New Book Published, with Two Chapters by Irit Felsen: “Psychoanalysis and Holocaust Testimony: Unwanted Memories of Social Trauma”

I am very pleased to announce that this week a new book,  in which I contributed two chapters, was published and has became available,. The book is entitled

Psychoanalysis and Holocaust Testimony: Unwanted Memories of Social Trauma

and was edited by Dori Laub and Andreas Hamburger, and published by Routledge. My chapters describe my experiences together with Dori Laub as the principal researchers as we interviewed chronically hospitalized Holocaust survivors in psychiatric institutions in Israel.

The purpose of the book describing our study was to closely examine the experience of denial, erasure and fragmentation inherent in the attempt to think, verbalize and speak about extreme traumatization. Questions about bearing witness and giving testimony, as well as about the role of denial on the individual and on the societal levels, are examined. The impact of traumatic narratives and the difficulty of society in hearing them manifest themselves in such phenomena as the “disappearance” of the most injured survivors from visibility and from social awareness to this group, and the omission of their life stories from the collective narratives of the Holocaust. In other places around the world the refusal of society to bear witness, to accept responsibility for the victims and to bring perpetrators and collaborators to justice, is evidenced in the repeated denial of genocides, also evidenced in the attempts to deny the Holocaust.

The book is available in hardcover and paperback versions, as well as e-book, for example direct from the Publisher, or through Amazon and other sources. It is aimed primarily, but not only, at professionals working with trauma survivors. My own two chapters are written for both professional and non-professional readers.

             Irit Felsen

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