One of Sigmund Freud's classic case studies. We learn a lot about transference and counter-transference in the psychoanalytic setting from her experience, although it's unclear whether Freud really ever got a clue.

Dora was a young intelligent bourgeoise Jewish woman in her late teens, who was suffering from hysteria.

Her family was friendly with a married couple; Dora's father was having an affair with the wife, which the husband was willing to tolerate if he could have Dora for himself. Freud saw her unwillingess to acquiesce as unreasonable, and her disinclination to continue psychoanalytic treatment with him as further evidence of her pathological refusal to see that it was all for her own good.

Please don't get me wrong - I have immense respect for Freud as a theoretician and social thinker, but I don't think I'd like him to be my therapist.

"Dora" is the accepted nickname for Freud's first published case study, Fragment of an Analysis of a Case of Hysteria. In fact, the name "Dora" is itself a moniker used to protect the identity of Freud's actual patient, Ida Bauer.1

Fragment of an Analysis of a Case of Hysteria was published in 1905, even though Dora's eleven week treatment occurred in October of 1900. Freud claimed to have written the case study immediately following the treatment, but left it unpublished for various reasons.1

As the title says, Dora was suffering from an acute case of hysteria. Hysteria was a general term physicians at the time used for unexplained manifestations of physical ailments, which they generally attributed to various maladies such as stress and overwork. It was also a diagnosis usually reserved for woman.2 As with other conditions based on gross conjecture and pseudo-scientific bullshit, it was widely misdiagnosed.

The Dora case itself reads like a cheesy soap opera, with affairs and counter-affairs and crushes and flirtations and all sorts of pathetic interrelations between a mind-twirling cast of characters.

It's all pretty boring.

The meat and potatoes is Freud's discovery of transference. At an advanced point in the treatment, Dora falls in love with Freud. However, Freud fails to recognize this and she misreads his physician's detachment as an emotional rejection, and summarily breaks off the treatment. Thus the Dora case ends in failure.

Afterwards Freud did a bump or two of cocaine3 and realized that transference had occurred. He goes on to state that it is an inevitable stage in psychoanalysis. Tranference is an affect of most power-based relationships, which is why it also occurs in pedagogy and politics.4

Much later still, Freud realized that transference can act like theatre for many patients - a free realm to act in ways they normally wouldn't. This is a good thing, because it allows deeply repressed traumatic memories to become conscious through repetition, or the acting out of an original, repressed memory in a present circumstance - like a player does in a play, acting out the same role over and over. Once the analyst recognizes this, it's up to them to guide the analysand toward making the connection between their new, acted out memory and the original trauma. They have to see the original pain. Once the connection is made, the repressed memory is safely released and the analysand is said to be cured. This is what the later Freud means when he says that psychoanalysis is about filling in the gaps - the gaps of memory.

In Dora's case, Freud speculated that her unconscious goal was to feel rejected by him so that she could then reject him in turn. In this way she would act out her original traumatic experience: she was molested by a family friend when she was 14 and then fell in love with the molester, only to be rejected by him. Hence, her falling in love with Freud was a repetition of her love for the molester (the man in power), and her subsequent rejection of Freud was a wish-fulfillment for revenge against the original rejecting molester.

Unfortunately Dora left treatment before realizing this connection, and hence went uncured.

1Publishing case studies was an ethical conundrum in Freud's time. While many valued its contributions to science, they also realized that any betrayal of the trusted doctor-patient confidence would erode their profession. It was such a heated issue that Freud felt compelled to open "Fragment of an Analysis of a Case of Hysteria" with a five-page explanation ("Prefatory Remarks"). He still drew considerable criticism despite using an assumed name for his patient ("Dora").

2For a vivid coeval account of a woman misdiagnosed with "hysteria," see Why I wrote the Yellow Wallpaper? and The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman.

3I'm not kidding. He actually wrote a whole essay about his experiences with cocaine (On Cocaine). Ok, I was kidding about him using coke when he discovered transference. I really don't know if he did or didn't use it then.

4Ever wonder why your forty something professor turned you on so much? Or why politicians sleep with every intern in sight? It's all about the nature of the relationship, of transference and counter-transference.

Source: The Freud Reader, edited by Peter Gay.

The annual competition to choose the Croatian representative for the Eurovision Song Contest. Few entrants go to as much trouble as the Croatians, whose national final is an event on the Croatian pop calendar in its own right and one of the most elaborate staging-posts in the run-up to Eurovision.

With no official singles chart, music promotion in Croatia depends on airplay, backed up by a year-round array of festivals of which the Dora - always on a Sunday in early March - is among the earliest. The largest of these events feature up to 50 songs over two or three nights; Dora line-ups are anywhere between 20 and 26 strong, but have still been known to be larger than the Eurovisions they select for.

The first Dora took place in 1993, the first year Croatia was eligible to take part in Eurovision. The country has competed every year thereafter, avoiding the relegation introduced for low-scoring countries since the former Eastern bloc countries began to participate. Unlike them, Croatia's Eurovision experience dates back to 1963 when Vice Vukov supplied the republic's first entry for Yugoslavia, winning the Jugovizija competition to which the Dora is a successor.

The Dora has traditionally been held in the old Austro-Hungarian resort of Opatija, on the Adriatic coast, taking over the Hotel Kvarner's elegant Crystal Ballroom for the weekend. More recently, it has moved to a television studio in the capital Zagreb, but returns to Opatija for 2003, when it will stretch over three nights and be intermingled with Croatia's national music awards and the Miss Croatia pageant.

Throughout the 1990s, the Dora was organised by HRT's Head of Light Entertainment, Ksenija Urličić, notoriously implicated in the Miss Croatia scandal of 1998. Just as synonymous with the festival was the impresario and manager Tonči Huljić, who has provided the classical girlband Bond with a number of songs.

Huljić's own band Magazin, veterans of the Yugoslavian and Croatian pop scenes since 1983, have six Dora appearances under their belt, and were joined by at least a couple of their labelmates from his record company Tonika every year. Huljić and his lyricist wife Vjekoslava, who used to write children's books instead, supplied four of Croatia's ten Eurovision entries, more than any other songwriting team.

However, he appears to have abandoned the Dora after refusing to prune Magazin's four-and-a-half-minute 2002 entry to the three-minute maximum imposed by the European Broadcasting Union, responsible for Eurovision, to avoid the thing going on for five hours. And we can't be having that.

Indeed, hardly a Dora goes past without a whiff of scandal. In 1999 Ivana Banfić alleged that her entry had been thrown out of consideration because it would interfere with pop legend Doris Dragović's chances of winning; she made it through two years later, only to pull out at the last minute because she was not allowed to perform in English. The eventual winner, Vanna, duly burst into English after the middle eight.

For several years, Dora entries also had to be submitted under (occasionally transparent) pseudonyms, a rule which saw 1996 winner Maja Blagdan disqualified in 2001 when she revealed to the press too early that she would be singing her song. The requirement was abolished for 2003, as has the prohibition on so-called debutants, restricting the Dora to artists who had already released at least one CD.

The debutants ban was intended to attract a higher class of star to the Dora after the 2000 final ended up composed mostly of unknown singers, but instead threatened to turn the festival into the Grand Central Station of Croatia's comeback trail.

2003 also saw the Dora spread over a whole weekend with two preliminary semi-finals, as HRT attempted to cut the cost of one of their flagship events by running it together with the annual Porin music awards and Croatia's choice of a contestant for Miss Universe. In common with a number of other national preselections, the winner was to be decided entirely by a public televote.

In the hope of provoking some press coverage for what was coming to be seen as a rather tired old festival, the line-up of 24 included a ska-punk band, Kawasaki 3P, who recouped the desired headlines but didn't particularly trouble the scoreboard.

Dora winners to date:

Dora is one of the most infamous of the Nazi slave-labor camps. Its infamy partly derives from its underground weapons factory, where slaves of the Third Reich manufactured the V1 "flying bomb" and, most importantly, Wernher von Braun's V2 ballistic missile. Dora is situated about 7 km from the town Nordhausen at the foot of the Harz mountains in central Germany (formerly DDR). In 1995 Dora was reopened as a memorial to its victims, mainly Polish, Russian and French slave laborers. Parts and components of V1 and V2 can still be seen lying around in the caves of the Dora KZ memorial (KZ = German abbreviation of Concentration Camp).

Underground mine

Officially named Mittelbau/Mittelwerk Dora Concentration Camp, the Dora V-bomb-manufacturing facilities were housed in huge underground caves in the Kohnstein hill, with two tunnels, about a kilometer long and some 17 m high and wide, connected by 48 smaller tunnels. The caves were originally the result of peacetime mining of "anhydrite", a raw material for ammonia. In the 1930s they were enlarged and used for storage of strategically important raw materials.

Bombproof factory

In 1943 the rocket development work in Peenemünde on the German Baltic coast, led by Wernher von Braun and others, had been successful enough to convince the Nazi leadership of the feasibility of using the A4 rocket (later renamed V2 -- "Vergeltungswaffe 2" = Vengeance Weapon 2) for terror bombing of England. It was decided to produce the weapon in large numbers, about 2000 rockets a month.

A special committee, Sonderausschuss A4, wisely decided to decentralize the production, planning to make the A4 rocket on 3 different sites -- Friedrichshafen (Zeppelin Werke), Wiener-Neustadt (Rax Werke) and at Dora (Mittelwerk GmbH). Wise as it may have been, this decision had to be quickly reconsidered, after the devastating Allied bombings in August 1943 of Friedrichshafen, Wiener-Neustadt and the rocket development site at Peenemünde. At the end of August 1943 it was consequently decided to produce A4 only at Dora Mittelwerk, leaving the responsibility for building and running the production facilities into the harsh hands of the SS.

Under strict SS direction

Construction was carried out by prisoners from the concentration camp Buchenwald. A camp to house the prisoners was set up, under the name of "Lager Dora". The construction was lead by an SS-Brigadeführer, Dr.-Ing. Hans Kammler.

The actual production company was called "Mittelwerk GmbH". In November 1943 it started manufacturing the A4 rockets, which less than a year later would hit thousands of innocents in London under their new name V2. Production work was carried out by forcibly "recruited" workers of many nationalities from German-occupied territories, mainly from Poland, Russia and later from France. Until its capture by the US 104th Infantry Division in April 1945, an estimated 60 000 prisoners had been forced to labor at Dora. A third of these died of maltreatment and SS executions.

Not extermination, just certain death

Dora was not an extermination camp like Auschwitz or Treblinka, just hell on earth, with no way to go, but out of the crematory chimney. No inmate would ever be allowed to leave Dora alive. The 12-hour-a-day work conditions were appalling, with systematic executions to discourage sabotage. The capacity of the Dora crematory was about 100 bodies a day. This was not always sufficient to take care of the daily death toll, making it necessary to transport corpses to Buchenwald by train for burning.

With the Allied forces closing in, the camp was evacuated and the SS left Dora on April 8, 1945. The evacuees, the main part of the inmates, were forced on to other concentration camps, often perishing in horrible death marches. But some 6000 inmates, who were in no condition to walk, were simply left to die. When the US 104th Infantry Division arrived on April 11, the American soldiers were met by a terrible sight - thousands of skeleton-like corpses, with a few half-dead survivors clinging to the dead.

A memorial –- but not before the Soviet collapse.

The Russians, who occupied the territory according to the Potsdam agreement, and later the East German authorities, were characteristically insensitive to the tragedy, even restarting anhydrite mining at the site. It was not until the German reunification that the site was put under the protection of "Denkmalschutz" (Memorial Site Protection). On the 50th anniversary of the liberation of the Dora concentration camp, the Dora Memorial and Museum were opened to the public.

On site visit by noder

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