Anna Freud’s Writings on the War Nurseries
It is beyond the scope of this essay to examine in detail the broad range of issues discussed in the initial reports on the Hampstead war nurseries.
On one hand, a reader may understandably regard the writings on the war nurseries as simply a dry series of rather mundane bureaucratic reports to the various philanthropies supporting the five-year struggle to care for the child victims of war destruction.
The real danger is not that the child, caught up all innocently in the whirlpool of the war, will be shocked into illness.
Monthly Reports to the Foster Parents' Plan for War Children, Inc., New York.
( 1984). Children in the war. In Winnicott, 1984, pp.
Section 1: Traumatization and WarJonathanDunn
The author chronicles his psychiatric work with the inmates at Bergen-Belsen, a Nazi concentration camp.
The unconscious need for punishment, now satisfied by the Nazis' brutality, may have alleviated already existing symptoms, while the focus on external terror may have refocused and lessened pathological anxiety that before the war stemmed primarily from unconscious fantasy.
While we assert that war is unavoidable, we also believe war is avoidable through military buildup. Three other illusions serve to deny the psychological and external reality of war: 1) that we know what war is; 2) that war is a conscious choice; and 3) that our war is morally righteous.
War also satisfies our omipotent wishes to annihilate, which stem from narcissistic rage and primitive fantasies of revenge. The possibility of actualizing such annihilation wishes through nuclear warfare makes acknowledgment of our wishes for war all the more difficult.
The War After: Living with the Holocaust by Anne Karpf.
Her father was imprisoned by the Russians during the Nazi-Soviet partition, suffered great hardship, was released following Barbarossa, and spent the rest of the war behind Russian lines, anxious but relatively safe.
Anne Karpf's parents met and married in Poland after the war, and eventually sought asylum in Britain, where both Anne and her elder sister were born.
In two papers about working respectively with Holocaust survivors and with their children, Dinora Pines discusses how the survivors' adaptation to life after the war may depend on their children's being in ‘a state of perpetual happiness’ in which ‘the normal vicissitudes of childlike pleasure, aggression and pain are frequently not acceptable to the parents’ (Pines 1991); and might collapse when the children separate as adults, particularly if the child finds a non-Jewish partner (Pines 1986).
The core of the first of its three parts is a series of transcripts of Anne Karpf's parents recounting their lives, from childhood until after the war. The bald, sombre telling of the terrors that destroyed the world of their youth and annihilated most of its inhabitants can have no parallel in Anne Karpf's own text.
It should not surprise us by now that Freud linked war (the ultimate political expression) to such racial narcissism.
In Freud's eyes, the war that flowed from the alignment of race, color, and civilization was the immense conflagration of self-slaughter—of European “whites” by European “whites”— known as the Great War.
The War intensified the negative aspects of “civilization.”
The psychical fantasy of the war hero today is one in which death is rendered meaningless: war is never more than a return to the maternal bosom in either life or death (see J.
“Thoughts for the Time on War and Death.” (SE XIV).