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Hopper, E. (2004). The Third Reich in the unconscious: Transgenerational transmission and its consequences Edited by Vamik D. Volkan, Gabriele Ast and William F. Greer, Jr. New York, London: Brunner-Routledge. 2003. 224 pp.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 85:243-247.

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(2004). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 85(1):243-247

The Third Reich in the unconscious: Transgenerational transmission and its consequences Edited by Vamik D. Volkan, Gabriele Ast and William F. Greer, Jr. New York, London: Brunner-Routledge. 2003. 224 pp.

Review by:
Earl Hopper

This carefully organised, well-argued, richly illustrated and scholarly book, with a most perceptive Foreword by Dr Ira Brenner, an American psychoanalyst who was a member of the Group for the Psychoanalytic Study of the Effects of the Holocaust on the Second Generation, will be appreciated by those for whom it was intended: mental health workers who are interested in the psychoanalytical understanding of the transgenerational transmission of the consequences of the Nazi Holocaust (or Shoah). This project is also relevant to attempts to understand the dynamics of massive social trauma in general, and unconscious effects of external reality on identity and development in both their normal and pathological forms, in particular. Thus, this book will also be of value to all those interested in the nature of the social unconscious and its constraints within the cells of the time and space paradigm (Hopper, 2003a).

Part I of The Third Reich in the unconscious is called ‘On the mental representation of history’, and consists of four chapters in which the authors provide a useful summary of the literature on attempts to elucidate the survivor syndrome, and on the shift in emphasis that has occurred in psychoanalysis from primarily biological to primarily ‘relationship’ perspectives. Drawing essentially but not entirely on Volkan's own valuable work on object-relations thinking, narcissism, sibling relations, disorders of character, gender and sexual dysfunctions,

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