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
Chapter. 20362 words.
Subjects: Cognitive Psychology
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