Bruno Bettelheim The Holocaust Essay

Bruno Bettelheim The Holocaust Essay-11
I am the mother of an autistic daughter and have considered Bettelheim a charlatan since , his celebrated study of autism, came out in 1967.I have nothing personal against Bettelheim, if it is not personal to resent being compared to a devouring witch, an infanticidal king, and an SS guard in a concentration camp, or to wonder what could be the basis of Bettelheim’s statement that “the precipitating factor in infantile autism is the parent’s wish that his child should not exist.” Like most parents of autistic children, I cherish my daughter.

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The main features identified in Kanner’s description are a social impairment characterized by aloofness, lack of reciprocity, and absence of eye contact; an inability to use language effectively to communicate, including muteness, echolalia, odd intonations, reversal of pronouns, and inappropriate repetition of meaningless words; repetitious, stereotyped behavior such as rocking, hand flapping, or preoccupation with train schedules; an insistence on sameness, with strong resistance to changes in environment or routines.

Very few of the children Bettelheim treated displayed this syndrome.

The rise and decline of this remarkable reputation is now the subject of two major studies.

In a frank and moving prologue to his splendid biography, Richard Pollak gives an account of his one meeting with Bruno Bettelheim.

Later in his life, in one of the last pieces he wrote on Nazism, Bettelheim was to make an even more extreme judgment.

He quotes Most critics have interpreted “black milk” as clouds of smoke issuing from the crematoria.Former students accused him in print of having created an atmosphere of terror in the famous school.Scholars accused him of plagiarism, and stories of falsified credentials and shoddy research emerged from several sources.Shortly after Pollak began his research, Bettelheim committed suicide.The storm of accusations following his death convinced Pollak that that there was an interesting story beneath the surface, and before long he was embarked on a project of discovery that ultimately led to this definitive exposure of Bettelheim as a charlatan whose life was based on falsehood and self-aggrandizement.Autistic children have highly recognizable characteristics, even though they may not always be easy to describe.Infantile autism was first recognized as a syndrome and named by Leo Kanner, a child psychiatrist at Johns Hopkins, in 1943.During his encounter with Bettelheim, Pollak heard his father dismissed as a crude schlemiel, his mother vilified “with astonishing anger,” described as the cause of all his brother’s problems and scorned as a “ Jewish mother.” He endured Bettelheim’s categorical insistence that Stephen had committed suicide despite Pollak’s assertion that he had been pres ent and knew the death to have been an accident.He was stunned by the ferocity of Bettelheim’s anger and antagonism and understood for the first time why his mother had complained that Bettelheim hated parents.Thus, in the course of this brief conversation, Pollak was confronted with several aspects of Bettelheim’s character and personality that he would later learn much more about: secrecy and concealment, angry and cruel accusation, anti-Semitism, and lying.Pollak went home from this interview and wrote a detailed account he has used almost thirty years later as an introduction to ., the biography he undertook shortly before Bettelheim’s death when he began reading and rereading Bettelheim’s books and discovered that Stephen’s suicide was not the only thing about which Bettelheim had lied.

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  • Reaction to " The Holocaust" by Bruno Bettelheim.
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    Writer and Psychologist Bruno Bettelheim was a survivor of the concentration camps in Dachau and Auschwitz during The Holocaust. What Bruno says on his essay "The Holocaust" is that the words that people give to things as horrible as the Holocaust are just “made up” words that separate the reality with the emotional impact that they could have.…

  • Bruno Bettelheim - Wikipedia
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    Bruno Bettelheim August 28, 1903 – March 13, 1990 was an Austrian-born self-proclaimed psychologist, public intellectual and author who spent most of his academic and clinical career in the United States.…

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    Bruno Bettelheim's Criticism of The Frank Family - In the essay "The Ignored Lesson of Anne Frank," the author Bruno Bettelheim, distributes a different point of view on the Frank family. Bruno Bettelheim came to the United States in 1939 after spending a year in the concentration camps in Buchenwald and Dachau.…

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    The Holocaust In two books, The Informal Heart 1960 and Surviving, and Other Essays 1979, Bettelheim probed his and others' experiences in the Nazis' concentration camps. What follows is a freestanding slice of a much longer essay, "The Holocaust — One Generation After, " from Surviving. Here Bettelheim, with cool passion, dissects a loaded…

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    Bruno Bettelheim 1903-1990 Austrian-born American nonfiction writer and essayist. The following entry provides criticism on Bettelheim's works from 1990 through 1999.…

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