Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Eric M. Sauer


The purpose of the current study was to help understand the lives, worldview, and meaning making of Soviet Holocaust survivors currently residing in the United States. Ethnographic interviews were conducted to explore survivor's childhood, family life, religion, political views, work, and social life. These areas were examined during the following time periods: pre-WWII, during WWII, and post-WWII.

From the collected and analyzed data I was able to offer an insight into the experiences of five Soviet Holocaust survivors under the Soviet regime. I described the struggles that the survivors experienced during the Holocaust, the losses they had suffered, and the Nazi atrocities they had experienced during the war. Moreover, I attempted to offer a unique account of their lives under the Soviet regime and the anti-Semitic discrimination it imposed. I shared survivor's detailed accounts of anti- Semitism in higher education, work, and daily life. I offered an understanding of what it means to be a survivor in a country that failed to acknowledge the mass murder of its own citizens. I also offered an understanding of what it means to be a Soviet Jewish survivor and to have an identity shaped by compounded trauma and anti-Semitism. anti-Semitism. Implications are discussed within the context of Holocaust research, and future research is suggested.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access