Remembering as Reparation

Psychoanalysis and Historical Memory

  • Karl Figlio

Part of the Studies in the Psychosocial book series (STIP)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. Karl Figlio
    Pages 1-26
  3. Karl Figlio
    Pages 27-43
  4. Karl Figlio
    Pages 73-100
  5. Karl Figlio
    Pages 101-118
  6. Karl Figlio
    Pages 145-163
  7. Karl Figlio
    Pages 165-183
  8. Karl Figlio
    Pages 185-206
  9. Karl Figlio
    Pages 239-256
  10. Back Matter
    Pages 257-284

About this book


This book brings together psychoanalysis, clinical and theoretical, with history in a study of remembering as reparation: not compensation, but recognition of the actuality of perpetration and the remorseful urge to rejuvenate whatever represents this damage. Karl Figlio argues that this process, intensively studied by Melanie Klein, is shadowed by manic reparation, which simulates, but is antithetical, to it. Both aim for peace of mind: the former in a guilt-induced attitude of making better a damaged ‘good object’, internal and external; the latter, supported by defences thoroughly studied in psychoanalysis, in claiming liberation from an accusatory object. 

This psychoanalytic line of thinking converges with historical scholarship on post-war German memory and memorialization. Remembering is posited as ambivalent - it is reparative, in ‘remembering true’, with respect and self-respect. It is also manic reparative, in ‘remembering false’, shedding bonds to the actuality of history through acts of triumph and liberation. 

This thoughtful book highlights new features of history and memory work, especially the importance of emotion, and will be of great value to students, academics and practitioners across the fields of psychoanalysis, memory studies, German studies and modern history. 


Holocaust internal object social solidarity post-war German history Historikerstreit paranoid-schizoid position Holocaust memorials memory studies psychoanalytic methodology memorials counter-memorial historical memory

Authors and affiliations

  • Karl Figlio
    • 1
  1. 1.University of EssexEssexUnited Kingdom

Bibliographic information