Ancestral Bonding: Autoethnography of a Holocaust Granddaughter
Keywords:historical trauma, historical trauma response, transgenerational trauma, autoethnography, sacred stories
The severity of historical trauma (HT) endured by Jews is central in the historiography of the Holocaust and affects survivors, descendants, and the Jewish people. Studies of transgenerational trauma transmission in descendants portray both psychopathological and positive outcomes, yet trauma trends understood from research of the second generation must be reexamined in Holocaust grandchildren. Despite quantitative findings of dissipated trauma symptoms in grandchildren, few studies examine their lived HT experiences and connections to ancestry. In this autoethnography, I describe cultivating a relationship with my deceased great-grandmother and reflect upon her legacy within my HT response. The educational purpose of this paper is to extend cultural understanding of ancestral bonding in marginalized descendants of HT through a Holocaust granddaughter’s example. I integrate the six HT informed principles of the Black Perspective Instructional Model into the autoethnography to highlight marginalized HT experiences relevant to counselor education and supervision and evidence-based trauma practices.