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His grandfather was a lawyer in Vienna who was sent to Theresienstadt, a Nazi concentration camp in what is now the Czech Republic.Before the war, his grandmother lived with her first husband in Budapest. She escaped a train to that notorious camp, hid with relatives in Hungary and Czechoslovakia and, ultimately, procured false papers that allowed her to pass as Christian until the war ended.“Generations raised in silence have a much harder time coping than in families where the Holocaust was talked about,” Hollander-Goldfein said.Ari Gordon, a Philadelphia native whose maternal grandparents were Holocaust survivors, is now working toward his doctorate in Islamic studies in New York City.Every family was affected by the fact that survivors had suffered, but “when the survivor can put the child’s needs first and create a nurturing home environment, the child’s development is not impaired by the long reach of the Holocaust,” she said.They found that being “other oriented” was better than being “self oriented.” This was associated with not feeling the need to repress or deny emotions and memories.— Hollander-Goldfein, Isserman and Jennifer Goldenberg, who now teaches at the University of Maine, say early studies of Holocaust survivors involved people who had sought psychiatric treatment or were seeking reparations from Germany.
She had interviewed her own parents and brother, trying to be as objective as possible.
Gordon’s grandfather, who died before Gordon was born, worked in a factory.
The couple struggled to raise “the one daughter they could afford to raise,” his mother.
“Their entire world crumbled and was destroyed,” Gordon said.
After the war, they spent a year in Ecuador before they were allowed to come to New Jersey.