chapter  12
14 Pages

Holocaust Perpetrators and Their Children: A Paradoxical Morality

According to Freud (1930), individuals who had committed such atrocities as those of the Holocaust could not remain psychologically intact for long. Guilt feelings of great intensity might drive them crazy or kill them. After 1945, when German society no longer considered the atrocities legitimate, one would expect to find evidence of suicide attempts or psychological breakdown among the perpetrators (Blasi, 1983). Little evidence was found of suicide attempts among perpetrators after the war and no reports about psychological breakdown (Charny, 1986), though suicides can also be motivated by reasons other than moral (Mitscherlich and Mitscherlich, 1967).