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Abramovitch, H. (1986). There Are No Words: Two Greek-Jewish Survivors of Auschwitz. Psychoanal. Psychol., 3(3):203-216.

(1986). Psychoanalytic Psychology, 3(3):203-216

There Are No Words: Two Greek-Jewish Survivors of Auschwitz

Henry Abramovitch, Ph.D.

Songs are just words.

Those who are bitter sing them,

They sing them to get rid of the

bitterness. But the bitterness

doesn't go away

(Danforth, 1982p. 146)

Interviews with two Greek-Jewish survivors of Auschwitz who underwent enforced genital mutilation (unilateral orchiectomy) as part of immoral Nazi experimentation are presented and compared. Their contrasting reactions to the traumatic situation highlight the complex tasks of the survivor, especially the emotional difficulty of constructing a story out of the subjective experience of the Holocaust. Survivors' reactions, it is proposed, are affected by the relative identification/disidentification with their holocaust self. Certain traumatic events, nevertheless, may remain incapable of being narrated and clinical implications of this “enforced silence” are discussed.

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