One of the most outstanding sets of cases and, for me, most moving and awe-inspiring is concerned with the holocaust and the way we young Israelis, who did not experience its horrors first-hand, deal with its memory. Several of the people who worked in my groups are children of concentration-camp survivors; but they are not the only ones haunted by holocaust recollections, which come to mind readily when the threat of war comes to the foreground.
Two recent periods in the history of Israel were specifically mentioned in relation to the holocaust. One was the waiting period before the 1967 war. For long weeks before the outbreak of this war, the impression was that the Arabs were mobilizing their forces from all directions, threatening war, while our then small country fortified itself against this forthcoming attack. Besides building trenches and preparing bomb shelters, people at home felt rather helpless, and many remember this period as one during which memories of the holocaust were brought to mind. Yet, this waiting period ended with a tremendous victory for us, reinforcing the feeling that the holocaust could not be repeated.
On a different note, the holocaust was again mentioned six years later, with the growing awareness of our horrible losses in human life during the Yom Kippur War. As an army commander said at one of the mass funerals: "A whole generation of warriors has been wiped out in three weeks." And, of course, in between these acute crises, some forget, some remember . . . some days more, some days less.