Persistent Shadows of the Holocaust: The Meaning to Those Not Directly Affected

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Rafael Moses
International Universities Press, 1993 - Psychology - 277 pages
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This book focuses on the influence of the historical event of the Holocaust on the general public, on those who have not themselves been directly affected by it, either as victims or as perpetrators. It does so on the basis of psychological and psychoanalytic insights of four psychoanalysts who have differing viewpoints: a German psychoanalyst, an American Jewish psychoanalyst, an American non-Jewish analyst and two Israeli (Jewish) analysts. This provides a diversity of viewpoints and covers considerable territory.
A second point of special interest lies in that this book presents a discussion between different people and different groups on the Holocaust, its perception, its influence, and how it is related to today. While the main protagonists here are Germans and Israelis, the presence of a variety of other persons gives this encounter a holding environment and framework.
The importance of this book thus rests in two areas: first, the focus on a topic which has not so far been dealt with in a direct or scientific manner - the impact of the Holocaust on those not directly affected. This topic is dealt with by professionals, all psychoanalysts, but also teachers, citizens of different countries or areas, and members of different cultural groups. This provides a perspective that serves the topic well.
Second, this book offers a detailed account of how a large number of people (about 120) reacted to the four main chapters presented. This reaction does not only demonstrate the intellectual grappling with this subject, but also brings to the reader the emotional workings of the minds of different kinds of people as they relate to the Holocaust: second generation survivors of the Holocaust; North African or Middle Eastern Sephardic Jews who had no contact with the Holocaust; other Israelis; German analysts and psychotherapists who were children at the time of the Holocaust or were born after it, but whose parents may or may not have been either perpetrators or bystanders at the time of the Nazi regime: American Jewish analysts whose parents emigrated from Russia to the United States one or two or three generations ago; American non-Jewish analysts: and Swiss, Dutch, Swedish, and Australian participants, Jewish or non-Jewish. The emotional reaction of these various participants can be followed in detail through description of twelve small groups, each with ten to twelve participants and a group leader, which met four times in three days: and through a panel plenary discussion where the interaction between the protagonists took place before a large audience.

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The Shadow of the Holocaust
What the Holocaust Means to a NonJewish

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