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Moses, R. Hrushovski-Moses, R. (1986). A Form of Group Denial at the Hamburg Congress. Int. R. Psycho-Anal., 13:175-180.

(1986). International Review of Psycho-Analysis, 13:175-180

A Form of Group Denial at the Hamburg Congress

Rafael Moses and Rena Hrushovski-Moses


The Congress in Hamburg represented a first official meeting of psychoanalysts of the world in Germany after the holocaust and after World War II. German analysts willynilly represented, for themselves and for others, the Germany which had produced the Nazi era. The organization of this emotionally laden Congress neither encouraged nor allowed for a direct experiencing of the feelings aroused. The 'padding' of the theme, euphemistically called the 'Nazi phenomenon' was

a major sign of the concern that untoward feelings might erupt. However, these feelings could thus not be directed into a constructive channel through addressing the issue directly and openly. By avoiding such an eruption, we failed to deal with the questions: What, in human beings, helped bring about the holocaust? and: What can be done to prevent a repetition? Perhaps it is not too late to try to continue the quest for what was missed.

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