Overview about initiatives and progressive steps

A planned German-Norwegian Group Conference
about The Past in the Present

by Hermann Beland

The idea for the German-Norwegian Conf. is founded in the assumption, that traumatic memories from the Shoah and the German occupation in hundreds of thousands of people were not met so far, shared and acknowledged/understood, but are still influential in the unconscious of society. Norway seemed to be more accessible from all other neighbor-countries of Germany for such a risky attempt.

April 2010: Westlodge Conference London, contact with Norwegian members, who strongly support and wish such a group Conf. for Norway.

May 2010: Clinical paper in Danish Psa. Soc. Copenhagen, test of interest? Interest yes, but “without me” attitude.

March 2011: DPV meeting Gießen, discussion with DPV-Board for mental support for such a Conference. Question, how to motivate German members from DPV/DPG

March 2011: Meeting with Sverre Varwin in Berlin; promises support by the Norwegian Psychoanalytic Society. He stressed the necessary cooperation with Holocaust Centre Oslo, Prof Fure. Begin of contact with Fure, who was enthusiastic first, but is going to go in pension. No answer to materials, our book etc.

April 2011: EPF conference in Copenhagen, Gudrun Bodin and husband. New names for contact resp. the conference, esp. Lene Auestadt, London, for University and Holocaust Center, Oslo.

September 2011: Nordic Conference, Oslo (clinical paper), positive support by Martin Teising, president DPV  and Ingo Focke, president of DPG (declaration of intent from both presidents). The question of personal need of members (subjectively) is still unclear for both sides.

Contact with Renate Grønvold Bugge (e-mail, phone, Veronika Grüneisen had spoken with her first) . She is strongly in favor for the conference, is necessary and sees no difficulty of needs. There are the victims, the families of Norway police which got forced into line by the SS (~12000), the 10000 children of German soldiers, and the Lebensborn children and mothers etc.. The Norwegian cooperation with the Nazis was never worked through. She then asked Aslak Brekke in Kristiansand, director of Stiftelsen Arkivet, in order to realize the conference, who promised her all needed logistic support by his Institute, rooms, addresses etc; but he wanted to check our seriousness first, budget, reasons, motives. I sent everything possible material, but had no reaction so far. This Stiftelsen nevertheless is a first possible address for a conference venue. The houses were used by the SS archives of Norwegian Jews and resistance people, with memoir meaning in Norway. Renate has a house in Kristiansand and offered a meeting with Aslak and herself, Veronika and me. This meeting is pending.

Nov. 2011: DPV meeting Bad Homburg, paper about “Results of 2008 GRC Cyprus”, with discussion within the DPV committee of our conference  plan (with part of DPV Board, Dorothee and me). I feel ready to ask PCCA for being plenipotentiary with DPV, Germans and Norwegians.

2nd of March 2012 Long discussion with Renate Grønvold Bugge in Berlin, 2 hours. Renate had more ideas where to meet, in Stockholm or Lillehammar, prefers Kristiansand. She is steering the Norwegian boat.

9-11 March 2012: Psychoanalysis and Politics, Nordic Summer University in Stockholm about Mourning in Collectives. I wanted to meet Lene Auestadt (organizer), gave a paper there about German, Israeli, Palestinian mourning from the 2008 conference and met many good and interesting people, especially Berit Reisel, who showed her film “Holocaust – Norwegian Survivors”, a documentary by Norwegian Broadcasting Hambro Film/Berit Reisel. Very good, informative, moving. I asked her for a copy. She wrote sending the copy: “I hope your project will develop and that I can be of help in the process.” The film being very useful for the German side will become presented in the DPV meeting in November, presented by Berit Reisel and accompanied through a paper by Bernd Henningsen about Norway, past and present (he is director of the Scandinavian Institute of the Humboldt Univ. Berlin). [Bernd Henningsen had to step back from his plan, Renate Grønvold Bugge will speak instead of him. See next point]

Dorothee v. Tippelskirch-Eissing wanted to invite Renate Grønvold Bugge for the DPV springtime meeting 2013 to speak about her work with the Norwegian Social Demokrats after the massacre of Utøya and her organization of the work of trauma therapists for Norway, work with the bereft families of the Breivig murdered young people, their friends and communities, –  as a further invitation to the planned conference. [This will already happen in November 2012 instead of Bernd Henningsen.]

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