The Politics of Repressed Guilt: The Tragedy of Austrian Silence (Edinburgh University Press, March 2018)




Description: Drawing on the work of Hannah Arendt and Theodor W. Adorno, this book illustrates the relevance and applicability of a political discussion of guilt and democracy. It appropriates psychoanalytic theory to analyse court documents of Austrian Nazi perpetrators as well as recent public controversies surrounding Austria's involvement in the Nazi atrocities and ponders how the former agents of Hitlerite crimes and contemporary Austrians have dealt with their guilt.

Exposing the defensive mechanisms that have been used to evade facing involvement in Nazi atrocities, Leeb considers the possibilities of breaking the cycle of negative consequences that result from the inability to deal with guilt. Leeb shows us that only by guilt can individuals and nations take responsibility for their past crimes, show solidarity with the victims of crimes, and prevent the emergence of new crimes.


For reviews of the book on the Edinburgh University Press website click here.

A book review symposia about the book is forthcoming in Critical Horizons.

Book reviews are forthcoming in Philosophy in Review and Holocaust Studies: A Journal of Culture and History.


You can order the book through (click link to order book):

the Edinburgh University Press website (within Europe)

 the Oxford University Press website (international shipping)

the Amazon website



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