AUP students by the Seine.

George and Irina Schaeffer Center

After the Darkness? Holocaust Survivors’ Emotional, Psychological and Social Journeys in the Early Postwar Period

This is a virtual event
Thursday, November 30, 2023 - 17:00 to 18:30

Emerging from the horror and ruins of the Holocaust, survivors were confronted with many challenges, both physical and psychological. The loss of their loved ones, the destruction of their world, and prolonged exposure to violence and suffering would leave an indelible mark.

This volume, co-edited by Constance Paris de Bollardiere (Assistant Director of the George and Irina Schaeffer Center) and Sharon Kangisser Cohen, evaluates and outlines how individual Holocaust survivors (physicians, psychiatrists, psychologists, educators, activists etc.) understood, processed and responded to the wars emotional impact. It asks questions such as what kind of programs or support networks were developed, and how the survivors themselves faced their emotional and psychological wounds and needs.

The volume includes chapters written by Jose Brunner, Stella Maria Frei, Beth B. Cohen, Avinoam Patt, Malena Chinski and Constance Paris de Bollardiere, Michal Shaul, Katarzyna Person, Aurelia Kalisky and Henry Greenspan.

The book brings together scholars from different disciplines and countries whose important work traces several case studies on the theories, observations, and practices of organizations and individuals who strove tirelessly to provide a way forward for survivors in the aftermath of the war.

Together with the Zborowski Center for the Study of the Aftermath of the Shoah at Yad Vashem, the George and Irina Schaeffer Center for the Study of Genocide, Human Rights and Conflict Prevention, will be hosting an online book launch on November 30th from 17:00 to 18:30 CET.


Alongside the presence of some of the volumes’ authors, Constance Paris de Bollardiere will be leading the opening remarks, followed by Roger Frie and Rebecca Clifford relating the book to their own research and thoughts as well as leading discussions.

Rebecca Clifford will share her work on Beyond Psychohistory: Rethinking Histories of Psychological States. Clifford is Professor of European and Transnational History at the University of Durham in the UK. She is the author of two monographs on the Holocaust, Commemorating the Holocaust (Oxford) and Survivors: Children’s Lives After the Holocaust (Yale), and co-author of Europe’s 1968: Voices of Revolt (Oxford). Survivors, her latest book, explores the postwar lives of a group of one hundred child Holocaust survivors, using archival documents and oral history to trace their journey over seven decades. It was winner of the Yad Vashem Book Prize and the Canadian Jewish Literary Awards Scholarship Prize, a finalist for the Cundill History Prize, and shortlisted for the Wolfson History Prize, among other accolades. Both the Telegraph (UK) and    Globe and Mail (Canada) have named it a Book of the Year. Clifford is currently at work on a new book on the Lingfield children, a small group of child Holocaust survivors brought to Britain after the war, whose story intertwines with the postwar development of the field of child psychoanalysis.

Roger Frie will be speaking on Trauma and Relatedness: Psychoanalytic Responses to the Holocaust. Frie is a Professor of Education at Simon Fraser University and Affiliate Professor of Psychiatry at University of British Columbia in Vancouver, and Faculty and Supervisor at the William Alanson White Institute of Psychiatry, Psychoanalysis and Psychology, as well as Associate Member of the Columbia University Seminar on Cultural Memory in New York. He writes and lectures widely on the themes of historical trauma, memory and responsibility. His newest book, to be published this year with Oxford University Press, is called Edge of Catastrophe: Erich Fromm, Facism and the Holocaust. He is also the author of the award-winning Not in My Family: German Memory and Responsibility after the Holocaust (OUP 2017) amongst many other books. During 2023-2023, he is a Visiting Scholar of Sociology at the CUNY Graduate Center in New York.


To join the event, please register here in order to receive the Zoom link.

We are excited to bring together these scholars and hope to see you there! You can email us with any questions at