Persecution in Central Europe and its consequences on the lives of SHARE respondents

We report information from the SHARELIFE data recalling experiences of persecution and dispossession of SHARE respondents and focus on the relationship of persecution and current outcomes in the three Central European populations. 10% of the Czech and East German respondents and about 6% of those in Poland report being persecuted, and political reasons are most frequently reported to be the main reason for this persecution (respectively 61%, 47% and 40%). Persecution in the Czech Republic had most severe consequences for professional careers of the respondents. The experience of persecution in the Czech Republic has strongest effects on the reported satisfaction with job achievements and career disappointment. The relationship between persecution and health is strongest in Poland, where compared to those not persecuted in the past, the persecuted individuals are from 60-70% more likely to report current poor health, three or more limitations in performing daily activities (ADLs), as well as having experienced long-term illness and a period of disability. Persecuted individuals in Poland are also twice as likely to report having three or more symptoms of poor health. Effects of persecution on health are also present in the Czech and GDR samples, though in most cases the effects are not statistically significant.