What Nazism Did to Psychoanalysis explores the impact Nazism had on the evolution of psychoanalysis and tackles the enigma of the transformation of individual hate into mass psychosis and of the autocratic creation of a neo-reality.
Addressing the effects of the Holocaust on the psychoanalytic world, this book does not focus on the suffering of the survivors but the analysis of the concrete mechanisms of destruction that affected language and thought, their impact on the practice of psychoanalysis and the defences that psychoanalysts tried to find against the linguistic, legal and symbolic chaos that struck the foundations of reality. Laurence Kahn discusses the struggle against the appropriation, by the Nazi language, of key terms such as demonic nature, drives, ideals and, above all, the Selbsterhaltungstrieb (the self-preservation drive), which became, with Hitler, the axis of the living space policy, the "Lebensraum".
Covering key topics such as trauma, transgenerational issues, silence and secrecy and the depredation of culture, this is an essential work for psychoanalysts and anyone wishing to understand how strongly the development of psychoanalysis was affected by Nazism.
Table of Contents
Series Editor's foreword by Gabriela Legorreta. 1. Introduction: old words, new meanings 2. The law beyond the law 3. The mMoses or brother Hitler 4. The Freudian heresy 5. The parasite and identity: the Gestalt 6. Psychoanalysis and Weltanschauung in 1930 7. Purifying psychoanalysis scientifically 8. Hartmann: logos against bios 9. Extreme trauma: which unconscious? 10. Mother, child and empathy 11. The liquidation of tragedy 12. The temptation of kitsch 13. What about hatred? 14. Conclusion: the foundations of words
Laurence Kahn is Training and Supervising Analyst at the French Psychoanalytic Association (APF) and is a former President of the APF (2008–2010). In 2014, she received the Maurice Bouvet Award, and in 2021, she received the IPA award for Extraordinarily Meritorious Service to Psychoanalysis.