Abstract

This paper deals not only with Freud and his psychoanalytic legacy but also with the author’s personal history as a refugee from Austria and its effects on his analytic thought and work. The difficulties of communication between those Austrians for whom the Nazi period represented an interruption of their usual existence and the victims whose lives were ruptured are discussed on a personal and a conceptual level. The meaning of the openness of the psychoanalytic process and of functioning democracy is explored. Although psychoanalysis and democracy must confront the denial of the past, both must function while recognizing the power of the irrational and the unconscious. Governments build monuments and organize memorial events. A focus on victims may not differentiate natural catastrophes from crimes committed by humans. By shifting attention away from the perpetrators, such memorials may be anti-memorials and serve organized amnesia.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1085-7931
Print ISSN
0065-860X
Pages
pp. 547-565
Launched on MUSE
2009-03-11
Open Access
No
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