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Ferenc Erős
Senior Fellow (04/2016 - 08/2016)

From War Neurosis to Holocaust Trauma


In his research, Ferenc Erős plans to produce a historical and critical survey of the contribution of psychoanalysis and other “psycho-sciences” to our contemporary understanding of the trauma of the Holocaust. In this survey and analysis the following main topics will be examined:


  • The use of psychiatric knowledge and procedures during the First Word War,
  • The psychoanalytic conception of war neurosis,
  • The later debates on the nature of individual and collective psychic traumata within psychoa-nalysis, 
  • The focus on perpetrators rather than on victims after the Second World War,
  • The focus on intergenerational effects of Holocaust trauma,
  • Trauma research and the problem of post-memory,
  • The varying concept of Holocaust trauma in the last decades in Hungary.


The research, will examine in detail how and in what contexts the concept of Holocaust trauma came through in the last decades in Hungary. Ferenc Erős is arguing that in Hungary there was, after a few immediate post-war attempts to explore the psycho-sociological impact of the Holocaust, an almost full lack of concern with the personal problems of survivors, children or adults.


ErosFerenc Erős, studied psychology and literature at the ELTE University in Budapest, and graduated in 1969. He obtained his PhD in 1986, and was awarded the title Doctor of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (DSc) since 2002. Currently he is professor emeritus at the Faculty of Humanities of the University of Pécs where he has directed a doctoral program in psychoanalytic studies since 1997. The focus of his present research includes Jewish identity, the social and cultural history of psychoanalysis in Central Europe, psychoanalytic theory and its application to social issues and the problem of trauma and cultural memory. He is the author of several scientific books and articles in his areas of research in English, Hungarian, German and French.

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The Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies (VWI) is funded by:


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wienkultur 179


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