Holocaust survivorship and trauma: agency and coping

Andjela Samardzic, Eric Gutgarts, Yehuda Kowalsky, Micah Zylstra, Lisa Suzuki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Determination, ingenuity, education, and religiosity have been associated with agency and resilience during trauma. Studies indicate that agency may be related to socioeconomic background and schemas prior to traumatic experience. This qualitative study thus examines agency as noted in the interviews of seventeen Holocaust survivors and members of the Holocaust Speaker’s Bureau, reflecting on their experiences before, during, and after the Shoah. Themes related to individual agentic responses in terms of socioeconomic background, relationships, routine versus immediate (ad hoc) survival response, determination, hope, and worldview are discussed and their meaning for future study of trauma and clinical practice is addressed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2023


  • Agency
  • agentic
  • resilience
  • survival
  • trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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