The History of Stockholm Syndrome

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BBC News has published a piece by Kathryn Westcott on the history of Stockholm syndrome.  As Westcott points out, the term was first coined in reference to a six-day bank siege in the city of Stockholm in 1973.

It was 23 August 1973 when the four were taken hostage in the Kreditbanken by 32-year-old career-criminal Jan-Erik Olsson – who was later joined at the bank by a former prison mate. Six days later when the stand-off ended, it became evident that the victims had formed some kind of positive relationship with their captors.
Stockholm Syndrome was born by way of explanation.
The phrase was reported to have been coined by criminologist and psychiatrist Nils Bejerot. Psychiatrist Dr Frank Ochberg was intrigued by the phenomenon and went on to define the syndrome for the FBI and Scotland Yard in the 1970s.

  1. How is this any different than the common sense/ psychoanalytic conception of “Identification with the Aggressor”? For instance see how conception was deployed by Walter Langer in his renowned report on Hitler’s mind, as described here: http://clarespark.com/2009/12/13/klara-hitlers-son-and-jewish-blood/. “Klara Hitler’s Son and Jewish blood.”

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