chapter  10
The Use of Third Reich Symbols by Americans Unaffected by the Holocaust
Pages 10

OF COURSE, GERMANY IS NOT THE ONLY HOME of the neo-Nazi movements to which the last chapter alluded; in the United States, for example, white-supremacist organizations such as Aryan Nations have appropriated the aesthetics of the Third Reich to promote Nazi-like ideals of "racial purity." But neither are Nazi images in the American imagination limited to the demonstrations and publications of racist hate groups. Some of our non-Jewish patients in the United States have also been observed to express their psychopathology or identity issues through Nazi or Holocaust symbols in dreams, fantasies, and delusions. In this chapter, we will examine the cases of four such patients. The first two had siblings with handicaps, and the third, a deformed hand. Because individuals with disabilities were at risk in Nazi Germany, it makes sense that these three individuals contaminated their own internal conflicts, anxieties, and unconscious fantasies and transference manifestations with images of the Third Reich. What is most interesting us here, however, is that none of these three patients were Jewish or German, nor were their families directly affected by the Nazi regime, nor were they or their families involved with neo-Nazi movements. The fourth case reported in this chapter illustrates an even more intriguing phenomenon. In this case, the patient was not only not affiliated with any large group affected directly by the Third Reich, but, indeed, had no intimate connection with anyone who would have been in danger in Nazi Germany, such as an individual with a physical or mental disability or a homosexual person.