An absolute MUST read. So many Americans cannot and will not believe that what happened in Germany could never happen here... Think again, it could, roots have already taken hold. thinkingblue
The final chapter of “The Third Reich of Dreams” is reserved for those who—in their dreams, at least—resisted the regime (“I dreamed that it was forbidden to dream, but I did anyway”) and those who were Jewish. Beradt writes that such dreams “constitute a separate category, just as the Jews themselves were a separate category under the Nazi regime” and were the focus of “direct, not indirect terrorization.” A Jewish doctor dreams he’s the only physician in the Reich who can cure Hitler. When he offers to donate his services, a blond youth in Hitler’s entourage cries, “What! You crooked Jew—no money?” Later, a Jewish lawyer dreams of travelling through icy Lapland to reach “the last country on earth where Jews are still tolerated”—but a customs official, “rosy as a little marzipan pig,” throws the man’s passport onto the ice. Ahead, unreachable, the promised land shimmers “green in the sun.” It is 1935. Six years later, the mass deportations would begin.
In Germany, “The Third Reich of Dreams” was reviewed as “surprising and gripping evidence” and an “important historical document.” As the psychoanalyst Frances Lang has noted, it’s strange, then, that Beradt’s book has gone “virtually unrecognised” in America. Perhaps it was difficult for such an idiosyncratic history to compete with the more urgent, straightforward accounts that appeared in the nineteen-sixties. (The book is contemporaneous with both Arendt’s “Eichmann in Jerusalem” and Raul Hilberg’s “The Destruction of the European Jews.”) And yet there is still time for the collection to enter the canon of Third Reich literature, and perhaps for it to gain wider circulation. Lang, who practices in Boston, learned of Beradt’s work via a footnote in Freud’s “The Interpretation of Dreams” and wrote about it in the Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association. In her own practice, she has noticed a widespread uneasiness following Trump’s election. She has asked her friends and colleagues to begin collecting dreams.