Little research has been done on the effects of the Holocaust on the Third Generation. Publications about the effects of the Holocaust on the families of survivors peeked between 1980 and 1990 and then declined. Perhaps as the Third Generation matures, they will initiate a new phase of study and writing.
Even without the research, it is clear that the Holocaust plays an important psychological role in the identity of Third Gens.
One noticeable attribute of this third generation is the close bond they have with their grandparents. According the Eva Fogelman, "a very interesting psychological trend is that the third generation is a lot closer to their grandparents and that it's a lot easier for grandparents to communicate with this generation than it was for them to communicate with the second generation."
Given the less intense relationship with their grandchildren than with their children, many survivors have found it easier to share their experiences with the Third Generation than with the Second. In addition, by the time the grandchildren were old enough to understand, it was easier for the survivors to speak.
The Third Gens are the ones who will be alive when all the survivors have passed on, when remembering the Holocaust becomes a new challenge. As the last link to the survivors, the Third Generation will be the one with the mandate to continue to tell the stories.
Some Third Gens are getting to the age where they are having their own children. Thus, some Second Gens are now becoming grandparents, becoming the grandparents they never had. By living what they were not able to experience themselves, a broken circle is being mended and closed.
With the arrival of the fourth generation, once again the Jewish family is becoming whole. The ghastly wounds suffered by Holocaust survivors and the scars worn by their children and even their grandchildren seem to be finally healing with the Fourth Generation.