“Transgenerational trauma” is trauma that is transferred from the first generation of trauma survivors to the second and further generations of offspring of the survivors via complex post-traumatic stress disorder mechanisms.
The descendant of Russian and Austrian Jews who perished in the Pogrom and the Holocaust, Dr. Marjorie Agosin’s family escaped from Vienna, Austria and immigrated to Chile, where she grew up until the family fled to the United States to escape the military coup that overthrew Salvador Allende.
Dr. Agosin has written poetry books about the Holocaust, (one book in particular through the eyes of Anne Frank,) and violent political repression in South America and how these traumas continue to inform her work. Her creative work is inspired by the theme of social justice as well as the pursuit of remembrance and the memorialization of traumatic historical events both in the Americas and in Europe.
Her writing reflects a strong sense of her Jewish and Chilean identities as well as strong faith in life and the resilience of her Jewish ancestors. Together these form her connection to the whole of humanity.
Dr. Agosin speaks about the “weight” of transgenerational trauma through her own experiences as well as the stories of women who have been resilient in the face of political and ethnic oppression throughout the world.