Chapter

The Trauma of Perpetrators: The Holocaust as the Traumatic Reference of German National Identity

Bernhard Giesen

in Cultural Trauma and Collective Identity

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 2004 | ISBN: 9780520235946
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520936768 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520235946.003.0004
The Trauma of Perpetrators: The Holocaust as the Traumatic Reference of German National Identity

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Memory chains establish the statement of stability, durability, and continuity in peculiarity to the never-ending change of the unique world and set up a horizon, border, and space of possible pasts. There is no possible way to picture a land beyond the horizon of triumph and trauma. Traumas and triumphs comprise the “mythomoteurs” of national identity. They stand for experiences and ultimate horizons for the self-constitution of a collective subject. Similar to this topic, collective identity is built according to a similar logic. It is not only founded on past triumphs. It references the past and can also be traumatic. The trauma is the opposite of triumph, but it is constructed according to similar logic.

Keywords: triumph; trauma; logic; collective identity; mythomoteurs

Chapter.  18217 words. 

Subjects: Social Theory

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