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Book Reviews 149 On the general subject of collaboration, Cocks discusses briefly the work of the German psychologist Regine Lockot, whose ownw~rk on the Goring Institute appeared at the same time as his original book (Lockot was a psychoanalytic candidate at that time). If anyone person deserves recognition for arguing unambiguously that psychoanalysts and psychotherapists in the Third Reich compromised their intellectual and moral ideas, it is Lockot in her pioneering and probing book, Erinnern und Durcharbeiten (Remember and Work Through) (Fischer, 1985). Cocks's revised work is more thoughtful and much weightier than his original book. He openly considers the moral culpability ofthe members ofthe Goring Institute. But he does so in a way that sometimes leaves it unclear what he actually thinks. Struggling to be fair in a complex situation, he often obsesses to the point of muddy conclusions. But perhaps Cocks's dilemmas are those of us all as we strive to make sense of human behavior under malignant conditions. Let me conclude by placing Cocks's book in a historiographical setting. When Psychotherapy in the Third Reich was originally published, books about the collusion and collaboration of the populace with the regime in Nazi Germany were in their first flush. Until the 1980s, with few exceptions, the historical literature had emphasized Hitler's and the Nazi Party's forcible hold on the German people who, it seemed, obeyed primarily because they had no choice. Today, publications do otherwise. In every area being studied, it is argued that the Germans were in bed with the Nazis. Daniel Goldhagen's controversial Hitler's Willing Executioners (Knopf, 1996) fits in this 90s geme. Hannah S. Decker Department of History University of Houston Mass Atrocity, Collective Memory, and the Law, by Mark Osiel. New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers, 1997. 317 pp. $34.95. Can criminal trials not only establish the culpability of individuals implicated in genocidal situations-what Mark Osiel calls "administrative massacre"-but also influence the collective memory ofa wounded culture? Can such trials function as legal event, morality play, and public spectacle-"monumental didactics"-or will placing such hopes in highly publicized trials inevitably lead to perversions of justice and memory? Ranging over case studies from Argentina, Japan, Germany, and Israel, Osiel maintains a sturdy belief that such trials can and do contribute to significant revisions of cultures struggling with the meaning of such horrors. He does not come to his convictions easily, however, for he recognizes a series ofdilemmas that make it difficult 150 SHOFAR Winter 1999 Vol. 17, No.2 for trials to function in this way, and the greater part of the book is an analysis of these dilemmas. Osiel argues that when such trials function as public spectacle, they may, potentially, "stimulate public discussion in ways that foster the liberal virtues of toleration, moderation and civil respect" (p. 2). In societies deeply conflicted about the meaning of such events, it is inconceivable, he believes, that such trials can either draw on or persuasively shape the kind of social solidarity dreamed ofby Durkheim. Rather, such trials can serve as models of civil "dissensus"; consequently a courtroom becomes a place where the law can "advance social solidarity by ventilating and addressing disagreement, rather than concealing it-by acknowledging and confronting interpretive controversy, not suppressing it" (p. 283). The shaping of a nation's memory through such trials is made difficult because (1) a defendant's rights may be sacrificed for a larger social lesson; (2) trials can distort a nation's past; (3) trials may be framed either too narrowly or too broadly; (4) trials may ask nations for more repentance than is possible; (5) even the most carefully planned trial can influence a nation's memory in unexpected ways; and (6) ifcollective memory can be deliberately shaped, can it be done with public awareness ofthe narrative choices made? Such trials are, after all, inevitably volatile spectacles, shaped by prosecutors as morality plays and defense attorneys as tragedies. It is the occasion for public mourning, an occasion when the "horrific consequences of illiberal vices" (p. 67) can be displayed and, conversely, an occasion when liberal virtues can be reaffirmed. Such trials do not, Osiel believes, have...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-5165
Print ISSN
0882-8539
Pages
pp. 149-151
Launched on MUSE
2012-10-03
Open Access
No
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