Abstract: This study is a qualitative-exploratory analysis of the traumatic experiences of the survivors of the Gulag and of the Holocaust. It studies the interaction between individual and collective traumas, according to recent psychological and psychoanalytical approaches and to the szondian theory. The central themes are: defining and explaining the traumatic past; trauma and ?working-through? the trauma; a very brief and preliminary taxonomy of extreme forms of traumatization; individual and collective long-term effects and their szondian assessment; coping with trauma and therapeutic strategies (reparative and preventive goals of liberation from the traumas).