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A trace of a trace : an analysis of trauma in Shoah perpetrator auto/biographical narratives Fuller, Barry Stanley 2011

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A Trace of a Trace: An Analysis of Trauma in Shoah Perpetrator Auto/biographical Narratives  by Barry Stanley Fuller B.A., University of British Columbia, 2007  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in The College of Graduate Studies (Interdisciplinary Studies) [Studies in Cultures and Texts] THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Okanagan) May 2011 © Barry Stanley Fuller, 2011  ii Abstract In this study, I attempt to prove that many Shoah perpetrators potentially suffered the effects of trauma and that traces of their traumatisation exist within their auto/biographical narratives. In my endeavour to demonstrate this belief, I first discuss how many Shoah perpetrators were not merely prompted to take part in the Shoah because they were antisemitic, but that they were heavily influenced by the social and political environment around them. However, even though many of the perpetrators took part in othering processes as a response to their interpellation and socialisation, they still suffered from the effects of trauma. I then discuss the reasons for why many of the perpetrators wrote auto/biographical narratives, ultimately stating that an unconscious need to work through the effects of trauma was a possible reason for constructing these narratives and that traces of traumatisation do exist within the pages of these discourses. Finally, I make the case that many of the Shoah perpetrators suffered the effects of what Rachel M. MacNair terms Perpetration-Induced Traumatic Stress and that their traumatisation allowed them to perpetuate trauma on others through traumatic reenactment.  iii Table of Contents Abstract  ii  Table of Contents  iii  Acknowledgements  vi  Dedication  vii  Chapter One: Introduction  1  1.1  Traces of Traumatisation  1  1.2  The History of Trauma  2  1.3  Sigmund Freud, Cathy Caruth, and the Wound of Trauma  6  1.4  Robert J. Lifton, Rachel M. MacNair, and Perpetrator Trauma  6  1.5  The Shoah Perpetrators  7  1.6  The Principles of Perpetrator Selection  13  1.7  Definition of Auto/biography  14  1.8  Auto/biography and History  14  1.9  Overview of Thesis  15  1.9.1  Interpellation, Socialisation, and Othering Processes  15  1.9.2  The Perpetrator Auto/biographical Record  16  1.9.3  Perpetration-Induced Traumatic Stress  17  Chapter Two: Interpellation, Socialisation, and Othering Processes  18  2.1  Antisemitism as a Pan-European Phenomenon  18  2.2  Shoah Perpetrators and Trauma  19  2.3  The History of European Stereotypes of Jews  20  2.4  The Enlightenment and the Birth of Biological, Essentialist Notions of Race  24  iv 2.5  From Religious-Based Jew-Hatred to Secularised Antisemitism  26  2.6  The Traumatic Loss of the First World War  28  2.7  A Discussion of Various Notions of the Other  29  2.8  Germany’s Poor Postwar Economy  34  2.9  The Imago of Hitler  35  2.10 The Loss of the Father and Hitler as Ego Ideal  37  2.11 The Belief in a Patriarchal, Authoritarian, Militaristic Society  40  2.12 The Impact of Nazi Panopticism  41  2.13 Perpetrator Trauma and Antisemitic Stereotypes as a Coping Mechanism  42  Chapter Three: The Perpetrator Auto/biographical Record  45  3.1  Auto/biographical Discourse and the Self  45  3.2  Auto/biographical Narratives and Traces of Trauma  45  3.3  The Autobiographical Pact and the Perpetrator Witness  46  3.4  The Fallibility of Memory  49  3.5  The Reasons Why Shoah Perpetrators Constructed Auto/biographical Narratives 49  Chapter Four: Perpetration-Induced Traumatic Stress  61  4.1  Freud, Caruth, and Torquato Tasso’s The Liberation of Jerusalem  61  4.2  Traumatic Reenactment, Tancred, and PITS  62  4.3  The Analogy between Tancred and the Shoah Perpetrators  63  4.4  The Traumatisation of the Shoah Perpetrators  63  4.5  Acute Stress Disorder  68  4.6  Tancred, ASD, and Traumatic Reenactment  69  4.7  The Shoah Perpetrators and Symptoms Associated with ASD  70  v 4.8  Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder  75  4.9  Tancred and PTSD  75  4.10 The Shoah Perpetrators and PTSD  76  4.11 Traumatic Reenactment and the Perpetuation of Trauma  82  4.12 Tancred and Traumatic Reenactment  83  4.13 The Shoah Perpetrators and Traumatic Reenactment  85  Chapter Five: Conclusion  90  5.1  The Unpredictable Nature of Trauma and Its Effects  90  5.2  Germany’s Trauma  90  5.3  Trauma and Its Effect on the Agent’s Relationship with Family  92  5.4  Trauma and Its Effect on the Health of the Agent  98  5.5  Traumatic Possibilities  99  Works Cited  100  vi Acknowledgments First, and foremost, I want to thank my beautiful wife Stacey for her patience, understanding, and constant love and support. I also want to thank all of my family members for all of their support. I want to thank my supervisors Dr. Janet MacArthur and Dr. Martin Blum for their time and dedication to this project. I can honestly say that our many conversations over the years will always be cherished. I also want to thank my committee members Dr. Manuela Ungureanu, Dr. Jodey Castricano, and Dr. Lisa Grekul. I want to thank Dr. Oliver Lovesey, Dr. Paul Milton, Dr. Jennifer Gustar, and Dr. Claude Desmarais for all of their support over the years. I want to thank my fellow graduate students within both the English and Interdisciplinary programs for always pushing me to become more than I am. I want to thank the Department of Critical Studies for all of its support over the years, especially for providing much needed funding for conferences that helped me to showcase this project. I want to thank the College of Graduate Studies. I owe Jennifer Cook a debt of gratitude for all of the assistance that she has given me. I would also like to thank Gail Hourigan, Barbra MacDonald, and Irma Ronkkonen for all of their help over the years. In addition, I want to thank all of the librarians at both the Okanagan and Koerner branches of the UBC Library. You are all amazing individuals and I admire your willingness to go above and beyond what is normally required of you. I would like to thank the Department of English and German Philology at the University of Zaragoza and all of the scholars who attended the “Between the ‘Urge to Know’ and the ‘Need to Deny’: Ethics and Trauma in Contemporary Narrative in English” conference in 2009 for supporting and helping me with this project. Last, but not least, I want to thank the University of British Columbia for offering me the opportunity to pursue this project, Dionysus for the nectar of the gods, and my Dybbuk for many of the ideas housed with this thesis.  vii Dedication I dedicate this project to all of the victims and survivors of the Shoah. I do not purport to understand what your experiences were like and I can only construct a secondary form of understanding from written testimony and historical material. I know nothing but that which I have deduced as an outsider. In short, I can never know what it was truly like to live in those dark days. It is my sincere hope that my work will be used by other academics in the pursuit of new studies dealing with the effects of trauma on perpetrators. I also hope that my work will interest others in doing future studies on Shoah perpetrators, not to understand the Shoah or the possible motivations behind the killings, but to further implicate those we think of as monsters. A monster does not possess agency, humans and animals do. A study such as this, which attempts to humanise the Nazi perpetrators, unfortunately might possess drawbacks that make it quite controversial. There is still a very strong antisemitic movement in existence that would love nothing than to discredit Shoah survivor narratives and finish what the Nazis started: the complete removal of all evidence that the Shoah even happened. My intention in this study has always been to unquestioningly condemn the Shoah perpetrators and warn that, due to the effects of trauma on agents, a disaster such as the Shoah could take place in the future, indeed, has already taken place to an extent. I have always believed that portraying the perpetrators as sadistic, psychopathic monsters does not condemn their actions or implicate their agentic decisions to partake in the killing of the Shoah. This project provides evidence by the perpetrators that the Shoah did exist, that millions of innocent people were killed, and that “normal” human beings killed these innocent multitudes. Let us never forget what happened.  1 Chapter One: Introduction “To read, to write, the way one lives under the surveillance of the disaster….It is not you who will speak; let the disaster speak in you…” (Blanchot 4). 1.1 Traces of Traumatisation Maurice Blanchot’s words encapsulate the notion that trauma haunts a subject. Did Shoah1 perpetrators2 suffer the effects of trauma and, if so, are the effects represented within their auto/biographical3 narratives? For Maurice Blanchot, one of the most prominent literary theorists, writers, and philosophers of the last century, historical and personal narratives about a disaster lack verisimilitude. It is not that these narratives are false, but that the disaster exists outside the capacity for comprehension. In short, a disaster such as the Shoah traumatised many who witnessed it, sometimes causing forgetfulness and misinterpretation. Blanchot states, “[t]he disaster comes back; it would always be the disaster after the disaster—a silent, harmless return whereby it dissimulates itself. Dissimulation, effect of disaster” (6). This “return” has been welldocumented in the memoirs of the Shoah survivors. Indeed, the disaster of the Shoah remains a panoptic presence looming over the witness, especially the perpetrator-witness, often causing him or her to construct a personal narrative that does not implicate the self in the perpetration of the disaster. Time often allows the writer of the disaster narrative to fashion meaning from meaninglessness in an attempt to create some sort of stable, historical narrative to represent an extreme experience. In short, in the case of Shoah perpetrator-witnesses, their attempts at 1  According to Abraham B. Yehoshua, the deaths of over six million Jews in the Second World War were purposeless; therefore, “[t]he Hebrew word shoah, with its echoes of utter devastation, expresses the nature of this sacrifice immeasurably better than the word holocaust, a Christian term for a whole burnt offering, a sin offering by someone for something” (13). 2 For Raul Hilberg, perpetrators are “people who [play] a specific role in the formulation or implementation of” an event like the Shoah (Perpetrators ix). For this project, a perpetrator is someone who commits a harmful act against another person, someone who takes part in both the planning and executing of a harmful act, and someone who supports, both rationally and vocationally, a regime bent on enforcing harmful acts against others. 3 The term auto/biography “is used with the virgule to indicate the intimate yet blurred relationship between the genres of autobiography and biography” (Kadar and Perrault 7).   2 fashioning historical narratives speak more about how they deal with the effects of the trauma that the Shoah caused than the Shoah itself. This study will, therefore, attempt to prove that within the auto/biographical narratives of Shoah perpetrators such as Albert Speer, Franz Stangl, Dr. Johann Paul Kremer, Franz Suchomel, and Dr. Franz Grassler exist traces of traumatisation. Ultimately, the disaster speaks through the auto/biographical narratives of these Shoah perpetrators by leaving these traces of traumatisation. 1.2 The History of Trauma Trauma in Sacred and Secular Literature Although an awareness of trauma-like symptoms has existed for centuries, the modern conceptualisation of trauma was first defined in the 19th century. From Oedipus, to Job, to Tancred’s traumatisation and subsequent traumatic reenactment in Tasso’s Jerusalem Liberated and Hamlet’s derealisation and psychic numbing in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, to Jane Eyre’s traumatic alienation in Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre and the wounded psyche of Gwendolen Harleth in George Eliot’s Daniel Deronda, an awareness of the symptoms of trauma has existed in the realm of sacred and secular literature for centuries. The modern study of trauma was first analysed by the British physician John Erichsen in the 1860s in his treatment of railway accident victims suffering from shock; however, it was the German neurologist Hermann Oppenheim who “subsequently gave it [trauma] the name ‘traumatic neurosis’ and ascribed the symptoms to undetectable organic changes in the brain” (Leys 3). During this period, trauma was theorised as being physiological rather than psychological. Trauma as Psychological Affliction Turn-of-the-century psychoanalysts such as Sigmund Freud began to conceptualise trauma as a psychological affliction rather than a physiological one. Freud and other turn-of-the-  3 century psychoanalysts described trauma as “the wounding of the mind brought about by sudden, unexpected, emotional shock” (Leys 4). In addition, a traumatised subject would not know that he or she was traumatised by what can be thought of as unconscious psychological blows (Leys 4). Indeed, Freud, in the late 19th century, first postulated that women who were sexually assaulted experienced symptoms of trauma in the form of unconscious, repressed memories. He later turned his back on this theory and chose to focus, instead, on repressed, infantile, sexual desires; however, his original theorisation of trauma as an unconscious wounding of the mind became the catalyst for further study in the future (Leys 4). In the early 20th century, however, trauma was not a popular area of study and was eclipsed by the rise of Freudian psychoanalysis and its focus on sexual repression and unconscious, sexual desire; nevertheless, both WWI and WWII prompted great interest in trauma. From Shell Shock to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder The massive numbers of traumatised soldiers in both the First and Second World Wars led to a renewed interest in the effects of trauma; still, trauma would not be officially accepted within the medical community until after the Vietnam War. During WWI, physicians became interested in Freud’s original studies on trauma and the unconscious in order to treat soldiers suffering from what was termed shell shock. This new interest had little impact, however, because the suffering of shell shock was considered a clever attempt at shirking one’s duty and attaining a discharge from the military (Leys 4). The equation of shell shock with shirking duty by the upper echelons of the various branches of the armed forces continued throughout the Second World War. Indeed, the study of trauma would not be taken seriously until after the Vietnam War had ended when physicians had to deal with the multitudes of soldiers suffering  4 symptoms of what would become known as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD (MacNair 13). The Psychobiological Conceptualisation of Trauma The studies done to help Vietnam War veterans eventually led to the “controversial” acceptance of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder by the medical and psychiatric community. Studies of traumatised Vietnam War veterans, spearheaded by the research of Bessel A. van der Kolk, finally prompted the psychiatric community to recognise PTSD in the DSM-III4 in 1980 (Leys 5). PTSD causes the traumatised subject, one who witnesses death, to experience any number of symptoms including flashbacks, fear, psychic numbing, and detachment from stimuli associated with the trauma. Since he began working with traumatised Vietnam War veterans, van der Kolk has re-defined the framework from which trauma is studied, moving away from the psychoanalytic model focussing solely on the mind towards a psychobiological model focussing on the mind and the body. For van der Kolk, “the victim of trauma has been radically affected by an external event that has somehow imprinted itself literally (a key term) on or into the subject’s mind and brain in such a way as to make the event inherently unsymbolizable and unrepresentable” (Leys 304). In these terms, the trauma is not only a wounding of the mind, but a wounding of the brain itself. The trauma theorist Cathy Caruth makes use of this psychobiological conceptualisation of trauma in her reading of Freudian psychoanalysis. Cathy Caruth blends Freudian psychoanalytic theory on trauma with van der Kolk’s psychobiological conceptualisation of trauma. Caruth believes that traumatisation is unable to be fully known or represented by the subject. Instead, the traumatising act returns via unwanted flashbacks or nightmares (Leys 266). There is no “working through” trauma for Caruth since “such an act of narration risks betraying the truth of the trauma defined as an incomprehensible 4  Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders  5 event that defies all representation” (Leys 269). In her attempts at reconciling Freudian psychoanalysis and the scientific, psychobiological conceptualisation of PTSD, Caruth uses literary theory and literary examples as a bridge. In short, according to Ruth Leys, author of Trauma: A Genealogy, “[e]mpiricism, in the form of an appeal to science, and literary theory are thus appropriately, if oddly, conjoined in Caruth’s work” (267). If Caruth builds a theory of traumatisation through a juxtaposition of Freudian psychoanalysis and scientific psychobiology, Rachel M. MacNair, whose work on perpetrators informs this study, builds a theory of Perpetration-Induced Traumatic Stress, or PITS, solely on the psychobiological conceptualisation of trauma in the DSM-IV. Perpetration-Induced Traumatic Stress Rachel M. MacNair’s study Perpetration-Induced Traumatic Stress: The Psychological Consequences of Killing relies on the DSM-IV definition of PTSD in order to posit that perpetrators, like victims, suffer symptoms of trauma. Although PITS is not yet officially accepted within the medical and psychiatric community, MacNair’s study is an important step in having it recognised. MacNair’s theory of PITS is also important in understanding the effect that killing has on the agent and could potentially be helpful in analysing contemporary genocides. In short, Rachel M. MacNair’s work creates possibilities for future studies that focus on perpetrators and trauma and even their potential recovery and rehabilitation. Indeed, it enables us to get beyond rigid good/evil binary oppositions and conceptions of the Nazi as a non-human, non-animal monster or sublimely satanic embodiment of evil. There is no singular, fully-accepted conceptualisation of trauma. According to Leys, “the field of trauma studies today not only continues to lack cohesion, but the very terms in which PTSD is described tend to produce controversy” (6). Perhaps this lack of cohesion is a positive  6 aspect of trauma studies. After all, it allows for continuous growth within a relatively new field of study. 1.3 Sigmund Freud, Cathy Caruth, and the Wound of Trauma Trauma can best be described in metaphorical terms as a wound of the psyche that festers if not treated. Sigmund Freud likens traumatic neurosis to a penetrating of the psyche: a wound that “cries out” (“Beyond” 68). According to Cathy Caruth, “[i]n its later usage, particularly in the medical and psychiatric literature, and most centrally in Freud’s text [“Beyond the Pleasure Principle”], the term trauma is understood as a wound inflicted not upon the body but upon the mind” (3). The wound is caused by the ego’s simultaneous denial and acknowledgement of death; however, Caruth problematises this by blurring the meaning of the encounter. Indeed, she asks: “Is . . . trauma the encounter with death, or the ongoing experience of having survived it?” (Caruth 7). Caruth, therefore, asserts that the festering of the wound, created by an encounter with death, continually preys on the unconscious of the living being. This observation does not exclude perpetrators and, I believe, specifically addresses those who witness and cause the deaths of others; therefore, as Rachel M. MacNair posits, subjects who commit acts of perpetration can suffer from trauma. 1.4 Robert J. Lifton, Rachel M. MacNair, and Perpetrator Trauma Historically, the theory of trauma has been reserved for the victim; however, Rachel M. MacNair, in her study Perpetration-Induced Traumatic Stress: The Psychological Consequences of Killing, theorises, like Robert Jay Lifton5 before her, that perpetrators can also unconsciously experience trauma. Perpetrators who become traumatised on account of witnessing or participating in a traumatic event suffer from what MacNair terms Perpetration-Induced 5  Author of The Nazi Doctors: Medical Killing and the Psychology of Genocide. Lifton’s study analyses the psychology of the doctors who served at Auschwitz. He also theorised the Auschwitz Self: the splitting of the psyche.  7 Traumatic Stress, or PITS. According to MacNair, PITS “involves any portions of the symptomatology of PTSD, at clinical or subclinical levels, which result from situations that would be traumatic if someone were a victim, but situations for which the person in question was a causal participant” (7).6 Therefore, just as a victim’s psyche may be wounded, a perpetrator’s psyche may be wounded in some way as well. 1.5 The Shoah Perpetrators Albert Speer An important figure in any consideration of perpetrator trauma is Albert Speer, born in Mannheim, Baden-Württemberg, Germany, on March 19, 1905 (Sereny, Speer 41). He became Hitler’s architect in 1934 and Minister of Armaments and War Production in 1942. As Minister of Armaments and War Production, Speer controlled the workforce of the Third Reich, including those who were interned in concentration camps. Speer was responsible for the deaths of thousands of Jews and other victims. Indeed, as Minister of Armaments and War Production, Speer had jurisdiction over many of the work camps where many Jews and others died. He also witnessed the machinery of the Shoah at Dora7; however, he decided against reporting the catastrophic scenes of emaciated and dying slave labourers to his superior, Hitler. Speer was sentenced at Nuremberg in 1946 to twenty years in Spandau prison for crimes against humanity (Sereny, Speer 595). Most important for this project are Gitta Sereny’s interviews of Speer, comprising the bulk of Albert Speer: His Battle with Truth, which took place every day for almost three weeks during the spring of 1978, over a decade after his release from prison.  6  For a good definition of PTSD, see the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, DSM-IV.  Dora-Mittelbau, code named by Hitler himself, was a labour camp hidden within the caves of the Harz Mountains where the V-2 rockets, used against London during the latter years of the Blitz, were built; as an installation designated primarily for the building of armaments, Dora fell under the direct jurisdiction of Speer’s ministry. 7  8 In his interviews with Gitta Sereny, Speer candidly guides her through his life’s story, moving from his early childhood to the period of the Second World War and beyond. Speer had a great deal of time to contemplate his actions during the Second World War and is fairly introspective. His auto/biographical discourse is mediated by Sereny, and the interviews are an example of what Sidonie Smith and Julia Watson term collaborative life writing. Collaborative life writing is a term “that indicates the production of an autobiographical text by more than one person through” an edited and expanded interview or a collective narrative with unidentified voices or multiple voices with a single overarching representative (Smith and Watson 264-65). It is noteworthy that much of the perpetrator auto/biographical record is collaborative. Unlike many survivors, few perpetrators were compelled to tell their stories on their own. Often, what exists of their accounts is trial testimony, bureaucratic correspondence and speeches from the Nazi era, and so on. Sereny interviewed Speer, corroborating and problematising his narrative with interviews of other perpetrators and witnesses, research by historians and archivists, and memories from family members. As with Speer, Sereny interviewed Franz Stangl, Commandant of the Sobibór and Treblinka death camps. Franz Stangl Another high ranking Nazi perpetrator was SS-Hauptsturmführer8 Franz Paul Stangl, born in Altmünster, Austria, on March 26, 1908 (Sereny, Darkness 25). He served as Police Superintendent of Schloss Hartheim, one of the euthanasia institutes that were a part of the euthanasia program headquartered in Berlin at Tiergartenstrasse 4,9 from November 1940 until  8  Captain The T4 program was in charge of dealing with the euthanasia of all those seen as a burden on German society: the mentally ill, the severely deformed, and all others who had to rely on the state as a caretaker (Sereny, Darkness 49). 9  9 February 1942; he was Commandant of Sobibór10 from March 1942 until September 1942; and he was Commandant of Treblinka11 from September 1942 until August 1943 (Sereny, Darkness 16). As Commandant of both the Sobibór and Treblinka death camps, Stangl was directly responsible for the deaths of over 950,000 innocent people. He was sentenced to life imprisonment in Düsseldorf remand prison by a Düsseldorf tribunal for crimes against humanity. Sereny’s interviews of Stangl, comprising the bulk of Into that Darkness: An Examination of Conscience, took place over seventy hours in 1971 while Stangl was in prison. Similar to Speer, Stangl guides Sereny through his life’s story, moving from his early childhood to the period of the Second World War and beyond. Like Speer’s auto/biographical narrative, Stangl’s auto/biography is also an example of collaborative life writing. Indeed, Gitta Sereny mediates Stangl’s interviews and infuses the auto/biographical narrative with research and auto/biographical discourse from other individuals such as perpetrators, survivors, and family members. There are times where Sereny receives information from other Shoah perpetrators such as Franz Suchomel concerning Stangl’s involvement in acts of perpetration that are contrary to his own; however, these narratives only serve to enrich and problematise Stangl’s recollections. It is unfortunate that both Speer and Stangl never kept diaries like Dr. Johann Paul Kremer so that the reader could better analyse their traumatic transformations. Dr. Johann Paul Kremer A perpetrator with a medical rather than a military career is SS-Obersturmführer12 Dr. Johann Paul Kremer, born in Stelberg, Germany, on December 26, 1883 (Dixon 132). According 10  The Sobibór death camp was constructed south of Brest-Litovsk and north-east of Lublin near the Bug river in Poland between March 1942 and April 1942 (Hilberg, Destruction 934-35). It is estimated that over 150,000 Jews were killed in Sobibór between April 1942 and October 1943 (Hilberg, Destruction 958). 11 The Treblinka death camp was constructed north-east of Warsaw in Poland between March 1942 and July 1942 (Hilberg, Destruction 933-36). It is estimated that up to 800,000 Jews were killed in Treblinka between July 1942 and October 1943 (Hilberg, Destruction 958).  12 Lieutenant  10 to Robert Jay Lifton, Dr. Kremer was “an anatomy professor at the University of Münster” and “was the only university professor to serve as an SS camp doctor” (292). He served as a doctor in Auschwitz-Birkenau13 from August 1942 until November 1942. As a doctor at AuschwitzBirkenau, Dr. Kremer was present at over a dozen selections;14 according to the footnotes in the published version of his diary, he was responsible for the deaths of thousands of innocent people by choosing them for selection. He also personally picked out victims to be killed by phenol injection so that he could study their organs. Indeed, Dr. Kremer “had a long-standing research interest in problems of starvation, which he pursued by seeking debilitated inmates selected for death” (Lifton 292). His diary, which chronicles the period in his life between November 1940 and August 1945, was found and published with detailed footnotes predominantly from Dr. Kremer’s trial at the Supreme National Tribunal held in Krakow, Poland in 1947.15 Dr. Kremer’s diary combines both his diary entries and trial testimony. In his diary, he portrays himself as an obsessed researcher, a man whose sole purpose is in the testing of his pseudoscientific hypotheses. Out of the auto/biographical narratives analysed here, Dr. Kremer’s wartime diary is the only narrative that was composed during the war; the others were written/spoken over thirty years after the end of the Second World War. In this sense, unlike someone such as Albert Speer, who had twenty years to contemplate his wartime actions in Spandau prison, Dr. Kremer had no time for deep introspection. He appears to have written each diary entry the day of the occurrence. Philippe Lejeune states that a diary is “never truly ‘sincere’ or secret”; it is “‘motivated by a search for communication, by a will to persuasion’” (qtd. in 13  The Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration/death camp was constructed west of Krakow near the Vistula river in Poland between June 1941 and February 1942 (Hilberg, Destruction 940-45). It is estimated that up to 1,000,000 Jews were killed in Auschwitz-Birkenau between February 1942 and November 1944 (Hilberg, Destruction 958). 14 A selection was the process whereby a doctor, who was normally under the influence of alcohol, would choose which inmates were to be sent to the gas chamber and which ones were to be kept alive for work detail. A more detailed description can be found in Elie Wiesel’s Night and Primo Levi’s Survival in Auschwitz.  15 This was a trial for Auschwitz guards.  11 Smith and Watson 266-67). Since Dr. Kremer used Auschwitz-Birkenau as a laboratory for his research, his diary exists as a research log, recording his daily activities in his pursuit of obtaining research material. To this end, his entries serve as an attempt to persuade both himself and others that the environment of Auschwitz-Birkenau is a normative one for his research. Another perpetrator who attempts to make the killing process of the death camps seem normative is Franz Suchomel. Franz Suchomel SS-Unterscharführer16 and Goldjuden17 Commando Chief in Treblinka Franz Suchomel was born in Český Krumlov, Czechoslovakia, in 1907 (Friedlander 240). Suchomel worked as a photographer for T4 headquarters. He was not directly responsible for the deaths of the patients at the various euthanasia institutes; however, as a photographer whose function it was to take their pictures before they died, he was a part of the killing process. Indeed, according to the Holocaust historian Henry Friedlander, Suchomel “developed pictures of patients taken before they were killed, first at T4 headquarters and then at Hadamar, one of the euthanasia institutes. In August 1942, he was posted to Treblinka, then Sobibór [in 1943], and later Trieste [in 1944]” (240). As a camp guard at Sobibór and Treblinka, Franz Suchomel witnessed the killing of thousands of innocent people. In his interview with Claude Lanzmann, he discusses how Treblinka functioned. Franz Suchomel’s auto/biographical discourse is contained in Claude Lanzmann’s film Shoah.18 Suchomel’s interview in Lanzmann’s film Shoah was filmed clandestinely; Suchomel 16  Sergeant Suchomel was in charge of the “Gold Jews,” the “group who actually worked on registering the valuables— millions in money and stones” (Sereny, Darkness 191).  18 Lanzmann does not consider Shoah a documentary; for him, it is a film. According to Lanzmann, “Shoah is both a fictional film and a fiction of the real. Those people he interviewed became actors, not only telling their stories, but reconstructing their own memories, in a sense redefining their imaginary of history at a personal and social level” (Burnett 165-66). Lanzmann is an active participant in his film, shaping both the space and narrative. According to 17  12 refused to give the interview unless Lanzmann agreed that he would neither be mentioned by name nor be on film. Unlike Kremer, Suchomel had over three decades to contemplate his role in the Shoah. His interview in Lanzmann’s film is an example of what Smith and Watson term oral history. The auto/biographical form of oral history is a “set of techniques for gathering a story in which an interviewer listens to, records, shapes, and edits the life story of another” (Smith and Watson 275). In short, oral history is “a mediated form of personal narrative that depends on an interviewer who intervenes to collect and assemble a version of stories that are situated and changing” (Smith and Watson 276). Suchomel’s interview is mediated and edited by Lanzmann. He is not the only perpetrator to be interviewed by Lanzmann, however. Dr. Franz Grassler Another perpetrator whose interview I will examine is Dr. Franz Grassler, Doctor of Philosophy in Law, deputy to Dr. Auerswald, Nazi Commissioner of the Warsaw Ghetto,19 born in Vienna, Austria, in 1912 (alpenarchiv). Dr. Grassler was stationed at the Warsaw Ghetto from July 1941 until before the ghetto uprising and subsequent German assault by Jürgen Stroop between April and May of 1943. As liaison between Dr. Auerswald and Adam Czerniaków, head of the Warsaw Judenrat,20 Dr. Grassler made more than a few trips into the ghetto (Lanzmann 162-65). He witnessed the deaths of thousands of Jews through starvation, disease, and shooting; however, he turned a blind eye to all of it. In his interview with Claude Lanzmann, Dr. Grassler attempts to explain the necessity of maintaining the ghetto.  Joshua Hirsch, “Lanzmann’s interview techniques are strictly differentiated according to the position of the witness. Interviewing bystanders, he is a clever interrogator; with perpetrators, he is a spy; with survivors, he is a compassionate but exacting questioner” (78). There is also the question of what Lanzmann left out. Indeed, it is estimated that Shoah’s nine-and-a-half hour runtime was constructed out of over three-hundred-and-fifty hours of footage (Ash 137). 19 It is estimated that 83,000 Jews died in the Warsaw Ghetto between late 1940 and September 1942; regular deportations to Treblinka began shortly afterward (Hilberg, Destruction 274).  20 Jewish Council  13 Like Suchomel, Dr. Grassler’s auto/biographical discourse is contained in Claude Lanzmann’s film Shoah and is mediated and edited by Lanzmann. Unlike Suchomel, however, Dr. Grassler agreed to be filmed; therefore, there was no need for a hidden camera. This could be why Suchomel is very enthusiastic with his answers and Dr. Grassler is very guarded. He, like Suchomel, had over three decades to contemplate, or in his case, reconstruct or forget his role in the Shoah. Dr. Grassler tells Lanzmann that he does not remember very much from the Second World War (162). Regardless of his guarded answers and forgetfulness, Dr. Grassler’s interview is still an example of oral history. Interspersed between his testimony is historical analysis given by one of the most important Holocaust historians, Raul Hilberg. Hilberg’s knowledge of both the Warsaw Ghetto and Adam Czerniaków helps to shape and fill the gaps in Dr. Grassler’s oral history and to undermine Dr. Grassler’s attempts to evade responsibility. Regardless of his attempts at evasion, Dr. Grassler’s effort in acknowledging the suffering and murder within the ghetto is one of the reasons why I chose to study him. 1.6 The Principles of Perpetrator Selection There are principles of selection that I employed when choosing to analyse the various perpetrators in this study. Indeed, I chose to include auto/biographical narratives by perpetrators who worked in a variety of European locales in the killing apparatus of the Shoah. I chose to study Albert Speer, a high-ranking bureaucrat; Franz Stangl, a camp Commandant; Dr. Johann Paul Kremer, a camp doctor; Franz Suchomel, a camp guard; and Dr. Franz Grassler, an administrator of the Warsaw Ghetto. They were all, for the most part, career opportunists. I also chose to analyse these perpetrators because they all spoke or wrote about witnessing victim suffering and murder. It is important to note that a large percentage of perpetrators avoided this. Many of these perpetrators also had time to reflect on their acts prior to giving their  14 auto/biographical accounts in writing or on film. This is especially true in the case of Albert Speer, who spent twenty years in Spandau prison and clandestinely wrote copious memoir material, often on toilet paper, which was smuggled out. However, even though all but Dr. Kremer had time to reflect at length on their actions during the Second World War, the perpetrators discussed in this study all refused, or were at first unable, to acknowledge their part in the Shoah. 1.7 Definition of Auto/biography The different forms of auto/biographical narratives dealt with in this study make it necessary to define my use of the term auto/biography. The etymology of the word autobiography stems from Greek: “autos denotes ‘self,’ bios ‘life,’ and graphe ‘writing,’” or self life writing (Smith and Watson 1). Therefore, the personal dimension is anticipated in autobiography. Perpetrator auto/biographical narratives and other accounts often develop out of collaborative methods such as interviews, court testimony, and so forth; therefore, they require a more flexible term such as auto/biography. According to Marlene Kadar and Jeanne Perrault, two autobiographical theorists, the term auto/biography “implicates self and other(s) in a context in which a dialectic of relationality is both acknowledged and problematized” (3). In short, the term auto/biography is flexible enough to serve as an all-encompassing term for both the dialogical and problematic nature of Shoah perpetrator auto/biographical traces. 1.8 Auto/biography and History Auto/biographical narratives can help to form collective history. Indeed, Sidonie Smith and Julia Watson state that auto/biographical narratives can be read as “historical documents, sources of evidence” (13). Although there is a question of ethical responsibility in the use of perpetrator auto/biographies to the memories that are currently bound up in our collective history  15 of the Shoah, perpetrator auto/biographical narratives can help to corroborate and, in many cases, enhance the lexicon of knowledge concerning the Shoah. According to Avishai Margalit, “the obligation to remember…comes from the effort of radical evil forces to undermine morality itself by, among other means, rewriting the past and controlling collective memory” (83). Kadar and Perrault believe that auto/biography fulfills Margalit’s ethical imperative of the “obligation to remember” (6). The analysis of Shoah perpetrator auto/biographical narratives allows one, such as myself, to evaluate the psychic processes and damage involved in accommodating oneself to radical evil. 1.9 Overview of Thesis In this project, I intend to analyse Shoah perpetrator auto/biographical narratives to posit that the perpetrators within these narratives suffered from the effects of traumatisation. Although the reader must be cautious when confronting them, these works exist as a historical and cultural window into understanding how trauma affects perpetrators. I also intend to show how the traumatisation affected their disposition towards the killing around them, leading to traumatic reenactment, or the maxim that trauma begets trauma. Ultimately, the trauma represented within these narratives is able to tell the reader more about the disaster of the Shoah and the effects that the disaster had on the perpetrators than the authors themselves. 1.9.1 Interpellation, Socialisation, and Othering Processes In my examination of this body of work, I will begin in the second chapter, entitled “Interpellation, Socialisation, and Othering Processes”. In this chapter, I attempt to build a historical record of antisemitism21 as a pan-European phenomenon in order to explain how many  21  I use the term antisemitism rather than anti-Semitism because the term anti-Semitism presupposes that there is such a thing as a Semitic people.  16 of the perpetrators were interpellated22 by centuries-old European stereotypes of Jews. Nazi propaganda, itself based upon centuries-old Jewish stereotypes, helped to solidify in the minds of many of the perpetrators the notion that their victims were the physical embodiment of evil. I also analyse how many of the perpetrators were socialised and interpellated by the traumatic loss of the First World War; the failure of their fathers and ego ideals; the authoritarian, rigidly patriarchal, and militaristic society; the culture of terror instituted by the Nazis; and the normativity surrounding pseudoscientific, biological, essentialist notions of race. Ultimately, I state that even though the perpetrators, through their socialisation and interpellation, committed acts of perpetration, they were still traumatised by the acts of killing. I also put forth the supposition that many of the perpetrators unconsciously relied on antisemitic stereotypes as a coping mechanism for their traumatisation. I posit that many of the Shoah perpetrators relied on this process of othering in order to survive the effects of their traumatisation. 1.9.2 The Perpetrator Auto/biographical Record The third chapter, entitled “The Perpetrator Auto/biographical Record,” explains the circumstances surrounding the construction of Shoah perpetrator auto/biographical narratives. The reader must approach the auto/biographical discourses of Shoah perpetrators with caution because of their authors’ attempts at deception. I suggest that, even though the Shoah perpetrators often attempt to mislead the reader/auditor, their auto/biographical narratives are still useful in both corroborating survival testimonies and forming the history of the Shoah. More importantly, their auto/biographical records are also extremely useful for analysing the effects of trauma on perpetrators. I then discuss the reasons why Shoah perpetrators constructed 22  According to the Marxist philosopher Louis Althusser, an individual’s subjectivity is interpellated, or hailed, by ideology (47). He further states, “ideology ‘acts’ or ‘functions’ in such a way that it ‘recruits’ subjects among the individuals . . . or ‘transforms’ the individuals into subjects . . . by that very precise operation which [he calls] interpellation or hailing, and which can be imagined along the lines of the most commonplace everyday police (or other) hailing: ‘Hey, you there!’” (Althusser 48).   17 auto/biographical narratives; however, ultimately, I will suggest that the construction of these narratives often reveals an unconscious desire to work through the effects of the trauma that they suffered. 1.9.3 Perpetration-Induced Traumatic Stress The fourth chapter, entitled “Perpetration-Induced Traumatic Stress,” is indebted to Rachel M. MacNair’s study of how perpetrators experience trauma. The American psychologist, sociologist, and trauma theorist Rachel M. MacNair, in her work Perpetration-Induced Traumatic Stress: The Psychological Consequences of Killing, believes that many of the perpetrators of the Shoah suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), or what she calls Perpetration-Induced Traumatic Stress (PITS). Through an analysis of Torquato Tasso’s The Liberation of Jerusalem and auto/biographical perpetrator texts, I theorise that many perpetrators of the Shoah suffered the effects of trauma. I also theorise that because many perpetrators of the Shoah suffered from PITS, the subsequent effects that they suffered made it easier for them to commit further acts of perpetration. This theory is based upon not only Sigmund Freud’s and Cathy Caruth’s notion that trauma repeats or begets more trauma, but is also based upon accepted medical explanations in the DSM-IV concerning traumatic effects. Ultimately, the Shoah perpetrators entered into a cycle of traumatic reenactment that further traumatised them.  18 Chapter Two: Interpellation, Socialisation, and Othering Processes “It is only by recognizing traumatic experience as a paradoxical relation between destructiveness and survival that we can also recognize the legacy of incomprehensibility at the heart of catastrophic experience” (Caruth 58). 2.1 Antisemitism as a Pan-European Phenomenon An analysis into how a large portion of the German populace and, most importantly, the Nazi perpetrators were socialised and interpellated by social trauma and ideologies is key to understanding how traumatising the Shoah was not only for the German people, but for the perpetrators as well. Germany and its people, since the close of the Second World War, have been held up by many as being the genesis of antisemitic beliefs and the sole bearers of responsibility for the horrors of the Shoah. The massive popularity of Daniel Jonah Goldhagen’s book Hitler’s Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust, which asserts that all non-Jewish German citizens knew about and supported the othering and killing during the Shoah because they were interpellated by an eliminationist form of antisemitism, attests to the vast belief circulating throughout the world that Nazism and the Shoah were the zenith of German history and culture. One is apt to forget that antisemitism was a pan-European phenomenon and that Germany, prior to the rise of the Nazi Party, was the most liberal nation in Europe concerning its emancipated Jewish population. In my research, I found that, prior to the First World War, countries such as England, France, Russia, Ukraine, and Poland were far more openly prejudiced towards their Jewish populations than Germany, not to mention the significant segments of the population in the United States and Canada that subscribed to antisemitic ideology and were openly supportive of Hitler. Furthermore, one is equally apt to forget the mass numbers of willing collaborators throughout Europe who took part in the Shoah. Indeed, “the Nazis were heavily dependent on foreign help in carrying out the declared purpose of the Final  19 Solution—the murder of each and every Jew within their sphere of influence in Europe” (Marrus 56). Collaborationist regimes throughout most of Europe “provided the essential personnel virtually without hesitation in 1942,” the most “productive” year in terms of the production of death that was the Shoah (Marrus 56). In the end, the reality that Germany was seen as the epicentre of progressiveness concerning art and culture and that its Jewish population was acknowledged as being an integral part of said art and culture is why studies are necessary in trying to understand why the Shoah was so traumatic for Germany as a nation. Through an analysis of socialisation and interpellation, I discuss the possibilities surrounding how many of the Nazi perpetrators were not merely prompted to take part in the Shoah because they were antisemitic, but that they were heavily influenced by the social and political environment around them. 2.2 Shoah Perpetrators and Trauma The Shoah perpetrators were interpellated and socialised by a number of political, ideological, and environmental factors; nevertheless, many of them still suffered the effects of traumatisation. Most of these individuals were not psychopaths or sociopaths prior to committing acts of perpetration; therefore, trauma was a predictable human response. Also, whereas many of the perpetrators were deeply antisemitic, many were not. In the end, however, even those perpetrators who were not antisemitic most likely still relied on antisemitic stereotypes, such as the Jews being Christ-killers, in order to cope with their traumatisation through the process of othering.  20 2.3 The History of European Stereotypes of Jews The Stereotype of Jews as Murderers of Christ The European stereotype of the Jewish people committing deicide is the foundation of antisemitic ideology and, thus, a primary catalyst for interpellating many perpetrators as antisemites. Throughout western history, from the 4th century onwards, the dominant anti-Jewish stereotype, originating from an interpretation of the New Testament,23 is the Christian depiction of the Jews as Christ-killers (Chazan 13). John Chrysostom24 labelled Jewish synagogues as being the embodiment of “a criminal assembly of the assassins of Christ” (Laqueur 47). He was also one of the first to make the claim that “[t]he Jews alone, not the Romans, were responsible for the murder of Christ” (Laqueur 48). During the First Crusade, crusaders, travelling to do battle against the “enemies of God in the East,” attacked the Jews of the Rhineland in 1096 (Chazan 13). One of the crusaders, Albert of Aachen, asserted that the massacre of the Rhineland Jews was “‘the beginning of their expedition and of their duty against the enemies of the Christian faith’” (Chazan 14). Indeed, during the period of the First Crusade, Jews were blamed for Jesus’ crucifixion and were often seen as being a greater evil than the Muslims in the East. Because the Jews were seen as Christ-killers, they have been thought of as somehow being in league with Satan, or even sometimes seen as physical manifestations of the devil. The Stereotype of Jews as Servants of the Devil The myth associating Jews with deicide caused many within Western Europe during the Middle Ages to look upon Jews as servants of the devil. Many people of the Middle Ages were influenced by John Chrysostom who disseminated the idea that the synagogue “was worse than a 23  One such reference takes place in Matthew 27.1-2: “When the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death: And when they had bound him, they led him away, and delivered him to Pontius Pilate the governor” (Matt. 27.1-2). 24 Saint John Chrysostom (349-407) was a Father of the Roman Catholic Church, Archbishop of Constantinople and theologian (Mayer and Allen 3-4).  21 brothel and a drinking shop; it was a den of scoundrels, the repair of wild beasts, a temple of demons, the refuge of brigands and debauchees, the cavern of devils, a criminal assembly of the assassins of Christ” (Laqueur 47). According to Walter Laqueur, a leading scholar on the history of antisemitism, the image of the Jew as devil was considered by some to be a metaphorical reference; however, to others, including Martin Luther, it was considered as a form of reality (55). Luther perpetuated the image of the Jew as devil within On the Jews and Their Lies. Indeed, he states that the Jew “demonstrates clearly how easily the devil can mislead people” (Luther). He further calls for Christians to be careful around Jewish synagogues as, according to him, they are dens of the devil (Luther). If being associated with the devil were not bad enough, Jews were also characterised as child murderers. The Stereotype of Jews as Child Murderers The European stereotype of Jews as child murderers originates from the medieval Christian fear that Jews practiced blood libel, or the ritualistic torture and sacrifice of Christian children. According to Laqueur, “[t]he blood libel was the accusation that according to the Jewish religion, Christian infants or young children had to be abducted, abused, tortured, slaughtered, and their blood consumed (especially on the occasion of Passover) for religious purposes” (55). The accusation of blood libel was extremely prevalent during the Middle Ages in Western Europe. Indeed, there were over one-hundred and fifty false accusations of Jews committing blood libel; however, there were likely many more cases than this because many records have been lost (Laqueur 56). In Thomas Calvert’s tract “Causes of the Miseries of the Jews,” published in London in 1648, he states that Jews “have a bloody thirst after the blood of Christians. In France and many kingdoms they have used yearly to steal a Christian’s boy and to crucify him . . . to rub their memories afresh into sweet thoughts of their crucifying Christ”  22 (124). Metaphorically, the theft of children and the stealing of wealth can be seen as being one and the same since they are both equated with robbing one’s future. The Stereotype of Jews as Thieves and Usurers The stereotype of the Jew as usurer and thief can also be found in collective European history. The stereotype of Jew as thief had no stronger supporter than Martin Luther. In On the Jews and Their Lies, he states that the Jews “are nothing but thieves and robbers who daily eat no morsel and wear no thread of clothing which they have not stolen and pilfered from us” (Luther). Jewish usury was the source of a huge grievance amongst the populace of Western Europe. Throughout history, Jews have been accused of exploiting their Christian neighbours through usurious moneylending (Weiss 6). Luther wrote that the Jews “are so blind that they not only practice usury…but they teach that it is a right which God conferred on them through Moses” (Luther). He further states that “[t]heir breath stinks with lust for the Gentiles' gold and silver; for no nation under the sun is greedier than they were, still are, and always will be, as is evident from their accursed usury” (Luther). It is interesting that Luther makes reference to the Jews as being a nation because it is this notion that plays into the European stereotype of the Jews as being wanderers not belonging to any European nation. The Stereotype of Jews as Wandering Outsiders The migrations of the Jews throughout Europe during the Middle Ages, combined with the age-old belief that the Jews had turned their backs on Christ, led to the stereotype and myth of the Wandering Jew. Indeed, countless extra scriptural legends arose throughout the areas around the Mediterranean during the many centuries after Jesus had been crucified (G. Anderson 11). The legend of the Wandering Jew is one such myth that became popular. The first known written record is a Latin chronicle found in Bologna that dates back to 1223. It “tells of a Jew  23 encountered by pilgrims in Armenia, who had taunted Jesus as he was going to his martyrdom and was told ‘I go, and you will await me until I come again.’ Ever since, the said Jew had been rejuvenated to the apparent age of thirty after every hundred years” (Stableford 3). The first written record of the legend of the Wandering Jew in Northern Europe was a pamphlet, titled Kurze Beschreibung und Erzählung von einem Juden mit Namen Ahasverus,25 which was published in Germany in 1602. Within this pamphlet, it is stated that there was a Jew by the name of Ahasuerus, a shoemaker, who had been wandering throughout various lands since the time of the crucifixion of Christ (G. Anderson 45). Of all the popular legends in Western thought, “not one is more remarkable for singularity and suggestiveness than the wild story of the Wandering Jew. . . . it has had an influence greater probably than any other myth (with the possible exception of the Faust legend) not only upon the minds of unlettered persons, but upon the imaginations of poets, artists, and romance-writers” (Dobell xiii). Due to the common belief throughout many European countries from the 13th to the 16th centuries that Jews were a foreign people, combined with the Catholic Church’s frequent official proclamations that Jews were the enemies of all Christians, Jews were expelled from many Western European countries including Belgium in 1261, England in 1290, France in 1306 and 1394, Spain in 1492, and Portugal in 1507 (Laqueur 54). To many Europeans during the Middle Ages, the characterisation of Jews as wandering outsiders metaphorically equated them with plague. The Stereotype of Jews as Bringers of Plague The stereotype of the Jew as bringer of plague can be traced back to both the Old Testament and the period of the Black Death. Prior to the Black Death of the 14th century, Jews  25  A Short Description and Narration by a Jew Named Ahasuerus  24 were equated with causing plague like Moses.26 A terrible famine swept through Europe in 1315, and because the Jews at this time had been accused of spreading disease via the poisoning of wells, “marauding bands of starving peasants massacred thousands of Jews, especially in the French southern duchy of Aquitaine” (Fischer 34). The Jewish stereotype of plague bringer led to the violent persecution of entire Jewish communities during the Black Death, between 1348 and 1350, “which felled about one-third of the population of Europe and virtually destroyed German Jewry” (Laqueur 60). Oddly, even though entire Jewish communities were being destroyed by the indiscriminate plague, Jews were still blamed for its cause. Captured Jews were tortured and made to confess to the spread of the plague which, in the eyes of the people, seemed to corroborate their suspicions (Laqueur 60). Finally, Luther preached that the Jews were “a heavy burden, a plague, a pestilence, a sheer misfortune for [Germany]” (Luther). All of these stereotypes were used by the Nazis in their construction of the Jewish Other. The Nazis also made use of the secular, pseudoscientific racism that was born out of the Enlightenment. 2.4 The Enlightenment and the Birth of Biological, Essentialist Notions of Race Many perpetrators were interpellated by the antisemitic, biological, essentialist notions of race that were born out of the Enlightenment. Whereas hatred of the Jews had a religious basis in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, it was “scientised” and secularised after the Enlightenment. The Enlightenment, which took place during the 18th century, was beneficial for the Jews of Europe because it recognised them as citizens of the world with inherent rights; however, it was also detrimental to them because it called for assimilation and the abolition of visual differences between Christians and Jews. The primary drive governing the Enlightenment scholars was to demythologise the world through the secularisation of the nation-state (Fischer  26  In the Old Testament, Moses creates the sixth plague within Egypt by taking handfuls of ash from the furnace and throwing them into the air towards heaven, causing a plague of boils to descend upon the land (Exod. 9.8, 10).  25 41). The Jews of Western Europe would be German, French, or British first and Jewish second. Throughout Western Europe the Jews were slowly enabled within civil society, and by the early 19th century emancipation had been attained by every Jew within Continental Europe (Fischer 42). According to Klaus Fischer, the most pertinent caveat surrounding the emancipation of the Jews was whether “the national community in which Jews resided would accept them as fullfledged nationals and be willing to grant them … the additional right to remain Jewish” (43). The Jewish peoples of Eastern Europe did not have to assimilate; however, this does not mean that they were any less persecuted for their otherness. Whereas the Jews of Western Europe were assimilated into regular society after the Enlightenment, the Jews of Eastern Europe were allowed freedom within their own autonomous villages. From the period of the Crusades onward, Jews were gradually persecuted to the point that many decided to flee the host nations in which they lived, or they were forcefully expelled from Western Europe. Fleeing persecution, the Western European Jews migrated to Eastern European nations such as Russia, Ukraine, and Poland (Kallen 20). The Jewish communities in Poland thrived and were able to prosper between the late-13th to mid-18th centuries. Due to the mass Jewish migration east, small Jewish villages, or Shtetl communities, began to appear. In the 19th and early-20th centuries, these small Jewish communities flourished within an area stretching from eastern Germany to western Russia (Kallen 21). However, these communities flourished because they existed apart from Christian communities. Contact between Christians and Jews in Eastern Europe still spelt doom for the latter, for “Poles and Russians viciously massacred them in genocidal pogroms” (Fischer 21). Jews were increasingly persecuted in Eastern and Western Europe with the rise of antisemitism in the late-19th and early-20th centuries.  26 2.5 From Religious-Based Jew-Hatred to Secularised Antisemitism Wilhelm Marr Antisemitism was the logical transformation of Jew-hatred after the Enlightenment. It was the emancipation of and subsequent granting of citizenship to the Jews of Western Europe, combined with the secularisation of the nation-state, which provoked the change from a religious Jew-hatred to a modern, secular, intellectual antisemitism. Wilhelm Marr wanted to replace the centuries-old Jew-hatred with the more sterile, scientific, and secular-sounding antisemitism (Hellig 70). He also wanted to coin a term that would connote the hatred of the Jewish people without mentioning Jews, thereby creating a term that could be more easily accepted by the masses in the process of othering (Bauer 10-11). Therefore, he wrote a pamphlet entitled The Victory of Judaism over Germanism which signified a call-to-arms against Jews (Zimmermann 78). According to Moshe Zimmermann, “[t]he brutality of the despair expressed in The Victory of Judaism over Germanism turned the book into a best-seller” (78). In the pamphlet, Marr calls for Germans to acknowledge that the Jewish “race” must be checked or else Germany would fall under the collective heel of the “Semites” (Zimmermann 79). Hermann Graml states that Marr made normative the view that Jews were less a religious minority and more a “race immutably alien and irredeemably subversive” (57). Suddenly, the Jewish people, the centuries-old Christian Others, now became secular, German Others. Ernest Renan and Houston Stewart Chamberlain Marr was not the only individual working on new theories dealing with Jew-hatred during this period, however. The French philosopher Ernest Renan, while studying Hebrew, concluded that the “Aryan” languages were superior to the “Semitic” languages; therefore, “the Aryan race was intellectually superior to the Semitic race, whose way of thinking was depicted  27 as culturally narrow and sterile” (Girard 64). Patrick Girard further states that, in Germany, Max Müller popularised views similar to Renan, which became normative amongst the cultivated elite (64). It was also at the turn of the 20th century that the British philosopher Houston Stewart Chamberlain published Foundations of the Nineteenth Century, a text appropriated by Völkisch, or German, racial, nationalist, thinkers such as Adolf Hitler (Wegner 8). According to Chamberlain, German Aryans represented the epitome of Western man. They “were authentic carriers of Western culture, the saviors of world history, and in diametric opposition to the Jews, with whom they were involved in a protracted racial struggle” (Wegner 8). Chamberlain, a phrenologist, believed that the elongated skull of the Aryan connoted moral superiority, whereas the Jews were equated with lower intellect (Wegner 8). He was not the originator of phrenological pseudoscience; however, he popularised it “at a time when social Darwinism enjoyed growing support among the newly emerging social sciences, especially anthropology” (Wegner 8). Pseudoscience became very popular during this period of scientific rationalisation and had a great effect on many. F. K. Günther and Pseudoscience Many of the perpetrators were interpellated by the biological, essentialist racism that became popular during this period with the rise of pseudoscience. For many, the Jews were thought of as the abject Other within a sick Germany; they were seen as a putrescence that plagued Germany, causing it to lose the First World War and stopping it from flourishing economically. The pseudoscientist Hans F. K. Günther within his text Racial Characteristics of the Jewish People, published in 1922, describes Jews as looking like vampires. Günther describes Jews as having “large, protruding, downwardly curving noses … fleshy lips … large, fleshy ears … [and] thick converging eyebrows” (Steinweis 28). There was a great intolerance of  28 stereotypical travelling cultures such as Jews and Gypsies, of cultures not seen as an organic part of the bloodlines of “real” Germans, of those who “refused” to continue its bloodline (LGBT people),27 or not seen as having a spiritual connection to the “blood and soil” of Germany. There was a fear that Jewish blood would taint the purity of Aryan blood. These pseudoscientific stereotypes were taught in German schools and repeated in Nazi propaganda. It was not only the supposedly different-looking Jews who were ostracised from society and considered abject. There was a great intolerance for anyone not considered normal by the Nazis. Indeed, the euthanasia program and later death camps were a reflection of this desire by the Nazis to cleanse Germany of its abject sickness: the mentally ill, the physically deformed, the infirm, the Jews. To this end, the ideology of antisemitism was also championed and perpetuated by the Nazis in order to cleanse sick Germany of its abject Others. The need to cleanse Germany of its abject Others became a popular idea after the loss of the First World War. 2.6 The Traumatic Loss of the First World War Many Shoah perpetrators were greatly affected by Germany’s loss of the First World War. Germany’s defeat was an unconscionable loss for its people. William Shirer is correct to surmise that the birth of the Nazi Party, the revolt by the sons of Germany against their monarchist father Kaiser Wilhelm II, began with this defeat. The devastating end to a dream of greatness caused a backlash of bitterness within the hearts of many Germans towards those who orchestrated the war. Ultimately, “[t]he society which had seemingly entered the war in total patriotic unity ended it completely riven – and traumatized by the experience” (Kershaw, Hubris 97). The trauma of a nation caused many to consider the Jews as the orchestrators of Germany’s misfortune. Many began to search for groups to blame and, due to rising levels of antisemitic propaganda during the period, Germany’s Jewish population became an easy scapegoat. Jews 27  Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered individuals  29 were portrayed as shirkers, deserters, and enemies of the state. At the same time, the multitudes of professional soldiers coming back from the various military fronts found it difficult to adjust to regular, non-military life and formed and joined various paramilitary groups that made up the Freikorps. For Germany’s soldiers, many of whom became members of the Freikorps, the most poignant trauma was having to endure the emasculation of defeat and embarrassment at Versailles in 1919. The German sociologist Klaus Theweleit, in his monumental, two-part study Male Fantasies, which focuses on the motivations that drove members of the Freikorps to commit acts of perpetration, believes that an unconscious hatred of women and a desire to retake control of lost phallic power led the men of the Freikorps, many of whom became members of the SA and SS, to commit acts of perpetration. Theweleit focuses on violence as a response to the unconscious fear and hatred of women emanating from emasculation caused by, among other things, the loss of the First World War. According to Theweleit, they had an unconscious desire to want to take part in the production of death. They wanted the “’bloody mass’: heads with their faces blown off, bodies soaked red in their own blood, [and] rivers clogged with bodies” (Ehrenreich xi). Therefore, in terms of the perpetrators of the Shoah, the Jews were feminised by the perpetrators and became objects of hate and contempt, tortured, butchered, and extinguished in an atmosphere of phallic reassertion. 2.7 A Discussion of Various Notions of the Other René Descartes and G. F. W. Hegel Theweleit’s work comes out of centuries of thought on the topic of the Other. Various notions of the Other and of othering processes are important to consider in any discussion of panEuropean antisemitism, the rise of Hitler and the Nazis, and the Shoah. Notions of the Other  30 have intrigued philosophers, theologians, and many others for centuries and have informed Western views of ethics, historical processes, human behaviour, and many other things. René Descartes suggests that the conscious, rational mind (cogito) is the self and that there is a “gulf of otherness” between our consciousness and that of others (MacArthur 1). In Phenomenology of Mind, G. F. W. Hegel asserts that the Other is necessary to our consciousness or sense of self, even though, he also believes that our consciousness involves a hostility towards other consciousnesses: “[Hegel] asserts that we find in consciousness a hostility toward every other consciousness as we develop. Individual consciousness is prevented from finding freedom and independence when it comes up against the otherness of people and things, but this otherness cannot be destroyed without destroying the self” (MacArthur 1). This idea is reiterated many times in important discussions of the self or the subject throughout history. Much recent race theory, for example, calls attention to the damage or wound to the self that racism inflicts on the racist or on the “master race” or “sovereign race” in a racialised social hierarchy. Sigmund Freud, Simone de Beauvoir, and Klaus Theweleit Sigmund Freud’s theory of consciousness and the unconscious posits that the Other is within self, in the id which is made up of sexual drives and other desires. This extends the opportunity to understand the human fascination and repulsion with the Other as something internalised. In her famous work The Second Sex, Simone de Beauvoir suggests that the Other is gendered: “She [woman] is defined and differentiated with reference to man, not he with reference to her; she is the incidental, the inessential as opposed to the essential. He is the Subject, he is the Absolute—she is the Other. The category of the Other is as primordial as consciousness itself” (xxii). Thus, Theweleit’s study makes use of psychoanalytic gender theory to posit that the letters and other writings of the Freikorps men, who later formed the nucleus of  31 the Nazi party, indicate their rigidly bounded masculinity which, nevertheless, betrays both a repulsion and attraction to the feminine. The attempt to shore up the ego has been used to explain the psychic responses of perpetrators to the orders that they were given during the Nazi period. It is important to note that Theweleit’s theory is easily applied to men and women serving in other imperialist, militarised, and violent contexts. Mikhail Bakhtin, Martin Buber, and Emmanuel Levinas Many of these discussions call attention to the necessity of the Other in providing one with a sense of self and of the damage that can be done in trying to annihilate the Other, which was the Nazi project. Russian formalist Mikhail Bakhtin states this most compellingly: The very being of man…is deepest communion. To be means to communicate. Absolute death (non-being) is the state of being unheard, unrecognized, unremembered. To be means to be for another, and through the other, for oneself. A person has no internal sovereign territory, he is wholly and always on the boundary; looking inside himself, he looks into the eyes of another or with the eyes of another. (287, emphasis intended) Like Bakhtin, the philosopher Martin Buber, who fled Austria for Israel in 1938, believes that a dialogical existence with the Other as an I-You relationship, rather than an I-It relationship, is necessary in order to maintain a sense of self. According to Buber, “The basic word I-You can be spoken only with one’s whole being….I require a You to become; becoming I, I say You” (62). According to Buber, the I-You relationship constitutes a dialogic of existence (53). Indeed, an IYou relationship should be maintained at all times, less one should fall into an I-It relationship. Buber uses the metaphor of the tree to discuss the difference between I-It and I-You. The tree, as object, is looked upon as not occupying the space of relational being; however, if the tree is thought of as a relational being, occupying the space of equal, its life as precious to me as my  32 own, then the previous I-It relationship is elevated to become an I-You relationship (Buber 58). The metaphor of the tree works very well to describe the interrelation and interconnectivity within the world: that by entering into an I-You relationship with one individual others are bound to be affected by it and prompted to reciprocate and maintain this relationship with others. Buber states, “[w]hen I confront a human being as my You and speak the basic word I-You to him [or her], then he [or she] is no thing among things nor does he [or she] consist of things. . . . I stand in relation to him [or her], in the sacred basic word” (59-60). The dialogical relationship between I and You is not characterised as a distant experience, but of a realisation and acceptance of one another as relational beings. One might say that Buber’s theory of I and You is a representation of the age-old maxim of “treat others as you would like to be treated”;28 however, it entails something beyond this. Buber’s theory is a mode of existence that expects that a dialogical relationship will take place between individuals. One is not merely acting upon another, but acting with another in a space of reciprocity. Similarly, Bakhtin, echoing Buber, states, “I am conscious of myself and become myself only while revealing myself for another, through another, and with the help of another” (287). The religious philosopher Emmanuel Levinas also believes that there is no self without the Other; however, unlike Bakhtin and Buber, Levinas carries this notion further by stating that there is an ethical imperative to act in the best interest of the Other that comes before subjectivity. He states that “[c]are for the [O]ther trumps care for the self, is care for the self. Nothing is more significant” (qtd. in Cohen xxvii). The subject’s existence is based upon the responsibility for the Other (Levinas 33). An I must anticipate the needs of a You before the You can acknowledge the I. In short, the self cannot exist without the Other.  28  The Golden Rule  33 Jacques Lacan and Julia Kristeva The Other represents what the self is not. In terms of psychoanalytic theory, Freud, from the outset, suggests that repression, in some form or another, keeps the objectified Other at bay, but that the othered creature can return in various ways to haunt one’s life and consciousness. To Jacques Lacan, who revised Freud, “the Other is the ultimate signifier of everything that the Subject is not, as well as everything that the Subject does not have. For Lacan, the discovery of the Other parallels the acquisition of social identity. The ‘I’ is a construct, an illusion. ‘I’ is, therefore, not a stable entity” (MacArthur 2). The self is always in process with the otherness around it. Julia Kristeva explores the Self/Other binary calling attention to what she calls the abject, a space between what is partly self, but partly not self. In Powers of Horror, she asserts that seeing, tasting, and smelling certain repulsive things such as dung, blood, mucous, rotting food, vomit, and, particularly, the corpse, reveal our vulnerability as mortal beings, they remind us that we are and will be those people, creatures, and things: “refuse and corpses show me what I permanently thrust aside in order to live” (Kristeva 3). We, therefore, find them threatening and abject them into a place in the mind where we do not recognise them consciously. Kristeva uses images of piles of corpses in Auschwitz as a signal example of what produces abjection. She states, “[t]he corpse, seen without God and outside of science, is the utmost of abjection. It is death infecting life. Abject. It is something rejected from which one does not part, from, which one does not protect oneself as from an object. Imaginary uncanniness and real threat, it beckons us and ends up engulfing us” (Kristeva, Horror 4). Certain social groups such as women, LGBT individuals, disabled individuals, and ethnic minorities are often placed in an abject space and associated with pollution (like the corpse) and seen as a threat. In my discussion of the traumatic response of Nazi perpetrators, evidenced in their life writing, theories of the Other and the notion  34 of the abject are useful in theorising about the construction of the social position of Jews and others in Nazi Germany, indeed, in Europe, and about the death encounters that the Nazi perpetrators underwent and from which they suffered PITS. In this study, I will suggest that the desire to undo the damage of the radical othering of Jews and other victims and of the attempt to exterminate the Other in a genocide is part of the motivation of some of these perpetrators to write or speak about their experience of the Shoah. The Jewish Other was, ultimately, blamed for the economic downturn in Germany which affected millions, leading to growing support of Hitler’s National Socialists. 2.8 Germany’s Poor Postwar Economy The members of the Freikorps and many other Germans at the end of WWI were greatly affected by Germany’s poor economy, looking for someone to lead them through the troubling period of the 1920s. Hitler became a beacon of hope to the multitudes of Germans suffering through poor economic conditions and instability, brainwashing millions with his promises of work and bread and providing them with an Other in the Jew, the “asocial”, and so on that a rising Germany could strive against. Germany incurred a great deal of debt during the First World War and the oppressive reparations payments that the Allies required of it compounded the sense of hopelessness permeating the country. Richard J. Evans states: As soon as the First World War had begun, the Reich government had started to borrow money to pay for it. From 1916 onwards, expenditure had far exceeded the revenue that the government had been able to raise from loans or indeed from any other source. Naturally enough, it had expected to recoup its losses by annexing rich industrial areas to the west and east, by forcing the defeated nations to pay large financial reparations, and by imposing a new German-dominated economic order on a conquered Europe. (103)  35 Of course, the plan did not succeed and Germany ended up on the losing side of the First World War, defeated and in massive debt. By the early 1920s, the economy was so bad in Germany that the government could not afford to raise the necessary sum of gold to meet the requirements of the reparations payments (R. Evans 104-5). Along with the collapse of the German economy came enormous inflation. At the height of the inflation, money became meaningless, families sold all they had to purchase food staples, riots and looting became commonplace, and shops hoarded foodstuffs in order to sell them at higher prices (R. Evans 105-6). According to Ian Kershaw, “the material consequences of the hyper-inflation for ordinary people were devastating, the psychological effects incalculable. Savings of a lifetime were wiped out within hours. Insurance policies were not worth the paper they were written on. Those with pensions and fixed incomes saw their only source of support dissolve into worthlessness” (Hubris 201). Germany was collectively at the mercy of her neighbours. To the multitudes of suffering Germans, Hitler and the National Socialist Party began to become a tempting and viable option to resurrect the faltering nation. To this end, Hitler was projected by his followers as the saviour of the nation, the imago29 of the triumphant Führer. Within a few years, he delivered on economic promises. This may have reinforced the rightness and goodness of his rigid patriarchy. 2.9 The Imago of Hitler If Leni Riefenstahl’s film Triumph of the Will is an adequate portrayal of the popularity of Hitler’s imago within the consciousness of the German people, then one can see the power that the Führer possessed. Indeed, if the adoring masses waiting outside his Lufthansa flight are not enough to show his celebrity, then the multitudes of ecstatic, adoring Germans lining the streets of Nuremberg to catch a glimpse of his Mercedes as it drives by should be. For those still 29  According to Lacan, an imago, born out of the Latin for “image,” is a simulacrum of the object of the subject’s gaze. It “includes feelings as well as a visual representation” that unconsciously reconstitute the Other in the mind of the subject (D. Evans 84). In addition, for Lacan, the imago is culturally mediated (Chiesa 28).  36 sceptical concerning his aura and fatherly power, the spectacle of masses of men in military garb goose-stepping in perfect synchronicity shows why Germans adored the charismatic father figure. Indeed, for a country previously crippled with debt and unemployment, the embarrassing defeat of the First World War, still fresh in the minds of the masses, this spectacle would have solidified his greatness in the minds of his people. Albert Speer explains Hitler’s celebrity best when he states, “‘[h]ere was this man, who, it seemed as if by magic, had already in a few months changed our country beyond recognition. Everything in Germany was flourishing. The unemployed were back at work; there were work projects everywhere—we lived and breathed optimism’” because of Hitler (Sereny, Speer 102). Whereas the Nazi Party never reached the popularity levels it desired, “[f]ew, if any, twentieth-century political leaders have enjoyed greater popularity among their own people than Hitler in the decade or so following his assumption of power on 30 January 1933” (Kershaw, Hitler Myth 1). Hitler enjoyed the backing of upwards of ninety percent of the German populace, embracing even those sectors of the population that were staunchly against the Nazi Party and its ideological beliefs (Kershaw, Hitler Myth 1). Hitler was viewed as the physical embodiment of Germany. Although he was head of the Nazi Party, he was held up as being distinct from it as well; therefore, he was not considered responsible for its shortcomings (Kershaw, Hitler Myth 253). Hitler, envisioning himself as a modern-day Julius Caesar (Fest, Hitler 158), projected himself as the liberator of the German people from outside insurgent Others. Shirer states that Hitler put himself in the position of saviour, offering a way out, offering hope: “[h]e would make Germany strong again, refuse to pay reparations, repudiate the Versailles Treaty, stamp out corruption, bring the money barons to heel (especially if they were Jews) and see to it that every German had a job and bread. To hopeless, hungry men seeking not only relief but new faith and new gods, the appeal was not  37 without effect” (137-38). It was the hope that Hitler offered that led him to be appointed as Chancellor on January 30, 1933. Even though Hitler was adored by the German populace as a whole, the strongest belief in the Führer’s infallibility was amongst his followers who considered him to be a true, rather than metaphorical, father figure, an aspect of their fractured ego ideals. 2.10 The Loss of the Father and Hitler as Ego Ideal Many Germans and most Nazi perpetrators experienced a shattering of their ego ideals after the traumatising loss of the First World War and the failure of the fathers. The ego ideal represents what an individual aspires to, someone that the individual looks up to. As an infant begins to acknowledge its existence in the world, it believes itself to be the embodiment of perfection, it is enamoured with its existence, with its functioning-self. According to Freud, the narcissistic self-love of a child becomes diffused during childhood as it becomes a toddler and preschooler, and an ego ideal, representing the child’s first object of love, its movement away from narcissistic self-love to a healthier object-love, is formed (“Narcissism” 22-23). An ego ideal represents an imago of perfection. In short, “[w]hat they project as their ideal for the future is a surrogate for the lost narcissism of their childhood, during which they were their own ideal” (Freud, “Narcissism” 23). According to Freud, the parents represent the child’s first ego ideal; this is why the child becomes representative of different aspects of his or her parents. This process of displacing one’s narcissistic self-love onto an object or objects of perfection carries on throughout life and can be displaced onto siblings, friends, and other persons of inspiration within the individual’s life. It is important, however, to remember that the parents will always represent the basic foundations of the individual’s ego ideal. For many of the future Nazi  38 perpetrators, a disproportionate amount of narcissism was displaced onto the father figure in their early childhoods due to the father’s phallic power. In a hyper-masculine, patriarchal environment, as the one that existed in both the early family structures of many of the future perpetrators of the Shoah and the later Nazi period in Germany, obedience emanated from what Lacan terms the Law of the Father. Indeed, “[i]t is the FATHER who imposes this law on the subject…” (D. Evans 99). In effect, the father’s phallic power unconsciously both teaches and symbolically stands for obedience and authority. From this, the child learns to obey and mimic his or her father. Lacan asserts that we repress the desire of/for the Mother for the Law of the Father. It is the Law of the Father that manifests a sense of what Alexander Mitscherlich, a prominent German physician and psychoanalyst, calls “learnt obedience” in the child and paves the way for a life of servitude and compliance unless the father rewards this obedience with affirmation and support. Mitscherlich states, “[I]n learnt obedience we begin by adapting ourselves to others, unconsciously imitating them” (172). Thus, the child adapts itself to and mimics its first caregivers; however, in a strict, authoritarian, patriarchal society, the primary object of mimicry and idealisation is the father. Ultimately, Mitscherlich states that a consistently overbearing authority figure, the father, will cause the child to remain blindly obedient for life, constantly searching for the support and affirmation that he or she so deeply desires from his or her father (171). If the child does not receive the support and affirmation from the father, he or she will search for a new symbolic father. For many of the Shoah perpetrators, Hitler served as both symbolic father and ego ideal. The Law of the Father is tantamount to a commandment, and Hitler’s orders were no less of a commandment, even those he did not directly give. Hannah Arendt states that “Hitler’s orders . . . had possessed ‘the force of law’ in the Third Reich” (24). Albert Speer explains that  39 Hitler’s demand for ultimate obedience overrode all else. Indeed, Hitler, the man, listened to the opinions of those around him; however, Hitler, the Führer, “‘always acted on impulse, inspiration and emotion’”30 and surrounded himself with people who refused to question his orders (Sereny, Speer 370-71). In short, many perpetrators refused to question his orders because they were all trying to please their father, their mirrored, affirmative responses spoken in an attempt to receive the acceptance and affirmation they so desired. Speer, of course, was one of the men closest to Hitler; therefore, although not stating it directly, was one of those seeking affirmation from the fatherly aspect of his ego ideal. Sereny, in an attempt to explain Speer’s loyalty, states, “to identify as crimes what Hitler considered to be legitimate political acts would certainly have cost him Hitler’s intimacy . . .” (Speer 371). Speer famously stated at Nuremberg, “‘if Hitler had had any friends, I would have been his friend’” (Fest, Hitler 523). In short, Speer refused to openly question Hitler’s orders out of the fear of losing his father’s love and affection. Unlike his experience during the war, Speer had a great deal of time to reflect on his motivations in the postwar period and became aware of his unconscious motivations during the war. He states, “‘[t]his [Himmler’s directive to move Jews to concentration camps in 1942] is when I should have begun to realize what was happening . . . This was the point, I now think, when, had I wanted to I could have detected hints [concerning the Final Solution]’”; however, even if he found out, he tells Sereny, “‘I would somehow have gone on trying to help that man win his war’” (Speer 368). Ultimately, “Speer’s moral corruption had its seed in his emotional attachment to Hitler—he likened it to Faust’s fatal bargain with Mephistopheles. Achievement and success rooting it ever deeper over the years, he lived—almost addictively—in an increasingly vicious cycle of need and dependence” (Sereny, Speer 368). Although Speer was 30  This had more to do with Hitler`s compulsive neuroticism than any supposed femininity. Indeed, there are many psychological interpretations of Hitler`s mental disturbances. See Sherree Owens Zalampas`s book Adolf Hitler: A Psychological Interpretation of His Views on Architecture, Art, and Music.  40 closer to Hitler than the other perpetrators discussed in this chapter, they all shared the same idealisation and love that he had for the Führer. It would be irresponsible to use Speer as a representative of the others, but one can infer that the other perpetrators possessed similar feelings about and encountered comparable experiences with Hitler. Obeying the Law of the Father, Hitler’s law, was directly attributable to their unconscious predisposition towards authority. In the end, an unconscious predisposition towards authority in conjunction with a desire to please the fatherly aspect of one’s ego ideal can lead an agent to commit acts of perpetration. For many, the patriarchal, authoritarian, nationalistic, and militaristic nature of Hitler, the father, appealed to their overall worldview. 2.11 The Belief in a Patriarchal, Authoritarian, Militaristic Society For many, the loss of the First World War only amplified the need to continue the promotion of a patriarchal, authoritarian, militaristic culture within Germany. Whereas many Germans became fearful of another war after the catastrophic loss of life during the First World War, there were many others, such as the members of both the Freikorps and the fledgling National Socialist party, who began to believe “the notion that only in warfare could a man prove himself a real man; the conviction that the sense of camaraderie between fighting men was the most perfect form of human communion possible; [and] the belief that sheer force was in the end the strongest thing in the world” (Bergen 28). This militaristic worldview would have been considered by many to be a normative progression of the idea of the militaristic, expansionistminded nation-state that emanated from the Enlightenment. To this end, the nationalism, authoritarianism, and militarism espoused by Hitler’s Nazi party was normative, rational, and logical to many. After all, the Nazi party called for a strong nation-state, a unified and prosperous people, and a return to Germany’s prominence on the world stage. The ideals of the  41 French Revolution taught the world that the good of the many outweighed the good of the few. If the deaths of a small number of aristocrats led to the prosperity of the overall majority of French citizens, why would the expulsion, or even deaths, of the members of the small German Jewish population be seen as being any different? Surely, many perpetrators would have been interpellated by the National Socialist ideology that emanated from the French Revolution and the Enlightenment. There were, of course, more than a few perpetrators who were not interpellated by the National Socialist ideology comprised of nationalism, authoritarianism, and militarism; however, the Nazis created a culture of fear and violence in Germany that prompted many to collaborate. In addition, Hitler eliminated a large segment of the dissenting German population in the 1930s. 2.12 The Impact of Nazi Panopticism The panoptic atmosphere that the Nazis imposed in Germany and the various concentration and death camps of the Reich had a direct impact on enforcing collaboration amongst those not interpellated by Nazi ideology. Many of the perpetrators became immersed in a society built on fear where noncompliance resulted in discharge and possible incarceration and seizure of property and wealth. Nazi Germany was fashioned into a police state where family members, friends, and neighbours were expected to watch each other and were rewarded for providing information about nonconformists. Hitler’s ideological soldiers, the members of the SS, Gestapo, and Hitler Youth, became the eyes and ears of the Nazi state. This situation was worse in the microcosms of the concentration and death camps where there really were no places to hide. One either did his or her duty or he or she could be discharged, incarcerated, or sent to the Eastern Front and certain death.  42 2.13 Perpetrator Trauma and Antisemitic Stereotypes as a Coping Mechanism In spite of their socialisation and the Ideological State Apparatuses31 they were interpellated by, the Nazi perpetrators were not immune to trauma. As agents of destruction, they witnessed mortality and unconsciously feared their own annihilation; however, they remained functioning subjects via the effects of trauma. Trauma is a paradoxical phenomenon. On the one hand, it is born out of destruction; however, on the other, it implies survival and life. Cathy Caruth recognises that trauma, through its destructiveness and threat of annihilation, produces the desire to flee, both mentally and physically, in an attempt to survive. Freud postulates that “patients suffering from traumatic neurosis are [not] much occupied in their waking lives with memories of their [trauma]. Perhaps they are more concerned with not thinking of it” (“Beyond” 13). The flashbacks, nightmares and other unconscious reminders of the trauma force the sufferer to cope by any means possible in order to function. Ultimately, according to Caruth, who is working with Freud’s theories on trauma, “[i]t is because the mind cannot confront the possibility of its death directly that survival becomes for the human being, paradoxically, an endless testimony to the [struggle] of living” (62). Perpetrators who are traumatised, therefore, must consistently dehumanise the victim, the object of his or her trauma, in order to stave off psychical death in a continuous attempt at survival. For the Shoah perpetrators, one of the ways to dehumanise their victims and stave off psychical death, via the acknowledgement of their guilt in committing acts of perpetration, was to maintain belief in the antisemitic stereotypes that have existed throughout collective European history. Auto/biographical records of how sufferers of PITS cope with their symptoms also help the reader/auditor to understand the full extent of their traumatisation. According to Alexander 31  Ideological State Apparatuses, churches, schools, places of work, family, and so on, according to Louis Althusser, are all outlets reinforcing the dominant ideology within society (16-17). Indeed, it was the will of the Nazi State, through the Ideological State Apparatuses, that interpellated German citizens as Nazis.  43 C. McFarlane and Rachel Yehuda, “the coping behaviour documented in PTSD sufferers tells us more about how they cope with the distress of their symptoms than how they coped with the trauma itself” (175). Due to the human impulse to survive, documentation on how the individual experiences life will outweigh documentation on how the individual experiences death around them; therefore, “it is important to consider resilience and vulnerability in terms of both individuals’ responses to the trauma and their capacity to cope with their reactions” (McFarlane and Yehuda 175-76). Because avoidance of stimuli associated with the traumatic event is an important symptom of traumatisation (DSM-IV 424), the dehumanisation of the object of the trauma can be seen as being an effective coping method. In terms of the self of Shoah perpetrators within their auto/biographical narratives, the antisemitic stereotypes allowed them to cope with having to avoid stimuli associated with their traumatisation by othering the victims. The effects of traumatisation are many and varied. There is no singular model for how an individual will be affected by his or her traumatisation; however, one effect appears to remain consistent amongst sufferers: the need to distance oneself from the object/individual that caused one’s traumatisation. Othering is a common coping mechanism; therefore, for the Shoah perpetrators, it makes sense that they might rely on Jewish and other stereotypes to serve their coping needs. The Shoah perpetrators that I analyse in this project do not consider themselves antisemitic. Even their discourse lacks the same engrained antisemitism that characterises the auto/biographical narratives of other Shoah perpetrators such as Rudolph Höss32 and Jürgen  32  SS-Obersturmbannführer (Lieutenant Colonel) Rudolph Höss was born in Baden-Baden, Germany on November 25, 1900 (Dixon 104). He was made Commandant of Auschwitz around April 29, 1940 (Höss 336) and served in said capacity until he was promoted to inspector of concentration camps in November of 1943 (Höss 356). Close to a million Jews were murdered in Auschwitz-Birkenau (Steinbacher 134). Rudolph Höss was executed on April 16, 1947 for his participation in the murder of “an uncounted four million people” (Höss 197). He was not repentant, and remained an ardent National Socialist and antisemite.  44 Stroop.33 Instead, the auto/biographical narratives of the Shoah perpetrators analysed in this project appear to be filled with what can be construed as phrases that resemble Jewish stereotypes. Ultimately, I believe that these unconscious slips can be seen as an attempt by the Shoah perpetrators analysed in this study to cope with the effects of their traumatisation. In order to properly posit that many Shoah perpetrators suffered the effects of trauma, an analysis into the credibility of their auto/biographical discourse is necessary. This will be the subject of my next chapter.  33  SS-Gruppenführer (Major General) and Waffen SS-Obergruppenführer (Lieutenant General) Jürgen Stroop was born in Detmold, North-Rhine-Westphalia, Germany on September 26, 1895 (Moczarski 10). He orchestrated and oversaw the destruction of the Warsaw Ghetto in 1943 which claimed the lives of over three-hundred thousand Jews, murdered in the ghetto or gassed in Treblinka (Moczarski 127). Stroop was hanged for his crimes on March 6, 1952 (Moczarski 267). He was an unrepentant National Socialist and antisemite.   45 Chapter Three: The Perpetrator Auto/biographical Record “One writes to become someone other than who one is” (Foucault 184). 3.1 Auto/biographical Discourse and the Self Leigh Gilmore states that Foucault’s aphorism “suggests that autobiography offers an opportunity for self-transformation” (11). Auto/biographical discourse provides a medium not only for representing the self and its experience, but also for a construction or reconstruction of self; that is, it is a site for what Julia Kristeva calls the “subject in process” (Revolution 102). As Gilmore and many other poststructuralist theorists of auto/biography have asserted, an auto/biographical work participates in the formation, revision, reconstruction, or even reconstitution of the self. According to Sidonie Smith, a leading commentator on auto/biography and the self represented therein, “[t]here is no essential, original, coherent autobiographical self before the moment of self-narrating. Nor is the autobiographical self expressive in the sense that it is the manifestation of an interiority that is somehow ontologically whole, seamless, and ‘true’” (108). Perpetrator auto/biography and accounts of others haunted by traumatic memory certainly confirm this notion of an unstable subject-in-process. 3.2 Auto/biographical Narratives and Traces of Trauma I believe that some Nazi perpetrator discourses bear the traces of traumatic symptoms. Like the psychoanalytic talking cure,34 their construction of a written or spoken narrative of the self can be seen as a means of dealing with trauma. For some, this may have been therapeutic. The auto/biographical narratives of various perpetrators of the Shoah discussed in this project are good examples of this unconscious desire to leave traces of oneself in order to work through a particular trauma or traumas.  34  Heinz Kohut in The Analysis of the Self  46 3.3 The Autobiographical Pact and the Perpetrator Witness Even though my study examines perpetrator auto/biography as a representation of the traumatic effects of the Shoah on perpetrators, I will be cautious about entering into the “autobiographical pact.” Earlier theorists of autobiography such as Philippe Lejeune, who provided a seminal essay for studies of autobiography, assume a distinction between autobiography and fiction. He theorises the genre of autobiography based on this binary opposition. Lejeune asserts that there is an “autobiographical pact” that distinguishes a work of fiction from an autobiographical work: “the author of an autobiography implicitly declares that [one] is the person [one] says [one] is and that the author and the protagonist are the same” (L. Anderson 3). He also states, “an autobiography is a narrative in which the author, the narrator, and the protagonist must be identical” (L. Anderson 5). Following Foucault, many poststructuralist critics have rejected Lejeune’s model which is based on his belief in the transparent referentiality of autobiographical discourse, and they consistently and persuasively argue that enforcing generic boundaries around autobiography and fiction respectively is not possible. As Smith and Watson state, “autobiographical writing cannot be read solely as an either factual truth or simple fact. As an intersubjective mode, it resides outside a logical or juridical model of truth and falsehood…” (17). What is valuable about Lejeune’s concept of the autobiographical pact, however, is his observation that what we consider to be autobiography involves a transaction between writer/speaker, text, and reader/auditor. I believe that this concept provides a useful model for examining the material under analysis here: Shoah perpetrator auto/biographical discourse. Many people who have examined and judged the auto/biographical discourse left to us by Shoah perpetrators over the last 65 years, book-length auto/biography, memoir, filmed or  47 transcribed interviews, testimony, letters, memoranda, minutes, other official records, biographies, and many other life writing forms, have been wary of wholeheartedly entering into an autobiographical pact with the perpetrator witness. Nevertheless, some aspects of these works are often given credibility, others not, but they are still central to the study of the Shoah, or to our consciousness of the past in the present. Speculating on intention and taking into account the conditions under which the perpetrator “bore witness” is central to whether or not readers/auditors enter into an autobiographical pact. Many perpetrators had good reason to lie or engage in an act of deceitful self-fashioning representing themselves as victims or bystanders, and they often presented themselves as effects of Nazi ideology, rather than active participants who possessed agency. Resonating throughout much court testimony and other perpetrator accounts, for example, is the “Befehl ist Befehl” (Orders are Orders) rationale which often ended with the claim that “we are not responsible and cannot be punished” (Levi, Drowned 29). Prevarication is, indeed, something that a reader/auditor of perpetrator auto/biographies must be aware of and it invites us to ask: can we trust perpetrators to construct auto/biographical narratives that in any way represent what actually transpired? It is difficult enough for a reader/auditor to discern whether or not an auto/biographical narrative in any way represents what occurred; however, when the auto/biographical narrative is written/spoken by someone with reasons to deceive the reader/auditor, it becomes that much more difficult to trust the author. Yet, the reader-response critic Stanley Fish believes that an author’s attempt at deception is just another form of understanding the author. In an article in the New York Times, published just over a decade ago, he states that “[a]utobiographers cannot lie because anything they say, however mendacious, is the truth about themselves, whether they know it or not” (Fish). Primo  48 Levi also suggests this in his discussion of Rudolph Höss and Adolf Eichmann.35 Many perpetrators, he suggests, were: so strong in the face of others’ suffering, [but] when fate put them in front of judges, before the death they deserved, [they] built a convenient past for themselves and ended by believing in it, especially Höss, who was not a subtle man. As he appears in his writings, he was in fact a person so little inclined to self-control and introspection that he does not realize he is confirming his coarse anti-Semitism by the very act in which he abjures and denies it, nor does he realize how slimy his self-portrait as a good functionary, father, and husband actually is. (Levi, Drowned 29-30) In his analysis of Höss, Levi leaves open the possibility for entering into a pact with the perpetrators because of the way that their witnessing is beyond their intentional control and the psychic processes that their work may represent. This possibility is left open because language entails both conscious and unconscious processes, making it impossible for an author to be in full control of his or her thoughts at any given moment while writing. Indeed, Virginia Woolf acknowledges “how tremendously important unconsciousness is when one writes” (186). The author/speaker leaves traces of unconscious processes such as trauma in his or her text/speech. Therefore, an auto/biographical narrative is an interpretation of an author’s/speaker’s self at various times by the author/speaker and those who mediate the narrative.  35  SS-Obersturmbannführer (Lieutenant Colonel) Adolf Eichmann was born in Solingen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany on March 19, 1906 (Lang and Sibyll 5). As “Master of the Trains,” Eichmann was responsible for the deaths of millions of Jews. Eichmann, who had fled to Argentina after the war, was captured by Mossad in May of 1960 and flown to Israel to stand trial for “crimes against the Jewish people, crimes against humanity, and war crimes during the whole period of the Nazi regime” (Arendt 21). Eichmann was hanged in Israel on May 31, 1962 (Lang and Sibyll 293).  49 3.4 The Fallibility of Memory Since, by definition, an auto/biographical narrative entails the author/speaker narrating a past event, the fallibility of memory plays a large part in our understanding of history as a process of construction and revision. Gertrude Stein perhaps describes the pitfalls of memory best when she states, “[t]hat is really the trouble with an autobiography you do not of course you do not really believe yourself because you cannot remember right and if you do remember right it does not sound right and of course it does not sound right because it is not right” (68). Memory changes over time. It is not so much that one forgets entire events, but that the details of the events, however minute, change in one’s mind over time (Smith and Watson 22). Traumatic memory is even more unpredictable. According to Bessel A. van der Kolk, “trauma can lead to extremes of retention and forgetting: Terrifying experiences may be remembered with extreme vividness, or may totally resist integration. In many instances, traumatized individuals report a combination of both” (“Trauma” 282). This dichotomy can best be seen between Franz Suchomel and Dr. Franz Grassler. Whereas Suchomel seems to possess acute recall of traumatic memories, many of Dr. Grassler’s traumatic memories seem to be repressed. Dr. Grassler acknowledges his own possible repression when he tells Claude Lanzmann, “[i]t’s a fact: we tend to forget, thank God, the bad times more easily than the good. The bad times are repressed” (162). On the other hand, however, Dr. Grassler, an academic, could more than likely be familiar with Freudian psychoanalysis; therefore, he could possibly be lying to Lanzmann about his repression of memories. 3.5 The Reasons Why Shoah Perpetrators Constructed Auto/biographical Narratives There are many reasons why Shoah survivors and perpetrators construct auto/biographical narratives. Indeed, perpetrators and victims sometimes do so for the same  50 reasons. There is in most Shoah survivors and some Shoah perpetrators “an imperative need to tell and thus to come to know one’s story, unimpeded by ghosts from the past against which one has to protect oneself. One has to know one’s buried truth in order to be able to live one’s life” (Laub 78, emphasis intended). Therefore, for traumatised survivors and perpetrators, writing/speaking is a form of living, a release, a way to escape the traumatic clutches of the past. As Robert Jay Lifton notes, a death encounter can mean a loss of self or a closing down of some part of self through anhedonia36 and psychic doubling.37 Thus, some perpetrators, like victims, wanted to reclaim a sense of themselves as being part of the human community through telling their story. This is particularly true of Albert Speer, whose motivation to construct an auto/biographical narrative in books, interviews, and so on throughout his post-Nazi life echoes Primo Levi’s epigraph to The Drowned and the Saved, a stanza from Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” which captures the compulsion of some survivors to “bear witness”: “Since then, at an uncertain hour, / That agony returns: / And till my ghastly tale is told, / This heart within me burns” (582-85). Levi used this allusion to capture his own dialogical project of maintaining an international colloquy on the Shoah until his death in 1987. An auto/biographical act can also enable one to map out one’s early life in order to explain how one became involved in the Shoah. In addition, whereas many Shoah survivors constructed auto/biographical narratives to bear witness, to enlighten the world about the atrocities of the Shoah, many Shoah perpetrators constructed auto/biographical narratives for the purpose of selfpreservation in order to escape the hangman through forced testimony. Many spoke or wrote to justify what they did as honourable for the preservation of Germany. Some wrote to justify that what they did was correct because they were just following orders. Finally, some explain how 36  Anhedonia is the “inability to feel pleasure in normally pleasurable activities” (COED). According to Lifton, psychic doubling is “the division of the self into two functioning wholes, so that a part-self acts as an entire self” (418).  37  51 they came to perceive their actions as normative, or they wrote to displace responsibility onto others or onto the system. They were Made to Testify Many Shoah perpetrators were made to testify, whether on the witness stand or in the interrogation room in the decades following the Second World War, and many of these testimonial narratives are prime examples of cunning self-fashioning for the purpose of selfpreservation. Many Shoah perpetrators relied on the lack of hard evidence that would condemn them and attempted to present themselves differently from accounts of perpetrators in survivor testimonies. Indeed, many Nazis attempted to destroy all evidence of their guilt by burning vast numbers of official documents detailing the events of the Final Solution (MacNair 46). It was common practice after the war for Shoah perpetrators to deny any knowledge of or personal guilt in the Shoah. However, at the Nuremberg Trial, which took place between November 20, 1945 and August 31, 1946, Albert Speer stated, “‘[t]here is such common responsibility for such horrible crimes…even in the authoritarian system’” (Sereny, Speer 570). The only member out of the twenty high-ranking Nazi perpetrators to even acknowledge collective guilt for atrocities committed during the war was Speer; however, even he was unable to take personal responsibility for his part in the horrors of the Shoah (Sereny, Speer 706). At the two Treblinka trials held in Germany during the late-1960s and early-1970s, various Shoah perpetrators took the stand; however, according to Richard Glazar, a survivor, “[n]ot a single one of them stood up, at attention, eyes forward, to declare: Yes, I did it out of a sense of conviction, I was then and still remain devoted to that ideal, and I am ready at any time to take responsibility for what I have done” (195-96). Here, those perpetrators who took the witness stand at various trials only cared about not being imprisoned. They knew that there was a lack of documentary evidence and  52 witnesses to their crimes. After all, the “essence of the Nazi scheme [was] to make itself—and to make the Jews—essentially invisible. To make the Jews invisible not merely by killing them, not merely by confining them to ‘camouflaged,’ invisible death camps, but by reducing even the materiality of the dead bodies to smoke and ashes” (Felman 209-10). Many Shoah perpetrators relied on both the attempt by the Nazis to erase any and all documentation implicating them in genocide, and to erase any trace of the victims of genocide themselves. The interrogation of Adolf Eichmann is an example of a Shoah perpetrator attempting to perform a self counter to official records, hoping to rely on the lack of official documentation in existence condemning him. Avner Less, Eichmann’s interrogator, states that Eichmann “would lie until defeated by documentary proof…When that didn’t help, he would present himself as a little cog in the machine and put all the blame on others, subordinates as well as supervisors” (Lang and Sibyll vii). Here, the perpetrator has consciously created an alternate self, complete with its own alternate history as a survival mechanism which is reminiscent of Robert J. Lifton’s theory of psychic doubling, or the phenomenon of the self being unconsciously divided into a split-self made up of a functioning-self, the Auschwitz-self, and a latent-self, the civil-self, that is the “I” (418). This is the basis of the stereotypical Nazi family man who enjoyed civil life away from work. This is where the “real I” lived. The interrogator has to become a detective, relying on both his or her intuition and the little documentation that exists. According to Less, Eichmann continuously stumbled when narrating. An example of this occurs when Eichmann is listing the various countries Jews were deported from, feigning to forget the name of Denmark stating, “what’s the name of that country up there, Denmark, I believe” (Lang and Sibyll 74). Indeed, Eichmann’s account is fantastical. He makes himself seem like a child being taken along for a ride at an amusement park. In reality, as the “Master of the Trains,” he was very purposeful in  53 his attempt to deceive the reader/auditor. In this respect, Eichmann is very much like another Shoah perpetrator: Rudolph Höss. Rudolph Höss’s memoir Death Dealer: The Memoirs of the SS Commandant at Auschwitz is another example of a perpetrator attempting to perform a self in order for the prosecution to take pity on him or her. Höss wrote his memoir at the suggestion of the prosecution so that all involved in the trial, including Höss himself, could have a better idea of Höss’s involvement in the Shoah (Paskuly 19). According to Primo Levi, Höss’s “pages teem with mechanical rehashes of Nazi rhetoric, white lies and black lies, attempts at self-justification, at embellishment” (“Forward” 3). Höss, like Eichmann, constructs himself as another cog in the wheel of Himmler’s and Hitler’s machinery, someone who lacked the agency to make decisions. He even goes so far as to paint himself as being humanitarian in his methods, stating that gas was better for the victims because they “would be spared until the last moment” (Höss 157). The difference between Eichmann and Höss, however, is that Eichmann was intelligent enough to try to construct an alternate historical narrative for his auto/biographical self; Höss’s lack of scruples led him to only be able to, as Levi states, tell little lies and to embellish (“Forward” 3). Another difference between Höss and Eichmann is that whereas Höss attempts to justify to the reader that he did what he did for the betterment of German society, Eichmann does not even acknowledge that he was a part of the genocidal process. To Justify that Their Actions were Honourable Shoah perpetrators also produced auto/biographical discourses in order to justify what they did as honourable for the preservation of Germany, fashioning themselves into national heroes; however, this usually takes the form of reinforcing the dominant, antisemitic ideological beliefs of the Nazi Party. Rudolph Höss and Jürgen Stroop both use their respective  54 auto/biographical narratives to justify that their actions were in the best interest of Germany due to the antisemitic belief that so-called “Jewry” was, in Höss’s case, waging war against the Fatherland, and, in Stroop’s case, polluting the Fatherland with its filth. Höss states, “[i]n those days I thought that it was right that the Jews we held in custody should be punished for the spread of the hate campaign by their fellow Jews….I considered the Jews to be the enemy of our nation” (141-42). Stroop tells Kazimierz Moczarski in Conversations with an Executioner, “Jews do not have, and are incapable of having, honor and dignity. Scientifically speaking, they’re near animals, not full-fledged men” (147). In Stroop’s view, he was doing the people of Germany a service by cleansing it of undesirable elements. This mindset echoes the ideological brainwashing that the perpetrators internalised as Nazis. Höss even refers to himself as a “fanatic National Socialist” in his memoir (141). These two Shoah perpetrators equate Germany and its people with National Socialism and antisemitism, thereby fashioning themselves into knights of some sort of Aryan or Teutonic order, again, echoing Nazi propaganda. Höss and Stroop did not only justify their actions as serving the best interests of Germany; they also justified their actions as being in the soldierly service of following orders. To Explain that They were Following Their Duty as Good Soldiers Many Shoah perpetrators gave their accounts in order to explain that they were not at fault because, as soldiers, they were just following orders associated with der Befehlsnotstand.38 In short, many of the Shoah perpetrators tried to justify their actions during the war by stating that the laws of Hitler and the Nazi Party, combined with the necessity of a soldier or bureaucrat to follow his or her orders, exist as justification and absolution for their actions. Jürgen Stroop consistently uses the refrain “Befehl ist Befehl [Orders are Orders]” during his conversations with Kazimierz Moczarski. He tells Moczarski, “[w]e SS men were brought up in the tradition of 38  Emergency of command  55 army duty as the highest service to the German state” (94). Even Höss constantly refers to the refrain “Befehl ist Befehl.” Reflecting on his assignment as Commandant of Auschwitz, Höss relates how he was obsessed with following his orders and making sure that they were carried out to the best of his ability (122). Explaining his willingness to take part in the killing at Auschwitz, he writes, “[a]t the time I wasted no thoughts about it. I had received an order; I had to carry it out” (Höss 153). In their auto/biographical narratives, Stroop and Höss want to make it clear that, as good soldiers, they had to blindly follow orders regardless of the morality associated with them. If Shoah perpetrators such Höss and Stroop attempt to justify their actions by stating that it is normative for soldiers to follow orders blindly, Dr. Franz Grassler attempts to justify his actions as just normative in the context of society. To Assert that Their Actions were Normative Shoah perpetrators provided auto/biographical accounts in order to assert that their actions were normative according to accepted social norms in German, or European, society. Dr. Franz Grassler was motivated to give an auto/biographical narrative to Claude Lanzmann in Shoah in order to rationalise his actions; however, he was also most likely motivated because he was haunted by trauma. He tells Lanzmann that he and others “tried to maintain the [Warsaw] ghetto . . . especially to prevent epidemics, like typhus” (166). He never tells Lanzmann that his main goal was to give humanitarian aid, which is what one would have expected from someone maintaining a group of people, to the Jews concentrated in the ghetto. Whereas the members of the Judenrat held power within the ghetto, Dr. Grassler and the other Nazis that made up the commission controlled all access to and from the ghetto. It would have been his primary function to liaise with the Jewish Council to find out the need for food, medicine, and so on. That need was not met because the Jews were seen as a highly contagious plague that needed to be ended.  56 Indeed, Dr. Grassler keeps telling Lanzmann that his big fear was that the Jews would spread typhus to the uninfected Polish and German communities outside the infected ghetto (166). When Lanzmann tells him that Adam Czerniaków, head of the Judenrat in Warsaw, wrote in his diary that “Germans always associated Jews with typhus,” an allusion to the stereotype of the Jew as plague carrier, Dr. Grassler’s answer is “maybe”; however, he had just finished agreeing with Czerniaków’s statement that “one of the reasons the ghetto was walled in was because of this German fear” of typhus (166). In short, Dr. Grassler is giving Lanzmann this interview in order to show that his part, and the parts played by his cohorts, in the genocide that took place in the Warsaw Ghetto was normative because societal norms dictated that it was acceptable to prevent an epidemic from reaching the general populace by any means necessary. Dr. Grassler further attempts to make normative the actions of the Shoah perpetrators in Warsaw by stating that “[h]istory is full of ghettos, going back centuries, for all I know. Persecution of the Jews wasn’t a German invention, and it didn’t start with World War II. The Poles persecuted them too” (Lanzmann 169). Therefore, according to Dr. Grassler, since the persecution of Jews was a normative part of European society and history, the continuation of this persecution by the Nazis could be seen as being normative. Grassler’s historical outlook concerning the normativity surrounding the persecution of the Jews, although a convenient loophole, would have been shared by many Europeans at the time. Believing this allowed Dr. Grassler to shore up his ego and function as a “normal” human being after the war. To Reclaim a Sense of Themselves In their auto/biographical discourses, some Shoah perpetrators also attempted to reclaim a sense of themselves as being part of the human community and no different from other people. Up until his death, Franz Stangl refused to acknowledge that he had committed acts of  57 perpetration. Gitta Sereny is of the opinion that “no man who actually participated in such events…can concede guilt and…‘consent to remain alive’” (Darkness 39, emphasis intended). Stangl’s auto/biographical narrative represents a re-experiencing of the events of the war, with him as a sort of panoptic voyeur or a bystander unwilling to admit personal responsibility. After working through his wartime memories with Sereny for almost three months, Stangl finally tells her that his guilt is that he “should have died” (Darkness 364). Upon pronouncing his guilt, he died less than a day later (Sereny, Darkness 365). According to Sereny, Stangl “died when he did because he had finally, however briefly, faced himself and told the truth; it was a monumental effort to reach that fleeting moment when he became the man he should have been” (Darkness 366). Stangl’s account of his personal culpability is also an acknowledgement of how he got to be where he was: imprisoned for the murder of over one million Jews and others. To Explain Their Life Story as a Means of Justification Shoah perpetrators gave accounts of their early life in order to explain how they got where they were. Some Shoah perpetrators detail certain trials that propelled them towards becoming a perpetrator. Overbearing father figures play a key role in these narratives. Although he barely discusses his childhood with Moczarski, Stroop describes his father as strict, regimented, and soldierly. Moczarski states that Stroop “constantly stressed how his father’s military discipline . . . molded his character and saved him from undue individualism” (13). From a young age, Stroop learned to follow the orders of an authoritarian father who showed his son little affection. Like Stroop’s father, Eichmann’s father was overbearing and controlling, leaving little room for his son to form an autonomous ego. David Cesarani states that “Eichmann recalled his father with affection, even though he admitted that he was a strict patriarch who demanded obedience” (19). Eichmann’s discussion with Avner Less of his foray into young  58 adulthood is characterised by his father telling him what to do and the obedient son agreeing to carry out his wishes. Speer’s father, unlike Stroop’s and Eichmann’s fathers, was less overbearing but more disinterested and distant towards his son. The lack of his father’s affirmation and support may have created a desire to seek that affirmation and support by following orders blindly. Although Fest states that Speer was an “immature but gifted young man, caught up in the prejudices and moods of his day” and that “[n]othing in him suggests any disorder caused by parental neglect, or any other complexes or deformations” (Speer 24), I believe that his early childhood experiences produced a deep desire for a connection with his father, which manifested itself in his attachment to and admiration for Hitler. According to Sereny, “Speer . . . had more than scars—he bore the wounds of an emotionally deprived childhood” (Speer 39). To put it more bluntly, Speer in the latter years of his life was constantly haunted by the “‘miseries of [his] childhood’” (Sereny, Speer 40). Even though Speer admired his father, he was never able to break the wall of apathy and disinterest that his father had built between himself and his son (Fest, Speer 14). His father’s cold, disinterested, distant treatment of him caused Speer to remember minute details of childhood events for his entire life; one could say that these events helped to shape who he became (Sereny, Speer 18-19). If Speer’s father was detached from his son, Franz Stangl’s was tyrannical. Stangl’s father was overbearing to the point of making his son fear him. Sereny asks Stangl whether his father was kind to him, and Stangl replies, “‘[h]e was a Dragoon. Our lives were run on regimental lines. I was scared to death of him’” (Darkness 25). Some might suggest that Stangl was never able to form an autonomous ego because he was too frightened to be himself. He was in a constant state of fear of his father and never had a chance to form a positive, reciprocally-loving relationship with him. The memory of his father that stands out the most for Stangl is one of brutality. He recalls a day  59 when he ran out into the snow in his slippers, only to have his father beat him. Stangl states, “‘[h]e put me over his knees and leathered me. He had cut his finger some days before and wore a bandage. He thrashed me so hard, his cut opened and blood poured out’” (Sereny, Darkness 26). It was these episodes that helped formulate Stangl’s predisposition towards authority, his constant seeking of affirmation from his superiors. The traumatic memories of his relationship with his father stayed with him forever. To Preserve Their Memories Shoah perpetrators also created auto/biographical records in the form of diaries to preserve their memories. Dr. Kremer probably kept a diary both to maintain detailed memories concerning daily events and out of habit. As an academic with a “long-standing research interest in problems of starvation” (Lifton 292), keeping a record of one’s research observations was a necessity; therefore, this practice probably transferred to his personal habits. Furthermore, for Dr. Kremer, Auschwitz was his research laboratory; the victims were looked upon as “‘so many rabbits’” (Lifton 292). Dr. Kremer’s diary bears the marks of restraint. Whereas he does mention a few occasions of feeling overwhelmed by the atrocities at Auschwitz-Birkenau, he does not criticize the killings, the camp system, or the government apparatus. The reader is left to infer that whereas Kremer was writing this auto/biographical narrative ostensibly for himself, he was also cognisant of the fact that it might become discovered and read by one of his cohorts or a superior. His language, therefore, is very much shrouded in the Nazi jargon that so permeates other Shoah perpetrator auto/biographical narratives. In addition, Dr. Kremer never openly implicates himself in any murders and one can infer that this is because he was anxious about his diary possibly being discovered by the Allies. Instead, he prefers to construct himself as a witness to others’ brutalities.  60 To Possibly Work Through Their Traumatisation There are many reasons for why Shoah perpetrators constructed auto/biographical narratives; however, trauma must also be acknowledged as being an important motivation. Traces of traumatisation exist within the auto/biographical narratives of traumatised Shoah perpetrators. According to Smith and Watson, “while the act of remembering recalls the originary trauma, it does not heal but rather exposes the wound” (283). The traces scattered throughout Shoah perpetrator auto/biographical narratives act as proof of this psychic wounding and inability to heal.  61 Chapter Four: Perpetration-Induced Traumatic Stress “It is at the specific point at which knowing and not knowing intersect that the language of literature and the psychoanalytic theory of traumatic experience precisely meet” (Caruth 3). 4.1 Freud, Caruth, and Torquato Tasso’s The Liberation of Jerusalem Cathy Caruth believes that the language of literature and psychoanalysis intersect to form meaning and that it is useful to build a theory of trauma out of an analysis of a literary narrative as Freud did. Indeed, Freud once stated that “‘[t]he poets and philosophers before [him] discovered the unconscious’” (qtd. in Møller 6). Freud made use of this literary analysis to make meaning from his patients’ auto/biographical testimonials. Psychoanalysis, as a hermeneutic epistemology, is able to construct meaning from literature that is critical to interpreting auto/biographical accounts of human psychic phenomena such as trauma. In his work “Beyond the Pleasure Principle,” Freud interprets the episode of the tragedy of Tancred and Clorinda from Torquato Tasso’s The Liberation of Jerusalem39 as an allegory for what he calls “traumatic neurosis,” or the “unwitting reenactment of an event that one cannot simply leave behind” (Caruth 2). Tancred, the Christian knight, kills his beloved Clorinda, the Persian warrior-maiden. He perpetrates the attack upon Clorinda, not realising it is her, when he follows her from the burning siege tower outside the city gates to the foot of a mountain (Tasso 12.49.1-52.8). He commits an evil deed when he sees that the warrior he fights against is wounded more severely than he (Tasso 12.58.5-6), but still decides to plunge his blade into her breast (Tasso 12.64.3-4). The wound that he inflicts upon Clorinda is acknowledged as a “ghastly wound” and he confesses that his butchery is evidence of his “beastly villainy” (Tasso 12.81.2-82.5). After fetching some water from a nearby stream in order to baptise her before death, Tancred races back to his beloved, “his hands, trembling,” and he sees her with “horror in his eyes” (Tasso 39  Torquato Tasso’s epic The Liberation of Jerusalem was finished around 1575 during the late Italian Renaissance.  62 12.67.5-7). The knight becomes “[n]umb to his grief” and is unable to move or speak (Tasso 12.68.1-3). His inability to move or speak shows how traumatised he is at having unknowingly slain Clorinda. After watching her eyes close for the last time, his strength falters and he collapses “like a corpse . . . colourless, bloodless, mute, dead to the world” (Tasso 12.70.1-8). The wound of Tancred’s psyche leads him to become inconsolable and grief-stricken, which leads him to experience symptoms of trauma. 4.2 Traumatic Reenactment, Tancred, and PITS Traumatic reenactment manifests itself in a variety of ways. Freud calls various behavioural reenactments “repetition compulsion.” Conflicts within the unconscious that are repressed can be expressed in these ways. Freud postulates that just as Tancred suffers from the repetition of an act of trauma, patients who experience trauma are often forced to relive those repressed experiences via a return in the form of repetitions, somatisations, dreams, and flashbacks (“Beyond” 61). Cathy Caruth expands upon Freud’s reading of Tasso’s epic as an allegory for the reenactment of traumatic experience by stating that Tancred’s story also represents traumatic experience “as the enigma of the otherness of a human voice that cries out from the wound, a voice that witnesses a truth that Tancred himself cannot fully know” (3). After he kills/murders Clorinda, Tancred reenacts this traumatic experience when he kills her again, in the guise of a tree, in the forest. Building on Freud’s and Caruth’s interpretation of the story of Tancred and Clorinda as an allegory to describe how repressed trauma returns via unwanted repeated psychic imagery and other phenomena, I suggest that the story of Tancred and Clorinda can be read as an allegory for Perpetration-Induced Traumatic Stress, or PITS, traces of which can be found in Shoah perpetrator auto/biography. Tasso’s tragic story of Tancred and Clorinda can be seen as an allegory of PITS because Tancred is traumatised when he is confronted with  63 the realisation that he has murdered his beloved, Clorinda. The auto/biographical record suggests that, like Tancred, Shoah perpetrators such as Franz Suchomel, Dr. Franz Grassler, Dr. Johann Paul Kremer, Franz Stangl, and Albert Speer also experienced PITS which produced specific symptoms of trauma. 4.3 The Analogy between Tancred and the Shoah Perpetrators In using Freud’s and Caruth’s analysis here, it is necessary to work out the analogy between Tancred and the Nazi perpetrators. Just as Tancred is a soldier in a system that others the enemy in a binary worldview of Christian/infidel, the Shoah perpetrators were soldiers in a system, Nazi Germany, that othered the enemy in a binary worldview of Aryan/Jew. For Tancred, the Other is a threat to the purity and sanctity of the Holy Land. For the Shoah perpetrators, the Jews were seen as polluting the purity of German blood and soil. Tancred recognises the humanity of the Other, Clorinda, as being part of him, dear to him. He copes with this recognition by desensitisation, psychic numbing, and so on, and then develops PTSD as he is haunted by the encounter. The Shoah perpetrators under consideration here were confronted with the humanity of the Other during their first death encounters, made accommodations to this trauma, and were haunted by it later like Tancred. Tancred’s first death encounter has already been explained; therefore, the next step in the analogy is an analysis of the first encounters with death of the Shoah perpetrators discussed here. 4.4 The Traumatisation of the Shoah Perpetrators Franz Suchomel Franz Suchomel was likely traumatised when he was confronted by the deaths of others at Treblinka. Indeed, Suchomel informs Lanzmann that, when he first arrived at Treblinka, he experienced horror at the catastrophic scenes of death (44). Suchomel seems to be describing a  64 signal moment of trauma. He states, members of the SS opened “the gas chamber doors, and people fell out like potatoes. Naturally, that horrified and appalled us. We went back and sat down on our suitcases and cried like old women” (Lanzmann 45). Like many perpetrators, Suchomel can describe vivid images of his first major death encounter. He also uses objectifying language (“potatoes”) in his description. During his first week at Treblinka, Suchomel witnessed train cars loaded with the dead bodies of thousands of men, women, and children, starved or trampled to death or their wrists slashed on the metal frames of the cars; the bodies of the dead stacked everywhere; gassings; shootings; and Jews being whipped into clearing great numbers of rotting corpses lying in a cesspool half a foot deep (Lanzmann 44-47). These visceral scenes of death traumatised Suchomel; the repetitious banality of the factorisation of death numbing his senses over time, possibly leading to psychic doubling, or what Lifton terms the formation of an Auschwitz-self, allowing him to eventually function in the camp environment. Dr. Franz Grassler Like Suchomel, Dr. Franz Grassler was also confronted by the deaths of others. When asked by Lanzmann if he ever visited the Warsaw Ghetto, Dr. Grassler replies that he “seldom” did because the conditions were so appalling (165). He “never went back when [he] saw what it was like. Unless [he] had to” (Lanzmann 166). Lanzmann, who states that the conditions were so bad in the ghetto in 1941 that over 5,000 people died every month from starvation, typhus, and other ailments, questions Dr. Grassler as to how he could not have known (169). Dr. Grassler replies that, at one time in his life, he knew that this was taking place, which leads the reader to believe that his trauma began during his early forays into the Warsaw Ghetto. While it is easy to assume Dr. Grassler is lying, his statements may also indicate his repression of these images and of his participation in the genocide. He asks Lanzmann if he can take notes from the diary of  65 Jewish victim and Warsaw-Jewish Council leader Adam Czerniaków that Lanzmann quotes to him from. This diary gives an account of Dr. Grassler’s meeting with Czerniaków on July 7, 1941: “July 7, 1941? That’s the first time I’ve relearned a date. May I take notes? After all, it interests me too. So in July I was already there!” (162). With all due respect to those who suggest that he is lying, he may very well have walled off these memories in the inaccessible Auschwitzself. Dr. Grassler is not the only one of the perpetrators that appears to have walled off thoughts associated with traumatic situations. Dr. Johann Paul Kremer also seems to have experienced psychic doubling in the formation of an Auschwitz-self. Dr. Johann Paul Kremer Dr. Johann Paul Kremer, who not only was an academic, he was in Auschwitz-Birkenau during a break between the Fall and Spring semesters as a professor of anatomy at the University of Münster, but was also in charge of overseeing both selections and gassings, witnessed traumatic events during his first few days at Auschwitz-Birkenau. Concerning his first special action on September 2, 1942, Dr. Kremer writes, “[i]n comparison with it Dante’s Inferno seems to be almost a comedy. Auschwitz is justly called an extermination camp!” (214). The last time he expresses horror at the gassings in Auschwitz-Birkenau is in an entry on September 5, 1942, describing a selection at the women’s camp: “[SS-Hauptscharführer] Thilo, military surgeon, is right when he said today to me we were located here in ‘anus mundi’ [anus of the world]” (Kremer 215). Although Dr. Kremer expresses horror concerning these two incidents, he does not do so again, leading the reader to infer that he does not do so because he experienced the effects of traumatisation. He appears to have blocked further traumatic images and writes only about trivial, mundane events such as eating which may suggest the psychic closing down that is necessary to the development of the Auschwitz-self.  66 Franz Stangl Although not a doctor like Kremer, Franz Stangl had his first death encounters during his service at the various institutes set up by the Nazis to deal with the euthanasia of all those seen as a burden on German society: the mentally ill, the severely deformed, and all others who had to rely on the state as a caretaker. Stangl became police superintendent of Schloss Hartheim in 1940, which was an institute under the jurisdiction of Tiergartenstrasse 4 in Berlin (Sereny, Darkness 48-49). Upon finding out that he would be taking part in the killing of innocents, Stangl was “‘speechless’”; however, he agreed to be “‘responsible for law and order’” (Sereny, Darkness 51). He claims that he knew nothing of the murders of innocent people taking place at the institutes; however, he confronted the deaths of others when he dealt with their death certificates. He also saw many of the “useless mouths” before they were euthanised. Sereny states that Stangl “was in fact intellectually and emotionally considerably more affected by the whole euthanasia issue” than many others whom she interviewed (Darkness 57). Although he never witnessed the killings, he acknowledged that people had died and was confronted with their death certificates and personal property. Stangl’s experiences at Schloss Hartheim and Schloss Bernburg undoubtedly traumatised him. Many of the perpetrators sent to the various concentration and death camps in the East served a tour of duty in the T4 program. Indeed, the killing at the euthanasia institutes “broke them in” and prepared them for the factorisation of killing that was the Shoah. Albert Speer Unlike the other perpetrators analysed in this study, Albert Speer’s first death experience came fairly late in the war. Speer was confronted by the deaths of others when he went to inspect the Dora labour camp in December of 1943. For Speer, “‘it was a cold day in December when  67 [he] went there…[he] was entirely unprepared; it was the worst place [he] had ever seen’” (Sereny, Speer 404). Upon the completion of his inspection, and after seeing many dead workers, Speer was told that thousands of inmates from the Buchenwald concentration camp had, by that time, already died in Dora. He was horrified by the death and decrepitude surrounding him (Sereny, Speer 405), likely leaving him traumatised by these images. Speer, like the other Shoah perpetrators, probably experienced the effects of traumatisation immediately after witnessing this traumatising event. Albert Speer became gravely ill after his tour of the Dora labour camp in December 1943, likely a somatic response to what he had seen: “It was the worst place I had ever seen…I feel ill even now when thinking of it” (Sereny, German 281). Immediately after, he went on a working holiday to Lapland for Christmas, rather than spend it with his wife and five young children, perhaps an attempt to evade affective contact and firm up the boundaries of the Auschwitz-self. Sereny writes: “On 18 January 1944 he entered hospital with ‘exhaustion, depression and a swollen knee’. He nearly died—he had a ‘death-experience’ he describes as ‘the happiest moment of my life’, but was brought back to life” (German 282). He also tells Gitta Sereny that, after his recovery in hospital, he saw Hitler again and the Führer had become something else to him: “‘The first time I saw him again, after ten weeks, was quite extraordinary…When he walked through the door, it was as if thick scales had fallen off my eyes. ‘My God’, I thought, ‘he is so ugly.’ It was such an overwhelming discovery, I could hardly keep my countenance’” (German 282). In his memoirs, he discusses how hearing victim testimonials at Nuremberg about torture and suffering haunted him for the rest of his life. Most people who knew him describe him as isolated, unhappy, and haunted by guilt in the years that he lived after he was released from Spandau in 1966. The “scales falling from his eyes” is analogous to Tancred’s recognition  68 of Clorinda, not as an Other, but as beloved to him, even part of him. Speer’s encounter with death traumatised him so badly that he began to turn his back on Hitler, his beloved, not because Jews and others were being killed in concentration camps, but because as someone who had orchestrated Speer’s traumatisation, Hitler’s place as ego ideal and father in Speer’s psyche became fractured. An indication of the extent to which Speer had abjected Nazi victims were his actions in 1944 and 1945. It appears that Speer actually believed that he would be used in the postwar period by the Allies to help rebuild Germany and planned for this next career move. He writes of being quite astonished to find himself charged as a criminal in 1945 during debriefings with the Western Allies. He had appropriated piles of documents that contained information on the location of strategic installations, and that also, incidentally, contained evidence that would exonerate him, and stored them in the rural Schleswig Holstein area where he sent his family in the spring of 1945. This sense of himself as apolitical technocrat was how he saw himself throughout the Nazi period and how he hoped to market himself after the war. Commentators have seen him as either a conniving attractive Machiavel with great gifts of intelligence and charm, or as one of the great penitents of modern history.40 In this study, I choose to interpret some of his actions during the war up until his death in 1981 as symptomatic of a form of trauma. 4.5 Acute Stress Disorder Because PTSD requires a latency period of four weeks before it can be diagnosed (Keane 45), some people who experience a death encounter initially experience Acute Stress Disorder,  40  See Dan van der Vat`s book The Good Nazi: The Life and Lies of Albert Speer.  69 or ASD,41 which can cause traumatic symptoms immediately. Many perpetrators suggest that their initial responses to the terrible things they were participating in produced dissociative symptoms, which include “a subjective sense of numbing, detachment, or absence of emotional responsiveness; a reduction in awareness of his or her surroundings; derealisation; depersonalization; [and] dissociative amnesia” (DSM-IV 429). Lifton states that psychic numbing takes place when the repetition of the spectacle and stimuli associated with death cause the subject to experience a psychological disconnect, leading to a loss of affect when confronted with death thereafter (442). Psychic numbing is, therefore, facilitated by repetition. Related to this is derealisation, or “divesting oneself from the actuality of what one is part of, not experiencing it as ‘real’” (Lifton 442). Tancred’s trauma after he kills Clorinda is a good model for explaining how a perpetrator can suffer symptoms of ASD that later manifest into PTSD. 4.6 Tancred, ASD, and Traumatic Reenactment After Tancred awakens, he could be said to experience dissociative symptoms, leading him to commit a further act of perpetration attributable to traumatic reenactment. In order for the crusaders to breach the walls of Jerusalem, they must rebuild the siege tower that was burnt to ash. Therefore, they enter a magical forest nearby to get wood, but are frightened away by the spirits of the dead who are awakened by Ismen, the Muslim King Aladine’s Saracen mage (Tasso 13.6.5-22.8). Tancred answers the call to do battle with the evil spirits in the forest; in this, he could be said to be experiencing “a reduction in awareness of his…surroundings” (DSM-IV-TR 221). He remains in a daze, and is unaware of the danger that awaits him. His face looks “weak and pale,” and his decision to go into battle without armour or helmet proves that he is bent on  41  The only primary difference between ASD and PTSD, other than the obvious difference in time frame, is that ASD requires the traumatised individual to show signs of suffering from a cluster of dissociative symptoms (Bryant 6), which include “a subjective sense of numbing, detachment, or absence of emotional responsiveness; a reduction in awareness of his or her surroundings; derealisation; depersonalization; [and] dissociative amnesia” (DSM-IV 429).  70 joining Clorinda in death (Tasso 13.32.3-33.2). As he walks through the forest, Tancred experiences derealisation, or “the perception that one’s environment is unreal, dreamlike, or occurring in [a] distorted time frame” (Bryant 8). He sees flames arise around him, but “through his armour he [feels] no offence / from that consuming blaze of heat or glare; / indeed, he hardly ha[s] the time to sense / whether true flames or phantoms [hang] in air” (Tasso 13.36.1-4). Finally, as Tancred stands in front of a tall cypress tree in the centre of the forest, he experiences what a psychiatrist might describe as “a subjective sense of numbing, detachment, or absence of emotional responsiveness” (DSM-IV-TR 221). Even when he hears “wind continuously moan . . . funereal sighs, and sobs,” he still “draws his sword, and with great force / hacks the high plant” (Tasso 13.40.3-6-41.1-2). Blood oozes from the tree from where his sword cuts through bark; however, he still does not stop, but, instead, “he is filled with horror, yet without remorse / redoubles strokes” (Tasso 13.41.5-6). He is doomed to traumatic reenactment. Tancred, because of his psychic numbing, commits an act of perpetration, once again, against his beloved Clorinda, whose soul occupies the large cypress. Like Tancred, the Shoah perpetrator record suggests that many went through something similar. 4.7 The Shoah Perpetrators and Symptoms Associated with ASD Franz Suchomel The trauma that Suchomel witnessed during his first week at Treblinka likely caused him to experience the feeling of being in a daze and to experience a sense of depersonalisation. Indeed, Suchomel states that he was horrified upon first arriving in Treblinka and mentions how he experienced somatic reactions such as vomiting and crying. He wept because of the smell of the rotting corpses and the horror associated with death (Lanzmann 44-46). His depersonalisation of the victims manifests itself in him being able to equate the bodies of victims with piles of  71 wood, suggesting how he derealised his experience long ago. He tells Lanzmann, while pointing to a map of the camp, “[w]e stacked them here, here, here and here. Thousands of people piled one on top of another” (44). Suchomel was traumatised upon first entering the camp, seeing the death around him; however, in short order, he derealised the spectacle of death around him, allowing him to function within the camp. Dr. Franz Grassler The constant visualisation of death traumatised Dr. Grassler to the point where he, like Suchomel, likely experienced symptoms of ASD. Dr. Grassler tells Lanzmann that the death that he encountered in the Warsaw Ghetto caused him to want to avoid entering the ghetto unless ordered to (166). He experienced a sense of derealisation by thinking that, even though thousands of Jews were dying in the ghetto every month, he was helping to provide humanitarian aid (Lanzmann 166). Instead of facing the truth concerning the Commission’s and, therefore, his guilt in committing acts of perpetration, he deluded himself into thinking that he was doing good. One of the things that helped many perpetrators adapt to trauma was their belief that they were doing something good for society. This was a critical foundation of the Auschwitz-self. As suggested earlier in this study, many perpetrators were interpellated by the Nazi belief in creating a healthy body politic by cleansing it of undesirable elements: people often characterised as vermin, infection, parasites, or disease. For Dr. Grassler, and many other Nazis, the Jews were disease carriers and a spiritual and psychological threat to the social health of the German nation. Kristeva’s notion of abjection is useful here. On the one hand, the Jews were seen as an abject part of society, the inner taint that polluted the purity of German soil. To this end, Dr. Grassler could make himself feel like he was doing German society a service; however, he was also traumatised by the abject corpses rotting in the Warsaw Ghetto. It was the abject nature of the  72 corpse that traumatised him and kept him away from the ghetto. Dr. Grassler, likely as a result of psychic numbing and derealisation, learned to focus on the dangers of typhus infecting the Nazi community in Warsaw. Like many Nazi perpetrators, he characterises himself as having no agency in what happened. Agency and civility were parts of self, the civil-self, that Robert Jay Lifton suggests were transferred out of the Auschwitz-self. Dr. Grassler may be a prime example of this psychic process. Franz Stangl Stangl experienced symptoms of trauma as well. Over time, Stangl became detached from what was happening at the euthanasia institutes. He also experienced a sense of derealisation concerning his participation in what was taking place at the institutes. Indeed, when asked if Stangl had convinced himself that he was involved in the killing, he tells Sereny that he was not “‘involved’ in that sense…Not in the operational sense’” (Darkness 57). In order to cope with the traumatic environment, Stangl deluded himself into thinking that he was not an agent in the killing mechanism at the institutes. Part of his psychic numbing involved thinking of himself as a common employee only doing his job, and transferring conscience, a collusion between conscious and unconscious processes, from his Auschwitz-self to his civil-self as a good family man. Albert Speer Speer experienced symptoms of trauma during his inspection of the Dora labour camp. He tells Sereny he was appalled at the conditions the inmates had to live and work in; however, instead of writing a formal complaint concerning this maltreatment, he “‘ordered the immediate building of a barracks camp outside’” (Speer 405). His sense of derealisation is portrayed in his unwillingness to see that Dora was intended as a deathtrap for the inmates. He was surprised by  73 the death surrounding him, yet all he did was order the building of what were, inherently, glorified prison cells. Furthermore, Speer experienced a sense of psychic numbing because, instead of making a trip to see Hitler to discuss what he had witnessed at Dora, he went on a Christmas trip to Lapland to “cleanse his soul” (Sereny, Speer 406). Speer tells Sereny that, at that period in time, he “‘didn’t want…couldn’t face, Christmas at home’” (Speer 406). Reiterating a previous point, this was less a trip to “cleanse his soul” than it was a trip to try to “forget” what he had witnessed. While hospitalised, he never once made any inquiries concerning the atrocities at Dora and whether or not such atrocities were occurring elsewhere. Instead, he chose to continue his work as Minister of Armaments and War Production from his hospital bed, treating Dora as an isolated case (Sereny, Speer 410-11). Annemarie Kempf, Speer’s secretary, explains Speer’s sense of derealisation as a need to keep believing in Hitler: “if we couldn’t believe in Hitler, what was there for us?” (Sereny, Speer 411). Speer’s unconscious repression of his traumatic memories and subsequent psychic numbing were tied to his close relationship with Hitler, whom he cared a great deal about. Dr. Johann Paul Kremer Instead of constantly commenting on the traumatic situations that he witnessed, Dr. Kremer experienced certain symptoms of ASD, including a sense of psychic numbing, an unconscious repression of memories associated with the traumatic event, and both depersonalisation and derealisation. Dr. Kremer’s unconscious repression of memories is evidenced when he begins to only write about the positive aspects of the camp: memorable meals eaten and his scholarly work. Kremer attended upwards of fourteen selections and special actions during his time at Auschwitz-Birkenau and only records experiencing horror at three; however, he records enjoying memorable meals during his entire time at Auschwitz, which allows the  74 reader to infer that Dr. Kremer unconsciously focused on meals so that he did not have to relive his traumatic experiences. Furthermore, his sense of psychic numbing manifests itself in the cold and mechanical way that he began to report future selections and special actions. For example, concerning his second special action on September 5, 1942, Dr. Kremer acknowledges that it was “the most horrible of all horrors” (215). However, by his fourth special action all exclamations of horror had been replaced with a cold, apathetic complicity (Kremer 218). This lack of emotional response is repeated throughout the rest of Dr. Kremer’s entries concerning special actions until his tenth special action on October 12, 1942. In his diary, he writes about experiencing horror again: “Horrible scene in front of the last bunker!” with “(Hössler!)” (Kremer 223). At a tribunal in Krakow in 1947, Dr. Kremer elaborates: “I remember how he [Hössler] had tried to drive the whole group into one bunker. He was successful except for one man whom it was not by any means possible to squeeze inside the bunker. This man was killed by Hössler with a pistol shot” (224n). This entry, however, has less to do with ASD and more to do with Dr. Kremer’s changed suffering from ASD to PTSD since this instance has taken place over four weeks from the time of the original trauma. In addition, nowhere is Dr. Kremer’s suffering from ASD more openly displayed than in the margin of Dr. Kremer’s diary entry for September 9, 1942, one week after his first traumatic encounter, where he writes that he saw “the light again, a black curtain, hanging over my life, has been lifted!” (218). Here, the reader could infer that the lifting of the curtain is a metaphor for Dr. Kremer’s coming to terms with the purpose and function of the camp and all of the death that surrounded him. In short, his sense of derealisation and depersonalisation ended up allowing him to function again; however, he still suffered later from PTSD.  75 4.8 Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder According to MacNair’s definition, perpetrators suffering from PITS suffer from PTSD. In order to experience symptoms of PTSD, the individual has to either personally experience death or be confronted by another’s death (DSM-IV-TR 218). In addition, the traumatised subject has to feel “intense fear, helplessness, or horror” (DSM-IV-TR 218). The symptoms of PTSD include a re-experiencing of the traumatic event through flashbacks, nightmares, and so on and an avoidance of or a numbing of the senses with any situation connected with the traumatic event (DSM-IV 424). In addition, these symptoms must last for an extended period of time, usually longer than a month. Ultimately, the traumatic event must cause the subject to experience a disturbance in his or her psyche that impairs his or her normal functioning (DSM-IV 424). 4.9 Tancred and PTSD Tancred’s very absence from the narrative following his murder of Clorinda and the subsequent traumatic reenactment that follows in the forest scene is evidence that his psychic wound festers to the point of causing him to suffer symptoms associated with PTSD and withdraw from acts related to his trauma. His name is only even mentioned once between the scene of his traumatic reenactment and the scene of his battle with the Circassian and subsequent death, and, even then, it is only to recommend that his squire be the one to spy on the Egyptian army (Tasso 18.57.3-58.8). His absence from the narrative is cause for the reader to believe that Tancred’s psychic health is in a state of decline, leading to his withdrawal, not only from society, but from the very pages of the narrative. Indeed, “many people with PTSD not only actively avoid emotional arousal, but experience a progressive decline and withdrawal, in which any stimulation (whether it is potentially pleasurable or aversive) provokes further detachment. To feel nothing seems to be better than feeling irritable and upset” (McFarlane and van der Kolk  76 12). Tancred’s absence from the pages of the epic poem can be seen as his desire to remain detached from all forms of affect. Like Tancred, the Shoah perpetrators discussed in this study suffered from symptoms associated with PTSD. 4.10 The Shoah Perpetrators and PTSD Franz Suchomel The language Suchomel uses to describe the victims and the killing process is a product of the trauma that he had been subjected to; this language is a coping mechanism. For instance, he describes the victims as wood, sacks of potatoes and products processed in a factory, or “production line of death,” because he coped with his trauma by othering the victims (Lanzmann 44-52). To acknowledge that the victims in Treblinka were like him would, I believe, cause Suchomel to re-experience those traumatic events. It is also quite apparent from his interview with Lanzmann that he is still suffering from PTSD on account of the rapidity in which he describes events, almost as if he is unwilling to truly reflect on what had actually taken place. The faster he blurts out his narrative, the less time he has to reflect on the traumatic images. Of course, the clarity of recall is generally hindered in those suffering from PTSD because of the desire to not re-experience the traumatic event; however, as long as it is not a complete reexperiencing of an event, but a detached one, it is also a symptom of PTSD. In a study that took place between 2001 and 2002, Stephen Porter and Kristine A. Peace concluded that “traumatic experiences persisted in subjects’ memories, remaining highly consistent years after their occurrence. Violent experiences (including sexual and physical assaults), which one might assume to be optimal contenders for repression or other impairing mechanisms, were no exception” (Peace and Porter). It would seem that just as the symptomatic experience of trauma is subjective, so too is the response to trauma. The findings of this study echo a previous study  77 by Bessel A. van der Kolk and others that found that “some memories are fixed in the mind and are not altered by the passage of time, or in the intervention of subsequent experience” (van der Kolk and van der Hart 172). Suchomel’s acute recall during his interview with Lanzmann is evident by the calculated, confident manner in which he describes events. He takes it upon himself to “instruct” Lanzmann in the factorisation process of Treblinka. Suchomel’s auto/biographical discourse in Shoah is also an example of how a traumatised individual needs to other the victims in order to survive psychically. Indeed, Suchomel tells Lanzmann that his health is failing and that he might have to stop the interview if his recollections cause him pain. As long as he remains detached, the traumatic events will not be reenacted in his mind and the wound will not become inflamed. Symptomatic of the psychic closing off that enabled Suchomel to survive psychically, on a limited level, is the language of process analysis that he uses to explain the death camp procedures and organisation. He uses a blackboard-size diagram and a pointer, and keeps asking, “Do you see?” as if he were a retired middle manager explaining a manufacturing process. Dr. Franz Grassler Like Suchomel, Dr. Grassler also suffers from PTSD during Lanzmann’s interview, leading the reader/auditor to believe that his trauma manifested during his time as deputy to Dr. Auerswald. It is apparent that Dr. Grassler could, in effect, still be suffering from PTSD when Lanzmann queries: “You don’t remember those days?” (161). Dr. Grassler, as previously stated, comments: “It’s a fact: we tend to forget, thank God, the bad times more easily than the good. The bad times are repressed” (Lanzmann 162). Dr. Grassler’s response is an example of psychic doubling. Whereas the Auschwitz-self contains all of the awful memories, the civil-self does not. He goes so far as to state that he “recall[s] more clearly [his] prewar mountaineering trips than  78 the entire war period and…days in Warsaw” (Lanzmann 162). The question is: did Dr. Grassler suffer from PTSD? Even though he knew that over 5,000 Jews died in the ghetto every month, he somehow deluded himself into thinking that the Warsaw Ghetto was beneficial for the Jews, which allowed him to continue his work. In answer to Lanzmann concerning the necessity of the Warsaw Ghetto, Dr. Grassler replies that he believed “[i]t worked well….Jewish selfmanagement worked well…[f]or self-preservation” (176-77). The reality is that nearly everyone in that ghetto died, whether by starvation, shooting, or gassing in Treblinka. Dr. Grassler’s traumatic experiences during the war and his time overseeing the Warsaw Ghetto affected him so deeply that, in his mind, he unconsciously fled as far as possible from the ghetto: to the peaks of mountains. He tells Lanzmann that, after the war, he became a writer and publisher of mountain guide books, which allowed him to experience “[t]he sun, the pure air…[n]ot like the ghetto air” (180). For Dr. Grassler, the mountains represent a place, in his psyche, that exists as far away from the scene of the traumatic events as possible. Dr. Johann Paul Kremer Dr. Kremer unconsciously avoids expressing thoughts and feelings associated with situations similar to prior traumatic events; however, in a trial after the end of the Second World War, he also experienced acute recall of those same traumatic events. Hermann Langbein is correct in remarking that Dr. Kremer “completely represses the ‘horrendous scenes’ of Auschwitz. Not a single remark after his [immediate] departure from Auschwitz refers to the camp and the mass murders in which Kremer participated” (348). Since Dr. Kremer’s diary was written by the civil-self rather than the Auschwitz-self, his entries after his departure from Auschwitz, in November 18, 1942, represent his re-entrance into German civil society. He focuses on his academic life, work (lectures), and so on. His post-Auschwitz entries represent a  79 sort of psychic “closing off” in that he no longer writes about Auschwitz or anything associated with his time there. His writings are even, for the most part, bereft of references to meals, something that characterises the majority of his diary entries while he was at Auschwitz. Dr. Kremer later experienced acute recall in the Supreme National Tribunal in Cracow during 1947. Indeed, it is during this interrogation that he gave extremely detailed information regarding entries in his diary, including succinct details from instances that were clearly traumatic for him (Grobman and Shermer 139-40). For example, in his diary entry for September 5, 1942, he writes that he was “present at a special action in the women’s camp (‘Moslems’)—the most horrible of all horrors. Hschf. Thilo, military surgeon, is right when he said to me we were located here in ‘anus mundi’ [anus of the world]” (Kremer 215). However, at the Cracow tribunal, Dr. Kremer expanded upon his experience by stating that the victims begged “the SS men to be allowed to live, they wept, but all of them were driven to the gas chamber and gassed” (215n). His auto/biographical narrative, given at the tribunal in Cracow, can be seen as proof that his PTSD unconsciously allowed him to experience acute recall. Franz Stangl Like Dr. Kremer, Stangl’s PTSD most succinctly manifests itself in his sense of acute recall; however, he avoids all thoughts and feelings associated with his own guilt concerning the deaths of the hundreds of thousands of innocents who died while he was Commandant of both Sobibór and Treblinka. He first tells Sereny that he “had done nothing wrong; there had always been others above him; he had never done anything but obey orders; he had never hurt a single human being” (Darkness 22). Stangl’s inability to acknowledge personal guilt for his part in the Shoah was a product of the PTSD that he suffered from. In short, Stangl avoids memories associated with his involvement in the genocide as a coping mechanism. When he does  80 acknowledge his part in the genocide, the memories overwhelm him, which likely contributed to his death. Stangl’s death appears to have emanated from the effects of traumatic reenactment. For weeks, Sereny tries to get him to acknowledge that he is guilty of taking part in genocide. Finally, near the end of their talks together, Stangl begins to work through his unconscious avoidance at acknowledging his own guilt in association with the traumatic events he had been a part of. He tells Sereny: “I have never intentionally hurt anyone…[b]ut I was there…in reality I share the guilt” (Darkness 364). Stangl died the next day. Did Stangl die because he allowed himself to die, a sort of feeling of being at peace now that he had confessed his sins? Did he finally integrate the Auschwitz-self with Franz Stangl, good family man, via a talking cure? I do not believe so. Stangl suffered from PTSD for so long and had been so used to not having to think of himself as a perpetrator that his final acknowledgment of personal guilt brought with it a flood of traumatic recollections, made more traumatic by the fact that he was now situated at their centre. It is this flood of recurrent and intrusive, traumatic recollections, combined with the acknowledgment of his personal guilt which overwhelmed Stangl and caused his death, a sort of death by traumatic overload if you will. Albert Speer Speer, like the other Shoah perpetrators discussed in this chapter, also suffers from PTSD. Similar to Tancred, Speer, after his traumatic death encounter at Dora, becomes deathly ill and depressed (Sereny, Speer 409-10). On January 18, 1944, Speer was admitted to a hospital in Hohenlychen (Sereny, Speer 410). Sereny states: During the last months of 1943 Speer had finally realized the real nature of Nazi crimes he had previously only suspected or sensed. (‘Ahnung’ for ‘sense’ was the word he would repeatedly use to describe it to me.) During the first months of 1944, the traumatic effect  81 of this inner—never open—admission allowed him a first understanding of the degree of his bondage to Hitler, the first step toward freeing himself from it. (Speer 409) Speer might have realised early in 1944 how bonded to Hitler he truly was; however, he never acknowledges the trauma that he suffered in Dora, due, of course, to it being unconscious. Indeed, if he had been conscious of his trauma, then the reader/auditor is to assume that he, the author/speaker, never would have prolonged the war by countermanding Hitler’s orders, which were given in 1944, to destroy war production factories in Western Europe and all forms of technology, transportation, and industry in Germany (Sereny, Speer 456-57). By doing so, Speer’s actions led to the deaths of millions more Jews in the concentration and death camps, and can be seen as a form of traumatic reenactment. Tasso’s tragic tale of Tancred and Clorinda as a metaphor for PITS can be used to analyse Shoah perpetrator auto/biographical narratives and works on many levels; however, whereas Tancred loves Clorinda, the Shoah perpetrators in this study held no love for the Jews being exterminated. Furthermore, Tancred drops his sword and flees the forest in defeat rather than watch his beloved Clorinda die another death (Tasso 13.45.4-46.7). Suchomel, on the other hand, chose to continue serving at Treblinka and Sobibór after finding out first-hand what was happening to thousands of innocent people; Dr. Grassler chose to continue serving as deputy to Dr. Auerswald even though he knew that over 5,000 people were dying every month in the Warsaw Ghetto; Dr. Kremer decided to stay in Auschwitz and further his academic career by personally selecting inmates for phenol injections that he thought would yield beneficial results for his research; Stangl decided to continue serving as Commandant of two of the most notorious death camps, even though he had already made the moral decision to refuse to do so, but could not muster enough courage to leave; and Speer chose to continue serving Hitler as Minister of  82 Armaments and War Production after receiving knowledge of the atrocities being committed by the Nazis from Himmler at Posen on October 6, 1943, from his own investigation of Dora in December 1943, and from his friend Hanke’s discussion of Auschwitz in the summer of 1944. The inability for the Shoah perpetrators to acknowledge their personal involvement in the Shoah, not just in terms of the collective responsibility that Speer confesses to, but personal, agentic involvement is indicative of the trauma that many of them suffered. In the end, the traumatisation that the Shoah perpetrators discussed in this project experienced led them to become numb to the atrocities taking place around them, making it easier for them to become complacent as the trauma was continuously reenacted. After all, Freud famously states, “within the psyche there really is a compulsion to repeat” (“Beyond” 61). 4.11 Traumatic Reenactment and the Perpetuation of Trauma Since the Shoah perpetrators analysed in this study suffered the effects of traumatisation, it would only make sense for those effects to play a part in their continued relationship with the victim. Stanley Milgram’s studies on obedience to authority allow one to understand how an agent becomes compliant in taking part in acts of perpetration that lead an agent to compulsively repeat; however, they do not enlighten one as to the continued effects of trauma on the agent, leading an agent to continuously reenact his or her trauma on others. Those who suffer from PITS are more likely to continue to commit further acts of perpetration. According to MacNair, “those people who already have PITS may to a certain extent be even more susceptible to destructive demands of authority. The estrangement from others, blocked emotions, and numbing take away one of the major resources available to cause noncompliance” (MacNair 104). In addition, “detachment or estrangement from others would reduce motivation to attempt the integration of differing perspectives” (MacNair 106). Not only does trauma make it easier for  83 perpetrators to continue to commit acts of perpetration, but it also causes more trauma through traumatic reenactment. Since Tancred experiences dissociative symptoms associated with traumatic experience, his actions within the magic forest can be used as a metaphor to describe the theory of how trauma can lead an agent to commit further acts of perpetration. In addition, the theory that Tancred, due to the effects of his traumatisation, becomes predisposed to committing further acts of perpetration through traumatic reenactment can be applied to the Shoah perpetrators discussed in this study. For perpetrators, trauma can lead an agent to commit/sanction future acts of perpetration via reenactment. According to MacNair, “[s]ymptoms of PTSD can underlie future violent activity. Constricted affect (the blocking of emotions) and numbing are common predecessors to committing violence” (52). Indeed, returning to the metaphor of the wound, a festering wound spreads, causing new wounds. Although an agent unconsciously wants to guard against reexperiencing a trauma, he or she is unconsciously predisposed to reenacting it. MacNair further states, “[v]iolence has often been observed to operate in a cycle, and the understanding that ‘violence begets violence’ is of long standing. The concept of PITS helps us to understand one of the reasons why this is so” (170). Therefore, perpetrators unconsciously have a desire to reenact their traumas on others. Tancred’s actions before his death are an example of an act of perpetration manifesting via traumatic reenactment. 4.12 Tancred and Traumatic Reenactment Months pass and Tancred’s suffering from symptoms associated with ASD and then PTSD cause him to commit an act of perpetration. When Tancred confronts Argant, a Circassian warrior, the latter decries, “‘there shall be no escape for you, you grand / slayer of women’” (Tasso 19.3.7-8). Tancred can only manage a disapproving smile and does not seem to even  84 acknowledge the reminder of the past trauma. In reply to Argant, Tancred does not mention Clorinda by name, but addresses her as “woman” (Tasso 19.5.3). Tancred disregards the Circassian’s comment directed towards him concerning his murder of Clorinda because he has repressed the memory of the act. As mentioned previously, according to Bessel A. van der Kolk, PTSD causes “extremes of retention and forgetting: Terrifying experiences . . . may totally resist integration” (“Trauma” 282). Tancred betrays further evidence that he suffers from PTSD when the honourable knight gives quarter to the Circassian and, yet, instead of walking away from his downed opponent, he becomes angry with the latter’s determined perseverance and “thrust[s] his sword, and thrust[s] again, straight through / his [Argant’s] visor” (Tasso 19.26.3-4). In a splitsecond, Tancred moves from offering quarter to his wounded enemy to ending his life in a most determined and totalising way: by continually striking the downed opponent with his sword. Indeed, “[p]eople with PTSD tend to move immediately from stimulus to response without often realizing what makes them so upset. They tend to experience intense negative emotions (fear, anxiety, anger, and panic) in response to even minor stimuli; as a result, they either overreact and threaten others, or shut down and freeze” (McFarlane and van der Kolk 13). In short, Argant reminds Tancred of the trauma associated with the death of Clorinda; therefore, Argant has to be annihilated. The killing of Argant mirrors the traumatic reenactment that Tancred suffers in the magic forest, where, even though Clorinda is crying out for him to stop, he cannot prevent his sword from repeatedly striking her. This analogy is helpful in understanding how trauma made it easier for many Shoah perpetrators to commit/sanction future acts of perpetration.  85 4.13 The Shoah Perpetrators and Traumatic Reenactment Franz Suchomel Suchomel’s development of psychic numbing, derealisation and depersonalisation made it easier for him to commit future acts of perpetration. Although he states that he was not informed about what Treblinka truly was prior to arriving there, he still decided to remain after finding out (Lanzmann 44). Suchomel could have refused to serve at Treblinka; however, he did not leave because the trauma that he experienced in the first few days that he was there caused him to become detached from his surroundings, unconsciously numbing his emotions to the point where the environment and killing became mundane, banal. Therefore, the trauma that he witnessed upon first entering Treblinka actively led him to take part in future acts of perpetration via traumatic reenactment. Suchomel’s traumatisation, the visualisation of mass death and the stacking of bodies like pieces of wood, allowed him to treat Treblinka like a part of a factory, or a “primitive but efficient production line of death” (Lanzmann 52). Suchomel’s PITS led him to make the entire killing process normative in his mind. By thinking of Auschwitz as a “factory,” Treblinka as a “production line,” and Belzec as a “laboratory” (Lanzmann 52-53), he was able to think of himself as a common factory worker producing consumer products. Dr. Franz Grassler The trauma that Dr. Grassler suffered while in the ghetto allowed him to more easily continue to commit further acts of perpetration later. He states that he and the rest of those within the commission charged with maintaining the Warsaw Ghetto did their “best to feed the ghetto” (Lanzmann 166); however, he then says that his primary motive for doing so was to stop the spread of disease and epidemics rather than keep the Jews in the ghetto alive. He suffered a great deal from a sense of derealisation in that he thought that the ghetto was good because it kept the  86 “diseased” Jewish population away from the “clean” German population. Indeed, he tells Lanzmann that he thought that the ghetto was good for the Jews (176). Earlier, he mentions that he was helping to preserve the Jews within the ghetto as a workforce; however, if that was so, he would have cared about the 5,000 Jewish deaths per month within the ghetto because he would have been losing a substantial part of a workforce (Lanzmann 169). His sense of psychic numbing caused him to become apathetic to all of the killing. He could have asked his superior, Dr. Auerswald, to press for better living conditions, medicine, and more rations for the Jewish populace within the ghetto; however, he did not, leading one to believe that he was so traumatised by the genocide that he became apathetic and uncaring towards the living, leading to future deaths within the ghetto, reenactments of his prior trauma. Dr. Johann Paul Kremer Dr. Kremer suffered from PITS and committed acts of perpetration that can be seen as being products of traumatic reenactment. He was responsible for overseeing selections and gassings, which caused him to experience symptoms of ASD and, later, PTSD. Furthermore, Dr. Kremer’s sense of derealisation and depersonalisation are evidenced by his requests for and willingness to use the organs of recently-alive victims. He admits to being enthusiastic about using organs from victims for the purpose of experimentation: “‘I had been for an extensive period of time interested in investigating the changes developing in the human organism as the result of starvation. At Auschwitz I spoke about it to Wirths who stated that I would be able to get completely fresh materials for my researches from those prisoners who were killed by phenol injections’” (Kremer 221n). His excitement at the prospect of receiving “living-fresh material” shows how PITS had clouded his sense of right and wrong. To him, Auschwitz had become his personal laboratory; the reality of the death camp had been transformed within his psyche into  87 the reality of the laboratory. The initial killings that he had witnessed within his first couple of weeks at Auschwitz made it easier for him to consider the killing within the camp as being normative, leading to further deaths. Franz Stangl Stangl’s unconscious response to traumatic situations, namely a sense of detachment and derealisation, which originally were manifested in the ASD that he experienced at the T4 institutes, but later metamorphosed into a paramount need to avoid activities or places which might trigger a traumatic recollection, allowed him to take part (through giving orders), and even excel, in acts of killing at the camps. Stangl was able to block out the horror of the camps by staying away. Indeed, he states, “‘[a]t Sobibór one could avoid seeing almost all of it – it all happened so far away from the camp-buildings. All I could think of was that I wanted to get out’” (Sereny, Darkness 114). Unlike Höss, who believed that he had to constantly be a part of any action involving the deaths of the inmates at Auschwitz-Birkenau (162), Stangl was able to manage Sobibór without having to be present during all of the selections and gassings. However, even the act of knowing that acts of perpetration were taking place was traumatising for Stangl. Sereny asks if Stangl ever got used to the murders, and he replies: “‘To tell the truth…one did become used to it’”; she further queries: “‘In days? Weeks? Months?’”; and he replies: “‘Months’” (Darkness 200). However, it is not that Stangl got used to the killings, but that the killings were so traumatising that they had the unconscious effect of numbing his emotions, allowing him to function and more easily order future acts of perpetration to take place. Albert Speer Like Stangl and the other Shoah perpetrators discussed herein, Speer’s sense of psychic numbing led him, through traumatic reenactment, to commit further acts of perpetration. The  88 numbing of Albert Speer’s emotions allowed him to countermand Hitler’s order to destroy war production factories, given in July 1944, which would have ended war production in Belgium, The Netherlands, France, and other occupied territories (Sereny, Speer 456). Speer also countermanded Hitler’s “scorched earth” order given in August 1944, which was aimed at destroying all forms of technology, transportation, and industry in Germany (Sereny, Speer 457). Both of these orders, if they had been carried out, would have immediately ended the war. Speer’s experience of psychic numbing, in order to carry out what he thought to be Germany’s best interests, not only allowed for the war to carry on for another year, but also led to further gassings of Jews at Auschwitz-Birkenau (Sereny, Speer 469). Furthermore, although he did not directly take part in the gassings at Auschwitz-Birkenau, or killings at any of the other concentration and death camps, he was directly responsible for these acts of perpetration, both as Minister of Armaments and War Production and as one of the most powerful men in Hitler’s Reich. In addition, Speer experienced “persistent avoidance of stimuli associated with the trauma and numbing of general responsiveness” (DSM-IV-TR 219). During a conversation in 1944 with his friend Karl Hanke, Gauleiter42 of Lower Silesia, Hanke warned Speer never to visit Auschwitz. Hanke’s advice mattered little, however, because Speer would not have been able to visit Auschwitz at that time anyway because of his need to avoid any place that would arouse a recollection of traumatic thoughts associated with Dora. He states, “I did not query him, I did not query Himmler, I did not query Hitler, I did not speak with personal friends. I did not investigate – for I did not want to know what was happening there [in Auschwitz]” (Speer 376). In short, Speer’s inability to face stimuli associated with his traumatisation led to the perpetuation of trauma on others. By coping with the effects of his trauma, Speer neglected to stop others from being traumatised. 42  A regional Nazi party leader  89 Is there a way to come to terms with one’s traumatisation and heal the wound or somehow reintegrate the Auschwitz-self with the civil-self? I mentioned previously that auto/biographical writing can be seen as being an attempt at a talking/writing cure; however, there is no definitive answer to this question. Many Shoah perpetrators, including Franz Stangl and Albert Speer, had families and, in the case of these two perpetrators, many children. Their postwar relationships with loved ones are a testament to the unpredictability that the effects of trauma have on the agent.  90 Chapter Five: Conclusion “Man's world is manifold, and his attitudes are manifold. What is manifold is often frightening because it is not neat and simple. Men prefer to forget how many possibilities are open to them….Wisdom offers simple schemes, but truth is not so simple” (Kaufmann 9). 5.1 The Unpredictable Nature of Trauma and Its Effects Many of the Shoah perpetrators were interpellated and socialised by a manifold number of customs, norms, and ideologies. Many of them also had many reasons for constructing auto/biographical discourses. Finally, many Shoah perpetrators were possibly traumatised by their actions during the war, the effects of their traumas manifesting in different ways. The auto/biographical narratives discussed in this study are a testament to the unpredictable nature of trauma and its effects on victimisers. Cathy Caruth states, “[a]t the heart of these stories is thus an enigmatic testimony not only to the nature of violent events but to what, in trauma, resists simple comprehension” (6). In short, as can be seen in the various auto/biographical works discussed herein, there is no simple, all-encompassing schematic for explaining trauma and its effects. The unpredictability of trauma cannot only be found within the analysis of the Shoah perpetrators and their actions toward Others, but also in their actions after the war, their relationships with their family members, and in the response of their families to them. 5.2 Germany’s Trauma The postwar period in Germany left those who survived the war with very little time or energy to devote to working through trauma in any significant, therapeutic way. Germany was a devastated and internationally shamed colony of its former enemies. Alexander and Margarete Mitscherlich’s famous study The Inability to Mourn: Principles of Collective Behaviour gives full expression to what they see as a malaise in West German culture in the 1960s because of the Nazi generation’s inability to come to terms with the trauma that it experienced. They argue that  91 members of the perpetrator generation had “desubstantiated” their Nazi past and had, thus, collectively been unable to mourn the loss of Hitler with whose desire for imperial power, world domination, and the “extermination” of unworthy social elements they had strongly identified. Nor had they mourned the loss of and/or taken responsibility for the loss of the Jews and others. Following is the Mitscherlich’s discussion which identifies what the perpetrator generation experienced as a form of trauma: With the help of the projection that he [Hitler] was alone responsible for everything, the retreat from feelings which had previously been extremely intense was rapidly accomplished. However not only the death of Hitler as a real person should be seen as an excuse for mourning; rather, and to a much greater degree, there was the loss of what he had represented—the collective ego ideal. His death, defeat and discreditation by the victorious Allies meant the loss of a narcissistic self-object, i.e., an impoverishment and devaluation of the individual self. The avoidance of this trauma must be viewed as the most immediate motivation for the desubstantiation and denial of the Hitler period which took place after the war. (qtd. in Schneider 7) The Mitscherlichs and others suggest that the price paid for this within society and the family was an obsession with work and money, on the one hand, and often a stifled family life on the other. This had an effect on the generation born during and after the war. As the children of the perpetrator generation came of age in the 1960s, they participated in countercultural movements and student revolts, as did many others in other Western countries. However, they were tasked with working out “unsettled questions” (Schneider 2) about their parents’ political roles in the Nazi period and the extent of their participation in genocide. Many of these young adults gave accounts of deep tensions in German family life, rigidly authoritarian,  92 cold fathers, parental obsessions and compulsions, a pervading silence about the past, and gaps in what was known about the personal history of their fathers and, to a lesser extent, their mothers. What this “68er” generation experienced and was forced to take responsibility for was worked out in a large body of auto/biographical writing about growing up with perpetrator generation fathers (and sometimes mothers) called the Vaterliteratur, which began to appear in the 1970s. This was an angry and accusatory body of work, by and large, and is often analysed these days as autobiographical representation of the transgenerational transmission of trauma. As the Mitscherlichs so astutely assert, this generation became a generation without fathers and/or “‘a generation damaged by its fathers’” (qtd. in Schneider 4). It is by now a commonplace to assert that the mainstay of the “work of mourning” and coming to terms with and taking responsibility for the Nazi past was accomplished by this and subsequent generations. Speer’s daughter Hilde recently stated that her social and political contributions are “about realising that the Holocaust casts its dark shadow over both time and generations, and all the way into the nuclear family of today’s Germany” (qtd in Hamrén). Recent novels and films produced by what is by now a second- and even third-generation removed from the perpetrator generation seems to be accomplishing a great deal in their analysis, with much less reproach and anger than the 68ers, of the Nazi period and the postwar in such documentaries as Speer und Er, docudramas like Downfall, films such as The Miracle at Berne, and novels like Hans Ulrich Treichel’s Lost. 5.3 Trauma and Its Effect on the Agent’s Relationship with Family Just as there were many possible outcomes for how many of the perpetrators of the Shoah were affected by trauma, there is not a single model for how the effects of trauma affected their relationships with those close to them. Two of the Shoah perpetrators discussed in this study,  93 Albert Speer and Franz Stangl, are prime examples of the unpredictability concerning how an agent deals with the effects of extreme experience. Even though both Speer and Stangl had wives and children, their relationships with their families were very different from each other after the war. Their relationships with loved ones were different because whereas Speer acknowledged partial guilt early on and spent the rest of his life trying to work through his trauma by writing, Stangl never acknowledged guilt and spent the postwar period with a new life in Brazil trying to forget the past. Whereas Speer was constantly reminded of his part in the war, Stangl was not. Speer’s children, especially Hilde, were interested in coming to terms with how their father could have taken part in such heinous acts. Stangl’s children, on the other hand, as far as we know, were not invested in such pursuits. Finally, whereas Speer’s relationship with all of his children, save Hilde, was strained, Stangl was fondly remembered as a good, loving, and caring father. Franz Stangl Franz Stangl’s trauma did not affect his relationship with his family after the war. Both prior to and after the war, he was what one would call a family man. Indeed, Stangl loved his family and was loved back in equal measure. His daughter Renate describes her father as “the best father, the best friend anyone could ever have had” (Sereny, Darkness 349-50). When asked by Sereny if he had ever talked to his children about the atrocities that he took part in during the war, Stangl becoming angry, face reddening, tells her, “[m]y children believe in me” (Darkness 349). I believe that Stangl became angry because he had not confessed his guilt to his children, and he had not confessed his guilt because he had blocked the traumatic memories from his mind. When asked by Sereny if Theresa Stangl and her children ever asked him about the war and his part in the Shoah, she states, “we never spoke about any of it: it was taboo” (Darkness 352). The Stangls were not, of course, living in either East or West Germany as the children  94 came of age. There would have been very little public dialogue about the Nazi past, such things as the Denazification Program and various trials for war crimes that ensued in the FRG,43 and interaction with other children of the perpetrator generation. This would have made Stangl’s identity as good family man easy to accomplish. His family life appears to have been happy because his children and wife could not burden him with questions concerning what he did during the war. Stangl was “safe” around his family because for them he was just Paul, loving father and husband, not Franz Stangl, Commandant of Treblinka and Sobibór. It is interesting to note, however, that after his capture and during his trial and time in prison, Stangl was not eager to talk to his wife or his daughters, and they were deeply hurt by this alienation. Perhaps the revelation of the Auschwitz-self made it impossible for his “real self” to continue to function as it had with them. Albert Speer Whereas Stangl’s psychic doubling allowed him to function as a good father and husband, Speer’s obsessive need to work through his trauma took precedence over his position of father and husband. Unlike Stangl, Speer’s relationship with his family appears to have been adversely affected by his traumatisation. There is no mention of whether Speer considered himself a good father prior to and during the war. The truth is that, with all of the architectural commissions he was receiving combined with the inception of the Second World War, he was not home for long periods of time (Sereny, Speer 107). All of his children attest to not having known him well as he was physically absent from their lives as they grew up. Except for Hilde, his eldest daughter, Speer’s relationship with his children was formal and distant. Sereny tells him that it would be good for him to relax around them, to “open up” to them; however, he replies that “[i]t was impossible to talk it out with them” (Speer 17). Speer 43  Federal Republic of Germany  95 was also very awkward around his other children. Sereny believes that Speer’s awkwardness around his children “echoed” the distant relationship he had had with his own father; however, his inability to communicate and interact with his children, I believe, echoes the trip he took to Lapland when he could not face his family after the traumatisation he suffered at Dora. Indeed, Speer in his relations with his children is surely an embodiment of the fatherlessness and the father’s betrayal that the Mitscherlichs wrote about. In his post-Spandau life, he remained fixated on his work and writing on the Nazi period forming global but not intimate relationships with family, unconsciously and probably consciously aware of himself as the exemplary failed father heading up a fatherless family. In a sense, he never ceased to grieve the loss of his “father,” Hitler. In the Allied countries, Speer repeatedly telling his war stories was not unusual, but the story he had to tell would likely overshadow that of his German children who were very eager to come out of its shadow, as most Germans were eager to efface or escape the trauma narrative of the Third Reich. Discussing the ways in which her own life narrative was “evacuated” to some extent by the trauma narratives of her Shoah survivor parents, Marianne Hirsch has coined the term “postmemory” to refer to memories that precede one’s birth, but become memories in their own right because of the second generation’s close personal relationship with those who are haunted by these memories. This term could explain the distance between Speer and five out of his six children. His relationship with Hilde was different, however. Hilde, who was ten years old when Speer was sentenced to serve 20 years in Spandau prison, was a constant pillar of support and understanding for him (Sereny, Speer 20-21). Like many children of the perpetrator generation, Hilde had many “unsettled questions” about what her father’s role had been. She put these in writing in a letter written to him in 1953, where she asked:  96 I can understand … how [it was that] many intellectuals came to accept [Hitler], although in his book he had stated exactly what his aims were. What I cannot understand is how these educated people did not turn against him when he began persecuting the Jews; and after he had extended the borders of Germany…I know that at the end you were no longer in agreement with him. But what I do not understand is why you did not break with him. (qtd. in van der Vat 305) Speer replied in a very lengthy letter, himself, which later was given to his biographers along with her letter. In his reply, Speer continued to assert that he did not know about the genocide (“I knew nothing at all about the horrors”) but likened himself to Oedipus who had for no good reason unwittingly murdered someone who happened to be his father. This analogy is clearly useful for any psychoanalytic reading of Speer’s perhaps inadvertent Freudian processing of his trauma. Whether or not Speer’s taking responsibility and acknowledging his guilt was better for Hilde and his other children than the rigid denials and evasions of so many others of the elder Speer’s generation is uncertain. However, Hilde campaigned extensively in the United States and Europe for many years for an early release for her father. Recently, Hilde, now Hilde Schramm, received the Moses Mendelssohn prize, named after the Jewish philosopher and given for promoting “tolerance and reconciliation.” She had inherited some paintings from her father that he had gotten at a very cheap price during the war, so she sold them and used the proceeds to establish a foundation (Zuruckgeben or “giving back”), which supports Jewish women active in the arts and sciences. Politically active, she has served as the leader of the Green Party in Berlin and on Berlin city council. She recently stated, “[i]f anyone said that I do what I do to make up for the past and to process my own feelings of guilt, then I would strongly disagree. At the same time, there’s probably some sort of force or  97 will to make up, deep down inside me. But this I don’t know, and I haven’t been in psychoanalysis” (Hamrén). Albert Speer’s need to turn away from those who reminded him of the guilt and shame attached to the acts of perpetration he committed/sanctioned may also have led him, at the end of his life, to clandestinely leave his wife for periods of time in order to seek solace and comfort in the company of a woman who was enamoured with him, who unquestioningly accepted him. In the postwar period, Speer was isolated in West German society. He was loathed as a traitor by many former Nazis, and he was a reminder of the Nazi past in his constant dialogue with the world about it to many who wished to overcome the past. Like the Shoah survivors, who often found themselves in contexts where people wanted them to keep quiet about what had happened to them and “move on,” Speer was similarly viewed as a tiresome reminder of things that needed to be overcome. Speer’s post-Spandau career was all about keeping the past alive and may have been an ongoing effort to mourn it. Perhaps the constant labour of this explains his infidelity near the end of his life. Indeed, Sereny states, “[f]or Speer, meeting this lovely creature, who unconditionally admired him and unquestioningly believed in him…must have been overwhelming” (Speer 713). This, some could say, blind, unquestionable love and admiration temporarily freed him from the burden of his trauma and guilt. It also, according to Sereny, “free[d] him from the questioning self he had been for so long” (Speer 714). Like Primo Levi, Speer had spent the majority of his postwar life writing, searching, trying to come to terms with his trauma. Speer’s time with this woman, away from his family, allowed him to exist in a fantasy-like bubble where he no longer was Albert Speer, one of the most powerful men in Hitler’s Third Reich. Instead, he was able to be just Albert, the good German, the man who had had enough courage to write about his folly in following Hitler. While visiting London with his  98 mistress, Speer died of a stroke on September 1, 1981 (Sereny, Speer 714-15). It is difficult to surmise whether or not Speer’s death can be attributed to the somatic effects of trauma; however, both Franz Suchomel and Franz Stangl possibly suffered from trauma-related heart conditions. 5.4 Trauma and Its Effect on the Health of the Agent The effects of trauma appear to have negatively affected the health of a couple of the Shoah perpetrators analysed here, leading one to believe that many other Shoah perpetrators could have also experienced health problems due to their traumatisation. Franz Suchomel and Franz Stangl both suffered from weak hearts; Stangl’s heart condition eventually led him to have a heart attack after his last interview with Gitta Sereny. According to van der Kolk and others, “[c]ontemporary research shows that the failure to ‘get over’ the trauma, and the tendency to replay the trauma over and over again in feelings, images, and actions, are mirrored biologically…as potential threats” (van der Kolk, Weisaeth, and van der Hart 65). Prior to starting his interview with Lanzmann, Suchomel tells him that he suffers from heart troubles and that he may have to stop the interview if he begins to feel pain (Lanzmann 43). Many studies have shown that “people with PTSD…respond to such reminders with significant increases in heart rate, skin conductance, and blood pressure” (van der Kolk, “Psychobiology” 219). Stangl’s wife tells Sereny that he became extremely ill in 1955; however, the doctors were unable to diagnose what was wrong with him. Theresa Stangl states, “[p]erhaps it was finally the reaction to all those terrible years” (Sereny, Darkness 344). It would seem that just as trauma can lead an agent to reenact his or her traumatic experience on others, the symptoms associated with trauma can also lead to ill health or even the death, in the case of Franz Stangl, of the agent.  99 5.5 Traumatic Possibilities Finally, the chapter heading of “Conclusion” is a little misleading because how can one conclude a study on Shoah perpetrators and their experiences with trauma? Not only are there limitless possibilities concerning future study, there really is no definitive answer on whether the perpetrators discussed here were truly traumatised. Rachel M. MacNair insists that, although it is possible to posit that they suffered from the effects of trauma, “a diagnosis cannot be given to historical figures because no interaction is possible; they cannot respond to clarifying questions” (45). Regardless of this (im)possibility, the trace effects of traumatisation that exist in their auto/biographical narratives can be seen as being an “interpretive theme” of the trauma that the historical figures suffered from (MacNair 46). Perhaps the historical figures, the authors of the auto/biographical narratives, are not even all that important. After all, the focus of this study is on the effects of trauma itself. Cathy Caruth says it best, and this echoes Maurice Blanchot’s theory of the trauma of the disaster speaking through a narrative, when she states that trauma narratives “both speak about and speak through the profound story of traumatic experience” (4). In the end, the endeavour to theorise whether or not one can diagnose dead Shoah perpetrators is less important when faced with the profound knowledge that their narratives exist as evidence of the effects that extreme, traumatic experience can have on everyone involved. 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