Cadaverland: Inventing a Pathology of Catastrophe for Holocaust Survival : the Limits of Medical Knowledge and Memory in France
In this extraordinary study, Michael Dorland explores sixty years of medical attempts by French doctors (mainly in the fields of neuropsychiatry and psychoanalysis) to describe the effects of concentration camp incarceration on Holocaust survivors.
Dorland begins with a discussion of the liberation of concentration camp survivors, their stay in deportation camps, and eventual return to France, analyzing the circulation of mainly medical (neuropsychiatric) knowledge, its struggles to establish a symptomology of camp effects, and its broadening out into connected medical fields such as psychoanalysis. He then turns specifically to the French medical doctors who studied Holocaust survivors, and he investigates somatic, psychological, and holistic conceptions of survivors as patients and human beings.
The final third of the book offers a comparative look at the “psy-science” approach to Holocaust survival beyond France, particularly in the United States and Israel. He illuminates the peculiar journey of a medical discourse that began in France but took on new forms elsewhere, eventually expanding into nonmedical fields to create the basis of the “traumato-culture” with which we are familiar today.
Embedding his analysis of different medical discourses in the sociopolitical history of France in the twentieth century, he also looks at the French Jewish Question as it affected French medicine, the effects of five years of Nazi Occupation, France’s enthusiastic collaboration, and the problems this would pose for postwar collective memory.
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Allied American antisemitism archives Auschwitz Barrois Baruk Bergen-Belsen Biéder British Buchenwald camp survivors captivity catastrophe chapter Charles Richet clinical concentration camp concentrationary concept conference Congress context culture Dachau death deportees déportés discussion doctors documents Dworzecki Ebensee effects Eitinger emphasis added essay experience Fichez figure File FNDIRP former deportees France Frenay French psychiatry Freud German ghetto Gilbert-Dreyfus guerre halakhists Henri Baruk historian Holocaust Survivors human International Israel Israeli Jacques Lacan Jewish Jews Krystal KZ Syndrome Lacan later Liberation Mauthausen médecine hébraïque medicine memory mental military Minkowski Natzwiller Nazi Niederland noted observed one’s organization Paris pathology pathology of deportation patients political postwar POWs prisoners problems Professor psychiatry psychic psychoanalysis psychological published question remarked repatriation Resistance result Revue d’histoire rhetoric RHMH Richet scientific sequelae SHAEF Shoah social soldiers somatologists survival symptoms Targowla term testimony trauma Vichy victims words World writing Yad Vashem