Intergenerational Aspects of the Conflict in the Former Yugoslavia

  • Eduard Klain
Part of the The Plenum Series on Stress and Coping book series (SSSO)


The war on the territory of the former Yugoslavia surprised almost the whole world. It began with the 4-day “war operetta” in Slovenia in the summer of 1990, then extended into a heavy war in Croatia, and reached its climax in Bosnia and Herzegovina. We often ask ourselves whether we could have foreseen such development. It is not easy to answer that question. Serbs, who had prepared for that war, did foresee it. Among victims, only Herzegovinians (part of the Croatian population in Bosnia and Herzegovina) anticipated a war and began preparing for it. Historical memory in western Herzegovina probably helped people to expect the worst. So we have come to the possibility of understanding the intergenerational transmission of emotion that might warn us that something awful might happen. In this chapter, I try to consider the remote historical events in these regions and their influence on transmission of emotions from generation to generation, which, at a certain moment, produces an explosion (i.e., a terrible conflict). The interpretations I offer can only be in accordance with my work and education, so they will necessarily be psychoanalytical and group analytical.


Intergenerational Transmission National Group Guilt Feeling Folk Song Patriarchal Family 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eduard Klain
    • 1
  1. 1.Clinic for Psychological MedicineZagrebCroatia

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