In 1945, after the Allied victory over Nazi Germany, Europe had to come to terms with its devastating losses. Millions of people had lost their lives. Others were ill, starved and haunted by their experiences in camps and in hiding, during combat and bombardments. Nowadays in most Western countries a disaster like that would be met with an army of psychotraumatologists. But in 1945 the concept of posttraumatic stress was unknown. How did the medical professionals and the victims themselves perceive their health? What pension schemes existed? And which categories of victims were eligible for support?
The Politics of War Trauma
compares the attitudes and policies towards the health consequences of World War II in eleven European countries: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, East Germany, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland and West Germany. It shows the remarkably asynchronous development of the medical approach to the survivors in these countries. In a truly interdisciplinary and innovative way, the book connects aspects of the aftermath of war that are not usually analyzed together. Changes in medical and psychological thinking about the consequences of the war and the prevalence of war-related health problems are analyzed in the context of the political and cultural histories of Cold War, welfare state, memory and psychiatry.
Jolande Withuis and Annet Mooij (eds.), The Politics of War Trauma
Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2010.
The Politics of War Trauma is te bestellen bij Amsterdam University Press.