• Lucid Dreaming - Dream Views

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    1. #1
      Join Date
      Sep 2022

      The Third Reich of Dreams

      Interesting review of a book by a woman living under the Third Reich. She collected and collated people's dreams during the period, most of which touched on what was happening in the political sphere and how it affected them.

      My grandparents and father were refugees from Czechoslovakia, fleeing first to Holland and then, eventually, to Australia, so it's quite relevant to my experience.

      Here's the link, together with the first two paragraphs. The book is currently out of print, but you can find a PDF on the web if you search around a bit:


      Not long after Hitler came to power, in 1933, a thirty-year-old woman in Berlin had a series of uncanny dreams. In one, her neighborhood had been stripped of its usual signs, which were replaced with posters that listed twenty verboten words; the first was “Lord” and the last was “I.” In another, the woman found herself surrounded by workers, including a milkman, a gasman, a newsagent, and a plumber. She felt calm, until she spied among them a chimney sweep. (In her family, the German word for “chimney sweep” was code for the S.S., a nod to the trade’s blackened clothing.) The men brandished their bills and performed a Nazi salute. Then they chanted, “Your guilt cannot be doubted.”

      These are two of about seventy-five dreams collected in “The Third Reich of Dreams,” a strange, enthralling book by the writer Charlotte Beradt. Neither scientific study nor psychoanalytic text, “The Third Reich of Dreams” is a collective diary, a witness account hauled out of a nation’s shadows and into forensic light. The book was released, in Germany, in 1966; an English translation, by Adriane Gottwald, was published two years later but has since fallen out of print. (Despite ongoing interest from publishers, no one has been able to find Beradt’s heir, who holds the rights.) But the book deserves revisiting, not just because we see echoes today of the populism, racism, and taste for surveillance that were part of Beradt’s time but because there’s nothing else like it in the literature of the Holocaust. “These dreams—these diaries of the night—were conceived independently of their authors’ conscious will,” Beradt writes. “They were, so to speak, dictated to them by dictatorship.”
      Last edited by WanderAbout; 10-02-2022 at 05:33 AM.

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