Treating Abuse Today (Tat), 3(4), pp. 26-33Freyd: I see what you're saying but people in psychology don't have a uniform agreement on this issue of the depth of -- I guess the term that was used at the conference was -- robust repression.TAT: Well, Pamela, there's a whole lot of evidence that people dissociate traumatic things. What's interesting to me is how the concept of dissociation is side-stepped in favor of repression. I don't think it's as much about repression as it is about traumatic amnesia and dissociation. That has been documented in a variety of trauma survivors. Army psychiatrists in the Second World War, for instance, documented that following battles, many soldiers had amnesia for the battles. Often, the memories wouldn't break through until much later when they were in psychotherapy.Freyd: But I think I mentioned Dr. Loren Pankratz. He is a psychologist who was studying veterans for post-traumatic stress in a Veterans Administration Hospital in Portland. They found some people who were admitted to Veteran's hospitals for postrraumatic stress in Vietnam who didn't serve in Vietnam. They found at least one patient who was being treated who wasn't even a veteran. Without external validation, we just can't know --TAT: -- Well, we have external validation in some of our cases.Freyd: In this field you're going to find people who have all levels of belief, understanding, experience with the area of repression. As I said before it's not an area in which there's any kind of uniform agreement in the field. The full notion of repression has a meaning within a psychoanalytic framework and it's got a meaning to people in everyday use and everyday language. What there is evidence for is that any kind of memory is reconstructed and reinterpreted. It has not been shown to be anything else. Memories are reconstructed and reinterpreted from fragments. Some memories are true and some memories are confabulated and some are downright false.TAT: It is certainly possible for in offender to dissociate a memory. It's possible that some of the people who call you could have done or witnessed some of the things they've been accused of -- maybe in an alcoholic black-out or in a dissociative state -- and truly not remember. I think that's very possible.Freyd: I would say that virtually anything is possible. But when the stories include murdering babies and breeding babies and some of the rather bizarre things that come up, it's mighty puzzling.TAT: I've treated adults with dissociative disorders who were both victimized and victimizers. I've seen previously repressed memories of my clients' earlier sexual offenses coming back to them in therapy. You guys seem to be saying, be skeptical if the person claims to have forgotten previously, especially if it is about something horrible. Should we be equally skeptical if someone says I'm remembering that I perpetrated and I didn't remember before. It's been repressed for years and now it's surfacing because of therapy. I ask you, should we have the same degree of skepticism for this type of delayed-memory that you have for the other kind?Freyd: Does that happen?TAT: Oh, yes. A lot.

~ David L. Calof

It was the economy that troubled most people prior to World War II. Europe, especially Germany, was dealing with a deep worldwide depression. Fascism was gaining a stronghold in Germany as well as in many other European countries. Although small and generally not popular, the Communist Party was the only organized group to stand in opposition to the Nazis. Small bands of these Communists occasionally attempted to disrupt the government by rioting in the streets. Occasionally gunfire would be heard, but very little could be done about it by a people that did not want to get involved. Hitler’s “Brown Shirts” were rapidly solidifying their position, and the Nazi Party was becoming stronger. Even though they frequently violated the National Constitution, they brought order to what had been chaos. The Treaty of Versailles, enacted after World War I, was hated by the German people, who felt that it suppressed them in a most demeaning way. However now Hitler was putting people to work building cars and an autobahn highway system that connected the larger cities. Modernization of airports and the development of a national railroad were all in violation of the imposed international regulations. Workers were again bringing paychecks home and could once more feed their families. Therefore, little thought was given to Hitler’s power grab. Germany was emerging from the dark era following World War I, and things were getting better. The Vaterland was regaining its strength, without regard to what France and other European countries thought.... After all, what could they, or would they, do about it?

~ Captain Hank Bracker