Date of Award

Spring 5-15-2024

Document Type

Undergraduate Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts in International Relations


Political Science & International Relations


Dr. Kacie Miura


This thesis addresses the intricate relationship between the historical persecution of the Holocaust and its enduring influence on contemporary Jewish political engagement, a subject of significant contemporary relevance in political and international relations. Despite broad recognition of the Holocaust’s impact, the specific ways in which its memory affects Jewish political attitudes and actions around the world in the modern day have not been sufficiently thoroughly examined. Utilizing qualitative methods, including interviews with 20 individuals—public figures, Holocaust survivors, their descendants, and broader members of the Jewish diaspora— this study focuses on understanding the interplay between historical trauma, community cohesion, and the political responses to security concerns and Israel’s geopolitical challenges. It hypothesizes that the collective memory of the Holocaust instills a pervasive sense of apprehension, influencing political affiliations and behaviors among both survivors’ descendants and the wider community. The findings of this project are intended to offer critical insights into the dynamics of Jewish political identity and decision-making. By highlighting the emotional and psychological dimensions of political engagement, this thesis not only addresses a notable gap in current research but also equips policymakers with a deeper, more nuanced understanding of Jewish political responses, ultimately facilitating more informed and empathetic political formulations in a complex global landscape.