Monthly Article Archives: November 2012

Further Thoughts about ForgivenessRobert Brooks, Ph.D.

I devoted my November, 2008 article to the theme of forgiveness and described two unforgettable people, Sam and Betty, both Holocaust survivors. When I was a teenager they moved into the apartment below ours in the three-family house in which I lived in Brooklyn. They were the first Holocaust survivors whom I had met on a personal level. I vividly remember that they rarely, if ever, smiled and their eyes always conveyed a profound sadness. Years later as a psychologist I was reminded of their eyes when working with some children who had been abused and traumatized. Except for Betty’s brother who lived in our neighborhood, all members of their once large families had been killed, most in the gas chambers of the concentration camps. At times, especially after I read an article or watched a television show about the Holocaust, I wanted to ask Sam and Betty about their experiences in Nazi Germany. In many ways the Holocaust was incomprehensible to me. Six million Jews exterminated. Millions of others killed. How could it happen? How could so many people be slaughtered? What was it like to be in a concentration camp? Looking back, I realize that my questions were

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