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Rasa Baločkaitė

Research Fellow (10/2019–03/2020)

 

Coping with Trauma among Descendants of Holocaust Perpetrators in Lithuania

 

BALOCKAITEWhile the Holocaust is articulated in Lithuania mostly at the political or historical levels, with a focus on historical details, political circumstances, public commemorations etc., this project aims to illuminate the psychological dimensions, namely how descendants of Holocaust perpetrators deal with their parents’ and grandparents’ pasts. The research was inspired by German literature on Nazi children (Jennifer Teege and Niklas Frank) and supported by Hannah Arendt’s idea that evil affects both sides equally, the victim and the perpetrator, and that trauma effects are transferred from one generation to another. The research is based on two books, Musiskiai (Our People, 2016) by Rūta Vanagaite and Mes nežudėme (We Did Not Kill, 2017) by Arkadijus Vinokuras, both consisting of conversations with the descendants of Holocaust perpetrators. The research explores emotional and psychological responses to the traumatising past, strategies of coping such as active forgetting, anger, denial, and rationalisation, the linguistic and narrative framing of the trauma, and the link between personal and collective or official narratives.

 

Rasa Baločkaitė Baločkaitė is Associate Professor of Sociology at Vytautas Magnus University, Lithuania. Her scholarly interests include Soviet and post-Soviet studies. She was a Fulbright scholar at UC Berkeley in 2011 and a visiting fellow at the Centre for Contemporary History in Potsdam in 2013. Rasa Baločkaitė has published in leading journals such as Problems of Post Communism, Language Policy, and European History Quarterly. She has also written extensively on traumatic and post-traumatic experiences for Lithuanian media.

 

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The Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies (VWI) is funded by:

 

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