The Politics of Memory in Postwar Europe (e-Duke books scholarly collection.)

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‘Freud Lives!’ by Slavoj Žižek:

For sixty years, different groups in Europe have put forth interpretations of World War II and their respective countriesrs" roles in it consistent with their own political and psychological needs. The conflict over the past has played out in diverse arenas, including film, memoirs, court cases, and textbooks. It has had profound implications for democratization and relations between neighboring countries. The contributors include scholars of history, literature, political science, psychology, and sociology.

Country by country, they bring to the fore the specifics of each nationrs"s postwar memories in essays commissioned especially for this volume. The use of similar analytical categories facilitates comparisons. An extensive introduction contains reflections on the significance of Europeansrs" memories of World War II and a conclusion provides an analysis of the implications of the contributorsrs" findings for memory studies.

These two pieces tease out some of the findings common to all seven countries: for instance, in each nation, the decade and a half between the late s and the mids was the period of most profound change in the politics of memory.

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This opens a pop-up window to share the URL for this database. Comprising extensive collections sourced from The National WWII Museum, New Orleans, this digital resource shows how World War Two changed American society and the economy, how it impacted individuals and their families, and the legacy of the war in human terms. From enlistment and training to deployment on the US Home Front or on campaigns overseas, the personal stories of these men and women demonstrate the broad spectrum of American involvement in the conflict. Docuseek2 Complete Collection This link opens in a new window.

HathiTrust This link opens in a new window. However, it is through this distortion that another, much more fundamental desire encodes itself in the dream, and this desire is unconscious and sexual.

Introduction: War and Memory in Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus | SpringerLink

What is the ultimate meaning of Freuds dream? In his own analysis, Freud focuses on the dream-thought, on his superficial wish to be blameless in his treatment of Irma. However, in the details of his inter- pretation there are hints of deeper motivations. The dream-encounter with Irma reminds Freud of several other women.


The oral examination recalls another patient, a governess, who had appeared a picture of youthful beauty until he looked into her mouth. Irmas position by awindow reminds him of ameeting with an intimate woman friend of. Irmas of whom he had avery high opinion; thinking about her now, Freud has every reason to suppose that this other lady, too, was ahys- teric. The scabs and nasal bones remind him of his own use of cocaine to reduce nasal swelling, and of a female patient who, following his example, had developed an extensive necrosis of the nasal mucous membrane.

His consultation with one of the doctors brings to mind an occasion on which Freuds treatment of awoman patient gave rise to a severe toxic state, to which she subsequently succumbed; the patient had the same name as his eldest daughter, Mathilde. The unconscious desire of the dream is Freuds wish to be the primordial father who possesses all the women Irma embodies in thedream. However, the dream presents a further enigma: whose desire does it manifest? Recent commentaries clearly establish that the true motiva- tion behind the dream was Freuds desire to absolve Fliess, his close friend and collaborator, of responsibility and guilt.

It was Fliess who botched Irmas nose operation, and the dreams desire is not to exculp- ate Freud himself, but his friend, who was, at this point, Freuds sub- ject supposed to know, the object of his transference. The dream dram- atises his wish to show that Fliess wasnt responsible for the medical failure, that he wasnt lacking in knowledge.

The dream does manifest Freuds desire but only insofar as his desire is already the Others Fliesss desire.

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Why do we dream? Freuds answer is deceptively simple: the ultimate function of the dream is to enable the dreamer to stay asleep.

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This is usually interpreted as bearing on the kinds of dream we have when some external disturbance noise, for example threatens to wake us. In such asituation, the sleeper immediately begins to imagine asitu- ation which incorporates this external stimulus and thereby is able to continue sleeping for a while longer; when the external stimulus becomes too strong, he finally wakes up. Are things really so straight- forward? In another famous example from The Interpretation of Dreams,.

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Soon after- wards, the father wakes to discover that afallen candle has set fire to his dead sons shroud. He had smelled the smoke while asleep, and incorporated the image of his burning son into his dream to prolong his sleep.

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Had the father woken up because the external stimulus became too strong to be contained within the dream-scenario? Or was it the obverse, that the father constructed the dream in order to prolong his sleep, but what he encountered in the dream was much more unbearable even than external reality, so that he woke up to escape into that reality.

In both dreams, there is a traumatic encounter the sight of Irmas throat, the vision of the burning son ; but in the second dream, the dreamer wakes at this point, while in the first, the horror gives way to the arrival of the doctors. The parallel offers us the key to understanding Freuds theory of dreams. Just as the fathers awakening from the second dream has the same function as the sudden change of tone in the first, so our ordinary reality enables us to evade an encounter with true trauma.

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Adorno said that the Nazi motto Deutschland, erwache! In the first stanza of Primo Levis poem Reveille the concentration camp survivor recalls being in the camp, asleep, dreaming intense dreams about returning home, eating, telling his relatives his story, when, suddenly, he is woken up by the Polish kapos command Wst- awac! Get up! In the second stanza, he is at home after the war, well fed, having told his story to his family, when, suddenly, he imagines hearing again the shout, Wstawac! The reversal of the relationship between dream and reality from the first stanza to the second is crucial.

Their content is formally the same the pleasant domestic scene is. We might imagine the second example from The Interpretation of Dreams as belonging to the Holocaust survivor who, unable to save his son from the crematorium, is haunted afterwards by his reproach: Vater, siehst du nicht dass ich verbrenne?

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In our society of the spectacle, in which what we experience as every- day reality more and more takes the form of the lie made real, Freuds insights show their true value. Consider the interactive computer games some of us play compulsively, games which enable aneurotic weakling to adopt the screen persona of amacho aggressor, beating up other men and violently enjoying women. Its all too easy to assume that this weakling takes refuge in cyberspace in order to escape from a dull, impotent reality.

But perhaps the games are more telling than that. What if, in playing them, Iarticulate the perverse core of my personality which, because of ethico-social constraints, Iam not able to act out in real life? Isnt my virtual persona in away more real than reality? Isnt it precisely because Iam aware that this is just agame that in it Ican do what Iwould never be able to in the real world? In this precise sense, as Lacan put it, the Truth has the structure of afiction: what appears in the guise of dreaming, or even daydreaming, is sometimes the truth on whose repression social reality itself is founded.