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Cavell, M. (1998). Working through the Nazi Past: Germany's Psychoanalytic Community. A Distant View from Close Quarters. Martin Wangh. Pp. 97-122. Psychoanal Q., 67(3):532-533.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Working through the Nazi Past: Germany's Psychoanalytic Community. A Distant View from Close Quarters. Martin Wangh. Pp. 97-122

(1998). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 67(3):532-533

Working through the Nazi Past: Germany's Psychoanalytic Community. A Distant View from Close Quarters. Martin Wangh. Pp. 97-122

Marcica Cavell

Taking both a personal and a general perspective, the author sketches the sociohistorical circumstances leading to the destruction of psychoanalysis in Germany between 1933 and 1945. In so doing he looks at the attitudes and responses evinced by those “Aryan” analysts who believed it to be possible to “rescue” psychoanalysis from Hitler's grasp without forfeiting any of its central convictions.

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Then Wangh takes Alexander and Margarete Mitscherlich's pioneering work, The Inability to Mourn, as a starting point for a reconstruction of the revolt staged in the late seventies and early eighties by the younger generation against their analytic parents and their continuing silence about the past—a revolt that took place not least in the pages of Psyche. Central to Wangh's remarks is a concern with the working out of persistent feelings of shame, guilt, and success (or failure) in the attempt to overcome and/or integrate them. Finally, the author advances a suggestion as to how the emotional—and verbal—barriers between the descendants of the victims and those of the perpetrators could be removed.

Article Citation

Cavell, M. (1998). Working through the Nazi Past: Germany's Psychoanalytic Community. A Distant View from Close Quarters. Martin Wangh.. Psychoanal. Q., 67(3):532-533

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