MURDEROUS GROUPS AS NORMAL GROUPS
It is often remarked how odd it was so few people in Germany felt outraged by what everyone knew was happening to the Jews. It was far more safe psychologically to defuse fragmentation anxiety by containing it in the science of biological and heredity genetics than in confronting the paranoia at the core of the Kultur-group's unconscious fantasy.
Perhaps what Anzieu describes as the cohering action of the group-in-process illuminates at least part of what was involved in Germany's systematic genocide of the Jews: "A group is born when a number of individuals bound together by, and anxious over, the omnipresent image of the dismembered body, manage to overcome this anxiety." The forces of common belief contain the equally powerful forces of anxiety, restlessness, and disintegration. Members of the group discover a certain commonness, both conscious and unconscious, that helps them "to reassure themselves and see and feel themselves as human beings, to feel pleasant, common, positive feelings." It is as if the members of the group attach themselves to attributes allowing each individual to forge an identification beyond specific self- interest and economic position. "These feelings may then give rise to concerted actions and thoughts, enabling [the group members] to describe the changes that have overcome them." At this point, the aggregation of members experience themselves as a unit, members of