In 1981 the Communist Party of China declared: "The 'Cultural Revolution', which lasted from May 1966 to October 1976, was responsible for the heaviest losses suffered by the Party, the state and the people since the founding of the People's Republic". The civilizational crisis called the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution still eludes our historical, political, and psychological understanding. This book helps to fill the gap. It features twelve extended, psychoanalytically-oriented interviews, six with witnesses to the revolution and six more with sons and daughters. Team analysis of the transcripts is buttressed by sinological, historical, and social-psychological essays. The authors explore Chinese ways of processing the experience of violence, both individually and in collective memory, and identify psycho-traumatic consequences for witnesses and for the following generation.
Tomas Plankers, DPhil, Dipl.-Psych., is a member of the Sigmund Freud Institute in Frankfurt am Main, working in private practice and as a training analyst member of the Frankfurt Psychoanalytic Institute. From 2000 to 2005 he taught analytic psychotherapy at the Shanghai Mental Health Center in China, training Chinese psychiatrists and psychologists. He heads the research project 'Forms of Biographical Processing of Social Upheavals, as Exemplified by the so-called Cultural Revolution in China'.