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Commentary on “Fragmented Testament: Letters Written by World War II Resisters Before Their Execution” by Anne Griffin and Jay Lefer

Commentary on “Fragmented Testament: Letters Written by World War II Resisters Before Their... COMMENTARY ON "FRAGMENTED TESTAMENT" Dori Facing execution: can we even imagine ourselves in such a state of mind? This is precisely what this essay invites us to do, through offering us excerpts from 200 last letters written by Belgian resisters in World War II, who had been condemned to death. I applaud the authors for tackling this subject. Far too often, studying such a topic yields to the attempt to only memorialize it, because of the sense of awe it triggers in all of us. But, this essay is not about facing death. It is about men and women of "moral greatness," as the authors have put it, those who had the courage and resolve to follow their internal sense of justice and chose to resist the Nazis--no matter what the price. They all viewed the choice they made as the truly natural one: they only "did their duty"--there was simply no other choice available to them. There are no indications of ambiguity, hesitation, doubt, or even fear. Rather, they were able to clearly grasp what was happening, and what needed to be done about it; therefore they must have known the danger involved, yet they found a http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of the American Academy of Psychoanalysis & Dynamic Psychiatry Guilford Press

Commentary on “Fragmented Testament: Letters Written by World War II Resisters Before Their Execution” by Anne Griffin and Jay Lefer

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Publisher
Guilford Press
Copyright
© 2010 The American Academy of Psychoanalysis and Dynamic Psychiatry
ISSN
1546-0371
DOI
10.1521/jaap.2010.38.2.285
pmid
20528140
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

COMMENTARY ON "FRAGMENTED TESTAMENT" Dori Facing execution: can we even imagine ourselves in such a state of mind? This is precisely what this essay invites us to do, through offering us excerpts from 200 last letters written by Belgian resisters in World War II, who had been condemned to death. I applaud the authors for tackling this subject. Far too often, studying such a topic yields to the attempt to only memorialize it, because of the sense of awe it triggers in all of us. But, this essay is not about facing death. It is about men and women of "moral greatness," as the authors have put it, those who had the courage and resolve to follow their internal sense of justice and chose to resist the Nazis--no matter what the price. They all viewed the choice they made as the truly natural one: they only "did their duty"--there was simply no other choice available to them. There are no indications of ambiguity, hesitation, doubt, or even fear. Rather, they were able to clearly grasp what was happening, and what needed to be done about it; therefore they must have known the danger involved, yet they found a

Journal

Journal of the American Academy of Psychoanalysis & Dynamic PsychiatryGuilford Press

Published: Jun 1, 2010

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