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Wangh, M. (1994). Journal of Social Work and Policy in Israel. V-Vi (Special Issue), 1992: Discussion. Rafael Moses. Pp. 108-114.. Psychoanal Q., 63:612.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Journal of Social Work and Policy in Israel. V-Vi (Special Issue), 1992: Discussion. Rafael Moses. Pp. 108-114.

(1994). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 63:612

Journal of Social Work and Policy in Israel. V-Vi (Special Issue), 1992: Discussion. Rafael Moses. Pp. 108-114.

Martin Wangh

Moses underlines how important it is for the analyst to know where he or she stands in regard to the Holocaust and to have sufficient self-knowledge in order to be able to cope with countertransference in the treatment of Holocaust survivors or their offspring. Incomplete mourning leads to unfortunate consequences. In Israel the obligation is felt to remain a "witness" to the Shoah. According to Moses, "disavowal" is a misnomer for the process which dominates the survivors in regard to their Shoah experience. He thinks that most of them "encapsulate" events which are ever-present in them: thoughts, dreams, reveries, unconscious wishes, and conflicts push for "re-enactment." Moses asks whether the character and life-distortions of the patients presented by Pines could not have happened without the background of the Shoah. The likelihood is that their specific history is closely interwoven with the crucial crises in an ordinary pathological life situation. But Moses feels uneasy about comparing the experiential consequences in the second generation of survivors and the second generation of the Nazi perpetrators. He feels that putting these two on the same level fails to respect the sensibility of those not yet able to complete the mourning process.

Moses finds that silence and aggression, both open and hidden, are the major problems in the "second generation." We ought to examine the situations in "ordinary life" in which we can find similar elements. Child abuse cases should offer a field of comparison. Here too, fantasy and reality are mixed up, deep repression or denial prevail, and secrecy forms the main resistance. Often fearing to open up "the floodgates of feelings," the analyst colludes in the patient's resistance.

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Article Citation

Wangh, M. (1994). Journal of Social Work and Policy in Israel. V-Vi (Special Issue), 1992. Psychoanal. Q., 63:612

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