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Memory and Emotion$
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Daniel Reisberg and Paula Hertel

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780195158564

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195158564.001.0001

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Emotional Memory in Survivors of the Holocaust

Emotional Memory in Survivors of the Holocaust

A Qualitative Study of Oral Testimony

(p.347) 11 Emotional Memory in Survivors of the Holocaust
Memory and Emotion

Robert N. Kraft

Oxford University Press

Housed in archives throughout the world are videotaped oral testimonies documenting the memories of individuals who have lived through prolonged trauma. The testimonies in these archives consist of unconstrained recall of personal experiences in the context of larger historical events. The most extensive of these collections have been provided by survivors of the Holocaust. The testimonies in these archives support research in oral history, but they also constitute a valuable resource for cognitive researchers studying memory for traumatic events. This chapter focuses on a particularly important form of emotional memory: memory of the Holocaust by its survivors. How does the sharing (or not sharing) of memories shape the Holocaust survivors' recollection of the event? Archives of Holocaust memories speak powerfully about these issues, and these memories are analyzed in order to explore (among other topics) the general characteristics of traumatic memory, how emotion itself is recalled, and how the recall of a memory can lead to the re-experiencing of emotion.

Keywords:   emotional memory, Holocaust, Holocaust survivors, traumatic memory, recollection, emotion, recall, oral testimonies, trauma

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