse down through the ages

  This isn’t astrological but a question popped up after the discussion on intergenerational trauma asking about studies on African Americans.

   The concept first arose with children of Holocaust survivors in the 1960s, whose parents came out of the camps and most often said nothing of their experiences. It was not as widely written about then as it is now so the children knew little of what had gone on. Yet in some cases they lived out their parents’ trauma as if it had happened to them. And there were similar psychological effects down into a third generation. Since then studies have widened to include African-Americans forced into slavery, Native American genocide survivors, war survivors, refugees, survivors of domestic violence.

In his 1952 semi-autobiographical novel Go Tell it on the Mountain, the esteemed African American author James Baldwin asked the question “Could a curse come down so many ages? Did it live in time, or in the moment?”

‘The curse of African American slavery cannot be underestimated; the trauma of enslavement has been carried by African Americans through the ages and generations and is currently shown in many of the health problems experienced by a significant proportion of the African American population in the US.

Negative physical, psychological, and social health conditions of African Americans in general. For example, research shows the incidence of diabetes, high blood pressure, premature death from heart disease, and prostate cancer are generally double among adult African Americans compared to White Americans. African Americans experience significantly higher psychological stress and PTSD, and these are related to depressive symptoms, poor self-rated health, functional physical limitations and chronic illness. Similar comparisons of social health show homicide rates are higher, black men are 5 times more likely to be incarcerated than Whites (5 percent of the African American male population are incarcerated in many American states), and illicit drug use and rates of intimate partner violence are highest among African Americans.’

African American Health and Posttraumatic Slave Syndrome: A Terror Management Theory Account

The —- impact of slavery was a significant trauma to African American people, which was carried forward through successive generations; providing an explanation of their current anxiety-related conditions, poor health, and maladaptive behaviors.

Poor parenting, connected to the master-slave relationship as the template for all human relationships; the dominant one parent family structure created by slavery; and transgenerational haunting.

Growing consensus in the scientific community that trauma is passed down through generations in DNA.

40 thoughts on “Transgenerational trauma – a curse down through the ages

  1. Is this where the Christian ideas of “Original Sin” and Philip Larkin’s “This be the Verse” poems link into epigenetics!

  2. I’ve been a firm believer in epigenetics for quite sometime. When I was studying at the University of Florida, I attended a number of lectures on epigenetics and I even wrote a paper on the subject. Epigenetics was once considered “heresy” by the mainstream scientific community. However, I believe it is now being taken more seriously as research and data evolve.

    It’s been my contention for years that the reason why so many groups of people in this world are prone to psychopathy and sociopathy is because generation after generation has been passing down that “ghost” in their genes.

    For example, if we take a look at Donald Trump and his deplorable supporters here in the United States, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his equally deplorable supporters in Turkey, Vladimir Putin and his supporters in the Russian Federation, and Xi Jinping and his supporters in China, you might notice a pattern: ALL of these countries have long, dark, and sociopathic histories of genocide, pogroms, oppression, propaganda, and so on. There are obviously other nations I could list, but I digress.

    Take Turkey, for instance. I do not think it’s any coincidence that so many ethnic Turkish people (even those living in diaspora) continue to arrogantly deny the Hamedian Massacres, the Candia Massacre, and the genocides that were waged against the ethnic Arameans / Assyrians / Chaldeans / Syriacs, Armenians, Kurds, Pontic Greeks, and Yazidis by the Ottoman Empire – despite overwhelming documentation, evidence, records, and eye-witness accounts of survivors who lived well into the later part of the 20th century.

    It wouldn’t be at all surprising if many of the deniers are directly descended from the very Ottoman Turks who slaughtered those people. And Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is apparently thinks of himself as the reincarnation of “Mehmed the Conqueror” and is acting as if he’s trying to recreate the Ottoman Empire by callously air-raiding and invading regions of Northern Syria and Iraq and attacking ethnic Kurdish and Yazidi communities. In other words, epigenetics could likely explain why people like Erdoğan and other sociopaths in the world are the way they are.

    All in all, if your ancestors committed horrible, heinous acts against others, then chances are you likely have the inherited those genes as well. However, sciences suggests, epigenetics can be rectified. So, I would imagine the best way for present and future generations of population groups that harbor such genetic malfunctions to correct such imperfections would be to devote their lives to doing good deeds and helping society the best way they can.

  3. Many, many thanks Marjorie, for training your halcyon-beamed spotlight on this all-to-often overlooked subject.

    All the Best.

  4. Doesn’t every generation have some trauma or other? What about people who lived thru the Blitz during WW2 in UK? The Roman Empire had slaves aplenty. If this theory is correct then there are millions walking around with this type of DNA imprint. Many Americans, who are not African American, come from traumatised backgrounds, so I think there is more to this than DNA of ‘memories’.

    • Or it may be a contributory factor in human evolution. This isn’t well thought out but my impression is, for example, that the post WW11 generation whose parents and grandparents lived through two World Wars are different from the generations following, in some ways tougher. If your family members survived the blitz or the Somme you are not going to get away with fussing over trivia. It may be the four or five generation theory of traumatic transmission does hold good.
      And Julian Jaynes’ “The Development of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind” put forward the controversial but plausible theory that consciousness – the ability to stand apart and reflect which is unique to humans – only developed after massive trauma (drought, volcanoes etc) perhaps three thousand years ago.
      While we think of trauma as being wholly negative and destructive, it can have – sometimes and only in some cases – unexpected consequences which create new opportunities.

  5. Thanks so much Marjorie for this write up.

    When the subject was broached within the Boris piece about his ancestry trauma this same thought came to me. I was going to actually mention it/ask your thoughts but I got sidetracked and you beat me to it.

    It is very telling about where we are now as a black race with this trauma which I think is embedded in our DNA as a people. It goes, not just for the slaves in the Americas but, also of the Caribbean and on the other side the peoples of the countries within Africa where families and villages were wiped out as a result of. For Africa had been going through this for more like 900 years on a smaller scale with it becoming the large scale business it did for circa the last 400 years when Europe came up with their plan to change their world and how.

    How many generations would that be? How many more generations will it take to repair and heal from it on that DNA level?Feels more than trauma.

    Thanks again.
    Great work always

    • Jennifer E, I was going to write exactly the same things that you have said here so I’ll just say thank you so very much Marjorie for this enlightened piece. I really appreciate your making room for this and for thinking about what your commenters say and taking the time to follow the threads and trails of thoughts. This article is certainly one I will save and refer to again and again.

  6. A fascinating piece and such interesting comments, thank you. It’s made me think about my own lineage and trauma, just on the maternal side — a Great Grandmother who was cut off by her 7 siblings, we don’t know exactly why, but think it was because she chose to send my Grandfather and his brother to a good school, which made her in the eyes of her family ‘above herself’. A grandfather who never recovered from the grief of losing his father as a child, a grandmother who had repeated miscarriages and a baby boy who only lived a few weeks. Her daughter, my mother also lost her only son. For many generations of the past, trauma wasn’t fully addressed or discussed but veiled over in layers of secrecy. And 19th and 20th century families put great value on outward ‘respectability’ but that often came at a heavy price at a soul level.

  7. With my Saturn conjunct South Node in the 8th house and Pluto sitting a degree off my IC on the 4th house side, I can testify that ancestral trauma has been a major feature of my life. I was actually able to work with a skilled shamanic witch to find and heal the issue. The experience was startling and unusual, as were the results. After the healing session, I did some digging and found real-world documentation about a great-great-grandmother who had been institutionalized. The whereabouts of this woman had previously been a family mystery (my mother was interested in genealogy before she passed on), and I had never spoken to my friend (the witch) about this.

    • The place where I have really seen the difference is in the generation after me. I never had children myself (5th house natal Neptune in my natal chart reflects this, I believe), but I have three nieces who were between 10-15 years old at the time the healing took place. While no one is perfect, it’s clear that they have none of the secrets and struggles of the prior three generations. They are also noticeably high achievers, and all three are employed in or studying for healthcare careers.

      • I wonder if the resonances of transgenerational trauma are reflected in repeated astrological patterns in generations of birth charts? But when you think about the statistics, pretty much every family is dealing with some kind of sadness, tragedy, and disruption in their family history. Infant mortality, for example, stood at 462.9 deaths per thousand births in 1800, in the USA. 46% of children did not survive until their 5th birthday ( In the UK for the same dates, it was 329 deaths per thousand births – about one in three children. Walk around an old cemetery, or look into your family tree, and there they are. This was not all down to poverty either, although that is one factor in this very sad pattern. There were also high rates of maternal death in childbirth throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries, and of course throughout human history.
        There were also many children from poorer families who were given away to other families because their birth family could not afford them, and children simply abandoned, or placed somewhere like the Foundling Hospital in London – usually because their mothers were unmarried. And on it goes, with religious “morality” at the back of many of these heartbreaking events.

        The Victorians were very open about death and bereavement, and had many rituals in their society to deal with it. Subsequently, there’ve been many years in which we don’t seem able to talk about grief and loss, and it became virtually taboo to openly grieve. That is changing a little now, and hopefully things will improve for everyone.

  8. Find yourself a competent kinesiologist: EKMA, Korevie, Kinesiologie Harmonique. At least 600 hours of training…

    Appartenance, Epigenetics, Aura, Stress sans Détresse, Etre Blessé…

  9. My grandfather left Northern Ireland due to discrimination in work. This prejudice against Catholics was felt through my family and only now is diminishing. My husband’s father and mother were badly abused by the Gestapo during the occupation. She had PTSD and had to be treated here in New Zealand. I am sure this affected their children in some way. Both left Holland after the war, the father happily, she was distressed. The father could not stand to be there anymore. May all three rest in peace.

  10. For sure intergeneration trauma exists, at many levels, which I have directly experienced. Family Constellations therapy – aka Systemic Constellations – deals with intergenerational trauma. At workshops, the energy field of the ‘family soul’ shows up, along with the unresolved trauma/family secret/other issue that is affecting someone’s current life, even generations later. It appears that people take on the unresolved issues out of a deeply unconscious loyalty to the family/tribal soul, even against their conscious will and best intentions.

    That is something unimaginable, quite quite mind-blowing, and has to be experienced to be believed. And the great thing is, that issues can actually be resolved, sometimes there and then, though it can take months to process. The changed family dynamic can also have a deeply healing effect on other family members. One session is more effective than months of counselling/psychotherapy.

    • Also found the ‘family soul’ phenomena. I listen to various spiritual guides, who indicate that our actions in this life can help heal the present and past family trauma. Love your comment Crabby.

      • Thanks, yes the ‘family soul’ is a very real thing. I am so relieved so have found out about it, wish more people knew.

  11. As this is not strictly an astrological, I thought to mention the important and valuable work being done via family constellation work:
    Years ago I was lucky to participate in Family Constellations Workshops. I was taught that the the ancient tribes especially the Zulus believed that we often carry stuff from past generations without even knowing it. The Zulus believed that, for example, if someone is murdered then there would be a gap in that murdered person’s family tree. In order to fill that gap that murderer would have to take on the role of the person they had murdered. The reason being, is that if a gap where to remain in a family tree the next generations would suffer. They would mostly ‘pay’ in ways that are not even conscious. In other words, talking therapy is sometimes not as effective because it’s the family system that needs healing.

    Family Constellations is however not a form of therapy. Indeed, you get to know about our ancestors and your family system: By healing the past and this: When the family is brought into order, an individual from the family can leave the nest. He/she will feel the power of the family behind him. Only when the connection to the family is recognised and responsibilities have been made clear and divided up, does the individual feel free of burden. He/she can go their own way, without the past burdening and tying them down.

    Doing family constellation work may therefore help with issues involving financial issues, career uncertainty or inability to achieve what you want in life, business relationships and dynamics, relationship problems, loneliness, making choices, difficulties between parents and children, bereavement, health issues or illnesses.
    Constellations work with previous events from past generations that can have an effect or disturbance on subsequent generations of the family including:
    Early deaths of parents and grandparents
    Still births, miscarriages, abortions or the death of a child
    Adoptions, illegitimate children or abandonment
    Suicide or suicide attempts
    Violence abuse incest or murder
    Addictions, drugs, alcohol
    Money issues and inheritances
    A family member made into the ‘black sheep’ of the family
    War, genocide and effects of concentration camps
    Illnesses – physical and mental

    Life is change and we develop and learn as we grow. However there are many threads of development involving not only personal development but also cultures, countries, politics, religion art etcetera. All these different threads grow or change at their own pace. What seems like three steps backward may be a result of a re-addressing of what needs to change. If we look back in history we can see many positive changes that have taken place. Right now the Internet has enabled a connection of us all, enabling a new dynamic to take place. Of course things, countries all grow at their own pace. However, sometimes each person, culture, country as its own karma to overcome. And doing the Family Constellations made me aware of how generations can effect all types of issues which if not resolved, can get repeated and carried down through families and through the generations.

  12. I understand the concept of the above article. Slavery was not only for Black people. African slavery was first identified in BC. The Arabs dealt in slavery and servitude, for centuries before the Portuguese. There is also white slavery. The Russian peasants had no say in their lives for hundreds of years. They were chained beaten and sold, along with sexual abuse. Also one million white slaves were taken during the European slave trade years. Primarily through Pirates raiding ships taken pioneers to the New Lands. The were sold and families broken up, never to see each other again. The first Portuguese slave ships from the Arabs, surprisingly had white people as well. Lastly, Prisoners sent to Australian were also changed and beaten. The very first shipped prisoners did not got to Australia, but were taken to Africa via a slave ship, all the prisoners either died on ship or were dead within months of arriving in Africa. The biggest myth about American Slavery is the numbers which European bought. Brazil bought 11 millions slaves the most of all. Yet Brazil has not suffered the anger that White Americans have. The Pluto return is churning the soul of America and everything is being attached to Slavery. The American forefathers did not abolish Slavery which is shocking. The was a letter or writings found by King George not so long ago. In the writing he condemns slavery as barbaric and should never happen. Britain never had segregation. Segregation is America’s scar, not the Europeans. Of course, the Americans were white Europeans, yet the were mainly those who left Europe to be free. The irony is, they were free, yet kept others and abused them. I have no doubt we all carry a tribal memory. Yet illness and certain diseases may be ethnical and tribal, rather than slavery. Perhaps, tribes and countries really do have a connection and leaving the land where their ethnicity has been for centuries, can change the health and well being, by not eating the right food or living in the right atmospheric conditions?

    • Helen, I’m sure you mean well but there is some denial in your comment, in my opinion. Denial is the thing we are all trying to unchain ourselves from in this time in human history. I am a black British woman whose family is Jamaican and went to high school there. I have also lived in the US where my parents and brothers live now. I just say this so that you know that I am not trying to offend you in anyway but am speaking as someone who is part of the African diaspora. I’ve said before on a different article that today, if you are walking down a street anywhere in a major cosmopolitan city, can you point out the descendants of white slavery and can you indicate how they might be discriminated against today because of that ancestry? Do you see the difference between how the races experience the burden of their slave experiences in the here and now?

      • Barb, To be honest I didn’t read anything ‘denying’ about Helen’s post – more that she was giving a broader perspective. Slavery is appalling and has been so for the last 10,000 years during which human beings have been a commodity to be bought and sold all over the world.

        • I don’t disagree with that. I first was taught about slavery in High School in Jamaica. The teachers taught us first about enslaved people in ancient Egypt, ancient Rome and Greece and only after that did they teach us about slavery in the colonies. That was the curriculum and they did so that we as 12 year olds did not develop a “complex” about being the only ones who were enslaved. The difference is that, while all of those other populations have “melted” into modern societies, black people cannot so I am not at all sure if it is fair to compare that legacy with that of black people who are still easy targets of discrimination today. We make judgements about everyone we meet — short, tall, old, young etc — and with each of those descriptors we have a set of thoughts (stereotypes) conscious or not, to accompany them. “Descendant of slave” is not one attributed to white people but please feel free to correct me.

          • It is dreadfully difficult subject to discuss without fearing you are treading on sensitivities. My immediate reaction would be that discrimination against the colour of someone’s skin would not necessarily stem from an instant connection to slavery. For a certain section of any population there is a peasant/primitive xenophobia about anyone who is different. It may be different in the USA but in the UK the prejudice against those from the sub continent of India or the Middle East or Africa or even the Caribbean isn’t linked to any thoughts of slavery.

          • I wanted to respond to Marjorie’s comments below: it is indeed a sensitive subject and i suppose my sensitivity were a reaction to the comments above which said, ‘ yet Brazil has not suffered the anger that White Americans have. The Pluto return is churning the soul of America and everything is being attached to slavery.’

          • Barb,

            What you say is true, and the learning could be why the Jamaican child’s mentality never feels inferior in this respect (not at all). We are confident and know who we are and where and how we are here. However, it is a different spectrum on this other side where we, as a people, have to always be navigating to gain a position. The complex is formed when our children in these countries are made from early school to feel like they are inferior upon entering the school system, in implicit ways NOT explicit. Then this complex conversation needs to be included as an extra job in the juggling. And if you don’t then you ma or as in the US just shoot and kill and ask questions after (because he or she just looked like that …. ) etc.

            Barb – “Descendant of slave” is not one attributed to white people …….’

            Marjorie – ‘My immediate reaction would be that discrimination against the colour of someone’s skin would not necessarily stem from an instant connection to slavery’

            For Descendants of slavery it does.
            History teaches that peoples, were known by their tribes, region, darkness or fairness but just that (that would be used to say the man from ‘xyz’ wherever. That was as much as you would get about color. Since so called ‘abolition of slavery that has been the black person’s plight where systems have been designed/set in a certain way. Dependent on your education/qualifications it will hit you a certain way and compromise your very essence. But that actually could be in the astrology!!

            Please correct me if I am wrong or off course in understanding.

            One love

        • I must confess to being totally ignorant about Brazil, past and present. The UN report makes interesting reading and it explains a fair amount.

          Every country suffers from racism but they seem to come at it from a different angle depending on their circumstances.
          I was in Southern Rhodesia for a visit decades back when it still existed and apartheid, while not as extreme as in South Africa, was pretty entrenched. The black population were tramped underfoot and treated as inferiors. We travelled across the border to visit a game reserve into Mozambique, then under Portuguese rule. It struck me as noticeable that there was a much more relaxed mixing of races on the streets. I asked a knowledgeable local why the difference and he said it was because both black and white were under the dictator’s boot (Salazar) so were more on a level. It stuck with me.
          Why the US has ended up so bizarrely and toxically racist is a mystery.

      • Jennifer, Not sure I totally grasped all your points.
        I fully understand why slavery which is only three generations back in your families would be imprinted on your DNA memory and to the foreground when you think of present-day discrimination. The point I was making was that it wouldn’t necessarily be the main factor in the minds of those who are racist. I would tend to think of the discrimination you face as being an additional trauma.
        What always strikes me as perverse about racism is that it idealizes the people ‘like us’ and trashes the ‘not like us,’ writing them off as worthless. The colonials in Rhodesia for instance couldn’t believe that indigenous Africans built the huge city, believed to be home to the monarch of a great civilization, which was subsiding into ruins when they arrived. Why not? In the west there is a notion of Africa as peasant tribal since the beginning of time when at periods there were advanced civilizations, which in the way of history eventually, like the Mayans, crumbled.
        Middle Easterners are equally written off as lesser which is ridiculous considering Persia/Iran and before that Sumeria/Iraq had highly educated, cultured and progressive civilizations. The European Renaissance of the 13th Century only flourished because of the knowledge brought back by the Crusaders. Historically Indian mathematicians in their day were amongst the most skilled and pushed forward the frontiers of knowledge. Etc etc.
        While I grant you most of us relax in the company of our own kind whatever that is – racism is ignorant, blinkered and self-defeating for the perpetrator – and worse damaging to those on the receiving end.

    • Interesting …. but it wasn’t Brazil who bought 11 million slaves. As a colony of the Portuguese at that time it would have been Portugal wouldn’t it?

      White Americans are a part of the European ancestry and as you said even when they got independence they maintained slavery and went further than most in their treatment to uphold the status quo. They say their European ancestors travelled to the so called ‘free world’ to make a new life, nevermind the people they met when they got there.

  13. In Canada in 1999, the Supreme Court in R. v. Gladue ordered lower courts to consider Indigenous defendents in the context of historic injustices. In some jurisdictions (such as Toronto) there is regular court time set aside called “Gladue Court” where Indigenous defendents are considered in the context of their unique social traumas (such as having two grandparents who were residential school survivors) and efforts are made to link them with Aboriginal Legal Services and Council Fire (part of a Native Cultural Centre).

    Yet the multigenerational pain caused by children being torn from their families FOR YEARS (and in many cases, forever, because they died!) is surely comparable to families being torn apart by the slave trade and the Holocaust. The terrible legacy of the residential schools on Indigenous Canadians came into focus in 2021 with the finding of great numbers of graves near these institutions.

    The multigenerational trauma of those terrible places is only gradually being addressed. About a year ago, someone presented research about absentee Indigenous fathers — a direct result of boys being unable to model fathering skills after their own father. The researcher had found almost no previous research before hers! A news report on her study showed an Indigenous man playing with his young children and sadly reflecting on what he had missed with his own father. So much more needs to done!

  14. There was an enlightening and ground-breaking study years back
    about four generations of a dysfunctional family – physical, sexual abuse, drugs, alcohol, poverty – whom social services had records on through several subsequent generations. They found the adults who presented a falsely happy picture of their childhood which was incompatible with what was on file were the most likely to repeat the abusive behaviour they had suffered. The ones who could face the reality of their bad parents were the ones who could break the chain of violence and abuse.
    ‘The single most important modifying factor in intergenerational transmission of child abuse is the capacity of the child victim to grow up with the ability to face the reality of past and present personal relationships.’
    ‘If the pattern of denial, false idealization and confusion by adults concerning cold, cruel, exploitative or neglectful rearing by their parents persists, this greatly increases the risk for the next generation of their children. Of particular interest are the very defective family histories expressed by most child-killer mothers concerning their own childhoods, with confused or contradictory denials, amnesias and blatantly false idealizations of their parents.’
    There was also one anecdotal story from a man who had been rescued from a concentration camp in his teens and adopted by a Canadian family, who openly talked of his experiences and allowed him to share. He grew up better adjusted than those who slammed the trapdoor shut (for obvious reasons) on their appalling experiences.

    • Thanks again… Living in the USA as a child of survivors in the 1960s was not an easy fit. Having moved to Israel 51 years ago, I was able to confront the feelings of lack of self worth etc… and ironically it was in Israel that I began the study of astrology in the early 1970s. Indeed more survivors moved to Israel in the late 1940 and early 1950s then to the USA, so it was a better fit for me. Sharing, speaking and discussing what my parents had difficulty in expressing has helped us all in our adult years, as has the reserching of the fates of my family – most specifiocally my paternal grandparents who were gassed in Auschwitz in Ausgust 1942. Its no longer hidden, nor am I fearful anymore to express my opinions. I wrote a book and am working on a documentary (as educational tools) of both maternal and paternal family members (300 plus souls) who were either gassed in extermination centers such as Auschwitz, Chelmno and Sobibor or shot in the woods of their towns between 1940 and 1944. On some level I have not only found documentation via databases, that were held and not shared by the Russians until 1990. The data bases were not accessable to the general public until 2019 – and are still only at 40 % digitized. I have entered and created profiles for most everyone (over 300 profiles) on geni (Genealogy site) their names, their stories, cause of death – some have photos – some only concentration camp , ghetto and transport/deportation documents,- now their stories and their fates exist after 80 years of silence. Interesting that all this has been occuring as TR Pluto has been applying to a conjunction with natal chiron @ 27.54 Capricorn on my 7th/8th house cusp. I wish my parents would have had some closure before they died.

      • Good for you. That must have been a soul-searing experience and I’m glad you can be open about it. Words can’t convey what an atrocity it was. Some experiences are just too terrible to get closure on so it is left to subsequent generations to attempt the healing. Dori Laub, the Israeli-American psychiatrist has written very lucidly on his work with Holocaust survivors.

  15. Thank you Marjorie – As a child (gen # 2) of deceased Holocaust/Shoah survivors – I have to agree that transgenerational trauma does exist has been very much present in my life – and it applies right across the board. The traumatic transference is said to last through 5 generations. I see it in myself and my brothers, I see it in our children who are generation# 3 (there are seven of them) . Thirty years ago I attended a lecture by Dr Aaron Haas who has written several books and lectures allover the world, he is today considered one of the top experts on transgenerational trauma. . Surely African Americans in the USA have been oppressed, enslaved, beaten and lynched for many years – much like we Jews were for centuries in Europe which culminated in the Holocaust of the 20th century. Here is a link to him lecturing to Armenians who were the victims of genocide during WW1- LINK to DR Haass lecture:

    • Thank you, Suzanne, for the YouTube link. I am Armenian, my grandparents – both sides – escaped genocide to live in the US. Only one grandmother lived long enough for me to know her in my teens. She never talked about her life before. My parents never spoke of it, probably because they were told little themselves and wanted me to not feel their parent’s burden. Today I wonder what happened. It was good to hear Dr. Haas.

      • You are most welcome michael,
        Thank you for sharing your family story it’s not unusual for survivors and their descendents not to want to speak about the horrors they experienced or heard of. For my family it was too painful and they were fearful it could happen again. I am sad to say I am relieved they have passed on – I wouldn’t want them to see what has been going on in the USA and other places these past few years. Just last week my 36 year old son had to wake up to a Nazi rally in Orlando complete with swastikas and anti semitic rhetoric. Please share Dr Haas’ video with others.

  16. I totally agree with the concept of Trauma being passed down through generations. After a traumatised kind of life (and a lot of unresolved anger that was taken out on his family) the last words of my husband’s father were: ‘Next time, it will be different.” And they were almost the last words of my husband. It takes considerable energy, courage, persistence and honesty to speak about these things to those who will not admit them. But it’s very, very necessary, to break the pattern.

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