Generational trauma

An inherited or generational trauma is a trauma that you did not experience yourself, but that was passed on by the previous generation(s). There was an experiment in which mice were regularly exposed to the scent of cherry blossoms while receiving an electric shock. So these mice were traumatized and associated the scent of cherry blossoms with their trauma. The next generation of mice was regularly exposed only to the scent of cherry blossoms, not to electric shocks. The third generation mice, i.e. the grandchildren’s generation, reacted with fear and panic when they smelled cherry blossoms. So this means that the trauma of the electric shock has been passed on to at least two other generations.

Due to the World War II and the Third Reich, it is possible that many people in Germany are still in a traumatized state. Feelings like shock, shame, guilt, grief, panic, etc. can be part of this condition. These feelings have to be processed and digested at some point. The generations who experienced the war up close, and for the most part the first generation after the war, were either unwilling or unable to deal with the emotional consequences of the war. Therefore it is now up to the most sensitive of the grandchildren and great-grandchildren to fulfill this important task.