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Jucovy, M.E. (1992). Psychoanalytic Contributions to Holocaust Studies. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 73:267-282.

(1992). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 73:267-282

Psychoanalytic Contributions to Holocaust Studies

Milton E. Jucovy


The purpose of this presentation is to provide a comprehensive overview to a wide audience of how effects of trauma incurred by victims of Nazi persecution during the Holocaust may affect survivors and their children. In doing so, one has to accept that powerful defences employed by survivors themselves and the world about them led to a 'latency period' which delayed investigation of the late sequelae of Holocaust trauma. Bridging the gap was stimulated by the passage of indemnification legislation by the Federal German Republic which enabled mental health professionals to investigate these possible effects. Psychoanalytic theories of trauma had to be reconsidered in the light of these inquiries. Further study revealed that the effects of massive and cumulative trauma may be transmitted to the second generation. Recurrent themes and conflicts in children of survivors have been described. Clinical illustrations have been provided to illuminate some aspects of problems encountered in treating members of a traumatized group. Finally, issues involving unresolved mourning and questions of commemorating the Holocaust have been considered.

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