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Marcus, P. Rosenberg, A. (1992). Healing their Wounds. Int. R. Psycho-Anal., 19:503-503.

(1992). International Review of Psycho-Analysis, 19:503-503

Healing their Wounds

Paul Marcus and Alan Rosenberg

Dear David Tuckett,

We don't usually respond to reviews of our books unless of course we feel that the reviewer has misrepresented our point of view. Howard Levine's ungenerous review (Vol. 18, Part 1, 1991, pp. 114–5) of our anthology Healing Their Wounds: Psychotherapy with Holocaust Survivors and Their Children, New York: Praeger) warrants a reply in that he comments '… some of the articles struck me as naive and oversimplified in their view of mainstream psychoanalytic thinking'. This is uncorroborated—he never tells us which of the essays he is referring to or why he thinks they are naive and oversimplified. In fact, in his entire review he only mentions the name of one of the sixteen contributors in the book. It is this type of 'hit and run' pejorative comment that is not fair play to those scholars, some of them prominent names in the field, who have given their best efforts to contribute thoughtful essays to the book. Instead Dr Levine uses the review to elaborate his own reflections on the Holocaust including his rather stereotyped view of the survivor. By describing their experiences and condition as one that 'defies comprehension' or that is 'virtually beyond comprehension' he may inadvertently make the survivor feel even more misunderstood and unintelligible than he may already feel. Moreover, by using such a language of incomprehensibility he contributes to the demoralization among psychotherapists and the general public who then may believe that it is impossible to ever empathize, understand and help the survivor. Such a mystification of the survivor does no one any good.

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