Until the early 1980s many child survivors of the Holocaust did not consider themselves survivors. They were often told and came to believe that children do not suffer long-term effects of trauma as do adults. They believed their fragmented memories could be set aside and they could get on with their lives. But as they aged, pills it became evident that they had not escaped the long-term effects of loss of family and home, help exposure to severe and prolonged violence, of being hidden, and the loss of their childhoods.
When survivor parents and those who did not later survive told their children, “survive and tell the story,” they obligated their children to teach the lessons learned, so that the next generation of traumatized children would speak up and refuse to be silent. As one child survivor explained, “At first I wanted only to forget. Now, many years later, I want to understand myself better, to connect with other child survivors, and find ways to see how our experiences can help others.”