Auschwitz entrance
Auschwitz entranceThinkstock

Dr. Yaakov Hoffman and Professor Amit Shrira from Bar-Ilan University have presented findings on their research dealing with the effect of the Holocaust on the third generation descended from survivors.

In the present research, Hoffman and Shrira tested the level of anxiety among the third generation over a future ISIS attack.

The researchers polled high school students, who were asked if they had seen ISIS videos. In general, it was found that most had, indeed, seen the videos, but that the anxiety among students varied.

The research found that those who had 4 grandparents who had been through the Holocaust and who had shown trauma symptoms from the terror wave were more likely to show anxiety from ISIS than those who did not have Holocaust trauma in their families.

The results fit with theories about trauma which indicated that trauma tends to reawaken whenever a future threat resembles a previous trauma. It also fits with biological findings which indicated that trauma from previous generations causes a change in genetic expression among descendants.

The researchers added in conclusion that a significant rise in anxiety from ISIS was only seen among those with four Holocaust survivor grandparents who themselves had experienced trauma. Hoffman and Shrira suggested giving proper treatment to lower anxiety over the future and those events which are reminiscent of events experienced by their grandparents. “These interventions can help to process the fear of the past and to understand the future anew,” they concluded.