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Levine, H.B. (1991). Healing their Wounds. Psychotherapy with Holocaust Survivors and their Families. Edited by Paul Marcus and Alan Rosenberg. New York: Praeger Publishers. 1989. Pp. 324.. Int. R. Psycho-Anal., 18:114-115.
(1991). International Review of Psycho-Analysis, 18:114-115
Healing their Wounds. Psychotherapy with Holocaust Survivors and their Families. Edited by Paul Marcus and Alan Rosenberg. New York: Praeger Publishers. 1989. Pp. 324.
Review by: Howard B. Levine
There is much that continues to be compelling for psychoanalysts in the exploration of the Holocaust and its impact on the lives of survivors and their children. To begin with, these studies keep alive the memory of the millions who were killed. For Jews, the admonition to remember is a core principal of religious belief. I am told that the root word, zakhor, 'to remember', is the second most frequently appearing word in the Torah, exceeded only by ben, 'son of', which, in its linking of one generation to the next, carries some of the same connotations. For a Jew, to remember is an act of piety, a holy act that joins past with present, that commemorates and memorializes. At the same time, such remembrance bears witness to the horrors of the Nazi camps and raises a powerful moral and political voice against state organized and approved acts of racism, injustice and cruelty wherever and whenever they occur.
While the passage of time has reduced the population of Holocaust survivors, the urgency of understanding the psychological consequences of the Nazi brutality has not diminished. There is a second, and even a third, generation of patients, whose lives have been deeply, albeit indirectly, affected by the Holocaust. These patients continue to require psychological treatment. And of course there are patients who, in other circumstances, have suffered or continue to suffer under state sanctioned political, racial and ethnic violence. Unfortunately, our contemporary world remains a place in which totalitarianism, state sponsored torture, murder, hatred and systematic suppression of dissent continue to exist.
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