Argelers Camp: trace (face) of violence

Argelès-sur-Mer concentration camp became a place of horror, terror and continued abuse of detained citizens, that brought numerous and severe symptoms, extending to the first, second, third and fourth generation. The linking of certain psychopathological problems with political repression is also to be sought outside of those who are actual victims.

Some of these symptoms could not be regarded as those of a sick person, but as problems of a previously healthy person, now socially and psychologically gone mad with significant changes: withdrawal, mistrust, loneliness, marginalization, deprivation of basic needs, i.e. anomie.

Moreover, the silence and impunity, that is the lack of whole truth and the absence of justice, are of great importance in the appearance of clinical features. Against this there is the testimony, an effective tool that reduces the symptoms. Testimony does not only have a therapeutic function but also an educational one for the entire community. It convert feelings and images into words, and the traumatic memories of those who survived lose their toxicity.

Anna Miñarro
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