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Keywords:

  • extreme traumatization;
  • child survivors;
  • affect regulation;
  • memory;
  • space creating;
  • revenge

The author bases this paper on extensive research concerning children in genocide with a starting point in the Holocaust and in the genocide in Rwanda 1994. She demonstrates indicators for psychological phenomena concerning the child survivors' affect regulating that appeared in life histories presented in videotaped in-depth interviews. The psychological phenomena concern experiences of persecution and ways of coming to terms with recurring memory images and affects. The interviews that have been analysed in detail form a basis for an emerging conceptual model about trauma- and generational-linking processes within each individual-the ‘affect propeller’. An overall conclusion from this study is that past traumatic experiences are recovered not as memories in the usual sense of the word, but as affects invading the present. Accordingly, affects seem to tell the story of the past traumatic experiences.