Ana Antić, “Therapeutic Fascism: Experiencing the Violence of the Nazi New Order in Yugoslavia”

Izdavač Oxford University Press objavio je 2017. godine zapaženu knjigu Ane Antić koja o Drugom svjetskom ratu u Jugoslaviji pristupa iz perspektive povijesti nasilja, povijesti svakodnevice, povijesti odozdo i intelektualne povijesti psihijatrije.




Therapeutic Fascism



Experiencing the Violence of the Nazi New Order



Ana Antić


Oxford Studies in Modern European History



– The first history of World War Two violence approached through psychiatric patient files

– The first history of mental health sciences in the Balkans, and of the political and social role played by psychiatrists and new ideas about the human mind

– Spans the transition from Nazi to communist government in the mid-1940s

– Provides new insights into the experience of mass violence and the nature of collaboration, occupation, fascism, and communism

– One of the first studies of the enormous effects of World War Two on the intellectual history of psychiatry



During World War Two, death and violence permeated all aspects of the everyday lives of ordinary people in Eastern Europe. Throughout the region, the realities of mass murder and incarceration meant that people learnt to live with daily public hangings of civilian hostages and stumbled on corpses of their neighbors. Entire populations were drawn into fierce and uncompromising political and ideological conflicts, and many ended up being more than mere victims or observers: they themselves became perpetrators or facilitators of violence, often to protect their own lives, but also to gain various benefits. Yugoslavia in particular saw a gradual culmination of a complex and brutal civil war, which ultimately killed more civilians than those killed by the foreign occupying armies.



Therapeutic Fascism tells a story of the tremendous impact of such pervasive and multi-layered political violence, and looks at ordinary citizens’ attempts to negotiate these extraordinary wartime political pressures. It examines Yugoslav psychiatric documents as unique windows into this harrowing history, and provides an original perspective on the effects of wartime violence and occupation through the history of psychiatry, mental illness, and personal experience. Using previously unexplored resources, such as patients’ case files, state and institutional archives, and the professional medical literature of the time, this volume explores the socio-cultural history of wartime through the eyes of (mainly lower-class) psychiatric patients. Ana Antic examines how the experiences of observing, suffering, and committing political violence affected the understanding of human psychology, pathology, and normality in wartime and post-war Balkans and Europe.



Table of Contents

1: Reading psychiatric case histories
2: The Change of the Paradigm
3: Politics in the Files
4: Fascism and Psychoanalysis: “Re-Educating” the Communists
5: Heroes and Hysterics
Epilogue: Adjusting to socialism



Ana Antić, Lecturer in twentieth-century international history, University of Exeter



Ana Antić is Lecturer in twentieth-century international history at the University of Exeter. She received her PhD from Columbia University, and subsequently worked as a post-doctoral fellow at Birkbeck, University of London, on the project Reluctant Internationalists: A History of Public Health and International Organisations, Movements and Experts in Twentieth Century Europe. Her research focuses on the social and cultural history of modern Europe and the Balkans, history of war and violence, and history of psychiatry. She has published in Social History of Medicine, Journal of Social History, History of Psychiatry, East European Politics and Societies, and a number of other journals.



Reviews and Awards

Joint winner of the Fraenkel Prize in Contemporary History 2015.
Shortlisted for the 2017 Gladstone Prize of the Royal Historical Society.



“Antić has written a remarkably original case study in the psycho-social impacts of sustained exposure to violence, both on traumatized individuals and on the psychiatric professionals who treated them as patients. Relying on an unusually rich record of patient files and case notes from wartime and immediately postwar Yugoslavia, Antic opens an unexpected window onto the mental and affective experience of everyday life in conditions of war, occupation and regime change, while also demonstrating the significance of this period as a key transitional moment in the intellectual history of psychiatry. The study stands out for its deft balancing of the ideological, social and professional dynamics at work in this period, and offers us novel and compelling perspectives on Yugoslavia’s social and political history.” – Comments from the awards committee of the Fraenkel Prize in Contemporary History 2015