As the children of Holocaust surivors reach adulthood they often need professional help in establishing a new identity and self-esteem because, during their childhood, their parents have unconsciously transmitted to them so much of their own trauma, investing them with all their memories and hopes, so that they become the living "memorial candles" of the title. Memorial Candles combines verbatim transcriptions of dialogues in individual and group psychotherapy sessions, with analysis of dreams, fantasies and childhood memories. Starting with the disruption of the inter-generational chain resulting from the parents' abrupt separation from their families, the reader is led through their hasty marriages after the war and the birth of their first children, intended as "memorial candles" to their families. Diana Wardi examines the children's infancy in the dense atmosphere of survivor families and their conflictual separation upon maturity. Wardi also examines identity disturbances peculiar to second-generation Holocaust survivors including identification with death, and particular problems with self-esteem and sexual identity.