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Hartman, J.J. (2014). Anna Freud and the Holocaust: Mourning and Survival Guilt. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 95(6):1183-1210.

(2014). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 95(6):1183-1210

Anna Freud and the Holocaust: Mourning and Survival Guilt Language Translation

John J. Hartman

(Accepted for publication 10 February 2014)

This article explores the period of Anna Freud's life after she was informed of the deaths of her aunts in Nazi concentration camps during World War II. Understanding of this period may be enhanced by consideration of the role of the Holocaust in her complicated mourning process. A series of her dreams is re-examined from the point of view of survivor guilt and the complicated mourning of her father in the context of the Holocaust. It is argued that unconscious reproaches against her father led to an identification with him that included his ‘decision’ to leave his sisters in Vienna. Survivor guilt in relation to her aunts' murders is seen as one of the complicating factors in the mourning process. In addition the article discusses the possible role of this period, particularly her work with child concentration camp survivors, in her post-war writing. The noted duality in her work between innovation and conservatism is explored in terms of an outcome of the mourning process of this period. It is argued that her views on mourning, trauma, attachment, and the widening scope of indications for psychoanalysis were influenced by the outcome of her mourning process. Finally, an irony is noted in the fact that her attitude about altruism never changed despite the role of the altruism of others in her rescue from the Nazis.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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