The Psychopaths of the Holocaust: Lovefraud.com Review of Holocaust Memories

Holocaust Memories by Claudia Moscovici

Book Review: The psychopaths of the Holocaust

Holocaust Memories: A survey of Holocaust memoirs, histories, novels, and films, by Claudia Moscovici

Review by Donna Andersen on Lovefraud.com

Most of us have some knowledge of the Holocaust. We’ve heard about the concentration camps and gas chambers. We know one of Adolf Hitler’s objectives during World War II was the “Final Solution” — an attempt to wipe out the Jewish population of Europe. We know that six million Jews were murdered, plus millions more Communists, prisoners of war, gypsies, intellectuals, handicapped people and others.

We may have seen movies like Schindler’s List and Sophie’s Choice. Maybe we read The Diary of Anne Frank. But it’s doubtful that we understand the true brutality of the killings, and the depravity of the people who committed them.

Claudia Moscovici’s book, Holocaust Memories, captures the scope of the horror.

The book is a collection of 70 essays by the author, each one a summary or review of a classic book or film about the Holocaust. Some are well known, such as Night by Elie Weisel, and Eichmann in Jerusalem: A report on the banality of evil, by Hannah Arendt. Because each of Moscovici’s essays is short — usually only two pages — the painful history comes in small doses.

Many of the works were new to me, depicting particular aspects of the Holocaust that I didn’t know. The author Leni Yahil described what happened in Hungary: In less than two months, from May 15 to July 9, 1944, 440,000 Jews, more than half of the country’s Jewish population, were rounded up and sent to Auschwitz. Most of them died in the gas chambers.

How can people do this?

Moscovici knows about psychopaths — she is author of the Psychopathy Awareness blog. In some essays, she analyzes the perpetrators’ disorder. For example, she talks about Adolf Eichmann, a Nazi lieutenant colonel who was one of the main organizers of the mass deportation of Jews. Eichmann escaped after the war and fled to Argentina. He was eventually captured and tried for his crimes in Jerusalem.

Hannah Arendt, who covered the trial, was surprised that Eichmann seemed so normal and felt no moral responsibility for his crimes. As Moscovici points out, the reason for this is simple — the man was a psychopath. Failure to take responsibility for anything is one of the key characteristics of a psychopath.

Holocaust Memories is an exceptional work of scholarship about one of the darkest chapters of human history. For all those people who now say the Holocaust never happened — well, there are plenty of eyewitnesses who know that it did, because they lived it.

Holocaust Memories: A Survey of Holocaust Memoirs, Histories, Novels and Films

 

Dangerous Liaisons: How to Identify and Escape from Psychopathic Seduction

 

 

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Psychopathy in history: Holocaust Memories

About my new research and book on psychopathy in history: Holocaust Memories

It’s been a very long time since I’ve posted on this blog. I began writing it about nine years ago, in 2010, to share information about psychopaths and other types of pathological individuals and help others heal from toxic relationships. I wanted to offer useful information to others because reading books and blogs on the subject had helped me escape and recover from a dangerous relationship in 2007. I owe a deep debt of gratitude to specialists in the field, particularly Robert D. Hare, Martha Stout, Sandra L. Brown, Steven Becker and especially Donna Andersen and her blog lovefraud.com, where I first discovered lifesaving information about psychopathy in 2007. This blog, as well as my two books on psychopathy, the nonfiction Dangerous Liaisons and the novel The Seducer, are the product of years of research on the subject of personality disorders and victims of pathological relationships.

By 2012, however, I decided that dwelling on psychopathy for over five years kept me focused on a subject that was still painful to me and my family. I feared that maintaining this focus indefinitely, even if mainly for therapeutic and other-regarding reasons, prevented old wounds from healing. After awhile, the boundaries between therapeutic understanding and painful rumination become blurred. So I decided to take a long hiatus from this topic. This is why for the past seven years I have been posting on this psychopathy blog very sporadically, basically only interviews I’ve given from time to time on the subject rather than writing new articles.

As it turns out, however, the subject of psychopathy was still on my mind, only with a different and less personal focus. Rather than using my own experience with a psychopath as a point of departure for my writing, I began to look back in the pages of history. There’s no doubt that “ordinary” psychopaths–meaning those who have little political power, influence or fame–can cause unbelievable harm to countless people today. But when such dangerous individuals–who lack a conscience, are manipulative and duplicitous, enjoy hurting others, and have a need to control–acquire great power, the devastation they cause reaches tens of millions of victims. Hitler, Stalin and Mao were such highly influential pathological individuals.

Without Hitler, for instance, anti-Semitism and pogroms against the Jewish people would have no doubt continued to exist. However, most likely, the Holocaust would have never happened. Six million Jews would not have perished had it not been for Hitler’s obsessive hatred of the Jewish people and for his devastating power and success. Over the past six or seven years, my interest in psychopathy expanded to psychopaths in history–and how they shaped the history of totalitarian movements, such as Communism and Fascism, as well as the roles they played in the Holocaust and other genocides–in order to trace the impact of the most dangerous psychopaths: those who acquired the greatest power. Out of this research grew my newest nonfiction book Holocaust Memories (Rowman & Littlefield, 2019), which will form the focus of my upcoming posts on this blog for a period of time. I’m hoping that there are victims of psychopaths who, like me, are interested both in the psychological profile of toxic individuals and their victims and in the way such individuals have shaped some of the worst periods–and genocides–of human history.

Claudia Moscovici, psychopathyawareness

Holocaust Memories: A Survey of Holocaust Memoirs, Histories, Novels and Films

 

Dangerous Liaisons: How to Identify and Escape from Psychopathic Seduction