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Wangh, M. (1994). Journal of Social Work and Policy in Israel. V-Vi (Special Issue), 1992: A Psychoanalyst's Thoughts Concerning the Genocide. Janine Chasseguet-Smirgel. Pp. 17-32.. Psychoanal Q., 63:608-609.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Journal of Social Work and Policy in Israel. V-Vi (Special Issue), 1992: A Psychoanalyst's Thoughts Concerning the Genocide. Janine Chasseguet-Smirgel. Pp. 17-32.

(1994). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 63:608-609

Journal of Social Work and Policy in Israel. V-Vi (Special Issue), 1992: A Psychoanalyst's Thoughts Concerning the Genocide. Janine Chasseguet-Smirgel. Pp. 17-32.

Martin Wangh

This paper is an idiosyncratic psychoanalytic interpretation of the main motives of the Nazis for their actions. The author suggests that the Nazis' preoccupation with soil, earth, and nature was a way to seek a "union with mother." Jews and non-Aryans had to be eradicated because they were obstacles to such a direct union. She holds that Nazi ideology contained very little symbolic mediation between man and the universe. Racism was a "body" fantasy which promoted the actualization of murder. She quotes extensively from Hitler's Mein Kampf. The German soul, detached from Judeo-Christian morality, found fulfillment in German paganism, i.e., a conflict-free fusion with mother earth. On an archaic oedipal level, the Jew was the father, the moralist, who interfered with this union. He therefore had to be eliminated. A regression to the anal stage of morality took place. Jews were gassed in pseudowashrooms with Zyklon B gas, an insecticide. The author's main point is that Hitler's thinking was wholly concretistic, barely a step away from the corporeal.

Chasseguet-Smirgel describes Lanzmann's film, Shoah, as a "blind spot" into which

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all images can be condensed. In creating this space, Lanzmann creates the conditions for symbolic thought.

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Article Citation

Wangh, M. (1994). Journal of Social Work and Policy in Israel. V-Vi (Special Issue), 1992. Psychoanal. Q., 63:608-609

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