History Flows through Us: Germany, the Holocaust, and the Importance of Empathy, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

History Flows through Us

Germany, the Holocaust, and the Importance of Empathy, 1st Edition

Edited by Roger Frie


194 pages | 2 B/W Illus.

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Paperback: 9781138289383
pub: 2017-10-02
Hardback: 9781138289376
pub: 2017-10-06
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315267173
pub: 2017-10-03
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History Flows through Us introduces a new dialogue between leading historians and psychoanalysts and provides essential insights into the nature of historical trauma. The contributors – German historians, historians of the Holocaust and psychoanalysts of different disciplinary backgrounds – address the synergy between history and psychoanalysis in an engaging and accessible manner. Together they develop a response to German history and the Holocaust that is future-oriented and timely in the presence of today’s ethnic hatreds. In the process, they help us to appreciate the emotional and political legacy of history’s collective crimes.

This book illustrates how history and the psyche shape one another and the degree to which history flows through all of us as human beings. Its innovative cross-disciplinary approach draws on the work of the historian and psychoanalyst Thomas Kohut. The volume includes an extended dialogue with Kohut in which he reflects on the study of German history and the Holocaust at the intersection of history and psychoanalysis. This book demonstrates that the fields of history and psychoanalysis are each concerned with the role of empathy and with the study of memory and narrative.

History Flows through Us will appeal to general readers, students and professionals in cultural history, Holocaust and trauma studies, sociology, psychoanalysis, psychotherapy and psychology.


"History Flows Through Us offers an array of essays by a distinguished group of historians and psychoanalysts that will be important for future studies of trauma, the Holocaust, and other instances of extreme violence in both history and personal life. It offers interacting ways of attempting to understand the past as accurately and compassionately as possible while also entering into critical dialogue with voices that continue to haunt the present. Roger Frie’s concluding, thought-provoking exchange with Thomas Kohut on history and psychoanalysis is one among many outstanding features of the book."-Dominick LaCapra, Professor Emeritus of History and of Comparative Literature, Bowmar Professor Emeritus of Humanistic Studies, Cornell University

"This book is a beautiful tribute to the imaginative oeuvre of the historian-psychoanalyst Thomas Kohut. The authors gathered here offer a wealth of marvelously fresh, provocative and crucial critical insights into the workings of memory and history alike."-Dagmar Herzog, author of Cold War Freud: Psychoanalysis in an Age of Catastrophes

"Roger Frie's wide-ranging volume addresses the German and Jewish pasts from historical, psychoanalytic and philosophical perspectives. In doing so, readers are introduced to cutting-edge research on memory, transference, trauma and emotions as they pertain to the study of mass violence in the twentieth century. The book is a most welcome reminder that the disciplines of history and psychology can benefit from a closer dialogue."-Anthony D. Kauders, Reader in Modern European History, Keele University

Table of Contents

Historical Trauma and Lived Experience: An Introduction Roger Frie

I. Remembering the Past

1. From Psychohistory to Memory Studies: Or how some Germans became Jews and some Jews became Nazis Alon Confino

2. "Memory" and its Discontents Dorothee Wierling

II. Responding to the Past

3. Experiential History: Understanding Backwards Donna M. Orange

4. "Unprecedented": Concepts and Narratives about Mass Violence and the Holocaust Alexandra Garbarini

5. Transmitting Hate: On the Process of Hating and Being Hated Jörg Bose

III: Confronting the Past

6. The Stowaway: Reality, the Holocaust and the Historical Unconscious Robert Prince

7. National Nightmare: The Legacy of Perpetrator Trauma M. Gerard Fromm

8. Not as One Would Like to Imagine: Psychoanalysis During and After the Third Reich Emily Kuriloff

IV: Bridging Psychoanalysis and History

9. Psyche and History: Wilhelm II and his Role in German Politics Reconsidered Ute Daniel

10. Fathers and Sons: The Kohut Odyssey Geoffrey Cocks

11. Psychoanalysis and History at the Crossroads: A Dialogue with Thomas Kohut Roger Frie

About the Editor

Roger Frie is Professor of Education at Simon Fraser University and Affiliate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, and Psychoanalytic Faculty and Supervisor at the William Alanson White Institute of Psychiatry, Psychoanalysis, and Psychology in New York. He is the author of Not in My Family: German Memory and Responsibility after the Holocaust (2017).

About the Series

Psychoanalytic Inquiry Book Series

Like its counterpart, Psychoanalytic Inquiry: A Topical Journal for Mental Health Professionals, the Psychoanalytic Inquiry Book Series presents a diversity of subjects within a diversity of approaches to those subjects. Under the editorship of Joseph Lichtenberg, in collaboration with Melvin Bornstein and the editorial board of Psychoanalytic Inquiry, the volumes in this series strike a balance between research, theory, and clinical application. We are honored to have published the works of various innovators in psychoanalysis, such as Lachmann, Fosshage, Stolorow, Orange, Sander, Wurmser, Grotstein, Jones, Brothers, Busch, and Lichtenberg, among others. 

The series includes books and monographs on mainline psychoanalytic topics, such as sexuality, narcissism, trauma, homosexuality, jealousy, envy, and varied aspects of analytic process and technique.  In our efforts to broaden the field of analytic interest, the series has incorporated and embraced innovative discoveries in infant research, self psychology, intersubjectivity, motivational systems, affects as process, responses to cancer, borderline states, contextualism, postmodernism, attachment research and theory, medication, and mentalization. As further investigations in psychoanalysis come to fruition, we seek to present them in readable, easily comprehensible writing.

After 25 years, the core vision of this series remains the investigation, analysis and discussion of developments on the cutting edge of the psychoanalytic field, inspired by a boundless spirit of inquiry.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Military / World War II
HISTORY / Holocaust
PSYCHOLOGY / Movements / Psychoanalysis