chapter  10
8 Pages

The Work of Remembering: A Psychodynamic View of the Nazi Past as It Exists in Germany Today

Since Alexander and Margarete Mitscherlich diagnosed the inner resistance against working through a piece of our history 25 years ago, the dissociation and the isolation of the Nazi time from the rest of our past have developed markedly. In our collective consciousness that time is ever less "our" history, its meaning disconnected from our "national identity." It was "Hitler's army" which crushed our neighbors, it was "Hitler's sick mind" which ordered crimes "in the name of Germany," and it was the "Nazis'" reign of terror which sealed Germany's fate. Thus we obviously tend to play off the side of pride against the side of historical responsibility. The parts of the past that detract from a sense of pride are toned down and ignored.