Dissertation: Zerstörte Lebensgeschichten – Mikroanalyse von Interviews chronisch hospitalisierter Holocaustüberlebender

Zerstörte Lebensgeschichten –
Mikroanalyse von Interviews chronisch hospitalisierter Holocaustüberlebender

IMAGO VITAE – Schriften zur Biographieforschung, Band 14

Hamburg 2015, 306 Seiten
ISBN 978-3-8300-8484-6 (Print), ISBN 978-3-339-08484-2 (eBook)

Auschwitz, Biografieforschung, Erziehungswissenschaft, Expertenevaluation, Grounded Theory, Holocaust, Humanwissenschaft, Israel, Judentum, Lenzinger-Bohleber, Psychiatrie, Psychoanalyse, Rekonstruktion, Shoah, Szenisches Verstehen, Trauma

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„Auschwitz signifies death — total death — of man and of mankind, of language and of the senses.” (Elie Wiesel) – Many Shoah survivors fell silent after the end of the war: Either because they cut off the traumatic experiences, or because they themselves thought these experiences to be unreal and unrealistic, or because they were told that nobody would believe them. Therefore, the victims would have needed a social discourse which would have lent them a voice and encouraged them to say the unbelievable. This discourse failed to materialize in particular in the newly founded State of Israel. By means of a policy of equal reception, every Jew, irrespective of his background, was supposed to be welcomed into the land of his ancestors and to be treated equally. The Zionist idea of the healing effect of the mere homecoming and fighting for one’s fatherland was a reason why traumatized victims were not separately taken care of. Thus many victims were facing a long period of hospitalization: unknown, unasked and misdiagnosed.

It was only decades later that these silent witnesses were rediscovered and noted. In a first study, Prof. Dori Laub (Yale University, USA) was able to induce 26 of these survivors to give an interview about their experiences. Pre-post-measurements showed significant improvements of the symptoms. Nevertheless, the severity of their traumata and the years of silence only gave rise to very fragmented testimonies. Many things remained incomprehensible, unspoken and forgotten. By means of Grounded Theory and psycho-analytic Scenic-Narrative Microanalysis the seemingly lost – the subtexts – were sought to be retrieved and thereby the attempt was made to narrate the life histories anew.

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