The Inheritors: Moving Forward from Generational Trauma

The Inheritors: Moving Forward from Generational Trauma

by Gita Arian Baack, PhD


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Our family legacies, both positive and negative, are passed down from one generation to the next in ways that are not fully understood. This secondary form of trauma, which Gita Baack calls “Inherited Trauma,” has not received adequate attention—a failing that perpetuates cycles of pain, hatred, and violence. In The Inheritors , readers are given the opportunity to reflect on the inherited burdens they carry, as well as the resilience that has given them the power of survival. Through engaging stories and unique concepts, readers will learn new ways to explore the unknowns in their legacies, reflect on questions that are posed at the end of each chapter, and begin to write their own story.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781631522222
Publisher: She Writes Press
Publication date: 06/13/2017
Pages: 236
Sales rank: 845,811
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Gita Arian Baack holds a PhD from Tilburg University, The Netherlands in association with Taos Institute, and an MA in Human Systems Intervention from Concordia University, Montreal, Canada. For over thirty years, her consulting and coaching practice has been based on strengths-based interventions resulting in positive change and empowered individuals. Her research on the effects of trauma on inheriting generations has put her on a path to help “Inheritors” reclaim their lives and build on their resilience. She continues to coach individuals, runs dialogues with communities that have inherited devastating legacies, and speaks to diverse audiences. Dr. Baack lives and works in Ottawa and abroad.

Table of Contents

Foreword xiii

Chapter 1 An Invitation to My Reader 1

Chapter 2 Genocides and Holocausts: Yesterday and Today 9

The Holocaust 13

The Indigenous Genocide in Canada 16

The Native American Genocide in the United States 21

America's Black Holocaust Museum (ABHM) 22

Chapter 3 Knowing, Not-Knowing 29

My Beginnings: A Displaced Persons Camp 32

Chapter 4 Different Forms of Memory 39

Inherited Memory 41

Memory as Family Stories 46

Silent Memory 47

Phantom Memory 49

Diasporic Memory 54

Absent Memory, Post Memory, Photographs and Art as Memory 55

Chapter 5 Speaking / Not-Speaking: Global Silence 61

Sociopolitical Influences 63

Little Known Heroic Rescues 64

Silenced Information 71

Chapter 6 Speaking / Not-Speaking: Family Silence 77

Survivor and Inheritor Perspectives 79

Unresolved Grief and Mourning 88

Chapter 7 The Inheritor Syndrome 93

Traits of Children of Holocaust Survivors 97

Burdened Parents, Burdened Children 113

Burden of Guilt: Perpetrators, Collaborators, Bystanders, and Collective Guilt 122

Chapter 8 The Surprising Legacy of Resilience 129

Post-Traumatic Growth 131

Two Stories of Resilience 133

If I Can't Go Through the Door, I'll Go Through the Window 134

Lea's (Laika's) Story 134

The Combinateur 137

Sam's Story 137

A New Lens on Resilience 141

Traits of Resilience 145

A New Definition of Resilience 149

Chapter 9 Biologically Inherited History 151

The Stress Syndrome 153

Epigentics 154

Treatments, New and Traditional 156

The Arts for Overcoming Inherited Trauma 158

Chapter 10 The Universal Questions 161

Three Universal Questions 163

Universal Implications 167

Chapter 11 Moving Forward 171

Historical and Political Validation 173

Everyday Validation 176

Validation Through Conversations and Dialogues 179

The Positive Side of Moral Outrage 184

Chapter 12 A Final Reflection 191

Permissions 197

Films and Documentaries 198

Notes 199

Bibliography 209

Acknowledgements 225

A Request for Help to Find My Family Members 227

About the Author 229

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