What is worse, mental or physical torture

The torture and its consequences

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The term torture everyone knows. One hears again and again about the most different torture methods. But what is difficult to imagine in concrete terms are the long-term consequences: emotional, physical, psychosocial. And that is the real problem. Because life goes on - if you could save it despite torture - often hardly less painful than during the torture torture. Because the goal of "modern" torture is not only to force confessions, but also to destroy one's personality and destroy one's identity. Because you lose any ability to resist.

In the following, therefore, not only a selection of "modern" torture methods and their physical consequences, but above all the mental injuries: permanent readiness to fear, flash back phenomena, situation-related phobic fears, persistent state of tension, compulsion to brood, depression, irritable moods, lack of initiative, restlessness, memory and concentration disorders, loss of performance, inability to enjoy, etc. And the mostly unknown consequences for the meaning of life and self-confidence, emotional and physical unity or body experience, pain perception, partnership, job, etc.

And why it is so difficult to find understanding as a victim, and not only from the authorities, but also from understanding people.

Explained technical terms:

Post-torture syndrome (PTS) - extreme trauma - man-made-disaster - post-traumatic stress disorder - acute stress stress disorder - disorder caused by extreme stress - forced collectivization - flash back phenomena - etc.

"Those who succumbed to torture can no longer feel at home in this world. The disgrace of annihilation cannot be erased. The world trust that has collapsed in part with the first blow, but ultimately collapsed in the torture, will not be regained," he wrote well-known philosopher and writer Jean Améry from his own concentration camp experience.

Even at the end of the 20th century it is torture still common practice in many countries. Amnesty International lists more than a hundred states in which - despite numerous human rights treaties - the police, the military, the secret services, etc. is systematically tortured not only physically, but increasingly also psychologically.

Because that Target of torture is not only the forcing of confessions and statements, but also the destruction of personality, the destruction of identity. The torturers know that people without identity with broken personalities lose their ability to resist any kind of resistance.

Technical terms

It used to be the term "post-torture syndrome" (PTS) used. That is now out of date. Later one spoke of the extremely traumatized, "man-made-disaster" (when people are tormented by human hands), of the existential emotional syndrome, etc. Today one speaks of the posttraumatic stress disorder, whereby one still subdivides in acute stress disorder and - because the trauma of torture is still not over afterwards - in complex posttraumatic stress disorder (German: comprehensive posttraumatic stress disorder, also called disorder of extreme stress).

It makes sense to subdivide post-traumatic stress disorders into

- technical disasters: chemical accident, nuclear power plants, shipwreck, plane crash, etc.
- Natural disasters: earthquakes, floods, volcanic eruptions, etc.
- the so-called man-made disaster: torture, rape, assault, hostage-taking, etc.

Target of a "modern" torture strategy

To her aim The torturers proceed according to plan. The psychic attrition must be done gradually. This is a precisely calculated process that is carried out in cold blood and according to the individual characteristics of the respective victim. There would be little point in starting the toughest of measures right away. The victim has to be given enough time to experience the torments and humiliations extensively, identify with them and gradually lose the will to resist:

"At first I thought they would kill me, I was prepared for that. And if they had only done it. But the worst were the breaks" (quote).

The tortured person must completely helplessly lose all inner support and all self-confidence, he must cry and beg for mercy, he must urinate and stool in panic, uncontrolled fear, he must wish to finally be killed instead of vegetating like that.

Being alone after torture is often more cruel than the pain. You almost go crazy. You feel like an animal at the mercy of your sadistic master. Even after being released, the victim finds himself somehow still physically alive - but emotionally destroyed. That is the point of modern torture.

Torture methods

The Torture methods are on the one hand as old as mankind and on the other hand are supplemented by "new" measures. What was or still belongs to it?

In addition to malnutrition (protein deficiency), possibly associated with cranial brain injuries and thus increased brain swelling, in addition to extreme physical exploitation (forced labor under any weather conditions) including epidemics, among other things, as well as the consequences of forced collectivization ("people unable to help and support") it was and is especially the physical torture methods:

Beats (especially on the head - see above), possibly with more serious effects such as loss of consciousness, broken bones, bruises, blood in the urine, open and thus soon festering wounds up to ingenious restraints or sadistic procedures: constant stay under headlights, in the long run Darkness or in cold or flooded cells for weeks; Furthermore, metal needles under the fingernails, burns from cigarettes, immersion in ice-cold water, joint dislocations, etc.

today dominate z. B. Beatings on the soles of the feet with whips (also made of barbed wire), pulling out nails, burning of body parts with cigarette embers and hot plates, furthermore electric shocks (temples, nipples, penis), solitary confinement in sound-isolated cells, rape (also of men), Faking shootings (but also silent or open requests to flee in order to be able to actually shoot), among other things

There are also many variations: B. eat your own hair or excrement, drink your own urine, restraint in painful postures, hanging on arms or legs for hours, other forms of electric torture (see above), inserting objects into the urethra and rectum, urinating in the mouth, etc.

The sadistic ones are remarkable, by the way Designations the individual torture methods: repeated blows to the ears: "telephone", submerging almost to suffocation, also in stinking liquids, not infrequently mixed with urine and excrement: "submarine", the tying of hands and feet on the back and inside then hang up this position: "swing" or "parrot swing" etc.

Acutely grueling and often used as a targeted weapon of destruction - real or simulated - is also listening to the screams of other prisoners ("can you hear your friend ...?"). In the long term, the permanent threat of death, the defenseless and unlawful being surrendered to a merciless will to destroy without justification and involvement in any kind of guilt, is painful. For some it is a relief if they can fall back on it, but for many it is also painful because of the lack of ideological meaning for this suffering, as it can at least give support to political or religious victims.

For a long time the certainty that the whole thing is not limited in time, but will only end with the most likely physical annihilation (relieving fear, which can ultimately lead to a longing for death), was unbelievable. So you have to be happy about the daily agony that you can at least spend alive.

Particularly grueling in the long term is the fact that everything happens without intermediate relief (with the exception of the short breaks mentioned, which are used specifically as "fear intervals"). In this way, the victims have no way of catching themselves again at least on the lowest vegetative level and of regenerating something.

Torturers - what kind of people are they?

On the motivation and nature of the torturer There are not many well-founded investigations beyond individual descriptions that could be obtained from a larger collective of perpetrators. Many go into hiding. Others may be caught and sentenced without being reported in detail. Quite a few remain unmolested and do not attract attention in any way, if not positively ("good family father", "friendly neighbor", "inconspicuous employee" etc.). Details on this would lead too far here, but two aspects should be pointed out:

It is important to know that it is not only the brutal, but also the "friendly torturer"who appears to intervene compassionately to help the tortured person, who shows understanding, be it through words or deeds. Yet they all have the same goal: to destroy the victim's integrity, to expel him from the community by giving him through various torture methods takes his basic trust in humanity and lets it become astray in society.The person concerned should only be absorbed by mistrust, fear, the feeling of humiliation, being ostracized and self-rejection - until the end of his life.

From an organizational point of view, there should be indications that knowledge about "modern methods of torture" and their effectiveness is passed on among appropriate circles, so that there is a kind of "international of torturers with further training opportunities".

This is less necessary for the physical side of the torture, which is also done by primitive characters, but for psychological training, since the victim's psyche is supposed to be destroyed in order to ensure a devastating long-term effect.

Consequences of physical torture

The physical consequences of torture are either clearly of an organic-traumatic nature (from the Greek: trauma = wound, in the figurative sense also used for psychological destruction) or psycho-somatically interpretable (psychological disturbances, e.g. through torture, express themselves somatically, i.e. physically, without demonstrable organic finding, which does not change the cause and consequences). It is not uncommon for one thing to lead to another.

The most common are constant headaches and usually changing heart problems, as well as shortness of breath, dizziness, sleep disorders, nightmares, surveillance right up to "annoying" overexcitability, etc.

The most common objectifiable examination findings after torture relate to scars, restricted mobility, walking difficulties, tooth damage, eardrum and eye injuries. Often also a chronically increased muscle tension with corresponding pain due to the tension of the muscles.

Often there are no traces at all, but persistent pain. Now the pain has become "embodied memory".

The following is an (incomplete) list of the most common consequences of torture, on the one hand in a psychosomatic and on the other hand in a purely physical area. In detail:

Psychosomatic consequences of torture

The consequences of torture that can be interpreted psychosomatically include, for example

- Exhaustion with an increased susceptibility to diseases, especially infections.

- sleep disorders with nightmares and crying out at night.

- Vegetative disorders with tremors, sweating, dizziness, in addition ringing in the ears, panting breathing, etc.

- Heart trouble with palpitations, palpitations, palpitations, heart pressure, high blood pressure and others.

- Feelings of pressure on the chest, feeling of lump in the throat (difficulty swallowing, tightness - see globus feeling), amount of breath, etc.

- Gastrointestinal disorders: mainly diarrhea, but also constipation, ulcers, biliary problems, plus hemorrhoids, bladder disorders, etc.

- Pain in any form and localization: head, shoulder, back and joint pain and, in women, abdominal pain, wandering pain, etc. m.

- Muscle tension on the jaw joints, neck muscles ("the fear in the neck"), shoulder-arm area (and thus often tension headaches) and on the back. This can lead to movement disorders in the upper head and cervical joints and trigger a vicious circle. However, building up tension is often the only way for the victim to "contain impotent anger", otherwise senseless states of excitement and breakthroughs of violence occur. In addition, the increase in tension in the muscles during the torture was the best protection against being beaten. And this tension continues to work as if the ordeal would last forever.

Objective torture results

The most common long-term or lifelong objectifiable consequences of such torture methods include:

Characteristic scars from electric current; Eardrum perforations caused by the (often two-handed) blows to the ears with the typical arrangement of the eardrum holes as in a pop trauma; Corresponding scars from stab wounds, restraints (e.g. on the wrist), from burning cigarettes, hot plates, pushing hot plastic, from objects under fingernails and toenails, restricted movement due to constrained postures in low rooms or mini cages with painful changes in joints and muscles; Head injuries after hanging up (also head down) with sudden dropping and repeated blows to the head up to bleeding into the cerebral cortex; Tears in the subcutaneous tissue due to hunger or participation in hunger strikes; Numerous bruises of different colors (and thus age) due to the corresponding force, which can even make dialysis (blood washing) necessary because too much protein floods the kidneys.

Characteristic scars also leave scalds and bite wounds (animal and even human bites, whereby salt is sometimes sprinkled into the wounds), etc.

In some regions, pain in the calves and feet, burning soles and discomfort when walking are extremely typical. This is the result of the beating on the soles of the feet (so-called falanga): The tissue structures of the calves, especially the soles of the feet, are destroyed by strong swellings in the acute phase after the torture. And even later, the fat pads under the soles are significantly reduced. The tendons of the soles can hardly be tensed anymore, the big toes can be overstretched.

Mental torture consequences

The mental injuries are usually more serious and long-term than the physical ones. They act like a "foreign body" ("it is as if there is a foreign body in the soul"). This foreign body absorbs a large part of the psychological energy, which means above all a sense of well-being, joie de vivre and creative power. Therefore, a person who has been traumatized accordingly has to use a lot of strength to keep this "internal foreign body" away from his conscious self-image.

The most common mental, psychosocial and psychosomatic complaints are:

Rushed fatigue, rapid mental and physical exhaustion, memory and concentration disorders, declining memory and attention, mental instability up to uncontrollable sentimentality, embarrassing absent-mindedness, strange drowsiness, constant tension, restlessness and nervousness, irritability, even aggressiveness (see below), states of fear in any form, floating or phobic, d. H. Compulsively related to certain things or memories, in addition restlessness, instability in the mood, depressive-disaffected states, persistent brooding tendency, abnormally increased memory, but only of terrible scenes of persecution and others.

In addition, dreams of disaster, feelings of decline, worthlessness and isolation.

Memory disorders or specific memory gaps as well as a narrowing of vitality and drive up to adynamic-depressive permanent disgruntlement (also referred to as "chronic reactive depression", actually a contradiction in terms, should explain here, however, that a specific trigger of a duration -Depression maintains).

Interpersonal consequences

The reduced ability to actively shape one's life leads above all to serious irritations in the interpersonal and social area. The basic attitude is a dull sadness with an immovable attachment to the humiliations and horrors experienced. Situation-related phobic fears (obsessive-compulsive fears) with a peculiar fearfulness can be a hindrance to embarrassment, even in the face of harmless events. In detail:

- Permanent readiness to fear with sudden attacks of severe anxiety. Even when the waking consciousness knows that it is free from fear, they can break through into nightmares. Are particularly grueling

- flash back phenomena: Suddenly obtrusive, as it were attack-like, terrible images and thoughts from previous torture situations, sometimes so vividly as if the past trauma was actually being repeated, accompanied by corresponding emotional and above all physical fear reactions (tremors, sweats, states of anxiety, restlessness and excitement, etc. .).

- Situational phobic fears: partly understandable (e.g. fear of uniforms or so-called bell phobia ("I am constantly afraid of being arrested again"), but also triggered by the smell of sweat, clicking noises (unlocking a firearm), screams of horror and even screams of joy, red Color, vomit, etc.). They all lead to the outbreak of old "shock sensations", with original violence - of course completely surprising and incomprehensible for the environment. Often associated with a peculiar and above all embarrassing jumpiness, even in response to harmless events that only vaguely recall experiences of persecution (gunshots, car horns, engine and stair noises, knocking, etc.).

Circumscribed, compulsive fears also force people to avoid large gatherings of people, going to the cinema or the theater, or at least require "escape-secured" corner places from which the outdoors can be reached immediately.

- Persistent anxious state of tension with corresponding psychosomatic consequences (see this), with inner restlessness, agility, fearfulness, even typical posture.

- Compulsive brooding with agonizing circles of thought ("Ponder", "Study"), sometimes with a photographic clarity of memory for stressful scenes.

- Depression (which does not have to mean the same as depression - see this), but rather: deprivation of vital forces, chronic fearfulness, loss of concentration, inability to be cheerful and enjoyable, lack of initiative, paralysis, withdrawn, turned away from one's own emotional world, unable to feel oneself , which is why those affected also appear burned out, empty and jaded.

- Irritable detunability: moody, irritable, difficult to control mood swings with possibly short-term, uncontrollable irascible and agitated states as well as aggressive breakthroughs with violence against others (beat around, but often absent-mindedly, and can then no longer remember it) as well as against oneself (self-harm - or even risk of suicide).

- Paralysis: nothing comes close to the feeling, not the bad, not the good news. Complete dulling of all feelings up to the point of inner emptiness ("inside like dead").

- Initiativelessness: no drive, depressive-adynamic, dull-resigned, inhibited, despondent, up to apathetic withdrawal and thus the danger of loneliness and isolation ("joyless retreat").

- restlessness: "Inner turmoil" is nowhere to be found, in no apartment, in any city, in any country. Sometimes apathy and restlessness are combined, which is particularly weary ("irritable weakness", "driven apathy").

- Loss of concentration and drop in performance: Memory and concentration disorders, forgetfulness, rapid exhaustion, so that performance deficiencies on the mental, interpersonal, finally physical, professional, etc. Area.

- Inability to enjoy: everything has become stale and meaningless, consistently negatively clouded attitudes with a corresponding vicious circle.

- Question of meaning and self-confidence: important, but for outsiders elusive stress factor with long-term consequences. The hard fate and the "emptying of meaning" associated with it are part of the compulsion to brood, which deals with questions about the meaning of existence and the continued existence of life. Added to this is the destroyed self-confidence, a characteristic of many persecuted fates (but, for example, almost never a problem for the persecutor!).

Special aspects of the torture fates

Finally, I would like to briefly touch on some special aspects of the torture fate that comes up again and again and is difficult to understand for outsiders. In detail:

- Destruction of the mental and physical unity: The reality of torture eludes comprehension, even for the person concerned, in retrospect, the reflection in thinking, understanding and evaluating, since the core of the personality has been fundamentally shaken. The physical and mental unity of the human being is profoundly disturbed by the torture. The victim no longer trusts himself. Anger and hatred are directed against themselves. You want to punish yourself, harm yourself, no longer feel your body, reject it as a foreign body (see above). "It is as if people were being expelled from themselves."

- Mental peculiarities of the sensation of pain: Emotional (i.e. especially psychosomatic) and organic (post-traumatic) pain sensations reinforce each other. In addition, there is the alienation "between head and body", between the spiritual and the physical. This "combined pain" and its countless discomforts below the pain threshold (with by no means less of a loss) are experienced as a "devouring monster". This threatens a disastrous avoidance behavior, one of the main characteristics after extreme trauma.

Because those who feel pain can no longer think clearly and draw conclusions, in the end they can no longer even remember the terrible thing. This means that an important, but also momentous, displacement mechanism is programmed. The more those affected concentrate on their pain perception and, over time, show a pronounced multilayered pain behavior, including the corresponding pain expectation, the more reliably the repression of the experience functions.

- Partner episodes: If both partners were tortured, this can also destroy the relationship. So it happens B. to mutual accusations regarding power and helplessness, to a cruel game of who has experienced more terrible experiences of both, to ascribing torture methods to the other, to mutual unfulfillable demands on understanding and care, to the loss of the ability to love, both of which try to sue each other. The end result: often separation or even divorce.

- Disorders of body experience: The torture victims no longer feel at home in their bodies. They are hostile to him, they no longer like each other. They feel unattractive, often only experience themselves through pain, restlessness, tremors, i. H. about the derailed physical track. They see their scars and other traces of injuries, feel deformed and feel that they have lost their mobility, strength and attraction.

It gets even worse when those affected experience themselves "fragmented": This can lead to an emotional separation of body parts. The natural connections between head, arms and legs and the rest of the body are no longer perceived. There is no longer any emotional connection between the individual parts of the body. Everything is as if frozen or frozen, you no longer have a feeling for the limits of your own organism. You survived death, but now you are "in life like dead".

- Psychosis-like states are mainly possible through solitary confinement and suppression of sensory perception. So z. B. blindfolded before, during and after torture promote psychosis-like conditions (as in the case of a mental illness, e.g. schizophrenia) (similar to the experiences of people after eye surgery with subsequent covering of the eyes for several days).

- Shame-injuring torture methods are those who serve less to confess and more to dissolve personal identity ("what kind of person must I be that something like this could happen to me"). The greater the enormity and the more fragile the remains of identity, the stronger the impression of untrustworthiness ("you won't believe them anyway, you will consider them insane and put them in a madhouse", prophesy the torturers themselves).

- Unconsciousness and the Consequences: Clouding of consciousness or even unconsciousness are relatively common, partly due to extreme breathing (hyperventilation = pathological panting) out of fear or pain, partly due to the corresponding force on the head and neck.

- Deficiency Syndrome through protein, vitamin or calorie deficiency with corresponding effects, partly through targeted starvation, but also through hunger strike. The consequences are mostly organic, but also emotional and spiritual (edematous cerebral lesions = "brain swelling").

What's next?

The time of torture is an extreme stress, the time after it is no less severe, as the emotional, psychosocial, psychosomatically interpretable and physical consequences prove. But there are other burdens, insults, humiliations, frustrations and thus new traumas. In detail:

If the torture regime persists and the victim cannot flee abroad, he will end up in anyway "Freedom without freedom". He is not allowed to accuse, not even to complain, has to remain silent and tolerate, otherwise he will be arrested and tortured again. The relatives and friends also have to remain silent and thus find themselves in a strange complicity with the torturers, which puts them under considerable strain. Therefore, quite a few react with discomfort, withdrawal, even hidden accusations or aggressiveness.

If the victim can flee abroad, he becomes an asylum seeker. This raises problems of its own, as anyone who deals with such fates knows.

But even if the regime overthrows or is replaced and the victims could grow up to be heroes and idols as former resistance fighters, only a few get their money's worth. Usually other problems are then in the foreground, e.g. B. Reconstruction, democratization, new alliances. For one Reflection on the past there is often no more time - or desire. Ultimately, all citizens now see themselves as victims. The attitude of the population z. B. towards the resistance victims is rather ambivalent. It seems to be the same in all nations. After all, it reminds of what was (and what one has adapted to, e.g. also due to a lack of courage). It seems to be a general phenomenon that the victims of an authoritarian regime are not popular because they keep the guilty conscience of the silent majority alive.

Also play here too psychological factors a role: As a resistance fighter you stand out from the crowd, are admired for your courage, and you can feel in a tradition of historical heroes. That gives strength and identity. When the restoration begins after the fall of the regime, this aura disappears and you become part of the great mass.

After that, in a society that has perhaps become pluralistic in the meantime, you can only get your rights if you organize your interests and vocalize them loudly. Interestingly, the interest groups of the former perpetrators understand this better in many cases than those of the victims, who at best organize themselves in divided victim associations - and above all suffer from a decline in membership. That is bitter. The "afterwards" is therefore often not what one hoped for. More like continued humiliation or even agony on another level.

A Failure to acknowledge torture and its consequences is a renewed traumatisation, whereby society in the eyes of the person concerned is more on the side of the perpetrator by denying or playing down what has happened. Also the Impunity for the perpetrators of an injustice regime, d. H. The news of the acquittal of former henchmen by the judiciary in the country, which has now become democratic again, therefore led to violent reactions among the surviving victims. Convictions are a part of justice and satisfaction. Even if the impunity is legally founded, for whatever reason, it drives those affected into incomprehension, resignation and impotent anger, even if one tries to understand it ("we wanted justice and got the rule of law").

Obviously there can be no absolute justice. The process of overcoming many traumas is not free from human tragedies, as would otherwise be deleted from any script, "because it is unrealistic in this form ...". The social climate is moving in the direction of repression and denial, "so that peace returns". For the masses, it may be better for general calmness and stimulation of reconstruction. For those affected it is a constant thorn in the flesh.

Therapy and rehabilitation - an arduous undertaking

Nevertheless, it is important to create a basis that prevents the victims from falling into the abyss into which torture has already dropped them. This is particularly important for those affected who belong to a completely different culture. This is where the general and official misunderstanding is greatest (and easiest?). Simple arguments are often used here, including suspicion of self-mutilation or ritually inflicted wounds in scars that cannot or will not be explained otherwise.

Here, too, the "modern", psychologically applied torture methods are most effective, because they are the least likely to be imitated and proven. The absurd sentence in itself also applies here: the greater the monstrosity described, the stronger the impression of unbelievability. This is the tragedy of many victims and the torturers speculate on it ("they will be considered crazy ...").

The more diverse the symptoms and their causes, the more difficult it is treatment. Many (most?) Sufferers do not seek treatment at all because they fear that they will not be able to cope with the resuscitation of previous experiences. Others would be grateful for treatment or at least care, but they cannot find anyone who is trained for it and who takes on this difficult task. It should also be remembered that healing is practically impossible. The therapeutic optimum is to alleviate mental, physical and psychosocial problems in order to be able to resume a life that is halfway worth living.

The much practiced treatment with psychotropic drugs (mostly sedatives, sleeping pills and painkillers) - practiced on its own - only leads to unsatisfactory results in the long term. But it is also not completely wrong, especially if there are no other treatment options available and also makes sense as a second treatment pillar in justified cases. More important, however, are specific psychotherapy and appropriate sociotherapeutic corrections and aids.

Details would lead too far here, but are considered to be Basic treatment: 1. Knowing listening about individual problems; 2. Therapy of fear and the disorders associated with it (see emotional and psychosocial consequences of torture) and 3. Restoration of personality.

The mere fact that the tormented patient knows that a knowledgeable therapist knows his story of suffering and, above all, recognizes it, i.e. also perceives the consequences and late effects as such and remains available when the person concerned (once again) with his mental and physical reserves at the end is that he can speak to someone about the unspeakable, that the other everyday consequences are also accepted (interpersonal, partnership, professional), offers a certain guarantee to see a reasonably decent existence for the rest of life.

However, there are only a few Education, training and further education opportunities and especially Treatment centers for the doctors, psychologists, social workers, nurses, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, etc.

In Germany, only a few treatment centers for victims of torture have started their work so far. B. Berlin, Munich, Ulm. There are also a number of experts who work at university and other clinics, but are not employed full-time for this. The specialized treatment centers, in turn, usually have to constantly fear for their existence, even if they are supported by ministries, the UN, the EU, the Red Cross, companies, foundations, private individuals, etc. Although the relevant institutions (UN, European Parliament, German Medical Association, German Red Cross, etc.) have set things in motion, the problem has not only humanitarian but also political dimensions, which, as is well known, do not always complement each other ideally.

Caring for victims of torture is and will remain above all a human task for each and every one of us. There is a need.


There is actually no lack of specialist literature, nor of generally understandable representations (see below).More in interest. Who wants to burden themselves with something like this - and above all permanently. Most likely after spectacular events, e.g. B. wars, revolutions, military coups, expulsions, possibly individual fates. But always media-directed, i. H. short-term, spectacular - and then slowing down again until completely ignored ("yesterday's news").

Therefore, only a few German-language references from earlier times (e.g. concentration camp episodes) as well as more recent titles (good literature overviews at the respective treatment centers for torture victims, e.g. Berlin, Munich, Ulm) are given below.

Amnesty International: Who succumbed to torture. Fischer-TB-Verlag, Frankfurt 1985

Arce, L.: The hell. Verlag Hamburger Ed, 2001

Baeyer, W. v. and co-workers: Psychiatry of the persecuted. Springer-Verlag, Berlin-Göttingen-Heidelberg 1964

Behnke, K., J. Fuchs (Eds.): Decomposition of the soul. Rotbuch-Verlag, Hamburg 1995

Faust, V.: Chronic reactive depression. Health damage after imprisonment and persecution. In: V. Faust, G. Hole (Ed.): Depressionen. Hippokrates-Verlag, Stuttgart 1983

Fischer, G., P. Riedesser: Psychotraumatology textbook. Reinhardt-Verlag, Munich 1998 (there detailed new references)

Graessner, S. and co-workers.: torture. Publishing house C.H. Beck, Munich 1996 (here detailed bibliography)

Hepker, W.-W.: Long-term consequences of extreme living conditions. Springer-Verlag, Berlin-Heidelberg-New York 1974

Herberg, H. J. (Ed.): Late damage after extreme exposure. Nicolaische Verlagsbuchhandlung, Herford 1971

Matussek, P. and coworkers.: The concentration camp imprisonment and its consequences. Springer-Verlag, Berlin-Heidelberg-New York 1971

Netherlands, W. G .: Consequences of the persecution. Survivor Syndrome - Soul Murder. Suhrkamp-Verlag, Frankfurt 1980

Paul, H., H. J. Herberg: Late psychological damage after political persecution. Karger-Verlag, Berlin-New York 1967

Peters, U. H.: The persecuted syndrome. In: V. Faust (Hrsg.): Psychiatrie - A textbook for clinic, practice and counseling. Gustav Fischer-Verlag, Stuttgart-Jena-New York 1996

Peters, U. H, V. Faust: The survivor syndrome. Health damage after persecution, imprisonment and torture. In: V. Faust (Hrsg.): Psychiatrie - A textbook for clinic, practice and advice. Gustav Fischer-Verlag, Stuttgart-Jena-New York 1996

Rauchfleisch, U. (Ed.): Torture: violence against people. Paulus Verlag, Zurich 1991

Rauter, E.A.: Torture Past and Present. Eichborn-Verlag, Frankfurt 1988

Reich-Ranicki, M.: Between dictatorship and literature. S. Fischer-Verlag, Frankfurt 1993

Schenck, E. G., E. v. Nathusius: Extreme living conditions and their consequences. Volumes 1 to 8, Association of Returnees, Bad Godesberg 1958 to 1964

Schenck, E. G.: The human misery in the XX. century. Nicolaische Verlagsbuchhandlung, Herford 1965

Schulz-Hageleit, P. (Ed.): Everyday life, power, torture. Patmos-Verlag, Düsseldorf 1989

Stoffels, H. (Ed.): Terror landscapes of the soul. Roderer-Verlag, Regensburg 1994

Timerman, J.: We roared inside. S. Fischer-Verlag, Frankfurt 1982

Venzlaff, U.: The psychological disorders after events requiring compensation. Springer-Verlag, Berlin-Heidelberg-New York 1958

Wicker, H.-R.: The language of extreme violence. University of Bern, Institute for Social Anthropology, Bern 1993

Wirtz, U.: Soul murder, incest and therapy. Kreuz-Verlag, Stuttgart 2001

Wurzer, B.: The post-traumatic organic psychosyndrome. University Press, Vienna 1992