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Social Theory after the Holocaust$
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Robert Fine and Charles Turner

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780853239659

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846314087

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The Holocaust's Life as a Ghost

The Holocaust's Life as a Ghost

Chapter:
(p.7) Chapter 1 The Holocaust's Life as a Ghost
Source:
Social Theory after the Holocaust
Author(s):

Zygmunt Bauman

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.5949/liverpool/9780853239659.003.0002

This chapter contains an essay by Zygmunt Bauman that describes the world we live in as a ‘haunted house’ where the ‘ghosts’ are the social repercussions of the Holocausts which continues to haunt individuals and groups today. The essay elaborates on the different manifestations of these ‘ghosts’ that are created from the fear and struggles of an ethnoreligious group surviving a historical genocide. The apparitions of the ghosts manifest in such forms as survivor's guilt (a mental condition when a survivor feels guilty to have survived a tragedy while others had not), survivor complex (a psychological wound that came about through constant trauma), and more. The essay explains that the effects, or the ghosts, of the Holocaust still continue to haunt individuals and groups who were directly and indirectly impacted by the Holocaust, and continued to do so even half a century after the end of the Holocaust era. Overall, it explains the consequences of living in a ‘haunted house’.

Keywords:   Holocaust's Life, Survival, self-preservation, Holocaust's ghost, Schindler's List, survivor's guilt, survivor complex

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