The Connection Between Anti-Jewish Oppression and “Mental Health” Oppression

The Jewish “Mental Health” System Survivors’ Workshop,1 led by Janet Foner,2 helped me to understand some things about my distress that I had not fully understood before.

The connection between anti-Jewish oppression and “mental health” oppression became clear when Janet spoke about how Jews have been treated as different, as not fitting in, as if something is wrong with us.

Work on the Holocaust allowed me to discharge directly on having visited Dachau3 with my parents when I was twelve. As horrifying as it was, I knew when I was there that I could not show that. Having a lot of feelings, especially being scared, publicly or not, was not acceptable in my owning-class family. I had to pretend that I wasn’t upset, scared, or feeling bereft when faced with the loss of such an overwhelming number of our people.

I liked being reminded at the workshop to have fun and pursue my dreams—great contradictions to the constant focus on achieving success that I had learned, in unspoken messages, was the route to safety.

Phyllis Kessler
Short Hills, New Jersey, USA
Reprinted from the RC e-mail discussion list or leaders of "mental health" liberation


An RC workshop held near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA in April, 2015
Janet Foner is the International Liberation Reference Person for “Mental Health” Liberation.
Dachau was a World War II Nazi concentration camp in Germany.


Last modified: 2019-05-02 14:41:35+00