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Leuzinger-Bohleber, M., Rickmeyer, C., Tahiri, M., Hettich, N., Fischmann, T. (2016). What can Psychoanalysis Contribute to the Current Refugee Crisis?: Preliminary Reports from STEP-BY-STEP: A Psychoanalytic Pilot Project for Supporting Refugees in a “First Reception Camp” and Crisis Interventions with Traumatized Refugees. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 97(4):1077-1093.
(2016). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 97(4):1077-1093
What can Psychoanalysis Contribute to the Current Refugee Crisis?: Preliminary Reports from STEP-BY-STEP: A Psychoanalytic Pilot Project for Supporting Refugees in a “First Reception Camp” and Crisis Interventions with Traumatized Refugees
The so-called refugee crisis surprised politicians, citizens as well as other such professional groups including medical doctors, social scientists and psychoanalysts. In 2015, 1,091,894 asylum seekers were registered in the nationwide electronic distribution system “EASY” (Erstverteilung der Asylbegehrenden; Initial Distribution of Asylum Seekers) in Germany. At least 900,000 refugees are expected to come to Germany in 2016 as well as the coming years, in spite of the closing of the “Balkan Route”. In 2015 the largest group of refugees came from Syria (35.9%), followed by Albania (12.2%) and Kosovo (7.6%). Further groups are fleeing from Afghanistan, Iraq, Eritrea, Pakistan, Morocco, Tunisia, Russia and the Ukraine. Two-thirds of the asylum seekers in 2014 were young men between 18 and 35 years. In the first six months of 2015 over 47,000 refugees were children and adolescents under the age of eighteen.
Daily media reports confront us with the enormous suffering and despair of refugees and their children. In Germany these reports may evoke memories of the 14 million refugees in the aftermath of the Second World War, particularly among elderly people. The individual and collective memory of human catastrophes connected with war, terror, and flight might be one of the reasons for the surprising wave of warm welcome, as well as the willingness of thousands of Germans to offer their support to refugees, while an alarming growing violence and hostility towards refugees may also be observed. Each day refugee homes are subjected to arson attacks.
After the attacks in Paris and Brussels, there has been an increased concern among the German population about Islamic terrorism and
1 Translation: Nora Hettich and Constanze Rickmeyer; editing: Justin Morris.
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