chapter  3
12 Pages

I Too Took Part: Confrontations with One's Own History in Family Therapy

In May of 1987 I was asked if I would write a chapter for this collection on the subject of my experiences with children and grandchildren of the perpetrators of the Third Reich-which is to say, of convinced Nazis. I agreed quite spontaneously, since an abundance of images out of my therapeutic work came immediately to mind. I began to leaf through the records of my twelve years of practice as a family therapist, in search of specifics. In the process it struck me how much importance I have attached, in my work with individuals, couples, and families, to handwritten life histories of the parents of my clients, and how the time between the two world wars and the Nazi years in particular had come up again and again as themes in the sessions. But the tapes have all been erased or else taken by the patients. Thus I am thrown back on myself alone, on my memories, my handwritten notes, and my images. But then after all, isn't the issue really one of my own experience and self?