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The Wonder of Their VoicesThe 1946 Holocaust Interviews of David Boder$
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Alan Rosen

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195395129

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195395129.001.0001

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Making a Study of These Things

Making a Study of These Things

Boder's Interviews in the Context of Psychology

(p.175) Chapter 6 Making a Study of These Things
The Wonder of Their Voices

Alan Rosen

Oxford University Press

Boder's vocation as a psychologist moved him to conceive the interviews, shaped the way he carried them out, and guided his analysis of them. This chapter highlights several psychological concepts and techniques current in the 1940s that were integral to Boder's interview project. These include: the notion of the “personal document”—the report of an individual on his or her own experience—without which Boder might never have launched his expedition; the projective test known as the TAT, Boder's brief use of which elicited remarkable lyrical testimony from a number of DPs and also sheds light on Boder's evolving view of psychology in relation to the interviews; and an inventory of trauma, which in time became the means to codify the DPs' stories of physical and mental brutality. The steady support of the National Institute of Mental Health demonstrates the affirmation of Boder's work in the eyes of mainstream psychology and through the channels of a major American research institution.

Keywords:   TAT, lyrical testimony, inventory of trauma, personal document, psychology

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