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Krystal, H. (2001). Psyche.: LIV, 9/10, 2000: Psychische Widerständigheit bei Holocaust-Überlebenden.. Psychoanal Q., 70(2):514-515.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Psyche.: LIV, 9/10, 2000: Psychische Widerständigheit bei Holocaust-Überlebenden.

(2001). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 70(2):514-515

Psyche.: LIV, 9/10, 2000: Psychische Widerständigheit bei Holocaust-Überlebenden.

Henry Krystal

In Resilience: Accommodation and Recovery in Holocaust Survivors, the author notes that the reactions of Holocaust victims are not easily generalized. Individual personality features and behavioral patterns engender individual responses. It is a fact that while some victims of the camps later managed to sustain a certain optimism and a degree of personal initiative, others appeared to give themselves up altogether, and the author inquires into the factors operative in producing such a situation. He concludes that

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the subjective judgment of helplessness in a traumatic situation engenders a transition of the original fear to a catatonic reaction, instituting the traumatic condition and taking a progressive course. The victim reacts to commands like a robot would, finally capitulating in a state of surrender. For Krystal, the most important mainstay in surviving extreme traumatization is a form of infant omnipotence, which equips the individual with intrapsychic resilience and a capacity for love. This is preserved within the self, and the individual is able to pass it on to others, thus surviving the traumatic situation.

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Article Citation

Krystal, H. (2001). Psyche.: LIV, 9/10, 2000. Psychoanal. Q., 70(2):514-515

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