ON RESUMPTION - 19TH FEBRUARY 1998 - DAY 2
DR DANIEL: ...[inaudible] feelings or anything you wanted to share with us?
MEMBER OF AUDIENCE: No.
DR DANIEL: Anything you would regret not sharing? Alright, you have time until tomorrow. Any particular dreams? What, we have to start all over again like we did in the meeting yesterday? Alright, go ahead.
Thank you Patrick.
PATRICK: It was a strange kind of dream, it was, I was visiting Maluse Umpumalana. Maluse Umpumalana used to be one, in fact, one of the activists you know, sort of, in this country who - and he left you know on an errand and sitting there with his family and you know, my wife, I heard a plane and this sound came closer, closer to the house and all of a sudden, they started shooting at us and then of course the noise stopped and these police came in looking for Umpumalana and they thought that I was, you know, Umpumalana and of course they discovered that I wasn't.
And I don't, but I mean I woke up and I tried to go over, you know, this dream and I couldn't understand it and that was my dream last night.
DR DANIEL: Do you remember how you felt in the dream?
PATRICK: I was, I mean, the usual thing I was, I think I was scared but strong at the same time because I could face those guys and I think that, I mean, I did say to them it wasn't necessary for them to shoot the house, you know, they could have killed, you know, so many people and the children and so on. I was afraid but confrontational at the same time.
MEMBER OF AUDIENCE: Am I allowed to raise a question to Patrick, to the person who spoke?
DR DANIEL: You're may, here we can interrupt.
MEMBER OF AUDIENCE: Thank you. From your experience, Bishop is that not something that has happened with someone else that you are now only seeing Umpumalana in it while it actually happened to somebody else. And you are projecting that event because it has not been dealt with?
PATRICK: Ya, I think so, I mean, you know, again, you know, looking at the years of struggle, shooting did happen to some very close people, you know, very close friends of mine. But, you know, but rightly perhaps I have never been able to deal with that, I don't know, perhaps those events are still very, very deep and hidden you know, in my brain, I mean, I don't know.
Can I raise something too? And you see, and that is why, I believe that healing and reconciliation sometimes is a lifetime process and once you begin, you know, hell, today this thing comes out and then after two years something else comes out, you know, and these are the undealt issues, you know, that perhaps I have come across in my own life and these things were never resolved.
So, I mean as I always say, you know, we are, we are on a route that takes us somewhere but it's not that we can just do overnight and say okay, here's the money I buy reconciliation and tomorrow I'm reconciled, you know, it doesn't work that way.
DR DANIEL: I'll take it as a statement, rather than a question. I doubt that anybody in this room would not agree with you. I mean - Yes?
CARL: Carl is my name. Yesterday I spent a lot of time thinking about, when I think Duma was trying to touch on a bit but there's the complexity of the traumatisation of the, being both victim and perpetrator and that fine line and then also within our situation in South Africa.
I think this came home to me the most with a colleague who was watching a video where they highlighted the life of a young man who was killed by the white police and she was from another political - her son was part of another political movement in the same area.
And this young man who was killed by the white police was also implicated in the death of her son because he represented another political - AZAPO as opposed to the UDF. She has very little outlet to deal with the trauma of that situation because this was within the struggle, this was within.
And it's much easier to see the demon and the enemy in the white and to come to some grips with that because you're hero in that process but her son died within the struggle and she's been almost a victim of the internal conflict there. And she feels very little place where her story can be told and heard and understood and appreciated and that's another layer of trauma, I think. And I'm not quite sure, you know, if there's a dynamic to look at, how do we begin to deal with that too?
DR DANIEL: Well, what do you think? You must have thought about that?
CARL: I don't know, I really don't know.
DR DANIEL: Okay, anybody else has an idea? And what would you call that layer perhaps? What would you name that layer?
CARL: Well it's almost double victimisation in the sense that she lost her son to the cause but also then lost her son from within. I mean, she doesn't have anyone she can say, I mean she can say particular people were implicated in the death of her son but she can't say it was her enemy, it was supposedly the people that were working together in the struggle and yet there was - and there's many incidents of this kind all through our local communities and very difficult to access because the perpetrators and the survivors are living in the same block. They're seeing each other every day still.
LINGELWI: Talking about layers, you ask the question what do you call that layer and I was wondering whether it should be given a name because it seems that there is layer after layer after layer and it's like an onion. Now, in terms of what we were going through yesterday what you're saying something about allowing the emotion and the pain to happen. Now I don't know if there's a direct correlation between the pain that one feels at the moment and one particular layer of all these layers or whether there is one big pot where all the layers go and you just deal with the whole pot together.
So looking at that dream I wonder whether it is a layer in the pot which comes out and whether it has to be dealt with as an individual layer or if there is such a thing as dealing with the whole pot?
DR DANIEL: We continue to look for quick and easy things because that is our wish, isn't it? Let it go away, let it never, let it be like it never happened to begin with, right? Which is such a deep understandable wish, but I don't think so and the exploration takes time, just like we spoke yesterday and Patrick's point is very well taken.
And we discover more and more layers and remember when we spoke yesterday about the kind layer, the kind interactions made remind one or may reawaken old, right, like he reminded us when he asked Patrick the question? So it's the digging and the understanding of the relationship between today and then, right, and to try and disentangle it and disentangle the connection. Like you remember the car that splashed the water, you know, that's not trauma but it could be related if you experience it as an offence related to the past so there's a lot of work in the disentangling that we have to do.
DOUGLAS: Can I pick up? And just because there are new people, I'm Douglas. On what Carl was saying and it reminded me of secrets and it also reminds me of community work. Because there are two signs in that means that there actually, that road is actually almost a traumatised area and two people, it actually, only for me, will come right when the traumatised people can talk to each other. I don't know, that's part of the secretness that she carries and she feels maybe she'll never actually be able to tell that story to the neighbours and what that means to her. Maybe they feel exactly the same way and as, that's where I sometimes feel that you need community, community working in that area but that's another whole difficult area for us to engage with but an important one.
DR DANIEL: So here we are opening up the problem and the mechanism and the localisation of, is already here. I absolutely agree with you. We didn't get a name, we have to find a name. I think we ought to find a name. It will help to name what you're talking about, it will lead us ahead but clearly what you're pointing to is that perhaps this, that in that community, the trauma is the community trauma rather than individuals that live in isolation from the community and then it's more on an individual level and when it's a community trauma, yes, that is the locals of the trauma and therefore that will be the target of our interventions and that's how you conceptualise it, right? Or whether we call it the family trauma or the community of the nation, I mean we were talking about that yesterday too. You'll see that we develop together, the layers and the model that I developed, you'll see how it will come together. Please?
SPEAKER 2: I would just like to share a story on that kind of level. In one of the areas I'm working in, in a local informal settlement, a group of young comrades had been killed by a group of older comrades and there was a huge conspiracy of silence around that, nobody quite knows why, although I don't think nobody knows why but nobody talks about why and a lot of the mothers of the youngsters were referred to us after the Truth Commission Hearings, about this time last year and we started a group in the kind of support group sense like psychologists do, putting them together and thinking that if they share their experiences, there will be some change and some energy freed and what actually happened was that the dynamics of that community which is quite a small circum...[indistinct] community, came into the group and the group was not able to move because of the poisoning of the secret in that community so the group eventually decided it was splitting itself into two between the ones who wanted to keep the secrets and the ones who needed to share it and suspicion and paranoia and attacks in the community started happening. Also people felt threatened that some of these survivors of that massacre in which nine kids were killed were coming to talk about it, so people in the community were threatening those who were coming to the group and eventually the group decided that they needed to go much bigger and they organised, what they called a healing service, in the area, invited everybody, including the perpetrators of that massacre and we still don't understand what exactly the impact of that service was but it had a huge impact. A few days later the perpetrators applied for amnesty which they'd up to then refused to do and a few weeks later some of them were arrested for the murder, for the murders for the first time and that the murders had happened two years earlier. So we don't fully understand but the healing was taking place, it's still taking place. The group then continues to meet and shares experiences with other communities. I just wanted to share that.
DR DANIEL: Thank you. You gave an answer actually and the multiplying effect is wonderful, the same way when one victim speaks, other victims come forward and the same with perpetrators. It happens between communities. It's one of the things I said when we were reviewing the proposal, right, the Reparation Document, that in effect when it's in the best shape it could then serve other countries, right, so everything we do you think of, if not only that singular intervention but that it could serve forward. How would you call it then? Community trauma? Anybody has a name yet?
MS MKHIZE: Can I just say something?
DR DANIEL: Sure.
MS MKHIZE: I mean, I'm interested what I should think it came from Carl, I don't know whether it was endorsed by Moss again because it's very prevalent here that most people who have experienced trauma, let's say from a politically motivated action. It's very common that they'll be exposed to other levels of trauma. If they are younger their family might be displaced because of political violence but also then exposed to abuse of young people. Young people who you see will be the victims of other traumas but they'll be struggling with their trauma and I should think in terms of understanding, it's critical for us because often you don't know how to react. People when they come to you, they'll be stuck in any one trauma, maybe just a rape, but as a helper you will be fully aware that there are quite a number of other pressing issues in this person's mind. They are not getting better and what happened objectively you would think it's not so bad that this person will be in this state for six months or more not just moving on irrespective of having therapy and so on.
I don't know whether we have a deeper understanding as helpers ourselves and an ability to help people to....
DR DANIEL: Please?
SPEAKER 2: I think Moss actually came up with the name himself and I'd like to propose "The Onion of Trauma" because really, that's what it is, you're peeling away, as Hlengiwe says, disentangling, you're peeling away the trauma, each layer is a different trauma whether it's national, community, local, personal and think of the effects of peeling an onion, you do cry, if the onion is frozen sure, maybe you won't cry, if you wash the onion all those tips, maybe you won't cry and then you get the blurred part in the middle which is not easy to peel and maybe there's a blurred layer of trauma. It's just a suggestion.
DR DANIEL: Okay, so, oh. Please?
SPEAKER 3: I concur with the speaker who said these layers, I think she articulated them quite well but I also wanted to share a dream with you. Maybe one layer which was not properly shared yesterday, I think it was not an opportune time for me to share what had happened to me because I relived the situation and I don't want to take the meeting back but what was articulated yesterday by Kosi, all this status came back to me and I also realised that, as a student, there was this new testament that were given to us, then, that was a source of courage because I was quiet, I had no one to share with at home and there was this youth movement that I belonged to "Kiro...[indistinct] is the Catholic kind of movement which was embrasive of other churches then. Then in the movement, I used to share a lot with I think was a peer group kind of situation where we understood the struggle at our level, the then 1976 situation, but at home there was no support whatsoever. But the source of my strength was that bible. I remember quite vividly, there was some verses on when bereaved, lonely, etc. I don't know if I should say when we identify these layers, we should recognise the peer group kind of healing. But the dream was terrible because it was like I was back at Avalon where Matthew was buried. Some 20 years back and around his grave I know this Doctor ...[indistinct]'s grave and I had some squashed flowers, you know it was terrible and from 3 o'clock till now, I couldn't sleep. I even went through your resume to discover who you are.
QUESTION FROM AUDIENCE: [indistinct]
SPEAKER 3: No it didn't. I struggled to find the Panados etc. but here am I. I think I have this to share.
DR DANIEL: Thank you very much. It's very interesting because I also thought about it, who was it, was it Eddie, yesterday that said that maybe there's guilt, survivor guilt here, you said that, didn't you? Do you think that there's a connection? Between what Eddie said and the dream?
SPEAKER 3: In a way, yes, because I know when we parted, he was leaving through Botswana and there were letters sent to me to say, in case you change your mind this is the route. Now my guilt is based on why did he have to come back, was he coming back to convince me once more? Or, you know, I mean, even there I felt like I betrayed the struggle by going back to school to go and receive the kind of Bantu Education that we all boycotted then.
DR DANIEL: It's very related to what we talked about to Duma also. What do you think these squashed flowers are about?
SPEAKER 3: I couldn't make sense of the squashed flowers, maybe it was ...[indistinct] because I like flowers, I couldn't even put them in a flower pot in the house or put them on his grave they were like, I don't know, they were like useless flowers, I don't know what they represent really.
DR DANIEL: A thought that kept me up after yesterday, was two things that we didn't touch on and maybe it's related to what you're talking about. One is, the helplessness we feel to help others in their condition in the time of trauma. You said that, Duma, remember? You said that your suffering was bad enough but what keeps burning in you is the memories of others that you witnessed and that you couldn't do anything about. Am I with you? And I think that, I think Khosi was talking also about trying to help the children, remember? And that she couldn't and that was the most hurtful? And of course we also talked about survivor guilt and we postponed it until today probably because it was too much yesterday. Well, hold that thought okay, the connection between the helplessness and perhaps the guilt and maybe that those squashed flowers perhaps are a symbol for that helplessness that you couldn't bring him back. You couldn't make it better, maybe, okay? So lets hold that thought and I would like to, not to interrupt the discussion, but to add the layer of the family. Okay? To our interactions. So to be efficient in terms of time particularly because we started late, let me read to you some of the descriptions of families of survivors of the Holocaust. Again, we will be able to print this for you so you don't need to get busy taking notes rather than just listening. I'm trying to see how does it relate to you, right, how does it relate to your experience. Right? So that I would like you to take notes of. Okay, while I'm talking, if it makes any sense in terms of your experience, does it connect to your experience? That's how we will handle the discussion at the end, right? What connections do you see? What things apply, what things are irrelevant to you. Okay and at the end of that discussion I'll also report to you of this book that's coming out that in fact Michael Simpson has a chapter in, that I mention the "International Handbook of Multi-generational Legacies of Trauma", okay, and if you want to we can talk about other populations around the world, then I can tell you little bit about that but because my most solid knowledge comes from working with survivors of the Holocaust and because this was the first population in the field that the family dynamics were explored. Let me report to you that, okay and I will report to you basically my work and here and there mention the connection to others. And I will not talk about the Holocaust, I would assume that you know about it. I started with a copy that they made and forgot every second page, so, bless God I have others. Oh, Ilinga just told me that Khosi was here before but she's feeling sick so she went to the doctor. I hope she'll come back, so let's wish her well. And some of what I will read to you, you'll see you already know.
"One way that survivors coped with the prolonged horrors of the Holocaust was to sustain the hope of reuniting with their families. While some did find a few surviving relatives, most learned where and how their family members and friends had perished. There are those survivors who never found anything about what happened. Unable to fully comprehend their tragedy, or to express their grief or rage, they were confronted with the task of rebuilding their lives. Marriages of despair, as I called it in my writing, you will understand why, formed on short acquaintance which disregarded differences in pre-war socio-economic educational status, lifestyle, age or other ordinary criteria from marriage were frequent between adult survivors, people who would say something like I'm lonely, you're lonely, let's get married. Or you're from Poland, I'm from Poland, let's get married, because there were so few." You're laughing, I see there's a connection, good, write it down. Write it down.
"Recreating a family was a concrete act to compensate for their losses, counter the massive disruption in the order in continuity of the survivors lives and undo the dehumanisation and loneliness they had experienced. The most tangible fulfilment of hope for the continuity and renewal of life was to bring a child into the world. Many survivors gave birth in displaced persons camps, or as we call them D.P. Camps, as soon as it was physically possible. Almost without exception the newborn children were named after those who had perished." Now those of you who know Jewish tradition, know that in Judaism we call, we name people after those who died. But it's quite different to be named after somebody who is murdered. Okay, especially for example if it's after ...[indistinct] sibling, it becomes a whole other mission to carry. " Often viewed as a blessing, miracle, gift, a symbol of victory, the children were to be the future in the world free of oppression and equal to or even better than the idealised pre-war world of their parents." In addition to the difficulties shared by most immigrants to the United States and this presentation is about those who went to the United States, here and there I will comment on those who went to Israel or those who remained in Europe which he actually already discussed in this brilliant group. So, let me focus on that. " The majority of Holocaust survivors as I said in addition to the usual problems of immigrants, the majority of Holocaust survivors encountered a unique cluster of pervasive, negative societal reaction and attitudes comprised of indifference, avoidance, repression and denial of their Holocaust experiences." Sounds familiar, doesn't it? Let me describe a little bit about the conspiracy of silence, I'm sure you'll recognise some of this. "Survivors' war accounts were too horrifying for most people to listen to or believe. Additionally, bystanders' guilt led many to regard the survivors as pointing an accusing finger at them. Survivors were also faced with a pervasively held myth that they had actively or passively participated in their own destiny by quote 'going like sheep to the slaughter' and with the suspicion that they had performed immoral acts in order to survive." Remember yesterday you asked me about sexuality in the camps? And somehow we got onto something else. There was very little of that not only, that the attitude of the Germans was such that for them it was the law that they were not allowed to touch a Jew. So if rapes occurred for example, they were mostly by Ukraines or people from the area often you know, of some other countries, or the Russians later. But part of what's happening, what has been happening is that people, in the peoples fantasies about that, they thought that there was. Okay, and that creates a layer, an additional layer of suffering because of those fantasies. Not only the ignorance but to be looked at that way when you felt so destitute and so unkempt and so unattractive, right, and without hair, you know with shaven hair and with lice and was bad enough to also think that people think of you that way is truly an additional insult. But we have a lot more to talk about, I think, about that. This is what you asked about right? Good, thank you. It remained in my mind that you weren't answered. So these kind of reactions ensured the survivor's silence about their Holocaust experiences. I mean and the radio today, I was trying to talk about the conspiracy of silence and the interviewer, John Layton, so he said "so the Truth Commission is very good here?" and I said "Ja, it's a step in the right direction, but, the telling is only one piece, the listening is the other, see, so the job of the Truth Commission has to also ensure the participation of the listener and the listener has to be the country, not? So keep that in mind, okay, another mechanism of the future of the Truth Commission, because we were talking about perpetuating the continuation of telling the story which is so important. But also we need education to listen. "The resulting conspiracy of silence, which has existed both between the Holocaust survivors in society and between survivors in the Mental Health Profession" (as I mentioned yesterday, right, for over 30 years) "had a significant negative impact on the survivors post-war familial and socio-cultural adaptation and consequently on their long term capacity for intra-psychic integration." Do you remember we talked about that? For the internal integration and healing. Survivors were forced to conclude that nobody cared to listen and that no one who had not undergone the same experience, quote, 'could really understand them.' " Their profound isolation, loneliness and mistrust of society intensified and the task of mourning their massive losses became impossible." I will refer to that later. I will end my presentation with that, with the survivor voice about mourning and the difficulty. The silence imposed by a world that did not want to hear, to hear them, proved particularly painful to those who had survived the war determined to bear witness. You know that, some of you know, that while you were going through it, the one thing that was in your mind is "I must tell this so the world won't do this again". Right and when you survived with that kind of inner force, to then be shut up or neither have the opportunity to speak is definitely an additional trauma. Not a retrauma, it's a new one and let me tell you a little story about that and I promised you to bring you the quotation of Elly Resaille so let me just find it. The story I'm going to tell you while I'm looking for that is in Israel actually. During the Eichmann Trial, wait, how should I tell it from the end or from the beginning. I'll tell you from the, wait..
During the Eichmann Trial, one of his guards suddenly broke down and this story came out, his name was Michale or Michael in your language. He was a child during the war. He was in ghettos and camps one after the other and one time in the ghetto he was caught stealing a potato. He picked a potato so the Germans accused him for stealing and gave him 80 lashes for that. Now, throughout those 80 lashes, even though he already knew that he was an orphan, because he had seen his family murdered and throughout six more concentration camps, he said the only burning mission he had was to tell so that this would never ever happen again to anyone else and when he came to Israel and tried to tell, there was like a distant cousin or other people, he said nobody would listen. He said that was the 81st and final blow, you see. He said those 80 lashes didn't do it, it was that last one that stopped him from talking. He literally remained sort of mute and Israel is, you know, very hot most of the year, right, and normally people wear short sleeves. Well he was one of the people who wore long sleeves to hide the number almost as a protest 'I won't share this with you.' Right and nobody knew his story until when he was Eichmann's guard, Eichmann insulted him and all of it came out and he started shaking and you know the feelings, don't you, he started shaking and of course he was, you know, he asked someone to hold him which was very, very smart of him, right, because he was afraid that he'll do something to spoil the trial from due process and he at least had a historic sense that at least this trial is doing what he always wanted to do, which was to tell the story. So this is a story I thought, you know, will place for you and not by the way, the first film that was made about the Holocaust in Israel was therefore named "The 81st Blow" after this story and some of you may have seen it, perhaps. It was the first film done on the Holocaust in Israel or by an Israeli. I will find Elly Resailles quote after the break, I don't want to interrupt the flow, okay? The only option left for survivors other than sharing their Holocaust experiences with each other, was to withdraw completely into their newly established families. Children of such families, although remembering their parents and lost families war histories quote, 'only in bits and pieces.' I tested to the constant psychological presence of the Holocaust at home, verbally and/or non-verbally or in some cases reported having absorbed the only present experience of the Holocaust, they would say through osmosis. Like they did in Ohio, but it was always there. Now, what I'm reporting to you is based on our work of the group project for Holocaust survivors and their children, right, which you remember we formally gave name and we can talk about why we chose this name later on. Maybe tomorrow in our mechanism discussion. On the basis of seeing a few thousands of them, both in America and around the world, I have formulated four major categories of survivor families. I like to think of them as psychological portraits so to speak. The first one I called "The Victim Families", the second "The Fighter Families" the third "The Numb Families" n-u-m-b and the fourth, in quotation mark, in quotation mark, "Those Who Made It" and you'll understand the quotation marks when I describe it. Now these are only four, okay, out of many more possibilities. Okay, but these are the four that I began to describe. Now the importance of these descriptions is at the time most of what we had in the literature, at the time that I started describing these, most of what we had in the literature was about what I call "The Victim Families". Okay, this kind of description and what happened is, I worked with many and I saw that no, we don't just have one syndrome, we don't only have one characterisation. People adapt in different ways, okay, that is their heterogeneity in response to trauma and that's what I was trying to describe, okay, so again take notes in your minds between us here. I would like you to know that although the survivor experience post war posture, may or may not be identical with his or her war experience. Most survivors who had a victim or non-families work former concentration camp inmates. Most of those in the fighter category, were partisans and resistance fighters during the war. Now I'm going to pose a challenge to you in our process of reconciliation. I want you to think not only about the victim's families that you know, I want you to think about the perpetrators families too and because this is within a multi-generation of legacies of trauma, I'd like you to also for example think of the survivors of the concentration camps in this country i.e. for example, right, the British Camps of the Afrikaans and to think that maybe that's of the consequence, the historic consequences in this country, perhaps follow these kind of patterns? And that when we do the onion peeling, we won't do only this generation but we want to go back in history, okay?
So try to keep that in mind too, it's too many tasks but you're doing a great job as we found out yesterday already. So I'm going to now start describing the victim families. The post war home atmosphere and I'm talking about the post trauma, right, so the post war home atmosphere of survivors whose dominant family identity was that of victim, was characterised by pervasive depression, worry, mistrust and fear of the outside world and by symbiotic clinging within the family, people always had to cling to each other. Catastrophic overreactions to everyday changes were coming. Like the end of the world, like the splashing of the water yesterday. Psychomatisation which means to express your emotions via your body, right, so in physical pains etcetera, in disease. Psychomatisation while serving as an unconscious expression of the survivors' chronic grief and rage was also used to control and manipulate other family members. So for example, those survivors who are too proud to ask for help would get sick and that....[end of tape]
....mostly about headaches and physical pains rather than verbally talk about their feelings and they would rather do that and they would rather just get medications than talk so that the culture also of course has an effect here. Physical problems were far more acceptable in victim families than psychological problems which the parents viewed as evidence of Hitler's posthumous victory. It's like 'he still gets me' you know, 'the war is still getting me today'. You said something similar yesterday, right, you know, even after a good session you feel a little better, it gets you again. Psychological help was also seen as a threatening intrusion into the symbiotic network of the family. Let me explain that a little bit. Do you understand what I mean here? Since the family had to be so close, right, it didn't trust other people to treat them correctly or to understand them. Anybody would be felt as an intruder, but, there's an additional issue here which I will refer to later. Especially in American Psychology, the idea of therapy is to become independent or autonomous, right, which is to leave the family. In these kind of families who are clinging together, was the most important way of surviving and continuing to live in this world. Of course when a therapist comes in that way, that would be very threatening, wouldn't it? As of course, as carers, you would, you would understand in the transference, right, that when the family sees you as a Nazi who is splitting families, you have to deal with that transference reaction, you have to be able to contain, to take it in, to take that anger in and understand it and take it and work with it and it's very hard for good people like us, right, to be viewed and who want to help etcetera, to be viewed as terrible people, right, as the next Nazi or the next perpetrator. So it's whole huge complex of difficulties here. Yet another means of keeping the family a totally closed system was teaching mistrust to the children, like, you only trust your family, can't trust anybody else. Taking orders or instructions from outside authorities especially police for example or any uniformed people, was experienced as best as passive humiliation. Children in such families were often trained to be survivors of future holocausts and frequently reported panic and guardedness when Holocaust imagery intruded into the daily experiences for example, standing in line, okay, you know taking a train, you know, you would suddenly feel very anxious. The long term result of such experiences was often keen political liberalism. It's very important, they became extremely sensitive to the suffering of anyone and to any oppression of any group. In fact the first Cambodian refugees that came to the United States stayed in children of survivors' homes. Victim families insisted that the inside doors of their homes remain open at all times, because as I said, the outside doors were closed, right, but the inside they always had to keep it open. They would wake up in the middle of the night to check if the kids are breathing. Children came to check that their parents are okay. Any assertion of healthy independence and privacy needs by the children threatened parents who felt that they were reliving their war experiences when being separated meant total and permanent loss. Now remember that. This is one finding that is uniform around the world, the separation difficulties in these families. The demands for symbiotic devotion and fulfilling family goals, were most heavily visited upon the first born children i.e. those who are born right after the war, closest to the war. Security based on physical nutritional and material survival was of paramount concern in these families. For most parents, joy, self fulfilment and existential questions were luxuries that, private, not for us who had suffered so much. Survivor parents appear to be both very certain and disaster smart to their children in protecting them against any negative eventuality in life. They always had to tell the children be careful of this, right? Being right and in control in their families even if arbitrarily so, seems to have compensated for the survivors prevailing sense of passive helplessness and demoralisation during the Holocaust. So at least in the family they took charge even if nonsense or about nonsense, because wrong decisions during the war invariably meant death. Many children also behaved as if every decision were a matter of life and death. Children of survivors have great difficulty in making decisions like what do you choose?
Survivor parents were frequently lost and disoriented however in dealing with American reality, right, within new countries, their host countries and it then became the childrens' task to become the families mediators with the outside world, thus, roles in these families were reversed and overprotection became mutual. You understand that? The children protected the parents. I have seen children of survivors who have told me at H4 they had to sign cheques for their parents, they had to go with them to the German Consulate because they knew English and their parents didn't and you can understand that these children had to become adults very, very fast. They had to take care of their parents and they did this out of great love except they paid a price, you'll see in a moment. The children were also called upon to be the mediators inside the homes as parents' marriages of despair, remember those? Frequently turned into interminable complaining about their mutual disappointment, like I would have never married you if it had not been for the war. Now it's true. In fact these are realistic statements. They would not have their different classes, different places, nothing in common. But, for children to grow up like that is difficult and of course with the parents to live like that is also difficult and you'll see in a moment, though, a contradiction here. Would they divorce do you think? Of course not, because Nazis broke families, not Jews. So they were committed in this kind of interminable complaining and remained that way and of course it was also one way to express anger that they couldn't express any other way and of course when people marry, with all, after all the losses, they invest so many fantasies and hopes in their mate, right? That their mate will be there as a father and a mother they lost and the community they lost and nobody can live up to any of that, but nobody knows that. Especially when you make desperate attempts to build a life. So the results we're talking about, the results indeed, now this is important as well now, it may have some bearings here. For the male survivor, for the men, had a disadvantage compared with the female in achieving psychological recovery and then reestablishing his traditional role as head of the family, making a new life often became merely making a living. Now do you understand why? I don't know if you know that piece of history. You know that in Europe, up until World War II
the only males that were circumcised were Jews, so even if the Jewish Men looked, could pass for Arian, right, if he were caught of course his identity as Jew would easily be found, you know, just drop your pants. So even in the conditions of hiding, they weren't able to provide for their families or protect their families or 'act like men' like the traditional role of heads of families. Woman, on the other hand, at those times, especially in hiding were able to, if I don't mean to say it was easy, but at least they didn't have that danger of having a physical characteristic that would easily identify one. And there were, after the war, you may imagine then, that for the traumatised men, who also could not 'be a man' in the context of the family, it was an additional insult. It was much more difficult to rebuild that sense especially if you went to another country, you lost your education, because of the war years, right? You don't know the language even if you were a physician you didn't have the language to take the American Exams so you sometimes went to work in a factory just to provide for your new family. These were very difficult conditions to feel self-respect and revive the image of yourself. So it was an interaction with the women who actually, some of them, feel very proud for how they survived, right, and managed. Things became difficult for the men and compared to the women, the women fared better. I think it's much more complicated, women talk more easily and share more easily and there more seeking groups to relate to and therefore they have more support and solidarity whereas men when they feel humiliated and ashamed, tend to isolate themselves, right, and it becomes a vicious cycle, they don't give themselves the chance to heal. To just make a connection here I don't if you know, in Argentina, you heard of the grandmothers of the Piazza Di Mio? Ya, the grandmothers who in fact changed their regimes. Of that generation most of the men are already dead. They got, mostly got sick of old causes, there were suicides compared to those women and in fact the understanding is about the activity of the women and the solidarity, the being together and you know, ..[indistinct] while the men dealt with their insults and losses by isolating themselves and giving themselves no way of venting and it cost lives. Typically in these families, the husband became a compulsive worker and took a subsidiary position in the emotional and interpersonal life of the family. The wife would frequently berate her husband in front of the children. The offspring were called upon to take sides to serve as confidantes to compensate for the parents disappointments in marriage and to parent their parents quite a bit. For reasons related to the war the management of rage and aggression was an enormous problem for survivors. During the war there was a saying "An angry Jew is a dead Jew". After the war there were no places to express the aggression. So I'm saying, moreover, life after the war did not afford the survivors adequate opportunity for expression of their bottomless rage, leaving them only indirect, mostly familial means to express and experience it. So all of that rage was contained in that tiny little family. The immense conflict and the meaning of aggression in their lives and their roles as parents severely inhibited the victim survivors' ability to serve as authority figures for their offspring i.e. to set limits and to provide them with reasonable discipline and constructive channels for their normal aggression. You understand the unconscious conflict, no? Well the children fear of being wrong and their inhibition of anger and assertiveness they also learned to inhibit it, tended to block creative self-initiated tasks in these often disproportionately bright, ambitious and talented offspring, right, if for example if your family tells you 'don't stand out, it's dangerous.' See, you're becoming successful, it's dangerous, isn't it? Because success makes you stand out. So, even though you may be very ambitious, you'd end up cutting yourself down to, for survival, so to speak. But I just want that conflict if you didn't have it because that will apply in this society too. The issue of why would the parents have difficulty disciplining? Right, because if, to be strict they would feel 'Oh my God, I'm a Nazi'. Right, to be totally permissive, where does that lead the children with no limits and no boundaries. Okay, but that's the dilemma here and that's the dilemma of children of survivors. So if they too have difficulties taking upon themselves to be an authority and a good one, you know, a healthy one. Guilt. We are finally getting there, kids. Guilt was one of the most potent means of control in these victim families keeping many adult children from questioning parents about their war experiences, expressing anger towards them or quote "burning them with their own pain" like how can I tell them my problem, they have enough of their own, they have suffered so much, right, how can I express anger to them, I'm a Nazi if I do that. Or like Douglas said yesterday, any problem of mine is too trivial compared to theirs, right? So your reaction is absolutely not an uncommon one. Being totally passive, I'm talking about survivor guilt now, being totally passive and helpless in the face of the Holocaust, was perhaps the most devastating experience for victim survivors, one that was existentially intolerable. If I asked you right now to picture yourself totally helpless, you can't, you psychologically can't let ourselves because guilt presupposes the presence of choice and the power to exercise it. Much of which has been termed survivors' guilt may an unconscious attempt to deny or undo this helplessness. Do you understand how? When I say, I should have done, I feel guilty, what does it mean? It means I'm telling myself I should have done something which means I'm telling myself I could have done something which means I'm telling myself somebody else would open the door if I want to go, right, all of these are lies, self lies. They deny the reality of the utter, passive helplessness. But that is existentially intolerable, it's just painful to us to conceive of so we would rather continuously suffer survivor guilt and pretend like were powerful and we had choices and we had ways of acting and suffered that, than to say I was totally helpless. Do you follow that? It makes sense to you? Good. Now the children also feel helpless in their attempts to help their parents. So here you have another layer of the childrens' guilt to cover up their helplessness. Therapists and carers who want to help and to liberate people and to fix them and to get them well, feel the same helplessness and therefore bystanders' guilt. So we have layers and layers and layers of this guilt and it's very paralyzing and very painful and this is only the existential function of the denial of helplessness, okay? In my writings on survivors' guilt, I say that there are other functions, okay, for example the function of existential continuity of relationships, for example when a mother survivor in her daughter's wedding which is a very happy event, right, stands there and says "oh, if my mother were only here and if my father were only here and if my brother were only here" and etcetera. She's not doing it to spoil the party. What is she doing psychologically? Tell me. She's mourning yes, that is one aspect, that's very good, it's a function of survivor guilt but what is she also doing?
SPEAKER: She's also, she's creating a ...[indistinct] that's not present, that's not present, it's memory.
DR DANIEL: Brilliant, brilliant. She is not psychologically alone. When you say "if he were only here, if she were only here" they're there psychologically, they're all at the wedding. So she's, so that kind of survivor's guilt creates a lot of suffering, actually keeps people around you, you are not psychologically alone. In fact if I asked you to close your eyes and to imagine yourself psychologically alone, you couldn't, because just to say "I" assumes others. So this existential function of survivors' guilt has to do with psychological aloneness, right, it counteracts psychological aloneness. It does something else too, it serves a sense of loyalty to the dead. It keeps them alive, it says even though Hitler wanted you and your memory erased, I remember you. Very important, very important. That's the existential function of continuity, right? And of course, there's another function, existential function to survivors' guilt which is the moral or the ethical function. In a world where so few of the perpetrators were not only not caught, but even fewer were punished: "at least I feel guilty. So I'm not demoralised." Do you follow that? It's very important, it's important in this condition too. It would be very demoralising to think that the perpetrators go free, isn't it? You know not to feel so demoralised at least to affirm morality at least I feel guilty, so the world has justice in it. This is very unpleasant guilt, isn't it? It can eat you up and can lead to other aggressions and vicious cycles of violence which may be one of the contributors of impunity here.
SPEAKER: Could you say that again?
DR DANIEL: Yes, one of the things we're doing now is a world study of the 35 countries that hold impunity after regime change to find out whether in fact the rise in crime in most of them has something to do with that. With the impunity. You see it's an interesting, with everything here, we, as we have said over and over again really, part of what we try to resolve is the past. But we also, everything we do has also implication for the future. So impunity may serve the past to not continue that is with wars, violence etcetera, but what is the message of it to the future. You're saying you can do bad things and go free and it's quite possible the children hear that message and if society and that's another mechanism we want to have, if society is to be able to handle the impunity without the future destruction, destructive aspects of it, it has to be very aware of that possibility and provide for education in morality, right, for new ways of, in additional moral messages to get, so that's not the only message, okay? That's what you were asking about, right? Okay. Okay let me continue. I'm saying here also by the way it's ...[indistinct] the children. Remember the function against helplessness, the first function, the existential function in survivor guilt? It does something else too. The child who cannot really undo the Holocaust for the parent, which is what the child's most loving, beloved mission is, feels helpless in that mission doesn't he or she? I sometimes when we have our big groups I say to them: "You know even God cannot undo the Holocaust, and you want to, huh?" But it's not easily comforting is it? You keep trying because you love these people, you want them to smile, you want them to be happy, you want them to behave like they didn't go through all of those terrible things. And the children, when they feel helpless like that, they may generalise it to a general sense of helplessness and incapacity or low self esteem to say to themselves "I can't do anything, right, there's nothing I can do." So from "I cannot undo the Holocaust" becomes "There is nothing I can do." Wrong generalisation, right? Like we found out yesterday, but very important trap to watch out for when you work with kids. Over-protectiveness and over-involvement in all aspects of their parents' lives diminish the offspring ability to establish outside relationship in general, in marital and sexual relationship in particular. Many dreaded being on their own and becoming adults. Most feared having children to whom they might transmit their Holocaust legacy and upon whom they would inflict a world that might suffer another Holocaust. Despite their conscious wish to make the family and large once again, this fear often prevailed so they didn't get married and did not create families. Although many children of survivors were extraordinarily driven to achieve academic professional success, the offspring of victims, of this type family, right, often felt that surpassing their parents, that is being more successful than their parents,...tea! We have a tyranny of the tea! Okay, but we won't succumb, I'll finish at least the victim's family first, okay?
Most, excuse me, so, hold on, I'm going to repeat this because this is very important and may become to you too. As I said, although many children of survivors were extraordinarily driven to achieve academic or professional success, the offspring in these families, the victim type, often felt that surpassing their parents meant leaving them behind, right, that if they become very successful they leave their parents behind. Now unconsciously what does that connect with? What happens to parents when you leave them behind when you come from the Holocaust? You never see ..that's right, so do not do that, they would undo their success. Okay, so here's another dynamic that's directly Holocaust related and destructive today and as we understand there is as a result they often unconsciously destroy their success and accomplishments. Overly concerned not to hurt and keenly sensitive to another's pain, right, in these families, the children of victim survivors frequently entered the helping professions. In fact I always joke that children of victim survivor families are trained therapists by the age of three. They only have to wait for their licence. So but what's important here for you to remember is that you see that these experiences have impact in everything, on your relationships, on your work, on your education, on your learning, on your choice of career and profession? Everything. Yes, Eddy?
EDDY: What I find missing is to what extent would the peer group influence the behaviour of children. One would assume that because they all come from a similar background that they live in this protective family. That some of these families may occasionally get together and that would give an opportunity for the children to relate with each other. I can't imagine them relating with children outside of that experience, but if they relate to each other, has it been helpful in any way for the development of the child?
DR DANIEL: Well, it's a brilliant question, as usual, here. The reason we built the group project for Holocaust Survivors and their children was to bring people together in groups, in peer groups. So they do help each other, absolutely, but yes, somehow assuming, that, you see you're touching upon a very important phenomenon that's not written about too much. That is how survivors settled after the war, did they settle in communities? Did they seek each other? And in fact some did, in fact some created such communities that they're like ghettos, self chosen ghettos. For example there's the very, very, orthodox community in Brooklyn, a community of survivors. Brooklyn is near New York City and what's absolutely astounding there, they even named the street as the names of the streets in the townships in Europe that they lived at. So when you go there it's like going in a time warp, finding yourself around that. So some survivors created communities and on the hand it was helpful, on the other hand it sometimes perpetuated the sense of isolation and mistrust. Also on a community level and not just on a family level, okay? So there's always, every choice we make is always the 'but'. There's the price we pay for our choices and in terms of mechanisms, we want to plan them in such a way that the 'but' won't happen. That we'll make choices that are good and healing without paying the price if things go wrong, but to sort of secure that, the healthy development. That's what we talk about, sustainable develop, right, of any programs we talk about. It's a great question. You'll see in my description later that survivors, we will talk about a little bit, to see how survivors who lived isolated lives, their children, what kind of price their children paid. So remind me again later. You will see where it comes up. Okay, tea, five minutes? How many? Fifteen?
Oh, you need fifteen minutes? Ten. Okay, great.
BREAK FOR TEA
DR DANIEL: Two. That's the second type, or if you will, the second portrait. Someone asked me if to have questions on the victims families now or wait till we finish. Let's wait, I think, because you'll see, the rest are much shorter descriptions and I think when you see the complexity maybe you'll have some of your questions answered without knowing it, okay?
The Fighter Family: The term fighter was chosen to convey either the way such survivors described their physical or spiritual role during the Holocaust or the posture they adopted after the war to counteract the image of the victimised Jew. Am I clear? It was either direct reflection what you went through or what you did or to counteract. However, many who were fighters during the war lived as victims, right, described before, after liberation and this in congress transformation bewildered their offspring impairing their development of cohesive self images. I'll give you an example. One son of survivors who was a member in our project only at his father's funeral found out his father's real story. After the war, the father, basically the family picture was that the father was like a nothing, as he'd say, the father was a baker, he left the house at four in the morning, he came back at four in the afternoon, was very tired, the house had to be quiet and he basically watched a little television perhaps and then went to sleep and the son found nothing to be proud of. He was actually almost ashamed of his father. He was like a beaten man and that's when we were working with him, that was usually what he would talk about and how the mother ran the house and even made the father feel smaller than he felt. At his father's funeral, and oh, and just to add another dimension, and they were very lonely and isolated, okay, they'd never people to the house, also because of the sleeping cycle right, so no friends came etcetera. At his father's funeral, 800 people showed up and there wasn't enough time, the whole day went with stories of heroism, how he saved their lives and what a wonderful man he was., that in the ghetto he taught little children to keep them, you know, growing, and you know, the total heroism and greatness, to a genuine greatness.
But what happened was, has happened to many. At liberation, after liberation, he found out that in a fact, he doesn't know anyone of the people he knew before the war, they were all gone and he plainly died psychologically, he died with them so to speak. So what is the son going to do, right, with the lifetime of one father and with this new knowledge. That could be very bewildering, that's what I mean, okay. The father was a fighter but became a beaten victim after the war when there was nobody. He felt, clearly by those 800 people, they were, they thought of him but I guess he lived in such a way that he couldn't nourish on that and perhaps they gave up on trying to reach him as well. Well luckily since our project has a network throughout the world he was able to, the son, was able, he literally did a pilgrimage, not only to his father's town but around the world. In Israel he found one person who had known somebody from the second town, in Hawaii he found somebody, in Australia and he literally devoted a year of his life to recapture the wholeness of his father, right. So when we talk about integration and all the processes we talked about today, yesterday, today, right? Reconciliation, all of these and long term processes and one has to stay open to finding new facts that one didn't even know ever. So again and again I want you to appreciate the long term prospective, okay? In this, in what you're facing and actually what all of us are facing. It is important to emphasis that using the word "fighter" to connote the dominant identity of these survivors does not imply that active fighting rather than sheer luck saved all who escaped the fate of the six million Jews who were murdered in the Holocaust. All survivors will tell you the only reason "it's luck" and any time, this is very important, when you attribute your survival to special heroism or special qualities, think about it; what are you saying about the six million? Very important, it's really, really important to remember: To respect the total picture and the memory of people because if you're implying that those six million didn't have their dreams and plans and did everything to try to live and survive and raise families and have dreams for their families then you're so wrong. The home atmosphere of fighter survivors was permeated by an intense drive to build and achieve and the home was filled with compulsive activity. Do, do, do, do. Familiar? Any behaviour that might signify victimisation, weakness or self pity was not permitted. Is it familiar? Familiar in many parts of this country, not just one. Illness was faced only when it became a crisis although physical illness was more acceptable than psychological disturbance, both were experienced as insults. Okay it's like "I don't need your help, I'm not a cripple. Hmm? I see it's familiar here. Pride was fiercely held as a virtue, relaxation and pleasure were superfluous, that didn't matter. Families of fighters, like those of victims, did not trust outside authorities. Unlike victims however, they permitted and encouraged aggression against and defiance of outsiders, thus escaping the victim families double bind. Remember the double bind when you tell your child "Succeed, succeed, but don't stand out"? They don't have it here, they say "Strike out, do it." Intergenerational involvement and overprotectiveness were found in fighter families as well but without the burden of distress and worry characterised in victim families. Some fighter marriages were formed during the war in, for example, amount partisans. After a longer acquaintance period then the marriages of despair mentioned earlier. Children of fighters had difficulty, now think with me, see, you'll see the relationship to relationships and to work here, okay? Children of fighters had difficulty in sharing and delegating responsibility to others, you understand why, right? You have to do it all and when you have this difficulty, you can't quite have close friends, can you, because you have to tell them what to do and they can't do anything for you etcetera, etcetera, right? So they have difficulty sharing and delegating responsibility to others both interpersonally and professionally so you can do co-operative things, for example, right, because you must do it and you know best anyhow. You know that, right? Their contempt and intolerance of any dependency in themselves and in others acted as a deterrent to forming peer and marital relationships. So even though on the surface they may look like they are much better than the victims, right, because they don't look weak and they don't get anxious easily, that adaptational styles has it's price, right? In these families the offspring had to establish a hero fighter identity in order both to belong to the family and to separate from it. You understand how? Right. If my father is a hero, right? To belong to a hero family I have to be a hero too, no? Very important. Furthermore, in order to separate, how can you separate from a hero family. You also have to be a hero to strike the world, right? That's quite a job for a little boy or a little girl. In their search for validation and esteem, children frequently sort out or created dangerous situations. You see, if your father survived the Holocaust and he's this absolute hero and you want to be like him, what do you have to do? You have to create a Holocaust. That is very important because I think quite a bit of that is taking place here. To create dangerous situations in order to show that you.... behave like danger can't touch you. We were in Soweto in Dube and heard some statistics about youth in communities that have 94% Aids. Another community, 86% Aids. You're killing yourselves. Nobody else is doing that now. For a whole generation, 94%? You're leaving 6% now. That means that there is some careless going on, some total disrespect to life and to the value of being alive and being well and no respect for the future in wanting to build families and have children etcetera. Very scary, I was very shocked. Very shocked. This is killing of a generation so I, really, this is really a major, major commitment that you must take upon yourselves as a whole community and not so much by moralising but more so by trying to understand where is their sense of future?
Is this whole generation having post traumatic stress disorder, part of which symptom is a foreshortened sense of future? Are you saying, all of you children are so either traumatised or inherited a trauma so they have no future and therefore who cares what they do today?
Are you saying that life lost totally, the value of life? This is extremely serious because this is now self-inflicted and this is part of, remember yesterday we talked about taking the responsibility to grow?
Patrick put it in very good words yesterday. This is your children. I'm glad I shared it with you because I mean I only found the words last night, I was so shocked, we didn't even talk about it. I was literally sort of trying to see the picture here to understand the scope. So let me leave that with you and we turn to this, but it is part of this, it is part of this because it may very well be that you give your children an unconscious message, right, that they're inheriting a message that life doesn't matter and the future really means nothing and building families and building new generation and really creating a country that you can say is mine for the future, but that's doubtful.
See, I want to share something personal with you, I, I, the state of Israel was born after me. I was a child when Israel was born and we were all, and you know we lived after horrible wars, we lived after the Holocaust, we lived with enemies all surrounding us. But the sense in every child, the sense of we are building a homeland, every inch that, you know, of the desert that we covered with gloom, I remember that was like such an ideal, we have a birthday of the trees and every birthday of the trees it's a day, you know, it's an annual, each one of us, you know, planted the tree and every year we would go to visit all our trees. You know, there was such a sense of rootedness in that land, such a sense of I'm responsible for every inch of it, for it's growth, for it's development and not only to the earth, it was to the people around, you know to the new immigrants. They would come and we would receive them and even, I remember at the age of eleven, twelve, thirteen, we would go teach them Hebrew. Aah, you know, teach those who didn't know how to sew to sew, I mean it was a real sense of building together in togetherness and there was wonderful sense of future and each one of us, I remember I felt I was totally responsible for this whole country, you know, if I do anything wrong, wow! You know. To this day there's nothing more wonderful than that. Nothing more wonderful than that because you grow up with that feeling and you know, and other people become important and other lands become important, the world becomes important. You really, and you feel good about yourself as a result.
So you know, this year's the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, you know that and we are participating in, you know, in commemorating it and celebrating the achievements and shaking the world community as to what's not done yet. But you see, it's the same sense, looking back, what else can we do to make it better. It's a really totally different sense about life and please take that sense and bring it to your children. This is their opportunity to start a new country for themselves, a homeland, to build, to plant, you know, to be responsible for the plants, to water them, you know. So sorry for this diversion but I've been shocked in the last two days, you know, with these kind of findings, it's..last night I cried and cried and cried, I couldn't go to sleep. Couldn't go to sleep, I would suddenly see the picture of the future. You have so much work to do, you have so much work to do. There's, I feel a little envious too, because you are starting some new legacy, there's something wonderful in starting something new. But there's a lot of work to do. Ya, sorry go ahead.
SPEAKER: If you can bear with me, this wonderful sense of something that need done of, for, of, of, of, responsibility towards you neighbours and towards the country, where was that sense in the Jewish Community during the Holocaust? It's an unanswerable question to me, or unanswered question to me, why did the Jewish Community allow the Holocaust, allow themselves to be taken out of their homes, taken out of their communities? Here and there in Warsaw, few places, there were groups of Jews who said no, but millions of Jews just allowed things to happen. I know it's a long answer but why did it happen?
DR DANIEL: A very short answer. It's a very short answer. If somebody walked in here with machine guns right now, what would you do? What would you do? Somebody came with machine guns into your house in the middle of the night, what would you do? Where would you run? Did you have where to run? You would pray, maybe that will be the last act.
SPEAKER: Some people will run, some people will fight, some people will pray, but..
DR DANIEL: And most will be killed and wouldn't be here to tell how they felt. You see, when I spoke before of helplessness, I meant it. When I said the myth of going like sheep to the slaughter, I chose my words very carefully. It's a myth, per capita, the Jewish people of Europe resisted more than all of the countries of Europe put together. It took the Nazis, the Germans to be exact, six weeks to take over Warsaw Ghetto. It took them overnight to take over Austria, two weeks to take over France, etcetera, etcetera and the rest of Europe and everybody collaborated. It wasn't the Jews who let it happen, it was the Christian world that let it happen and we must be very, very careful and as Warsaw Ghetto is just a symbol, there were many other rebellions, in ...[indistinct], there were many other rebellions. There were many other escapes and I don't know of any other people who spiritually resisted the way the Jews did who didn't become part of the evil, consciously and deliberately. After the war we could have killed freely. Freely and the world wouldn't let us. If after the war we'd started killing Germans, nobody would have said boo! They'd probably would have helped us because they felt so guilty. We didn't, because we didn't want to become like Nazis. It was a very deliberate choice, you can ask every survivor and yes, some youngsters would beat people up or would steal food, but very few killings happened. It was very important not to take on that identity. I'm very glad you asked the question, actually, because the attribution of responsibility and finding out the total picture of any trauma in order to resolve it, to integrate it, is extremely important and the clearing up of misconceptions and stereotypes and you know and myths. So and I'm sure you have plenty of those too, you see, okay and I'm sure you have legacies of these too. I mean I sat, same thing with Saturday evening, with people who all they could talk about was the concentration camps that the British put their grandparents and the impact they had on them and how much they hate the Brits today. It's as if it happened yesterday and on and on. I mean, just from a few days here, I'm blessed with people sharing with me so I can find out things, but I'm glad you asked. If any of you had that misconception or myth conception, I'm glad that I could at least in some way clear it up. Please.
SPEAKER: I heard you saying that after the Holocaust there was that sense of togetherness among the people, I mean among your people when you went to Israel. Staying there, you tried to be responsible for every part of the land, to be responsible for whatever was happening in the country, am I right?
DR DANIEL: It wasn't after the Holocaust. The seeking to come back to the land of Israel was a dream throughout the 2000 years of exile and ...[indistinct] and the two generations before the Holocaust began to, that's the Zionists, right? The Zionist organisations began to come to the land of Palestine, at the time it was the land of Israel, was called Palestine and it was a British mandate, right, it was under the rule of the British. But there were, there were former waves of emigration to Israel before the Holocaust, so again, don't attribute the State of Israel to the Holocaust. Not from the Jewish point of view. We began to build it before the Holocaust. It was, again bear with me, I'm being very open with you, it was Christian guilt however, I believe, that allowed for the state of Israel to be born in the United Nations. Okay, but we must separate the two. Remember you have to think of all the actors in any, in any arena, when you talk about trauma and don't forget, without that, you would never get the truth, you would never be able to integrate the trauma so, and move on from it. In that sense, the Truth Commission is trying to establish, right, at least what happened and the continuing of these efforts will be very important. Please ask your question now after I miss, after I cleared out that piece.
SPEAKER: Now, I wanted to ask you a question from the experience and from the research. What is happening now in South Africa? The high rate of crime and all that is happening now. Do you think maybe that maybe the cause of the apartheid, the after effects, is it, did it happen to the survivors of the Holocaust, after the Holocaust? What I mean is that did, was there a high rate of crime among the people?
DR DANIEL: No. First of people were too weak and sick and depleted to feel either happiness or anger. They were too weak to feel. So to, you have to be strong to commit crime, but that's really very secondary, that's too physical an explanation. I don't know how much you know of the history of the Jewish people? Okay, in terms of physical, or, particularly in the Diaspora, we were for 2000 years in the Diaspora. Now, you'll correct me, my Jewish colleagues here may add their own corrections but let me just take it from that point of view, right, for the tendency to act. You know that in the Diaspora, the Jews could not own land, they could not vote, they were, most of the time we were floating people. A country here or there allowed us to be citizens and to contribute to the country but we were not allowed to own anything and so that I think in a real way even though the message was there before, that we are the Nation of the Book, right? That we, from Zion, Torah will come out, right? From, I don't know how you say it in English, that Torah will come from Zion, there was a great belief in developing knowledge, developing ones mind, developing ones values and because we were in the Diaspora and we were persecuted over and over and over again, I think in a way to adapt to being persecuted always, we had to conclude in some ways that materials things, physical things are not that important, that only what we can take with us to run and what you take with you to run that you can most rely on is your mind, you know? Your heart, your mind, your conscience. So crime was not a possibility or a choice. It's not a typical thing for, in the history of Jews, a Jewish history in the last at least 2000 years. Maybe we can help each other that way. Okay, because one of the books I read before I came here because I did a lot, I tried to read a lot, so you know, to know some, some of the standing of the politics, of the history, etcetera of this country. One of the books analyzed South Africa as always solving things with violence. From the very beginning. That violence was the way to do things, to finish things, to resolve them, to..violence by every means, force by, power by violence. And if you have that heritage in your history, you know, it's something that you grow up in and so you have the challenge, perhaps even, you know, with the Jewish people, perhaps to find out their ways. Could be very nice, actually. We talk a lot you see, we talk a lot in talking, talking and feeling and thinking replaces action, remember what we talked about, how yesterday when we talked so much about acting, violent, acting, right, crime, acting. External. Takes away from the internal, right? From expanding and growing internally, from developing ones education, ones mind, ones values, creativity, the internal world. So maybe there could be a nice way of learning from each other.
SPEAKER: Thank you. You did mention about the inherited trauma. I don't know whether, the way I understand the concept trauma as the way you do. Sorry?
DR DANIEL: Tell me how you understand it.
SPEAKER: I mean, inherited. Something which is a foetus, inherited, a disease only, as something, talking about the genes and genetics. But now you are saying that they're inherited. I don't know in which sense you are you saying they're inherited trauma, because we talk about environment and where the part that it can play and...[indistinct] to pass some words ..[indistinct] to make a trauma to childrens, but it end up talking about inherited. I don't understand. Will you please explain in detail?
DR DANIEL: Ya, actually my next book which I mentioned to you "The Multi-Generational Legacies of Trauma" is three chapters about those questions. About the questions of genetics and biology of transmission of trauma and there are grounds to believe that there are genetic transmissions. Now, that field, in the field of trauma is developing, so we don't have the answers yet but we are beginning to ask the questions in the right way and we found that chemically, for example, children of survivors have similar endocrinological functioning to their parents when they had post traumatic stress disorder as a diagnosis. It's a little complicated, when the book is out you'll have time to really read it carefully. So I'm sort of like answering in a jump because the truth is, that all the dimensions of life are involved in transmission. All the dimensions of life. I keep curbing myself from laying out my model to you. I'm going to do it after we've finished the family stuff. But your question is very well taken. It's scary isn't it? When I got that chapter into the book that Rachael ...[indistinct] I got terrified. I was so sorry that she had findings, positive findings. I often say to people, you know, as a scientist you can be glad for significant results, but as a human being it can kill you. It's one of those.
DUMA: Thank you. I want you to help me please. You say the Jews hate, blame the world, for what happened to them?
DR DANIEL: I love to interrupt this way. I did not say the Jews..
DUMA: What did you say, please?
DR DANIEL: I did not say that.
DUMA: What did you say, please?
DR DANIEL: Now you can ask the rest of the question.
DUMA: Unless you answer this one first. Whom do you blame for happened to the Jews? Who's responsible?
DR DANIEL: Ah, when I was speaking, I was not speaking of blame. I was speaking of responsibility and I'm not the greatest scholar on this. I'm quoting scholars. If we blame anybody, it's the Nazis. That's blame. We also know that the world could have prevented it from happening and chose not to. You were the one who talked about bi-standards yesterday. That's what we're talking about here and you're the, ah, I have that quote for you. Let me get you that quote from Elly Resille so you don't blame me for forgetting. Listen to it: "At the risk of offending" he wrote " it must be emphasised that the victim suffered more and more profoundly from the indifference of the onlookers than from the brutality of the executioner. The cruelty of the enemy would have been incapable of breaking the prisoner. It was the silence of those who believed to be his friends. Cruelty more cowardly, more subtle, which broke his heart. There was no longer anyone on whom to count. It poisoned the desire to live. If this is the human society we come from and are now abandoned by, why seek to return?" That's the feeling okay?
DUMA: But you specifically mentioned the British.
DR DANIEL: Mentioned the British in two context. One is what I learned from the Afrikaans I met last weekend, about the concentration camps here and I also mentioned the British in the context of before the State of Israel was born. That area of the world, Palestine, was under British mandate. Okay?
DUMA: Thank you.
DR DANIEL: I can tell you a lot about what it was like to grow up under British mandate but that's not part of this now.
DUMA: I want to take you back a little bit again. You said, I think yesterday, the Jews refused to forgive because who are supposed to give forgiveness, are those who went to, who have been killed, who are dead.
DR DANIEL: I want to correct you. I didn't say we refused to forgive. I said we do not have the right to forgive. It's very different, right. I have no right to forgive for my grandparents and my uncles and aunts and cousins and everybody in my life that was killed. I have no right to forgive for that.
DR DANIEL: This is quite different, than I refuse. I wish, I wish they were here to tell me how they felt.
DUMA: Thank you very much. So I won't say much, but, I would like to say, I'm in the same position. People who are hanged in front of me, the most painful thing is that I know the dates, their last words. I'm saying today, I also don't have no right to forgive the whites. Saying the whites, I know that is not every white who participated. As we say "The Germans" not every German participated in all those things, but, those who participated, they know themselves. Thank you. So I know you're lying when you say I want to learn from you and thanks I'm learning because I always thought that I'm the only person. So thank you very much.
DR DANIEL: I thank you. You know the learning is totally mutual. I'm learning, I've been learning, I cannot tell you how much I've been learning from you. Go ahead, Douglas.
DOUGLAS: I want to come back to the heroes and say that in South Africa the problem has been, people have always made heroes out of those who are warriors and not looked. South Africa has such a rich history of non-violent direct action, in fact it contributed more than the military action to bringing South Africa to it's feet if the truth be told. But people always think up struggle in terms of that way, not in the power of the ideals, the boycotts and everything that went through them, where people just refused to co-operate and didn't do..so we emphasise the military aspect always instead of the heroes who actually, that stories are so important that people begin to hear that not everybody colluded, not everybody was passive but that they found ways of resisting. That's just in response to how, how we need to build up a whole culture and that's a challenge to the educationalist for outcome based education and values based education, is that instead of always naming things after military heroes and all the rest of it. Repeating the past all over again in your naming process, as we do, I think we actually have to find ways of finding community symbols. People who actually stood out in a way that was peaceful, strong and said something differently instead of the dominant model, which is that and until we do that, yes it's true, we are going to live with the outcomes of the past and the violence but we won't set up that new value system that you begun, at least from my point of view.
DR DANIEL: I cannot agree with you more. Particularly for the future and for the youth. They have to develop or you have to develop for them, right, models that are different from that, to identify with. Adolescents look for heroes, they look for direction given by heroes, right, to follow, to grow. Give them good ones. It's in you hands. By the way the name of this here, the 15th Anniversary of Human Rights? In America we call it "in your hands" because Eleanor Roosevelt who wrote that, right, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, she said "It's in your hands" so it's in your hands.
SPEAKER 2: I don't quite know where it fits in but I just feel it's something that urgent for me that has come out of all this and it links up to what you were saying about the victim families saying something about they want to tell their story so that the world would no longer perpetuate such abuses again. I think for me it's a case of how vulnerable we all are to abusing power and misusing power in any form and that power comes not just from people as an inherent thing but it becomes a system of, that then recruits people. And so I was told a story which I find quite touching by someone here about being shot and sort of surviving that trauma and then being beaten up by her husband at some later point. So for me not just saying how, telling a story that the world will not longer perpetuate this, but to sort of become conscious how each of us use and abuse and misuse our power whether it be on the basis of race, on the basis of class, on the basis of gender, on the basis of knowledge. One of my people I talk with, a client of mine, spoke about the idea that therapists can also be translated as the rapist and therapists who perpetuate, not just the conspiracy of silence but a more abusive way of practice, almost, for instance in this situation making the client feeling somehow responsible for her rape. So, and academics knowledge, is, so it just feels something really important to me that we all acknowledge, personally, our, how we can get recruited into abusing power.
DR DANIEL: Then tomorrow when we do the review of mechanisms we will touch on quite a few of your points, so keep them central. Yes, dear?
MS MKHIZE: You know I just want to pick up on what was said by Duma and yourself where you talk about, when you say you have no right to forgive on behalf of especially people who died. I mean this question of remembering, we've been struggling within the Commission saying it's something which needs to be ...[indistinct] very, very carefully in a country like ours where the peace process is still very fragile. I just want to hear more about that because, lets say I was with a group of young people and we're reviewing where we come from and they had that, people are likely to, just to stick to that and to hold onto their positions because we are from a country where we were divided by all sorts of things and I can understand what you're saying, that you have no right to forgive on behalf of those who died. But there's a question of saying, where does that put us when we are thinking of reconciliation and...[indistinct]? I understand you but I'm trying to integrate that so that I can have a deeper understanding of it.
DR DANIEL: Okay, I would like to answer it as an opinion, okay, because I believe that this issue of forgiveness and it's relation to reconciliation deserves study, serious exploration. It's not just a matter of opinion because if it's only a matter of opinion because if it's only a matter of opinion then yes, then you can say your opinion, you can say your opinion, you're against this; and it will go to action, here yet still or to crying, no good. So please receive it as my opinion, okay? Not as my studied area but as my opinion. Based on some of the work, of this work, I don't see, we didn't have as a requirement, forgiveness. Okay, that is a cultural, religious difference between us. So let me give you a little bit more of the world view that does not necessitate forgiveness, because when I came to this country, my understanding was that this is stemming from christianity, that this is a Christian belief. I respect that but I don't share that world view, right? So we share, we come from our experience here. I think I can safely say today and I think most people will agree that despite very hurtful and difficult feelings, the Jewish people and the German people are for the most part reconciled without forgiveness. I do not see forgiveness as a necessary element in reconciliation. I simply don't see that. You can live together respecting each other, understanding each other, learning each other, accepting each others difference, cry apart for your losses and cry together for your losses and create relationships without forgiveness because my sense, just with being with you, is that some of you don't want to forgive because you don't feel forgiveness. But you are willing to participate in the struggle for living together in this country. Forgiveness is a very complex, lengthy process. It does not come by instruction. I mean the Afrikaans still have not forgiven the British, have they? Did you ask yourself why? Probably rather similar to how you're now looking at the Afrikaans. Now you can perpetuate it and you say, you see what I got worried about yesterday when you were talking, Eddy, in particular, when you were struggling, remember? I must forgive, you remember you own words? I got so worried because I felt it was enforced that this is your religious belief, I'm not putting it down, I'm not putting it down, please do hear me, I respect you and your religion, but sometimes I think we prematurely enforce the beliefs that we grow up on. So it becomes like a strategy rather than a real understanding that it takes very complex processes. If you really give a thought to forgiveness and I'm just at the beginning of this okay, because I had to confront it meeting you although that's not totally true. The year 2000 some Christian colleagues want to have a meeting on forgiveness in Jerusalem on the 31 December into the 1 January 2000 and they invited me to be on the planning committee. I was very glad to because I believe in togetherness and I believe in getting together be it people, individuals, be it nations, be it religions, be it the world, you know. Now we got into very interesting conversation, they invited me and they invited and Armenian patriot, you know from also in Jerusalem, right? They have their headquarters. They also invited a Moslem leader and we had a very interesting discussion because originally they saw it as the Christians will come and this is a celebration of Christianity of course, right? And I immediately said you don't know what you're going to create, if you're going to come to Jerusalem, right, the spiritual home of so many religions and you're going to say "we the Christians are going to tell you how to forgive". I said you're not going only to have a failure, you'll justifiably be thrown out. My idea was and I don't know if it will come out, was to invite all the religions to share with each other their concept of forgiveness, see? So you will tell me what you mean, I from my heritage will tell you what I mean. The Indians, the Hindus, the Moslems to really create a worldwide, really serious dialogue that what do we each mean by forgiveness. Can we learn and I'm sure we can learn so much from each other by what we mean, you know, because we come from, it's a different way of viewing the world and we can exchange those a bit, you know. Well it may happen or not. We can do it here but ever since then I've been sort of like challenged by that. To do something, to do a meeting like that. Even if it won't happen in 2000 in Jerusalem, it can happen everywhere we want. Now, but it challenged me to think, what is forgiveness and as I said yesterday I think of it as a process the same as reconciliation, these are processes. Okay. In order to forgive, what has to happen? It's wrong, it's wrong. What has to happen?
MS MKHIZE: Confession of your sins.
DR DANIEL: Okay. That's a fifth or sixth step. You see that's a fifth or sixth step. First of all you have to know that something is wrong. First of all you simply have to smell that something maybe wrong. Accepting it is a totally different challenge, isn't it? Accepting that something wrong was done, you know how difficult it is, you're struggling with it every day. So until we get to the acceptance that even something was done, it is a whole lot of process. All the feelings that go into that and all the struggle to even admit it. You don't want confessing, confessing comes way later. You first have to accept that you did it?
MS MKHIZE: Then you accept your responsibility for whatever you have done as an individual.
DR DANIEL: Okay. What else?
SPEAKER: From my understanding forgiveness, forgiving someone, it's saying that I'm not going to revenge. Like for example with this, what happened in South Africa, if we say we are forgiving somebody we are telling that person we are not going to revenge but we are not going to forget what you did to us.
DR DANIEL: So you're bringing a different aspect, right? Which is a preventive aspect. That's excellent. See but that's already after, isn't it? See I trying for you to create a process, 1,2,3,4,5,6,7. You are absolutely right. This is wonderful. You are saying it's a substitute for revenge. It's an alternative way of resolving things with an eye to the future, okay, because like everything else we talked about, forgiveness has to do with past. You're adding the eye to the future, the value of it towards the future. Fantastic, I love it. But if we don't go all the steps we need to go, we won't get there because the need to revenge will remain and it will erupt. So I agree with the outcome, we still have to establish the process, okay?
SPEAKER: I think first you must acknowledge ...[indistinct] If you're going to be doing the forgiveness you've got to first acknowledge all those emotions and name them.
DR DANIEL: Wow.
SPEAKER: Because what happens is often superficially we say "I forgive you" but we actually haven't dealt with any of that inside and because we feel we've got to forgive, we just say "I forgive you" and then it means nothing cause the whole emotion comes back again.
DR DANIEL: That's right.
SPEAKER: So you have to move with that first, come to terms with that. It's come up to a point where you're comfortable with that and then maybe you can embrace that and then I think that a very long term one might be, actually, this is a waste of energy, I've moved with that energy, I've seen what I can do with it and it's now, I'm shutting the past, I'm shutting the door on that, I've actually dealt with it and I'm moving forward. It's not just a, not seeking revenge, but I actually feel complete without it.
DR DANIEL: Ya, Kosi spoke about it yesterday. How she resolved her hatred and transformed it. Do you remember? You are absolutely right, instead of closing the door on the past, I don't believe in closing doors, I would rather use the word letting go. It also gives you the sense of choice, okay, so the words we use, the words we choose are also very important to the accurate process. Patrick?
PATRICK: Sometimes I like to think that, that the necessary conflict that you start with really has to be owned, hm? You know for me it's a process that begins there because I have to, you know, and bringing up all those feelings and by accepting it, you begin to say "and then what?" and then you go on adding to the other steps, perhaps. So there has to be a way of managing and accepting that inward conflict. Call it conflict resolution, you also like need that.
DR DANIEL: ....[indistinct] the feel of trauma, of massive psychic trauma, he wrote the first text book really, on that. Now this will be difficult for you so take it very slowly. I know it's difficult because it took me years to say these words without feeling rebellion inside my stomach. What he's saying, you see by far, Patrick, we spoke only about from the point of view of the forgiver. Don't forget, there's the forgiven. There's the whole other world in what happens to the forgiven. Do they feel the forgiveness? All of that stuff. But even before that, for a forgiveness to truly be a forgiveness, you really are saying that you accept the other person as he or she is. You accept their actions. You see that person as a totally human being just like you that had reasons to do what they did. Right, the word forgiveness at least the way I mean it, is that I mean that I embrace that person into my world. It's no longer they and me. That's a tall order don't you think? You can't get that by just saying "I forgive" and that really hurts, I mean even when I say these words to you I feel my stomach saying "No!". Well, but it's a fact, it's a fact you know, it's a real total challenge. See so I'm not saying forgiveness shouldn't be there. I'm saying, boy oh boy, you, by saying that, you are having a huge, huge road ahead. Very complicated, full of obstacles, it won't happen just by saying "I must forgive" and therefore I forgive. It's between you and, it's not between you and everything that needs to be done and you haven't talked out the forgiven and as long as you don't understand the forgiven you are not forgiving. See, so there's so many resolutions. Yes, please?
NAOMI: I am Naomi. My name is Naomi. True forgiveness. Is this not something that only God can give? It took me 17 years to get over my divorce, 18 years to rid myself of anger, of bitterness. Today I accept it but I haven't forgiven but I can be civil to that person, we can speak decently to one another, I respect that person, but to really say I have forgiven him, I cannot say that, but we are civil we accept, we carry on.
DR DANIEL: Reconciled?
DR DANIEL: Right. Do you want to forgive him?
NAOMI: I don't think so.
DR DANIEL: Somaya's being trying so much, but she's sitting near me so I can't see her. Please.
SOMAYA: I think the most important thing about this session today was the focus which you gave to it in relation to reconciliation because when I look at the dynamic here in this room, we're running away from family, we are going back to individual issues and this is a pattern that has been happening that we marginalise the paid in the families, we marginalise the issues of forgiveness and reconciliation in the families and we talk more about ourselves, we even talk on behalf of the families and I'm beginning to feel a bit uncomfortable that we are hijack this session from what it was meant to be and go back to our comfort zone of speaking for ourselves. I think it's very important. It's a new dimension that's being introduced here today. I would like to say what I hear happened today is that we have had German families talking about their pain in relation to Holocaust. We have heard Jewish people talking about their families in relation to Holocaust. We have heard Japanese talking about their experience of Hiroshima in relation to their families. We would like today to hear about the pain of the families in relation to Apartheid and I think it's very important that we draw onto those experiences because from what I've heard from the hearings, the TRC Hearings, there's lots of family pain but we have never had time to deal with it. There's lots of forgiveness that has to take place within the families. I heard yesterday one of us saying "I'm angry with my father for having been a racist, I would like to forgive my father, I would like us as a family to work on those issues" Parents have said "I'm angry with my son who was a fighter, for the pain he brought to the families" and those are all the issues that are very important so can I say that can we please come back on track and deal with the things.
DR DANIEL: Yes, my dear. We just try one more, okay two comments and then we continue.
SPEAKER: Okay, thank you Madame Chair. Ya, what I was trying to say Madame Chair, I'm saying for instance maybe in South Africa it's different. Like for instance when you speak about forgiveness being different from the Jews or whoever who was involved during that time because in South Africa we find it very difficult to say I said a person for instance, where have been sitting with the means of production, you know, for the past twenty years and is still owning that thing and we cannot just simply say because you have reached a certain level our politics, maybe you can accept that particular person. What you trying to say here in South Africa is, if a person comes to you and say "look forgive me because I've done...[indistinct] to you, like the bishop was saying, okay fine, before I forgive you, what is the next step forward, you know? For instance let me take the question of, I'm sorry to mention the name, but the question of De Kock for instance, and he's sitting with millions of rands somewhere in his banking account and if he say look, I know your father was a breadwinner, please forgive me because I had to kill him under ...[indistinct] reasons and maybe I can try to contribute in terms of help in this family by taking kids to schools and so on and so forth. Maybe we can discuss around those bases, then forgiveness will be applied from that understanding. So as I was saying, South Africa to be different we, we targeted from that understanding, maybe forgiveness it will be different from other countries you know, in our country. Thank you.
DR DANIEL: Thank you, yes we say at the U.N. "global problems, local solutions" Okay, I promised you and then I'll go back to the families.
THABA: I think in any process of forgiveness to be completed, one of the preconditions would be restitution. We do have restitution in terms of material terms like money but there are lot of things which were psychologically taken from us in the form of dignity, our self-image and for that to build this on it is almost impossible and which makes the process of reconciliation to be difficult so I believe, if we could come up with restitution in terms of psychological factors, that could help us.
DR DANIEL: I agree one hundred percent and we'll talk more, tomorrow primarily, I mean you keep pushing today into tomorrow and I want today to be fully lived, so let's join back with the wisdom of Durban and go on with the discussions of families. What we didn't discuss and I want to see how your brain works on this. What do you think, what professions were the fighter family Jews? What professions, were the children. Law? Very good. Politics, Medicine maybe, administrative positions, yes. Army, police, right, law and order. Business? Maybe, if you are in charge. It had to be in charge either way, you see, so it may be a little difficult. Let me, now psychology belongs to the victim families, we already decided that. Let's move now and this is interesting it's almost like we had an unconscious conversation here, a collusion, because you remember that I said there are four types of families, right, the victim, fighters, numb and those who made it? And it's quite possible that people ran away, sort of getting it perhaps that the numb family is probably the most tragic one and it's frightening to think about that, it is. So let me describe the numb family and you'll see how different it is in some ways and similar in others to the others. In numb families, both parents were frequently the sole survivors of their individual families which before the war included a spouse and children. We spoke a little bit about how difficult it is to helplessly witness the murder of anyone else but when parents are there to witness helplessly the murder of their own children, that's a wound you cannot heal from. There is simply no healing to that wound. What we found conversely, that's just a theoretical aside, what we conversely found, is that when the, biological unit of mother and child survived, even in separate places, let say the child was put in a convent in hiding, okay, and the mother was in Auschwitz and totally separate for four, five years and the mother came to claim the baby who didn't even understand the mothers language, didn't know this woman, even under those conditions, there was a better prediction of mental health than it was any other combination of survivorship. So think of those, I think there must be some profound truth in it that we haven't totally discovered so I'm referring it for you to think. The post war home atmosphere of the numb families was characterised by pervasive silence and depletion of all emotions, the parents capable of tolerating only a minimal amount of stimulation either pleasurable or painful, even pleasurable was too frightening. Some children became too frightened to imagine what could have led to such constriction and lifelessness in their parents. As a result their own inner spontaneity and fantasy life were severely restricted. If you don't allow yourself to think or to fantasise you restrict your mind. In numb families the parents protected each other and the children protected the parents. Children were expected to somehow grow up on their own and to take care of themselves. You remember, Eddy, you asked me before about people who lived together, right, and I said later I'll talk about those who live isolated lives, these are, tend to be isolated families. You know that...[indistinct] placed a rural areas, get a store and basically the parents will stay, will work with each other 24 hours in the store, maybe the family lived on top of it and the children were basically on their own. Despite the infrequency of physical and verbal contact with their parents, the children were also expected to understand that they were loved because of their parents pained efforts to support them financially. It was like the only way they could figure it out or they were supposed to figure it out. Offspring often adapted by numbing themselves which resulted in their appearing less intelligent and capable of achieving than they actually were or by being perpetually angry and disruptive in an apparent effort to evoke negative attention instead of none at all. So at least if you, right, you make people at least angry or upset with you. The children frequently adapted outside authorities and peers as family in order, in an attempt to seek identification models and to learn how to live. I told you if you listen you'll find some answers in this. In desperate attempts to please their parents, they tried to achieve generally accepted social standards but often felt out of place, forlorn and not genuinely involved in their pursuit. I'll give you an example. One of the sons, I'm giving you only men today for some reason, one of the sons of survivors in our groups is a world known cancer specialist and you know, one of his books came out with a great review and as he would always, as was my, it was his father's birthday, so he brought the book to his father, very proud you know, and showed it to him and the father who, you know, who usually would sit in this chair in the corner, like this most of the time and he brought him the book. The father basically did something like "ah' and the son was crushed and this was not the first time, right, but he kept trying and trying and trying and trying and trying. He used to cry bitterly that if he only could put a smile on his father's face, one time. So you can understand when, that you can be world known and highly respected in your field and totally forlorn and for that to be totally unimportant. So that's the kind of stuff I'm talking about. Since these children rarely felt central or important at home, children did not believe that others would consider them worthy of attention. In their unconscious fantasies, their spouses or the future spouses served as a parental figures they were deprived of, you see and when you marry somebody to be your mother or your father, it can create a problem. Especially if the other person doesn't know it. So they couldn't say yes or no, they didn't know what you wanted. Their powerful need to be babied often curbed a desire for children of their own. Now I hope you understand the tragedy here because it's quite similar to what I said to you about the generation here, because if these children don't have children, there won't be a third generation from them. And I was very glad you brought up the need to talk about families because when I though about today, I felt that the non-family will be of particular meaning here and this constellation. It was very interesting that we moved to forgiveness to resolution before we really looked at this kind of dynamic, so please remember it. It's the most tragic really, because it cuts off the next generation from happening. Let me move now to the quotation. Families who quote "made it". This fourth group is less homo-geneous than the other three. Many of these survivors were motivated by a wartime fantasy and desire to make it big if they were liberated in order to defeat the Nazis. Persistently and singlemindedly, they sought higher education, social and political status, fame and or wealth. As with other survivor families they used their money primarily for the benefit of their children so they still couldn't enjoy it themselves but they pushed. Now I want you to listen to this one too because I think it has ramifications in this country. I mean a little a bit of what we talked yesterday about right, the blacks who did build lives compared to the quote "victims". Remember the arguments yesterday? So I think this will be also somewhat representative to what we discussed. Outwardly, this group was more completely assimilated in this case, into American society, right, or you into this society than other survivors. Some achieved a, quote, "normal posture" by completely denying and avoiding their past and any reminders of it. For example there were some survivors who would the moment they achieved, they reached the shores of the United States, took the number out of their arm, so no evidence. Our new names, thank you, absolutely, some chose new names particularly Christian names so their Judaism will be hidden. Absolutely, in fact that you're reminding me just off the cuff of a close friend and colleague, a psychiatrist, who survived, liberated as a child by an American black man and he took on his name. They're still very close but it was a very, it's a very nice story. It took him then a good many years to add his own name to his name and we gave him a birthday party saying he was reborn. So you see when we talk about integration, it's the whole life we are talking about and all the identities we've had throughout our lives. Children of this group reported feeling cheated and bitter at finding out, usually indirectly, about their heritage. The denial in these families often resulted in, in a numbing isolation and psomatisation and in this respect they resembled the numb families, okay? So sometimes when you make it outwardly you carry a numb identity inside as a price. And you see whenever you guys come up with premature solutions as I see them, too quick, that's what I don't want to happen. This is the only survivor group of the four discussed to have a high rate of divorce. That's why I said those who made it. That becomes American, right? So I say those are made in America. You remember we explained why others wouldn't? Some who right of the war married other survivors, eventually divorced. Most of those who made it were too young at liberation to rush into marriage, they also tended to marry non-survivors, you see, so that's another way to assimilate. The survivors role in these families was the dominant one. His or her ambitions became those of the family members although proud of their parents achievements, the children reported feeling emotionally neglected by them. Except in those areas leading to their own demonstrable success, that means whatever you show, that's good, anything else was neglected. Okay that's very important because those achievements that you keep collecting without any sense of goodness in your heart. In contrast to their emphasis on good appearances, the parents unconsciously encouraged semi-delinquent behaviour in their adolescent children, using their money or position to rescue them from the consequences. We had one family like that, the son committed only petty crimes but he somehow always managed to get himself into jail. Always, anywhere, all around the country. Oklahoma, in jail, you know they would call me, "Oh my God" but only after a while you realise how proud the father was that he was able to go there and rescue his son and this was the unconscious dynamic, you see the son had to do these things in order to give father the pleasure of being.. Some survivors in this group, devoted much of their careers, money and political status to demand commemoration of and attention to the Jewish experience during the Holocaust and dignity to it's victims, people like Elly Resille, you mentioned some yesterday too, right, Victor Franco,
...[indistinct] Levi. Right, they used their Holocaust experiences as a means to understand the roots of genocide, to find ways to prevent its occurrence and to aid victimised populations in general. The Holocaust was also a central theme in the works in members of this group who were involved in the arts. Now the interesting bit here is despite the some willingness to undertake psychotherapy as a culturally acceptable pursuit, you know in America it's rather acceptable, we have like streets, like 86th Street in Manhattan is called "Shrink Road" you can see people coming every hour. So despite their willingness to do it is the thing to be doing you know, culturally, those who made it tended to deny the long term effects of the Holocaust upon themselves and their children and would rarely discuss the Holocaust as a factor in their psychological lives. These are the four families I wanted to describe to you. Let me just share with you that it has been corroborated by research basically throughout the world as a good representation of families of this population, but in one of the pieces of research by John Segal in Canada, he found that in effect, by my description of the victim families, I really described two different ones. One is the most, more mistrusting one and one is the more depressed one. Okay, so he in fact found that I'm describing five families, not four and as I said at the beginning, these are only four or five, I'm sure that in different cultures and even in our culture there are other portraits but my purpose in doing it was not only to describe as intimately as possible what it's like to live in these families but also to remind very clearly, that not everybody responds in the same way. When you have a diagnosis like survivor syndrome or post-traumatic stress disorder, people adapt differently and I rather prefer to call it adaptational styles to trauma than symptoms or syndromes because these are really ways we live with the trauma and I'm more interested in the meaning of our behaviour as in our inner life than in saying that yes there's sleeplessness, yes there's autonomic reactions, yes there's you know, I don't believe that those really convey the living meaning of what it's like. So that's why or very important to me to describe things this way to you rather than give you a lecture on post-traumatic stress disorder, okay? I do want to..this is hitting the lunchtime. Great, I just before lunchtime, I want to make two comments, so it will keep you thinking during lunch. You realise that my presentation was strictly about life after the war, right? I did not, for therapeutic purposes and for genuine integration, we have, have to do the totality of the persons life not only but the generations before and the hope for the generations after, right? We have a real lifelong longitudinal perspective, otherwise you can't just heal this piece, right? So we didn't talk for example about their backgrounds at all, right? We didn't talk about what country they came from, whether they came from a town or from a city or from a rural, you know, ten minutes to lunch. We have an extra ten minutes..so all of these demographics we didn't discuss at all. We didn't discuss whether the people were orthodox religiously before or were assimilated, right? Or reformed or whatever. So there so many more questions to ask when you ask when you actually meet a person or a family, you want to know their background. So please remember I didn't include that and that the different backgrounds and the age, when you were traumatised, all of that makes a difference of course as you saw in our exercise, hey? You remember we went through all of those identity dimensions. All of them are important to establish. Okay. Ten minutes. Ah, I see the hands. Okay go ahead.
SPEAKER: There is an element that I think is important for us to just acknowledge which is that the family within our traditions in South Africa and it's not only the African tradition, I think even amongst the Afrikaaners, play a very important role and therefore what you're saying is very important but do we need to have ideals for the family because as we were debating earlier on, on forgiveness, I was worried that we were beginning to set ideals for ourselves that make us prisoners and when I listen to you my brother, I'm worried that the ideals that you are propounding are ideals that are noble, they're very good ideals, but we become so imprisoned by that, that for us to begin to affirm our own humanity becomes a problem for us and what we then do is to begin to transfer our own values to our children that I know that there's a lot a children that are having extreme difficulties because the environment in which they are growing up is different from the environment in which we are growing up and particularly if we look at the environment at the schools, particularly those children that go to schools that they meet people from other backgrounds, children from other backgrounds. That is very difficult for them to assimilate because at home, the value system that we as parents portray, contradicts what they're experiencing on the school, in the classroom and on the playgrounds regularly and therefore it is important that we agree on what the end is. Is the end of the whole process for us to bring about healing? Or is the end to restore human relations and all those other things fall in it and we're saying in order to bring about healing, to restore relations, we should start somewhere and it's important that we should start in the family, but we give due recognition to the fact that in our context when we talk about the family you may be referring to an extended family and we don't have exactly the same experience as what the victims of the Holocaust may necessarily have, in that the family has been destroyed completely, but we acknowledge that in the South African society at the moment, we are walking that very thin ice, that the family may in fact be destroyed unless we deal with it as a matter of urgency. That we are still suffering from that traumatic consequences.
DR DANIEL: That's extremely well put. Now again, I'm, you always tempt me to jump ahead with your comments and perhaps after lunch instead of directly going to ageing, I will first share my model of thinking and you'll see that you'll find some commonalities in there and maybe we can follow the model and see whether the interactions between different dimensions which is what you're talking about can be systematised in ways that make sense in this culture and in this context, okay, so very well put. Please?
SPEAKER 2: I just wanted to ask a question about some of the stories of resilience in the families that you studied, who there, I think what often is unspoken are the acts of courage or resilience that take a generation that leave a positive legacy with children and take them further. How accessible were those stories and just what are your thoughts on that?
DR DANIEL: Well, we'll talk about it this afternoon. It's within my model, okay. But just for your information there's a whole field on resilience that I believe is way overdone, but you'll see why later. But both when I present my model to you and in a discussion on ageing, you will get your answers. The way I will present it later will be question, as a question mark, vulnerability and/or resilience, okay? So we will look at it as a dilemma again rather than as an answer and I'll report some research that will be directly to you and answered to you. I think that one of the things that perhaps I would pick up now is, not so much the positive values of resilience. I mean for anyone to have survived is resilience and of course the values that go along with it because some survived as animals so I don't know that's resilience to what, kind of, you know? So it's all, again, it has to be ...[indistinct] in meaning, in meaning, to be a model because that's what you're talking about right, the transfer of that piece and I think a lot of resilience came through when I was describing it, didn't it?
SPEAKER 2: Maybe it was just my meaning, making, that I didn't feel that come through so strongly, I felt more coping mechanisms and defensiveness but how the next generation was burdened, I didn't feel that, so that's perhaps also why I wanted to raise it.
DR DANIEL: Again, can we take it from a kind of transferential point of view for a moment? It's very sad to listen to survivors' stories, period. Even sadder to listen to learn that their children are not spared and that perhaps if we don't do anything even their children won't be spared and I think partly it's very difficult to live with that sadness. Very difficult to really understand how sad things have been and how much evil has taken place. I'm talking about a whole century, I'm not just talking about our people or your people, all of the whole world sort of will look crazy if you look at this century. Really, evil and crazy. I think that perhaps the question about resilience comes as, please, give me something good to hang on to, tell me also something good, don't just leave me with sadness, it's too much. So I just want to, instead of answering you yes, no, whatever, just consider that maybe your reasons for asking is that you need something to feel joy about it because when I said to you, even in a joke, you know, that these children are mental health professionals, that they're health professionals, they care for society, they choose careers that are, you know, full of goodness and justice and that's good stuff. But somehow I think you got the feeling more than that balance and I'm going to even make it worse for you. See part of the reason I do this work, okay yesterday by the way, who asked me yesterday, I think Douglas, yes as a researcher I did the kind of transference research, right. As inclination, I built the project because to realise that 35 years after the Holocaust there was no programme of help to survivors anywhere, necessitated me taking responsibility. See another thing is, in Judaism, we believe that knowledge is responsibility. When you know who you cannot not follow accordingly. So that's how we built the project, you see and we built the first programme in the world to help survivors and their children. Bless God, many followed. But to be honest with you, after all these years of work and I mean we laugh a lot and there's a lot of joy too and fun in the work, because there's a great sense of humour and there's a lot of love, lot of love in this community. You're talking about the importance of family and community, there's so much love in it and so much cherishing of everyone. That's wonderful and, but, but part of my commitment as a teacher, right, I talked about researcher clination, as a teacher and advocate, part of my commitment is learn the lessons because I truly believe that there was no meaning to the Holocaust, it was just destruction, it was taking anything good about civilisation and turning it into systematic inhalation of a people. There was nothing good about it, there was nothing to learn about that, except mechanisms of destruction and how evil rules. It's important to learn because to prevent it from happening. But, the only compensation, if you will, for that meaninglessness of that destruction is to take the lessons to other people, right, it's for everybody to learn from it. So not only we won't do it again, but you won't repeat the mistakes to, like, the conspiracy of silence, like lack of caring, lack of programming, not knowing what to do, being, you know, forlorn in the world and all alone. You see, so I find hope in that, I absolutely find hope in doing that. That's why, you know, coming here has been so meaningful to me and is so meaningful to me because that I believe it is what we are about, okay? Now, but I must leave you with the truth which is the sadness, okay? And a want to quote a survivor, a member of our project, her name is Isabella Lightner and she wrote this: "The sun made a desperate effort to shine on the last day of May in 1944. The sun is warm in May, it heals, but even the heavens were helpless on that day. A force so evil ruled heaven and earth that it altered the natural order of the universe and the heart of my mother was floating in the smoke filled sky of Auschwitz. I have tried to rub the smoke out of my vision for 40 years now but my eyes are still burning." She then later in America wrote: "I searched the sky in desperate sorrow but can discern no human form. There is not a trace. No grave. Nothing. Absolutely nothing. My mother lived for just a while, Potio, for less than 14 years. In a way they didn't really die, they simply became smoke. How does one bury smoke? How does one place headstones in the sky? How does one bring flowers to the clouds? Mother, Potio, I'm trying to say goodbye to you, I'm trying to say goodbye."
Let's get together after lunch.
DR DANIEL: A lot of good work in such a short time, hey? So, we spoke about families an interactions within the families and we want to also tackle what happens to survivors when they age. And I have a personal request, I've been carrying this silly camera with me and I want to take pictures of you so don't let me not take them today. I have it here.
I will quote Elly Resille again. Well, you're smiling now, I'll take it now. Who knows what you'll feel later? That's right, to use the feeling, right. Alrighty, okay, that's nice, okay guys.
DR DANIEL: Have you ever had a lecturer do that? Usually you take a picture of the lecturer, I like to have my audiences. No, it's really a way for me to actually have you with me when I go home. So it's not revenge at all. I want to remember you, thank you.
Alright, to ageing now. Elly Resille said "You must look at them carefully, their appearance is deceptive, they look like others, they eat, they laugh, they love, they seek money, fame, love, like the others. But it isn't true. Anyone who has seen what they have seen, cannot be like others, cannot laugh, love, pray, bargain, suffer, have fun or forget like the others. You have to watch them carefully when the pass by an innocent looking smoke stack, or when they lift a piece of bread to their mouths. Something in them shudders and makes you turn eyes away. These people have been amputated, they haven't lost their legs or eyes but they will and their taste for...."
(interruption, tape turned over)
...seen, will come to the surface again, sooner or later." One of the major questions that poignantly foreshadowed by Elly Resilles prophecy is how will traumatic life experiences impact on the normative process of ageing. While this passage, that I read to you, portrayed Nazi Holocaust survivors, it could be describing victim survivors of other traumata who are now beginning to engage in this process. Recent ...[indistinct] studies in the United States indicate that rates of PTSD in the general population, PTSD is post-traumatic stress disorder, right? Finally I'm talking like you, in acronyms. That rates of PTSD in the general population are substantial and much higher than previously reported. Did I tell you that rates of PTSD in the United States? The general rate for a lifetime PTSD what we call is 7.8 percent. 7.8 percent of the populations of the United States has post- traumatic stress disorder. Can you sort of fathom that? Now knowing what you know now about multi-generational developments? If only half of these parent children, the United States has a huge public health problem in it's hands. Now the United States is not involved in a major war, external or internal, it's a fairly stable democracy, doing quite well economically today, the first big power of the world. So if you just estimate what would it mean for countries that have been ravaged by war and conflict and crime etcetera, etcetera, you can just imagine what a public health problem we have in the world today and my estimation would be that you have a much higher percentage right now so you really have to understand that and to make sure that there are programmes to prevent just a ripple effect of more and more of it. So I'll continue, in her review ...[indistinct] who studies veterans, concluded that PTSD can last a lifetime. Spiro et al, suggests that because of the prevalence of combat exposure in older cowarts, that means in the older generation. You remember that, these are the ones that fought in World War II from America. It is a hidden variable in the study of ageing men. What these people are saying is actually whenever you study ageing, you should always look for that, particularly if you know that a generation went through wars. The richness of the longitudinal studies of Holocaust survivors gives us a seminal understanding of the impact of trauma on the normative process of ageing. I'm going to be a little technical, the moment you don't understand a word, stop me okay? Because we don't know exactly what words we know or not of the technical kind. Following Erickson, you know of Eric Erickson? Very important writer. Following Eric Erickson's critical conflict of ego integrity versus despair. How many of you don't know Eric Erickson's work? Okay, so let me just address this particular issue because it's really very important. Eric Erickson did not so much speak about stages of development but he spoke about war conflicts that every stage of development presents in our growing up process. So for example, the very first one, the first year of life will be trust versus..it's not trust, I haven't taught this stuff for many years, so you'll forgive me if I can't give you the full, and it's worth reading him, okay? But the first, well the core issue for the first stage of life is trust, okay? And every one he speaks of the issue and it's opposites, so I don't remember his exact language for that. What is it? It's trust versus? No, not his language. Yes, it is versus mistrust in normal English, but, read it it's worth it. I won't even be able to go to the hotel to look it up, so, I can't promise anything for you tomorrow. So maybe one of you who knows this stuff can bring that. But, you understand the idea, right, that every stage of development presents us with a particular core issue, okay? Now, ageing according to him, presents us with the ego conflict as he calls it, of ego, critical conflict, of ego integrity, whether to have, to become an integrated person, right, versus despair. He in fact says this is the main choice of adulthood and ageing. Can we create integrity with our whole lifetime? In the life review? Right? Or are we faced with despair. So, Henry Crystal, I mentioned him to you before, in the massive psychic trauma book? He borrows on Erickson, on that concept, and he finds integration as the task of senescence, or the process of ageing. The usual occurrence of old age, he says, the loss of gratification, understand? Ya, the loss of gratification supports and distractions, the shift from doing to thinking, right, in ageing we do less and we are faced with more time to think and more thinking. From planning to reminiscing, right? From preoccupation with everyday events and long range planning to reviewing and rethinking ones life, right? Looking at the totality of ones life. He says that all of these tasks during ageing impose the, I'm quoting Crystal now, the inescapable necessity of facing ones past and the choice to either accept oneself and one's past lovingly or continue to reject it angrily. Are you connecting to this because these are exactly the questions we ask about trauma no? You are a very smart man putting things together that way. The major obstacles faced by survivors of the Nazi Holocaust throughout their post war lives have affected their attempts at what he calls "post traumatic healing and mastery of their intrapsychic injuries" Understand? Okay. As well as, he says, the history affects the view and evaluation of their lives in their old age, okay, it's different when a survivor look back than a person who has lived a fairly stable, ordinary life. And these are the obstacles that Henry Crystal sites, some of them in technical language so I will explain each one, okay? So the obstacles in being able to do this integration and review he says, these are, he calls it post traumatic consolations of, one is called Alexithymia, the second is called Anhedonia. Now Anhedonia is a little easier. Anhedonia is the inability to be happy, the inability to experience joy or pleasure. Anhedonia. Alexithymia is a whole complex of cognitive processes, the way we think, the way we fantasise, the way we let ourselves feel, okay? In a sense that we can't really let ourselves, Alexithymia means we can't let ourselves feel, so we numb ourselves, okay. That's a way to block, remember yesterday, we say we get overwhelmed by the feeling, so we cut them out? You stop thinking, right? Because you are afraid to think about certain things so thinking sort of gets either fuzzy or blocked? You get very afraid of having fantasies because when you let you mind roam freely, like we tried yesterday. When you're a survivor you may hit some very painful spots. So you cut it out, okay? So your fantasy life, you don't allow yourself to have free fantasy life and you can see that that really stands in way of creativity, right, in the way of free spontaneous thinking and feeling. That means it restricts our mental life, doesn't it and when you have a ...[indistinct] time here, you're also on top of all that, you also find more comfort in dealing with like very concrete, simple things, right, rather than embrace abstract reasoning and things like that. So, do you get the feeling of it? Okay, very important concept, you know, for clinations and a lot of research is being done with it now, including on a biological basis because they found that there are connections in the brain that in fact reflect what has happened both biologically and makes sense then emotionally and commitively. So these are two of those post traumatic constellations that are the obstacles that Crystal lists.
He lists more, he lists the after effects of survivors guilt which we have explored already, right? Shame. Difficulties in management of rage. Quantitative and qualitative deterrents to working through losses, that is, they had so many losses and in such a horrible way that it makes it impossible.
I for example believe, following not only Isabella Lightner that I read to you, that it is impossible for the mind to even conceive of six million people. So how could we mourn them meaningfully? There are more obstacles. Excessive use of repression. You remember the cutting things out of awareness? Denial, psychic splitting, inner splitting and externalisation, that is, seeing everything out there in the outside rather than being able to see the conflicts internally. So he says that all of these are obstacles to be able to integrate, right, that's general in integration of trauma, but it's specific also to ageing people who were traumatised. Families of these survivors, were robbed by the Holocaust of their normal cycle of their generations and ages and of natural individual death. Now this is very important. Researchers such as Leo Itinger who was also a survivor of the Holocaust, in Norway, he died recently. He found out that survivors of the Holocaust die five years on the average earlier than the rest of the population and that they are more ill of any disease or illness, more significantly so than the rest of the population. So you still don't have natural, individual death, it's still under the shadow.
So to put it succinctly, on the average, survivors are more sick, more often sick, age and die earlier than non-survivors. For many of them, imminent death and the loss of loved ones have become equivalent to anonymous murder and being forgotten, right, so the normal process of ageing goes back to retraumatise with the old meanings. Also, survivors did not see their parents age and as a result did not have models of ageing or of realistically expectable intergenerational relationships during ageing. You know the age group that survived basically, was the one that was able to do slave labour for the Nazis, right, those who survived after the ordeal and basically the majority of survivors were therefore between 18 and about 26, so you can imagine that they did not see their parents die and therefore they had no idea also what the demands of their children, when they become old because they didn't have models for that. Some elderly survivors have been able to recreate non-biological adaptive quotes "extended families" who aided them during ageing, in fact, part of the functions of our project that I described to you is to provide a community an extended family for people who don't have them and there is that feeling in the community that we built. While parenting and especially grandparenting, has been healing for old survivors, in some cases, new grandparents report being flooded with memories, associated nightmares and fears of their grandchildren being taken away, tortured and murdered. So you see even very joyful future looking images and occasions and happy happenings in life take on the memories overwhelming them.
Old age in itself is potentially traumatic for survivors. First: Old age intensifies and magnifies the post traumatic constellation that Crystal outlined, remember? The one, the list I gave you? All of those obstacles get magnified in old age and the various post war adaptational styles of survivors that I described this morning, it becomes more intense and more extreme. These four adaptational styles, you already know them, indicate a terratagenerity of adaptation and quality of adjustment to the Holocaust and post Holocaust life experiences. Second: Many Holocaust survivors experience the normal phenomena of old age as a recapitulation of Holocaust experiences. Thus, they experience their children's having left home and their spouses friend's deaths as reliving of their massive losses during the war. They feel further estranged when their children follow the American ideal of independence. I mentioned something like that this morning. They may experience the sense of abandonment, isolation and loneliness common among ageing people in the United States as a repetition of being shunned and dehumanised during and right after the Holocaust. The latter may be similar to combat veterans particularly, I'm talking from the United States point of view, but particularly Korea and Vietnam, POW's, that is Prisoners of War and survivors of other stigmatising traumas. Typically, because of their massive losses the families of elderly survivors are extremely small and the socio-cultural support system that might be helpful in time of need and limited, you remember there was a great loss of extended families. So when an ageing survivor says to his daughter or son "you're the only one I have" it's real, because it may very well be that that's it. That's all that remains.
Furthermore, some older survivors do not have the financial resources to seek appropriate help. Now this is a point I want to just underline for the Reparation Committee. We did speak about it in the Committee meeting but I want to share it with all of you so all of you are aware of it and may be able to help you. You know that the agreements of payments are for six years, right? For reparation. Listen carefully to what I'm telling you. Survivors may be the poorest old people. So you search your consciences as to the implication. I urge you to know that this is something think about seriously and to understand as risk and I really am one that believes in national conscience so remember that that's down the road, something you have to think about and to plan for. In many families of ageing survivors, the children are called upon to fulfil all the functions that normally would be taken care of by the extended family. Thus, factors in the histories of some of these families have created difficulties among parents and children that are exasperated when the parents approach old age and render the children unable to care for them. I'll give you an example. During the war for example in ghettos, you know people were starved. It was the little children that were the only ones who could crawl through the sewers or, you know, climb trees and over the walls to go and find, fetch some food for their families. So here there were little tiny children who became the breadwinners so to speak for the family. Now think some more, it means that little children took care of their parents, of the adult people who were supposed to take care of them and they became quite good at that, they became quite good at helping adults. In the camps, too, you know, nature gave, had the wisdom of creating children in such a way that they evoke our maternal or paternal reactions. So in the camps also sometimes when the children would ask for a little extra food, they maybe would get them and they would bring it again to, share them with their father and mother if they were together. But I'm saying to you is the children, unless murdered, were in some cases able to function as adults and to help the adults. Now after the war, ah hah they were still children, they no longer thought of themselves as children, but they had to go to school like other children and the parents started demanding that they treat them again as parents, right? Created in many cases quite a bit of resentment. Now when the parents again in ageing become helpless and in need, the resentment sometimes stands in the way of taking care of them. Do you follow me? So that's one story, okay? So that explains to you the difficulties that may arise. But of course there are other stories like that.
You remember the one I mentioned this morning. Like the mother was in Auschwitz while the child, right, was hidden in a convent, didn't even recognise this woman, right? Had to suddenly create a relationship again. That's your mother. Not only had to undergo the loss of the people who may have helped with those years and the child grew to love and had to leave, to be ripped away and adapt to a new country with a new language, is all that. Those created always complicated problems. So these were lifelong problematic kind of relationships. So that's another way of having some difficulty.
Yet another one is the very heroic survivors, that the children learned to see as totally invulnerable, right, nothing will every happen to them, of course they survived the Holocaust with such heroism but they wouldn't survive a hear attack? That's small potato. And if the child remains with that view of the parents as totally invulnerable, the child wouldn't help the parent. The child will deny that this paragon of power is not there to lean on. Okay? So this is yet another route or in the family of not providing the ageing parent with what they need. And of course this may be true for many populations, we know that these kind of difficulties exist in the Cambodian populations and the Armenian populations. Okay a lot populations with massive trauma. Elderly survivors also tend to dread inability to work. Why? Huh?
SPEAKER: Not working meant you would be sent to the gas chamber.
DR DANIEL: Absolutely. Very good. Did you hear? Inability to work in the camps meant, what? You were killed. So elderly survivors also tend to dread inability to work because of retirement as well as deterioration and illness, since these states signify certain death, much as they did during Holocaust. The post war meanings added to towards their work and the people in their work environment also determined their retirement experience. There may be loss of structure, routine, self-esteem, status and friends and a protective shield against being mercilessly attacked by memories. Many survivors worked, worked, worked, worked, anything to not remember, not to think. Another, you know at old age they suddenly can't and they have literally, they call it like they're attacked by memories. The clinical literature on World War II veterans contained similar discussions, thus retirement maybe clinically inadvisable for survivors unless they develop structured routine and preferably meaningful activity to quote "fill their time and social space and to release their energies, that often are really made of anger and grief". So when you make plans, long term plans make sure that this kind of thinking is included. Some survivors experience moving and being placed in Nursing homes as recurrence of the disruption of their lives, of being uprooted, dislocated and incarcerated. This is particularly the case with hospitalisation which may bring about psychotic like delusions of being in camp again. I get many phone calls from hospitals in the New York area. You know, survivors would, you know, they had, let's say they had a stroke or something and they're picked up to the hospital, they're being restrained and for them, of course, it's a total trauma to be restrained and they start screaming "Nazis, Nazis" and they really experience it that. I call it delusion like because it's really not psychotic but they really feel it. I mean if you ask them they know they're in New York but they really feel the doctors as Nazis and I get calls not only to treat the persons themselves or to find somebody who knows their language, like Polish or German or Yiddish, you know, and can sort of get them carefully and caringly out of it. But also to take care of the doctors for whom it's very hard to be called Nazi's and again it's the same issues that I brought up this morning and to be experienced as these terrible people, why are they trying to help you? Tough hey?
The survivors, this is again, I'm repeating, again confined and given numbers. You know in America, the first thing you get in America is a number. You know you don't think about things like that unless boom! it's right in your face. They must also submit to the humiliation of being helpless and being told what to do quote "for their own good" by authorities whom they have learned to mistrust. You know who did the selections in this concentration camp? Doctors. How do you like that as a self-image for yourself? Really tough.
And a similar kind of issue is for soldiers who'd been seriously wounded and had experienced the triage. You know what triage is? Let's say in the war when many casualties are brought, somebody has to make the decision when there's very limited staff. Somebody has to make a decision as to who goes to be operated on first. That's called triage and in it there's the assumption that those who you can save better will go first, so you can absolutely be sure that in some of these situations, people are left to die and soldiers, old soldiers.. What, Khosi? Speak to the red thing. Ya put it on the chair, ya.
KHOSI: When you talk about doctors, the whole thing comes back to me because when I was detained after torture and then all the other things they did to me and then I was taken to a District Surgeon. When I got there, having some medical background, I knew about a doctor and patient relationship and secrets between them and then I started telling the doctor what they've done to me. At first, the very torturer didn't want to leave the room when I was talking to the doctor and then I protested. I felt this was one time when I have to spill all the beans and then eventually the doctor said well, you'd better go outside. When I told the doctor he was busy writing down everything I said. I told him what happened and then he recommended some medicines, he found out that I developed high blood pressure and all the other lacerations I had in my body and then, afterwards, then he called the policeman. When he came in the doctor took a photocopy of the report, gave it to him and then he told the security chap bring her back after five days, these are the medicines. I was so horrified that it has taken me exactly 16 years to get to a male doctor because I can't trust him. You know it took so much for me to be ...[indistinct] to be given this treatment after the stroke and heart attack I had. It's only afterwards that I had this stroke and heart attack. I was never given those medicines until I got so ill and then afterwards I don't know how long I was lying there on the floor, solitary confinement. When I was taken... Somebody higher up who came into the cells, taking rounds, he wanted to know "why are you keeping this woman here" and prior to that the person who is Station Commander or whoever it was, protested to these security chaps "look I don't want another Biko case here, take this woman, kaffir woman out of my police station because I'm going on pension very soon." So I don't want to go and answer questions" and then I think he must have been the one who called this man from Pretoria who came in and looked at me and said "why are you keeping her here". That's when I was taken to the General Hospital which was strictly for whites. When I got there on the way getting to that hospital, I was taken into a room where there were two policemen with guns day and night. You can imagine somebody, I could hardly talk but my mind was very clear although I couldn't communicate and lying there on the bed and then these policemen, men always day and night sitting next to the door and outside my door I realised one time when I was taken to the X-rays for the stroke. It was written "highly infectious disease" and the hostility of the nurses and the doctors. Fortunately enough, I must say this, there was a young doctor who, a neurologist, who attended to me. I didn't want to talk to him. I told him, you know, he could understand me although the anger, I was telling him "look I don't want you to touch me, if I have to die, let it be because I've been betrayed" and all that and all that. And then afterwards, you know he was so patient with me, he begged me that look you are here now in the hospital, I understand, I want to help you. Who are you, where do you come from, what is your name? And then he said he was Dr Levine. I said okay, you and me understand each other. I am Khosi Mbata from Soweto, I'm not a terrorist from South West Africa. That's how they registered me in the hospital. You and me, your background being, your parents or your grandparents were in the Nazi concentration camp. This is what is happening to me. I'm not what I am here. That is how we came to understand each other, he treated me so well but still, up to today it's so difficult for me to get to a male doctor because of that, what happened to me, I just wanted to, otherwise it touches me deeply.
DR DANIEL: Thank you. You know, there have been quite a few initiatives in the human rights field to remind people not only of peoples' human rights in general, but also the violations of human rights and the necessity of education in human rights for professions. In one important one of course is doctors. So they themselves who have made the oath not to hurt, will be responsible when they do and when they violate human rights of others. In fact we're preparing a book on the 50th anniversary, you know, reviewing the 50 years since the declaration and what the international community has created for prevention, for familiarisation and one of the chapters is on doctors. So if you permit me, I may quote you a story. Good, thank you.
KHOSI: Please go ahead.
DR DANIEL: Say it again into the mike, I feel silly but I do want that.
KHOSI: I say, I'm giving you permission to go ahead and publish that some people somewhere must know about such things. Moreover at that stage I thought I was the only survivor in my family because my babe of two years I was detained was also taken away from me by force and then my other kids were missing, my husband I didn't know where he was because we were detained the same time, the three of us. So now I thought I was the only one and then I was praying very hard that I must survive in order at least I must tell the world what has happened, you know. I think perhaps even that kept me going when things were bad.
DR DANIEL: And you remember we mentioned those survivors who survived to bear witness? There you go.
KHOSI: Unfortunately, I wasn't here.
DR DANIEL: I'll give you a copy. Here.
KHOSI: I'm still a survivor because I went to the doctor this morning. I was very sick this morning, I went to the doctor now everything's alright to come here.
DR DANIEL: Well we both wished you well, I told people that you went to the doctor today.
KHOSI: You must have sent a vibration.
DR DANIEL: Absolutely, I said let's wish. Let me continue then. So speaking still with survivors right and when they're hospitalised for example, they feel that they're being tested, restrained and operated on as though they were undergoing Nazi experiments and you can actually just open your minds and make your own possible connections here, right, because the triggers are not so difficult to discover. Renewed religiousness and return to traditional rituals in ageing survivors may have an integrated function in nostalgically attempting to recreate order, structure and continuity with the pre-Holocaust past. Survivors who go to the synagogue may do so more to listen to and hum the melodies of their childhood homes, community or statal which was their small town in Europe rather than to utter the words of prayers. Many survivors find it very difficult to say merciful God, for example, hmm? But, the memories help them, right, there are soothing memories. Their return to religiousness reconnects them with childhood sounds and language, with the smell of H...[indistinct] which is the Jewish bread on Friday night, with the sight of mother lighting the candles that used to warm their hearts on the eve of Shabat. So I'm saying that a lot of what's connected to traditional religion, the survivors may return to, to recreate that sense of continuity and integration. Crail, Robert Crail, who is a child survivor psychiatrist point out that child survivors, this is very important, those who were children when they survived during the trauma, may not have these memories to comfort them in old age and may, quote "be taken straight back into that hell", known as the "Shoa" which is Holocaust, without warning. You see, as children, if you were children during trauma, any trauma, that is world you know and if that's the world you fall back on in your old age, it is straight to hell. Rather than if you were older, you have some positive heartwarming memories to go back to. Now we come a little bit to touch up on the issue of commemoration that some of you are interested in. Building monuments also serves the re-establishment of a sense of continuity for the survivors and the world. Elly Resille stated that the hearts of the survivors may have served as the graveyard for the known and the nameless dead of the Holocaust who were turned into ashes and for whom no graves exist. ...[indistinct] Not only survivors but also many children of survivors shared the sentiment, they would say we are walking graveyards. Your remember the survivor's guilt function of loyalty and against aloneness? That's part of it. It's also to ensure that somebody remembers, remember? Many children of survivors also share the sentiment as I said. I believe that much of the Anhedonia, remember the inability to be happy? And the holding on to the guilt, shame and pain of the past has to do with these internally carried graveyards. I know, one of my closest friends, a survivor, she died a few years back. She, after the Holocaust, she wouldn't listen to music under any circumstance. She used to be a musician before the war. She wouldn't go to a concert, she wouldn't, she said she can't. She literally lived her life, you know, sort of like a memorial torch so to speak. Survivors fear and you spoke about it yesterday too, survivors fear that successful mourning may lead to letting go and thereby to forgetting the dead and committing them to oblivion which for many survivors is tantamount to perpetuating Nazi crimes. I think Duma, yesterday, didn't you speak about that? Where's he. Disappeared? How do you like that? I know. But you remember Duma mentioned that yesterday. The fear of forgetting, if he forgets, you know, if he forgives for them, you know, he's committing a crime. The attempt to make these graveyards external to a large degree, creates a need for building monuments so that the survivors might then have a place to go to remember and mourn in a somewhat traditional way and to have their pain shared by others. Do you understand what I'm saying? As long as you have to carry it all inside your life is going and it's not shared by anyone also. The monument is almost like taking this graveyard and putting him out here and I can go and mourn and I don't have to be mourning all the time 24 hours a day, seven days a week and you can share it with me. Very important. So for those of you who are, you know, in that Committee or that initiative.....
DR DANIEL: ...and if it can function of documentation an extension of bearing witness of leaving a legacy so that the victims, the survivors and the Holocaust will not be forgotten. So then the monument will bear the witness, I don't have to be bearing witness all the time. Not only when I die, I don't have to worry because I die, nobody will remember anymore because it's there. It's a legacy and it ensures the preventive aspect as we said, right? To not repeat again. Recent attempts by Neo-Nazi groups to deny the existence of the Holocaust and to call it a, quote, "Jewish hoax" also play an important role in the survivors need to leave, quote, "evidence behind them and to make the world a better place". Integration of trauma must take place in all the relevant life dimensions or systems and cannot be accomplished by the individual alone, for example, well that we're going to talk about tomorrow but remember that, I mean I've said that enough times for you to remember it. As an expression of the usual need of children to get to know their parents before they die in conjunction with the parents need to be a witness, right, there's an interaction here. Many adult children of survivors collect all histories of their parents and encourage their parents to commit their life histories in writing. They also usually say well it's not only for me it's for you grandchildren so they're having a future continuity as well as from the past to the present. Kensler, who is a colleague from Los Angeles, has demonstrated the benefits to Holocaust survivors of giving video testimonials. This is very related to the Truth Commission. She did her doctorial citation on that actually and maybe I can ask her to send you a copy. The recent surge of survivors memories usually dedicated simultaneously to the lost loved ones and to their children, a test to the parents' need to leave their legacy behind. Healing through sharing is also attempted by World War II veterans. Discussions with children, with grandchildren, taping and sharing recorded narratives and book writing are increasing including published works by surviving family members about the father or the uncle who never returned. See, so all these attempts are taking place and should be tried here too. That ageing survivors are unable to integrate the Holocaust should not be surprising. Humanity, western culture and society in general have not yet integrated the Holocaust despite attempts by brilliant experts in the prime of their lives who work in many disciplines. Survivors and non-survivors alike. To expect survivors to accomplish this task in their old age with their diminishing capacities may be expecting the impossible. The reactions of society at large to the survivors, the conspiracy of silence, right, had a significant negative effect on their post war adaptation and their ability to integrate their Holocaust experiences as we touched before. Now you want me to touch up on some treatment related issues? Ya, because we didn't build it into our programme but I have some comments on that here, so, they are not complete but they'll give you some of the ideas. Clearly, to optimally meet the complex needs of elderly survivors but I believe so of any survivors, any programme for them must be comprehensive, integrated and formally and informally networked with all relevant services and resources in the community.
Let me repeat that because I think it's true for whatever you're going to do. Although, again, we can make our peace. To optimally meet the complex needs of survivors any programme for them must be comprehensive, integrative and formally and informally networked with all relevant services and resources in the community. Now it's a little bit about my project, let me quote this: "The group project for Holocaust survivors and their children was established in 1975 in New York City area to counteract the survivors profound sense of isolation and alienation, to compensate for their neglect by the mental health profession and attempt to respond to the pessimism about helping survivors." And the literature was full saying there was no help for survivors. "It provides, this project provides, individual family group and inter-generational community assistance in a variety of non-institutional settings, training for professionals working with traumatised populations and consultations with and relevant resources and institutions like hospitals, synagogues etcetera, in the community. Since it's inception, the project capitalised on the unique reparative and preventive value of group and community therapeutical modalities." Eddy, I'm coming back to some of the issues we raised before. "Among the numerous advantages of the group modality in treating survivors and their children, for this population these modalities has also help rebuild a sense of extended family and community which were destroyed during the Holocaust."
Now veterans also have begun, older veterans also have begun group therapy and community involvement so you actually find that fairly much as a trend. I know Kulumandi have groups here, am I correct? And I believe also in Cape Town I heard in the trauma centre they offer group, so it's become rather accepted as a good method of treatment.
In addition to Holocaust or trauma related event counter transference, remember from yesterday? Feels like ten years ago. So in addition to those counter transference reactions, that's important now, therapists working with ageing survivors have to consider the reaction to old age which is called like ageism or gerontophobia, people who consider ageing people, you know, dismissable, should not treat them, for example, or people who consider them only wise people to learn from and they forget that they need comfort, also should be retrained.
So what I'm saying is, in addition to the Holocaust related counter transference reactions, you have the, here, the reactions specific to ageing, okay, which may be determined by their culture. There cultures that have tyranny of youth such as the United States or the culture such as Judaism which view ageing..oh, excuse me, the tyranny of youth is related to viewing ageing as a decline waiting for death, right, or for example the one that Jews have, we treat our elders as a source of wisdom and completion of a learned life, okay? So the culture we grow up in also determines how we will treat different people.
I have another paper, actually, talking about that, but not in context of ageing, but in course of children. You know people have specific reactions to children that may be different from their reaction to adults or to ageing. It's very good to always be aware of all of those so we remain clear minded. The projects go, our project, which are preventive as well as reparative assume that integration of Holocaust experiences and we mean longitudinally, throughout a lifetime, into the totality of the survivors and their childrens' lives and awareness of the meaning of post Holocaust adaptational styles maybe internally liberating, may internally liberate them from their traumata and facilitate mental health and self-actualization for both and that awareness of transmitted inter-generational processes will inhibit transmission of pathology to succeeding generation. Did you follow me? Ya? Good. The central guiding principle as a ..is it teatime again? Okay. The central guiding principle of integration also informs the choice of therapeutic modalities, techniques and interventions for example and I have copies, we can make copies of that one too. The diagnostic and therapeutic use of constructing a multi-generational family tree with survivors and their offspring although it triggers an acute sense of pain and loss serves to recreate a sense of continuity and coherence damaged by their Holocaust and post Holocaust experiences. Whether family therapy is feasible or not, viewing the individual within the dynamics of his or her family system and culture is of great therapeutic value, particularly for ageing survivors so they don't feel like their family less.
Furthermore, combining therapeutic modalities and techniques is especially helpful in working through long term and inter-generational effects of victimisation. I want to show you quickly an example of what I mean by building a regenerational family tree. Very quickly. There is an article that you can read but when someone comes, right, and I recommend that, I now use it with every new patient, Holocaust, non-Holocaust, trauma, non-trauma, I have learned so much about it and it gives a wonderful framework to understand a lot of what's going on with any particular individual, any particular point you talked. Okay so let's say, let's say this person comes, squares for males, a circle is for females. Let's say he came to us, okay, and he tells us that he has an older sister. Now he maybe married or not so if he's married we do that, right, to show that, right, if he has children we add them here. We also find out about the sister, okay? We also ask for example if there were any abortions or miscarriages that they know about, right? Were there any children who were given away, okay, and we note those if there were, okay. So for example, they will be noted like this, alright. Now, this is mother let's say and father and we found out then one of how many children, right, was the mother's families. So we hear a whole lot, I'm not going to complete that, you're getting the idea, right? We hear about the father as well. These were mostly large families, right, that was the custom. We find the names of everyone, ages of everyone, we note it all on this, okay, the education, the profession, all of that gets noted for everybody, right? These in turn, right, have their own parents. You find out what happened to them, their names, who they are, the names are important, remember about the naming, because you want to know who was named after whom. Who was chosen not to be named after. Some children are names five names just to make sure that everybody's name is remembered. In a family like the numb family you'll have children who were there before, right, so these will have siblings, you understand what I'm saying? That we note either from the mother's side or from the father's side? These can get extremely large actually and most of the time I go back some more, okay, and I want to know how they live etcetera. All of those issues I told you about. Now what you typically see, what you typically see, death is cross that way, what you typically see in this, and get the idea what it is like to be part of that. And we ask also questions about the extended family because all of these had cousins and aunts and uncles as well. We also asked about religion, their religious practices, we ask everything you want to know and even what you don't want to know, we ask about that too. We found out a lot of things, we find with some who they don't even know how many brothers, sisters mother had. We find some who don't know their names, they don't know who they're named after. They don't exactly know what happened to them and by the way here we do note what happened to them, every death has, we try to find out if they know, if it's known at all, so we would write Auschwitz or ...[indistinct] where they died, how they died. We always note, also, the year of, both the year, the year that they got married and the year that they arrived to the United States or to Israel or to wherever. But this is a sort of way to give you that, right, that sense. I remember very poignantly, a young woman, a child survivor who came to the project, I mean, she was training, she was being trained in family therapy, so in the class they asked everybody to do their family tree and everybody else had a whole lot of people and names, living, married and she went to the blackboard and did something like this and she said the whole class became totally silent. Nobody could say a word and that it was for her though, the first time that she realised the extent of the loss. Now, I called it you remember diagnostic and therapeutic. Some people construct a tree with me after three years because it's a real process of communicating ...[indistinct] and with the family ...[indistinct] they don't dare to ask the mother the names of the sisters or brother, for example so until they get better and are able to dare to ask and to find out or ...[indistinct] ready to find out. It may take lots of work, so that's why it's both diagnostic and definitely therapeutic even though as I said it triggered, it may trigger an acute sense of loss. I remember and counter transferentially as well, I forever will remember one time, an initial session with the son of survivors who sat with me and we had, actually had a double session because it sort of continued and I didn't feel right to stop. We traced a tree of 72 people, all murdered, including his father's two children from before the war and if you can sort of identify with me, the therapist sitting with him, doing it, and with him sitting with me, doing it, there was so much pain in the room I can't tell you. I literally I was in so much pain. To this day I can feel it. He continued more and more and another one and another one, Auschwitz and another one, ...[indistinct] another one and you could see this young man, I mean, like progressively crushed under this and he and his sister were the only two children of these only parents I mean only two meaning the rest didn't survive. But is was very helpful, for him it was very integrative. Right, it's the same as to tell the truth, to tell that story isn't it? Except this is visual. One of my, one of the, one of my patients said once that it's like sitting with grandmother and hearing family tales so she was did for comfort, you see, so this is one of the things we do regularly with everyone. Let me go back to reading some.
"Integration and recovery involve the victim survivors ability to develop a realistic perspective of what happened, by whom, to whom and to accept the reality that it happened the way it did. What was and was not under his or her control, what could not be and why. Accepting the impersonality of the events also removes the need to attribute personal causality and the consequent guilt and false responsibility."
You remember yesterday when we did the exercise, Eddy remained and the other was the policeman, we didn't give him a name. It was so clearly impersonal but Eddy was trying to make it personal, right, he was saying "what about me, how come you do that to me, how come you walk out when you see me?" Very interesting right? So he was trying to make an impersonal event personal because it also humanised his sense of himself to think that this was not personal.
"An educated and contained image of the events of ones life before during and after victimisation, potentially frees one from constructing a view of oneself and humanity solely on the basis of the victimisation events. For example, having been helpless does not mean that one is a helpless person. Having witnessed or experienced evil does not mean that the world as a whole is evil. Having been betrayed does not mean that betrayal is an overriding human being behaviour. Having been violated does not necessarily mean that one has to live ones life in constant readiness for it's re- enactment. Having been treated as a dispensable vermin does not mean that one is worthless and taking the painful risk of bearing witness does not mean that the world will listen, learn, change or become a better place." That's the other side of the telling, that's the world's response and that is I think for your society a crucial, a crucial focus. We started talking about it yesterday, when we asked you to speak as a journalist, remember? You were the other. It's so important because otherwise the victims don't know what's the reaction to what they told. Like who's the listener, am I listen to, does it have any meaning, does it have any consequence, does it make the world a better place? Are people going to create programmes to make society better? I'm challenging this. For the survivors, essential components of the ageing persons preoccupation with "who loves me, who cares if I live" are the devastating questions, "who will remember me, will the memory of my people and the Holocaust perish?" I promised to go into that vulnerability versus resilience thing that you asked about, but maybe you have some more questions now about this or some more references like you feel that this makes sense to you, yes, no? Or you want me to continue, please? Speak to the ...[indistinct]
AUGUSTINIUS: My name is Augustinius, I'm from Kroonstad. You know in Kroonstad I'm also a survivor of the past Apartheid era. What actually happened there, how I survived, I survived in the way that the, I can call it a miracle, by miracle actually. When police, army shoot me with a hail of bullets, as I said I survived by a miracle. Then, when you talk about healing, I don't think for my personal view of when, I think only thing that can heal me, because every time or every day, on this day, the 19th of February, is when this all happened to me in 1991. So that's why I came today because this is, keep on coming to me, on this day of the 19th February. I can't sleep, my dreams are that. I dream like I'm living in a ...[indistinct] area, I'm dreaming like I'm living in a, where feelings are made well, like you see, I don't know how can I describe it, but as I've said it keeps coming to me every time on the 19th February when police shot me with hail of bullets and thereafter, nothing had happened to them and even what we can call, what do you call it, perpetrators of this violation against human rights. They never came forward and said, they never came forward and said what had happened in my town area, they never said come to the Truth Commission and said, we give orders so that I shouldn't be killed or other people like all my comrades and it seems like the TRC at the moment is now about to close and I feel that the TRC will close before I'm telling the story. I'm telling, the TRC will close before I'm turning the unturned stone. I feel very bad because till today, some of higher ranking officers in the police they were behind this thing. Like magistrates, like prosecutors in my town area. They were protecting this gangster who were people innocently, even the President of the ANC went there in 1992 and asked them some questions. They never answered it, they only make promise that they will see to it. What do you do?
MS MKHIZE: I didn't get you name.
AUGUSTINIUS: I said my name is Augustinius Kwakwano. I also had a statement here in TRC offices, I put it clear what had happened during that time and even today when I came in here, I don't how I can, I also said, I'm not attacking TRC but to come to TRC to give in my statement it's like going to the police station and giving my statement what had happened when you are in ...[indistinct] or what had happened against you because why I said so, because when I came here to TRC offices this day, they phoned to Kroonstad. I tell you my statement, I did my statement in 1996. Till today nothing had happened and they phoned to Kroonstad police station and the police there said they know nothing about my case and my case ended up in court and I'm giving also my case number here in at TRC that's why I said to give my statement to TRC Officials, Commissioners also, is like going to police station to give a statement. The next following day the police will say your statement? We don't have your statement, don't know who took your statement. Otherwise sometimes they will say the one who took your statement is not here, he's ill, he's off, he's on leave, he's certain courses, you see.
MS MKHIZE: I just wanted to acknowledge what you have said in brief that we really, I for one, may be, we understand the difficulty that people like yourself might experience in the sense that we still make use of the same structures which in the past perpetrated suffering when we want to get more information about what happened. But that is not a condition which determines what we do with the statement. We asked them whatever information they might give them, then if we do not get satisfaction, we accept what a person has given us. But regarding your dreams and what you are experiencing, I would say it's a normal reaction. That's why one of the things we are working hard towards achieving is that in society there should be opportunities for people who look at what they went through with more time and see how they make sense of it and integrate it and be able to move forward so we hope once we have those opportunities in society, you will get an opportunity of looking at it. But I am pleased you have shared with this group.
DR DANIEL: Part of what I was asked to come here for is to help plan for projects for help here, okay, so your need for help will be addressed that way. But I think also, didn't some of you yesterday, spoke about the need to keep the testimony taking even if it's not strictly under TRC? So you'll continue to collect statements and testimonies, no? Well it's something to look into, you know, because, I mean, you've heard of Steven Spielberg and his foundation for Holocaust survivors? He's the one who made the film Schindler's List remember? And all of the income that came out of the film goes into collecting testimonies for survivors. It's a video archive of all the testimonies and his dream is to have every possible living survivor be videotaped so that remains forever as a record and I think that is extremely important, but we'll talk more about it tomorrow. But just to add something to what you said. I think you're not the only one who spoke of what we call an anniversary reactions. That survivors and their children tend to relive on the anniversary of the trauma, the trauma. In fact most children of survivors when they show up for therapy, I always ask, does this date have anything to do with whether your parent, when your parent was incarcerated or liberated because they even, they sort of rake on those dates. So it's good for you to know, when you know that it's the 19th is coming up, to be nice to yourself in particular, to have your friends around you so to create a balance to those horrible memories, so you don't feel helpless about them. Take charge of that day. You called it a miracle that you survived, celebrate the miracle and I'm really glad, very touched that you're sharing it with us today and I'm really glad that we are here with you.
SPEAKER: I wanted to speak because I would like to pick up on what the gentleman has said because it's common trend, he might not have articulated it, but there's this issue of the sense of justice, forgive.. no, dealing with your own personal struggles without feeling that justice has been done. This part of the thing I heard from him and from experience I have no answer to that, I know you'll ask me what I think, but I would like to hear you that how does one deal with this issue, that's coming up so frequently, reconciling what a person sees as an unjust way of doing things especially when it relates to the perpetrators and then saying that I must start reconciling with myself. What is justice. To whom? Who defines it?
DR DANIEL: You do know, I mean I'm not that hard to figure, I do not favour impunity as I mean, the definition of justice includes doing justice. You're just collecting the documents. Normally we first collect the true, we first do enquiries and investigations and put them all together and that is called the preparation of a case and only then, and that's the first part of the judicial process, ya? Then comes the second one which is the trial, then comes the second one which is the judgement. I understand your political futility and believe me I feel very deeply for it, for you. But that piece of justice is not included and that's part of what you have to live with and calls for your own creative therapeutic, rehabilitative efforts because the quote "doing justice, due process" you don't have and I think it's very important that you simply, like Khosi said yesterday, recognise it, go from there. Find symbolic ways, not only for reparation and compensation etcetera. Find symbolic ways for justice. I mean I was actually wondering yesterday, when Duma was talking about, I did not recognise the names because I'm not that familiar, right? But you've mentioned some names of people who have made a lot of money and you thought that they'd perhaps could contribute some to compensation for victims? I think that is in a way a way of restitution, returning and justice. Okay, that is part of doing justice, right? You're laughing at me. Am I naive? Or do I sound like from Mars?
SPEAKER: Our amnesty clause which is in the act from parliament does not put that as a condition, I should think that that should be societies trend.
DR DANIEL: I know. I know. Well, look, to my mind it's not ideal or optimal. In the absence of that, however, part of your task is to substitute for it because the feelings I hear are either of great disappointment or great resentment and you may need to find alternative ways because it is a trauma all in itself and if you want to we will try to continue. Let's try to continue to work together on it because at least the reparation initiative should address it. Frankly, it has so many implications that it needs a whole lot of thinking, it's not only on individual basis, it's not only with the guy who beat you up will be, will receive punishment. It's what society looks like that says I can live without total justice, but, I want a democratic justice system for crimes that have been perpetrated today. It's very, a quite a challenge you have, I mean that I'm perfectly willing to participate in you know, in continuous dialogue with it. But let's not pretend that this is an ideal situation. It's not. It is a totally normal sentiment to want justice done. Go ahead, and Michael after.
KHOSI: Talking about the anniversary of the devastating day. Every 22nd October, that is the worst day in my whole life. Unfortunately I have no one to talk to about this particular day because my immediate family, that is my husband next to me and one child. They never want to talk about this day, is the most miserable day of their lives and then sometimes I would like to talk about this particular day to some friends or family. I fail to communicate with them because they feel so horrified or I don't know whether they feel guilty or any other thing, you know, especially with my husband, he feels, because he was, we were detained the same way they also tortured him severely. At one time or another he always feels he wasn't there to protect me, I think it's a men's way of doing things. That he is there to protect his wife and children but so much happened to me, in fact even worser than him. Now he never wants to talk, you know we can never talk about this and then otherwise I'm one person who is trying to heal. I want to talk on this particular day, how I felt and how the whole thing happens and then he just crumbles and he gets so terrible.
DR DANIEL: How? How? What happens to him?
KHOSI: He, he, I can't describe it, you know, even his physical changes, his way of even trying to, just tries by always to change the conversation, you know and that's a denial of some kind but I am much more open about it, I think it's some, the way woman are. Men are always closed up. Sometimes bring some intense atmosphere in the family. How do I talk about this anniversary like my comrade over there was saying?
DR DANIEL: Did you try to discuss with him that you understand how he feels and maybe that's why he's afraid to listen, that maybe he feels guilty about not having protected you? Did you discuss his feelings, did you ask him how he feels?
KHOSI: I do and to him his anger is always directed to the past system and how these people are roaming around free, you know, for instance we both came here to the TRC, we made the statement, up to the date 1996 when we came back from exile. Nothing has happened, no, no, nothing. So now it is frustrating, moreover, I've seen some of the police, the security police who tortured us. If I have to sit across the table, perhaps we face each other, he will feel so happy and glad that at least I, he managed to destroy me, or something like that I mean there's always..
DR DANIEL: You see the irony is, that while your husband feel bad that he couldn't protect you then, the result is that he is not protecting you now and he can do that because by sharing and listening, you may come closer and help to protect each other really. So maybe you can tempt him that way. But you know, I mean, are there places here that you can go for like a couples counselling? Because some it, you're totally right, some of it is just that for men it's easier for men to feel angry than to feel in pain or to share fear or discomfort. For women it's easier to talk. It may be a good idea, may be a good idea and it would be good to understand in the whole family what's going on, you know, how come people are not more protective for each other, more there for each other. We talked today about families, right, you'll get the paper to read.
KHOSI: He does protect me in every possible way, but it's only this part about torture and all that has happened, moreover perhaps it might become better if all the children from all over the world can come back one day even if it's only for 24 hours, we can see our kids we can be one family. Now the problem is that the other kids are still very far from here. I've got only two kids here who are back one from Australia and one from America. The others are still out there. Perhaps maybe to him maybe that is the thing which, he never wants to talk about this horrible past.
DR DANIEL: Because the consequences are still going on. Can you plan for everybody to come home on that anniversary or around it?
KHOSI: It's not possible because we have no means of, the kids most of them they're still at school wherever they are and we are not working we are just back from Exile. We are still struggling to survive.
DR DANIEL: Now we'll continue that. Okay. Michael.
MICHAEL: In fact as our sister reminds us, we also had a Diaspora, perhaps not as a Jewish Diaspora but with similar effects. I think what of the other things she reminds us of is that perhaps one of the acts of reparation that the injured in this country owe to the victims is that absolute duty to listen and to listen as often as needed and for as long as is needed and that doesn't cost money, it costs effort, it costs will, it costs other things but it should be seen as a requirement and is something that is owed. Our other brother at the back when he was referring to the money that some have received, it is a dramatic example I think he was referring to that when the Vlakplaas Unit that specialised in the assassinating our people closed down, over 17 million rand was paid in golden handshakes to the assassins. The chief of it, the best paid serial killer in history, received I think 3 million, more than 3 million. But I agree that it is perhaps unrealistic to expect any of those people to pay anything back. It is interesting in regard to the debate as how much should be paid to our victims in that nobodies here to pay 17 million to the survivors. I wanted to raise one of the points that was made about, I think one of the issues that is often unexamined, is this, this visceral metabolic need for a sense of justice and the impact of not having that satisfied and I think it's a pity that whatever political compromises led to the institution of amnesty, nobody bothered and has yet bothered to think through implications that has for others and what at least you can do about that even if you are giving amnesty. We are in different situations, some of the people that we work with like my brother and sister we've heard here, can say "on the 19th March Sergeant Cloete shot my son" it's a specific perpetrator, specific event. Others like ourselves, I don't know who it was who tried to kill me, I know they did, I don't know who it was, I know somebody got away with it but I can't name them and therefore on the one hand there is the pain of those victims who know a specific act by a specific person is being ignored, and those who know that that's not possible. There are those who know that the District Surgeon you may have to go to where you live, or your local clinic, maybe the doctor who sat and helped them when they were torturing you, or that the policemen you have to call when there's a burglary is one of the people who were responsible for beating up you or children. So there are different, again, layers and dimensions in the way that, in what has been neglected and the failure to deal with that.
I think one issue that I wanted to mention now in relation to the justice thing, that I fear very much, is that there may be a massive amnesty by inactivity. Unless the Government will agree and the Truth Commission must be very adamant about it in their recommendation, that every single named perpetrator or identifiable perpetrator who has not applied for amnesty and got amnesty, must be investigated and prosecuted with the fullest vigour the country has, otherwise without even paying the cost that the victims were told they must be grateful for, of hearing some of the truth, they will have got away with it and it is highly likely. We know, I respond to your complaint about the bad doctors because that's one of the areas I've been testifying about, I have no belief that the medical council will ever take action against them. The profession of Association of Psychologists look like they might take action against some of the perpetrators. Other specialties, other fields of people who were professional perpetrators are likely to be left free. Unless the justice department can guarantee every identifiable case will be investigated and prosecuted they will all get amnesty without even applying for it and that must, that is the worst possible bargain.
AUGUSTINIUS: Thank you again. I want to thank you for what you have just said and then on the other hand I want to congratulate a fellow comrade, but presently I'm having a problem. He's fortunate somewhere, somehow, he managed to submit a statement. How many people are in his position who did not have an opportunity to submit their statement. We have written a letter to the Chairman of the TRC requesting them to give us just a month because we have discovered that more people are coming forward and they didn't have a chance to submit a statement. We are still waiting for an answer. Failing which, the work of the TRC will be incomplete and the pain, the trauma, for those who failed to submit a statement will be extended for the rest of their life and then, coming to the issue of the perpetrators, they are always the winners. They were given amnesty, they were given golden handshake, they are being protected now by the Government on the expense of the survivors. Here we are today. None of the perpetrators are among us. We are the people who are supposed to initiate reconciliation. I like that statement from the sister, I forget the name, I'm sorry, if we say we reconcile with whom are we reconciling? There is so much to say, it can take years I just want to give others a chance, but the last thing is this. If I might offend other people they will forgive me. Where we come from we do what a group counselling. We want to respect, we try to respect one another. When somebody or someone tells what happened to him, I request that we should give him a chance. We should listen to him because if I start telling my story and people start moving in and out it seems as if no one is paying attention to what I am saying. By doing that we are aiding to taking away a dignity we have, we are a people who are supposed to bring back our dignity because we are here together to restore that dignity, failing which, we are perpetrators too. Thank you.
SPEAKER 4: I noticed that you didn't mention any of the experiences of the Holocaust survivors as a response to question that's been posed over here in terms of justice, that we found there on a much huger scale but you've got the survivors sitting back and looking at the country that perpetrated it and certainly, perhaps the countries. It seems to be amongst the most prosperous and best economy in the world on the one hand and what's coming out now as a result of this whole thing with Switzerland, is you'll see thousands and thousand of Holocaust survivors who are living on almost nothing in Eastern Europe and I think in America as well? That's what I read and is there not something we can learn from the transition that the survivors made in terms of dealing with this because, just like there it was clear that there's not going to be any human justice, there was a tiny percentage of Nazi perpetrators that were ever brought to any kind of justice and it's exactly as is being expressed over here. The reality in the world is that most perpetrators will continue to be so-called respectable members of society, they will have the financial and they will have all of the, whatever that they had because they've already established themselves and nothing is really going to happen to them and that's what we're going to live with and is there nothing that you've gleaned from contact with the many survivors that you've, that could help in a situation like this?
DR DANIEL: Well what I have said until now, is precisely what I've learned from them, which is, that survivors need the full process of justice and it's very difficult to complete, right, to complete a traumatic situation without. The fact is that the survivors of the Holocaust did not get justice. The Nuremborg Trials barely had captured any and punished less and in fact in '92 for example, the Netherlands, who'd held three Nazis for a lifetime in prison. In '92 they decided to be kind to these old men and let them free and the fact that all of the survivors said, "well my grandfather who would of been at that age, doesn't have that choice because of these people. Don't do that". Well, the Netherlands just the same released them, out of the kindness to the old person. So there are many wounds beyond not having the justice. That are related and yes, the story of Switzerland is almost, is disgusting and it, it's almost disgusting in an elementary sense because it's money, you know, it's like it doesn't even have a moral meaning to it. It's just grabbing money at any cost and suddenly again, it's up to the survivors to do with it and suddenly people again, 50 years later have to start in finding documents? And prove? We'll talk about that tomorrow, actually quite a bit, the process of, judicial process and such, so I don't want to take away from the systematic discussion of it, but yeah, listen, survivors of the Holocaust, I think the most bitterest, the most bitterest, the most bitter or the bitterest pain that survivors have is that Holocaust has not served as a lesson. Survivors truly believe that if the world learned and found out what happened, it would never ever let any such thing happen again, anywhere, to anyone and today when you look back, it seems like this just served as a precedent, that the world is worse and worse and worse and you know, Hitler said, one of Hitler's justification, I'm quoting, he said that the world didn't care at all when the Turks massacred the Armenians and therefore he's totally secure in his plan to annilate the Jews and he was right. And you know what? We also said never again and we knew now how so many "never agains". So I think part of what's needed to be done is a real look at what being human means today, in our century and I think, you know, approaching the year 2000 maybe will give us some special urgency. About taking a look, what have we been doing in the last century? What have we human beings been doing to each other? And I think, you know, because anywhere you look you feel the most pain here because it's your pain but you also know of so many other peoples', right? And very little learning seems to be, to happen. Now the United Nations was created to prevent such atrocities from happening, right? Right after World War II and the world community has created many wonderful instruments to prevent, to ameliorate, to participate in writing these wonderful declarations on the principles of basic, The Declaration of Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime and Abuse of Power, and on, and another one that I'll talk about tomorrow. So we have the words on paper, we are now called upon to implement and to live up to what we really believe in, what we say we believe in and as I said to you in the morning, I do have a sense of envy even though I have an appreciation to how much work you must do because there's a pioneer spirit in this country. You have the opportunity to make the world a better place. Huh?
SPEAKER 5: I say I don't think wove got the time to make it a better place, time is short.
DR DANIEL: Are you speaking personally or are you speaking...she's taking it on by herself I want you to know. You can use us too! Sorry, excuse. Let me find out what this is, sorry?
MS GROBBELAAR: Ms Danieli, I'm the Information Manager in the office.
DR DANIEL: Ya?
MS GROBBELAAR: And maybe I can speak to the questions Augustine has asked.
DR DANIEL: Wonderful. The Information Officer of the TRC wants to address your question, Augustine, as a special gift for your anniversary.
MS GROBBELAAR: My name is Janice Grobbelaar and I'm the Information Manager in this office and I'm not a psychologist I'm a sociologist so that might be a problem. I would like to address broadly, the issue Augustine has put to us about him coming to the Commission and him being told that the South African Police was unable to provide us with documents so as to corroborate his statement. I have his statement and I have the documentation here. He made a statement to the Truth Commission and a gentleman called Ali Mohapi took his statement. Since then, we’ve tried to trace to corroborate his statement. The Commission, with all twenty thousand statements we have received, attempts to corroborate these statements by investigating the claims, because for us there have to claims in the paralegal sense that the person makes who comes to the Commission. This is to ensure that the Commission acts in a legitimate and fair way to everybody who comes to the Commission. This is to ensure that we don't spend all our investigative time on one or two or other very famous cases. So we have a general and standard policy that says we corroborate all statements. Statement comes into our office and we have a quite sophisticated database in which the statement is captured and then it moves to our corroborative team and our corroborative team have a series of activities that they carry out in order to see whether they can find substance for the statement. So when you say you have been picked up or beaten by the South African Police and you mention their names, we attack, we approach that police station and we ask "have you got any records of this, is your incident book available, is that still captured there?" Now I must tell you they destroy information every five years and then every ten years, okay? So there's a problem, this is 1991, that's the first issue. We then say are there any other issues we can take up on for example, is a lawyer mentioned? We then approach the lawyer and we say "are your records still available? Can we make use of your records?" We have done that in this case as well, there are no records available, in this particular case. But I'm trying to make it a general issue rather than a specific issue. We would approach, if a person disappeared, we would approach missing persons, we would approach the ANC office, we would approach all kinds of sources which may have this people that are missing or have disappeared. What kind of sources are there? We would look in the databases that do exist over the time period but particularly of the '80s okay? The Human Rights Committee database in which peoples names are listed and what they came to the Human Rights Committee is listed for.
So we look at all of those positions and we try to find information. Ultimately we try to go back to the individual who made the statement to us in order to establish whether that person can give us more information because we have been unable to corroborate with the sources that we have tapped into in this regard. On the other hand I must say to you, we obviously have a capacity problem. So it is not possible for us with an office of fifteen corroborators to send someone out for all 6200 statements who were taken in our area to personally look for witnesses, okay? So we try to do this by fax and by telephone and if all else fails we send people to the area to try and trace somebody. So in general what we're trying to do is find some evidence so that in methodological sense we can say to South Africa, all 20 000 people who came to the Truth Commission received the same treatment. We did the following things, we tried to trace this. If we can find no information and even if we do find information we still make a finding on the balance of probability. In other words this is not a process which is beyond reasonable doubt, it's not a legal process, but it's a process in which we try by understanding the dynamics of South Africa, to make a finding on the balance of probability. But you will understand that we need to do this, because if we don't do this we will be accused of having people come to the Truth Commission, giving us statements because they believe that there's a financial or material reparation somewhere in the background. So there's an incentive to come, alright? There's an incentive to come, there's an incentive to exaggerate. These are the questions that the public will ask because this is the taxpayers money that is being used here. In general that's the kind of process that we follow. Are there any questions about that?
AUGUSTINE: Thank you very much for your explanation but don't you think that the lifespan of the TRC is too short?
MS GROBBELAAR: I'm an executive in the TRC so my opinion is a problematic one, we have to talk to the decision makers here. Let me say that we have a limited capacity, right? We have twenty thousand people who came, six thousand statements made to this office, sixteen corroborators, two and a half years, any, you know, the logic of that argument tells you that detail is very difficult to establish. But I think you have understand the TRC also in a broader context, it is a state intervention, it is part of process, it cannot resolve the situation but it can begin a process, okay? And the process is one, we hope, of reconciliation and not further anger, we hope reparation, we hope on the basis of South Africa accepting the legitimacy of what we said because you all know there are competing truths in South Africa, there's not one truth, there are competing truths and somehow we, in a methodological sense, in a sense which is acceptable to people have to go through a process which most of the people in South Africa can accept. Not everybody will accept it, some will say "you did too little", some will say "you did too much". We can't pick up both ends but we can try to pick up as many people as is possible in the beginning. It's an expensive process relatively speaking and I know we can argue this in, is the life of one person not worth more than 200 million Rand which is what the TRC has spent. That is not within our control. From a psychological point of view and you know I have sort of Psycho III so shoot me. You can't keep this process open too long either. Well I think the process needs to gain momentum in civil society, I'm not saying the issue of support groups the issue of X and A and Z shouldn't be carried on but you have to understand what the role of commissions is for state actions and for governments. They are exercises in dealing with the problems that the Government has to deal with on a relatively short term basis okay? It's the function of a Commission and this is a state intervention and what this Commission should be doing is kicking off other interventions and in that way we can say it's plus, but no states will allow a commission to go on ad infinitum. It's autonomy also becomes circumscribed the longer it goes on because the State and the Government begin to intervene because what needs to be done is they need to be looking better and not worse, alright? So the time of two and half years in my view, and if you look at the history of Commissions, is not too short, given the functions of the State and what it wants to achieve in this context. So it certainly is not, you know, 50 years after the Holocaust they are beginning to open up the Swiss issue. Simon Wiesenthal sits in Vienna, I think he's still alive and he has rooms and rooms full of documentation and it's very difficult, it's not begun to get finished and there's an enormous amount of work, so I'm not suggesting finishing, I'm suggesting the State cannot open this up, it hasn't got the capacity to deal with opening this up so radically, I think. But those are my opinions, okay, they're not official opinions.
SPEAKER 4: Ya, I think that it's all very well to explain the process, but do you explain the process to people who come and give your statement because frequently support groups and other things have the feeling of people who've given a statement and had no feedback. I appreciate you've got fifteen collators but if I came and gave you such an important statement of my life, and you sat and took two years and I heard nothing about it, I would feel very angry and that's what we talked about, about further victimisation. When the victim is actually retried and I'm not saying you're trying the victim, you just need to give the victim a process or a progress report, it's courtesy, it's etiquette, it's respect and I think that's where civil society actually gets irritated and angry when it doesn't happen.
MS GROBBELAAR: Let's answer there. Everybody who came to the Truth Commission whether it was in two years or six months should have received two documents from the Truth Commission and they're in files, the letter thanking you for making the statement and a letter sent out three months ago saying the situation is still happening and if you gave a statement here I can go and file and I will probably find both the letters on it. We can't control the post either. But what I'm saying to you, yes is I understand and yes we've tried to deal with it by doing that. No, no, I mean I'm honest, I, you may be assured that those of us in the Commission are much more concerned about the victims of the Commission that about the politics of the Commission, okay, and for us it's a very difficult task to work in a context where we have to see the victims and we have to talk to people and we have to deal with the most important thing in their lives and their pain under these kinds of pressures with these kinds of capacities. So be assured that I haven't met anybody in the Commission, in the Executive of this Commission, which is where I work, I do not work at the Commission level, that takes this responsibility lightly at all and it isn't aware of these issues and as I say we've at least made two interventions. Let me also say that there's one thing that I've learned. I've spent twenty years in academe so I'm an academic and this has been a very new experience for me. I have learned that it's very hard for people with such pain to hear a process argument and you can say that this is our problem and it certainly is our problem, the management and explaining of the process but I've learned that it is very hard for people to hear it and I have sat on platforms with Hlengiwe for example explaining this and it's very hard for people, as the gentleman said to deal with this in that sort of almost bureaucratic way. You know I understand the problem, it's not that we don't understand the problem it's how always to deal with the problem that is an issue which we I hope do our best to do. Thank you.
DR DANIEL: Eddie you wanted to ask last question because I think we will close for the day and see you all tomorrow. Go ahead, Eddie.
EDDIE: Ya, I'm not going to shoot the messenger. Because I feel that we may need to ask ourselves what is it that we're trying to achieve. I don't think that we are at a stage now where we want to make an evaluation of the TRC, that can happen later on. I think the essence of what we're trying to say here is that amongst us there are people who are saying that the healing is complicated by the processes that we have set up and we need to find a way in which we deal with that. I think the advantageous position that we have is that we're not dealing with it 35 years 50 years later on, we can deal with it now. But what we're also saying when we deal with it is that people are saying that we want to see justice and we have not analyzed or unpacked what exactly is meant by justice. We assume that when people say justice that the perpetrators must be punished and persecuted, is that really what people want? Is it not the justice that is more geared towards what will change things for me as the victim rather than so much justice that is concentrated on the perpetrator and that's a problem that we have recognised in the Roman Dutch Law system that we're using in this country. That justice concentrates too much on the perpetrator and does nothing for the victim and Dullah Omar's office is busy looking at the whole idea of restorative justice now. Another element which has also come out, and then I'm going to keep quiet, today, was the whole idea of symbols and you have mentioned the monuments and I think that we must guard against a situation where we set up Commissions where we look at other people to do what we ourselves have difficulty in doing, not because we don't want to do it but we have extreme difficulty in doing it and what I sense is the case of many people who are pained in our situation at the moment is that we have difficulty in dealing with that and for me this three day event is part of exactly enabling us to start a process of dealing with that and I'm glad that you have warned us not to be in a hurry because I think that one of the difficulties that we have is that we, the pain is so deep, that we can't tolerate it, we feel that is eating into us, into our bones and we want to see something substantive happening and here we are talking to a fairly moderate group of people that are paining, there are very many other people out there that are paining much deeper than this. Some of them not expressing it, in the way that we're expressing it if we look at the social difficulties that we experiencing in our society and therefore, the symbolic TRC must help us to look urgently at symbolic monuments that we can set up so that our brother here would be able to find refuge in the Vaal for when he feels really pained. Why is it that our brother has to come all the way from Free State to here? Is there a possibility that we can set up something there to help? If we go to the Biko Memorial in Mdanzani it's very helpful when one is, because I have a friend there who is suffering severe trauma and he was excited to take me to this memorial site but we don't have that and when we think of memorials, we mustn't think about war memorials, we must think about something more meaningful than that. I don't think that a war memorial is meaningful but then we are saddled with a problem that we come from a history that has been affirmed which is plagued by violence, so what do we put in that history that is meaningful that is a reflection of what Doc called earlier on, the non-violent resistance in this country. What do you use to portray non-violent resistance? It's easier to portray violent resistance and therefore I'm saying that we must, in conclusion, we must not look so much the TRC can do, at what other people out there can do. I'm not saying that we must not keep the TRC on it's toes, but it's important also for us to look at what it is that we can do because it quite apparent that we cannot rely on those structures to do those type of changes that we have ...[indistinct]
DR DANIEL: Not to do, especially not to do everything that needs to be done that they're not even supposed to do. But I think that's a great idea for homework for tomorrow. Why won't you really sit with yourself and think what will be meaningful symbolic memorials for you, because tomorrow we are going to go over the different elements of healing and integration and the commemoration is one of them. So why won't you give it a very serious thought tonight so that we can meaningfully discuss it tomorrow. Great.
MS GROBBELAAR: Look before you go can I just say that the last comment on your report, Mr Kwakwano. Mr Kwakwano was also contacted telephonically but was told that he had since moved without giving a forwarding address, have you got any time, can you come and speak with one of our corroborators now?
DR DANIEL: Wonderful. What a good idea of the day.
AUGUSTINE: About the address I've given on my statement is that I've given two addresses and two telephone numbers where I can be contacted. I was only contacted...
MS GROBBELAAR: I'm just saying to you that you're very welcome...[indistinct].
AUGUSTINE: Okay fine.