Why do I react too emtionally to the Holocaust?

My cousin sent me a Youtube link to Oseh Shalom. On the same page was Kol Nidre for Holocaust victims. Photos were included. One was of a little boy holding up his hands as Nazis pointed guns at him and others. The boy reminded meof my son and my grandson. That was 3 days ago. I am still depressed. For years I've refused to read or view pics of the Holocaust. I see my family in everyone's faces. I was fortunate to be born in the UK and distant relatives were murdered in Holland - no one I knew. However, my reaction is so powerful - it takes my strength - Why can't I deal with it?


I am crying as I read all of your beautiful expressions of support and friendship.

I will not choose "A Best Answer".

All of you posters are "The Best".

NEVER AGAIN for the Jewish People, and let us pray for the innocents who are being slaughtered as I write. May G-d show his mercy in Africa and for humanity worldwide.

29 Answers

  • Favorite Answer

    That's not abnormal.

    When I went to the Holocaust Museum (in Washington DC), I cried a lot, and I stayed depressed for about a WEEK.

    The Holocaust was a horrible thing. It's hard to accept that this was done by human beings, to other human beings.

  • I applaud your decision not to award a "Best Answer" -- though other voters will eventually do so. :-)

    Anyway, your reaction is very normal -- it means you're actually a human being, complete with the capacity to be empathetic.

    I will say, however, that three days is a bit much to let it depress you -- but perhaps that's because this is the first time you really explored the subject, so it naturally WOULD pack quite a wallop. We Jews have solemn remembrances for the victims, including during the High Holidays [Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah] around September.

    My maternal grandparents perished in the Holocaust; my mother was smuggled out as a child a few days before her parents were taken. So I grieve for the six million AND for never getting to meet my grandparents.

    And please remember that there were about 3-4 million non-Jews massacred as well -- Poles, Catholics, the aged, the physically & mentally handicapped, homosexuals, communists, political prisoners, and others. 9-10 million people -- how ghastly.

    But please don't grieve for too much longer, my dear -- you're still alive, and therefore you must LIVE life.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Know that every generation and every member of it are reminded NEVER AGAIN, and that even germany holds mass ceremonies to signify it's regret.

    Anybody, anyone, who has ever become filled with propoganda or hate or media or racism need only remember the holocaust to deter them and wake them up.

    I've been to the holocaust museum like others and I'd be much more concerned for anyone who can look at it without a pang of despair. It's probably the most disgusting thing in the entireity of history, in any civilisation, so luckily this generation can compare and realise just how much such things as genocide have no place in the developing world.

    Source(s): PS I've seen the vid too.
  • 1 decade ago

    This is not a matter of being too emotional (whatever that means). The fact that you have protected yourself for years by not reading or looking at pictures tells us that you knew there was something at a deep level that was too painful.

    There are many of us whose parents survived the Holocaust in one way or another and some of them never spoke about their experiences and some of them spoke all the time. Whichever way it worked, it had a big impact on us - sometimes almost more so when it was never spoken. In fact, some people have been powerfully affected, have had dreams/nightmares etc when they didn't even KNOW their parents were Jewish. Something of trauma gets communicated without words. It may not have been your parents directly - but they KNEW about what happened in Holland and their fear, their anxiety, their shock etc will have been communicated.

    If you are in the UK, you might want to make contact with the Second Generation Network. E-mail me if you're interested.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago


    Because, quite simply, it is terrifying for those of us that are Jewish to know that so much hate existed towards us.

    The Holocaust is not, for us, some distant historical event. It happened less than 100 years ago, and it happened to PEOPLE JUST LIKE US.

    As you even noted: the only reason it didn't happen to some of us is because we were fortunate enough to be brought up by families living in Britain or other nations that weren't part of Hitler's vile plans.

    And this is why all Jews make the same silent and heartfelt vow: NEVER AGAIN.

  • Hodaya
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    You are not over-reacting. Any normal decent person would react in that way.

    I do. Even though I'm not Jewish or anything.Even just reading fiction regarding WW2 or the Holocaust gives me a similar reaction.

    I'm currently reading a book - it's called 'The Book Thief' by Markus Zusak - it's a fictional story that takes place during WW2 and the Holocaust is involved in it too. And that is the only book in my life that ever made me cry.

    Actually I would recommend that book to everybody out there - it's sad , but very moving and beautifully written.

    Back to your question - you are NOT reacting too emotionally to the Holocaust.

    You are reacting to it like a human being.

    Shalom , and NEVER AGAIN

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Maybe you are like me and so many others. Most of us grow up living relatively sheltered lives. Although we know there was a Holocaust we don't know the horrid details. Several years ago during a period of time when I was unable to work I did a lot of reading and watched documentaries and movies about the Holocaust, wars, the attempted genocide of Native Americans and Aboriginies and Slavery during the pre civil war period. These were horrible events. Terrible horrific things happened to human beings during this time. I don't like to say that any one was worse than the other but the things that happened to individuals during The Holocaust were on average the most violent,disrespectful, horrible and ruthless things that could be imagined. It is a shock to our senses. You should not worry that you are upset about these things even for days or weeks afterward. I would be worried if you weren't. These things upset me too and I am not Jewish.

    It is good to know and understand what kinds of things have happened to innocent human beings. We need to know that humans are capable of these things and we need to make sure that these things don't happen again. Also the people who indured such atrosities should never ever be forgotten.

    Don't overload your senses with these things. But allow yourself to grieve for the suffering of fellow human beings. They deserve it.

    Hearing stories of child abuse and molestation has the same affect on me. I think about it for days and sometimes even years later if I think about some things I have heard I want to cry.

    I became an atheist after this time period of ''learning'' and awakening. There was more included in my change than learning about these events in depth but it did contribute much to my change of mind and heart.

  • 1 decade ago

    Because you care about what happens to people. I was fortunate; I had no family in danger although my friend's parents are survivors (so we hear the stories and HER reactions to them).

    I cried when I visited Shoah (the museum in Paris).

    Let me echo another poster - I'd be more worried if you didn't react. You are seeing your child and grandchild and what could have happened.

    However - you MUST look at the joy that your son, grandson, other family, and friends bring in your life. I recommend the movie "Paperclips"; I cried then too, but it was heartwarming to see these youngsters (the movie was about a small town in rural Tennessee that put an exhibit together to learn about the Shoah) learn and gain empathy.

    Be strong and stand with those who remind everyone that to deny history or to ignore it is to repeat it.


    B'shalom (in peace)

  • Because the Holocaust was a crime against humanity. You empathized with the victims and put yourself in their shoes, especially since one of the photos reminded you of your relatives.

    What I would do is really take a look at my life and try to learn from that tragedy. It started from people making generalizations about others and not taking responsibility for their own actions; they were using the Jews and others as scapegoats for their own problems and persecuted them mercilessly.

    How do I look at others who aren't just like me? How can I be more tolerant of other races and cultures? What can I do to teach future generations how to love all of mankind? These are some of the rhetorical questions I'd ask myself.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I think it's because there's no rationale to what happened.

    The affect it had on those who suffered through it was numbness and for those who had relatives who died it's about coping. To those of us who learned of it later, even if we were born way laterin life, it is because we fail to see how civilization can crumble to that point where right, wrong, morals, decency fail human beings.

    You have compassion and a sense of values and it is unimaginable to see history for what it is being that you are a good person and couldn't imagine it.

    Even in so much evil, good came from it. Israel became a nation, evil was subdued, countries came together in their time of need, and many heroic acts happened by individuals as well as the King of Denmark.

    Read about some of those things and perhaps it will lift your spirits. :)

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