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LBI London Summer Lecture: Psychologists in Auschwitz: Accounting for Survival

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Prof Dan Stone

The writings of Dutch Auschwitz survivors Eddy de Wind, Elie Cohen and Louis Micheels merit analysis not only because they anticipated what later became known as PTSD and much of the underpinnings of trauma theory. They also advocated a theory of survival that offers a compelling contrast to well-known “self-help” theories put forward by Bruno Bettelheim and, especially, Viktor Frankl. This lecture traces the ways in which this theory of survival challenged these simplistic narratives, explains how their work informed the changing field of psychiatry after the war, and considers its relevance for the historiography of the Holocaust today. 


Dan Stone is Professor of Modern History and Director of the Holocaust Research Institute at Royal Holloway, University of London, where he has taught since 1999. He is the author of numerous articles and books, including, most recently, The Holocaust: An Unfinished History (Penguin, 2023) and Fate Unknown: Tracing the Missing after World War II and the Holocaust (OUP, 2023). He is co-editor, with Mark Roseman, of volume 1 of The Cambridge History of the Holocaust (forthcoming with CUP) and, with Dieter Steinert, of Holocaust Memory in Britain in the 1960s (forthcoming with Bloomsbury). He is currently writing a book on the Holocaust in Romania. Dan chaired the academic advisory board for the Imperial War Museum's revamped Holocaust Galleries, and sits on the UK's Oversight Committee for the Arolsen Archives and the UK government's Spoliation Advisory Group.