The War Hotel
Psychological Dynamics in Violent Conflict by Arlene Audergon
War frames our lives. We live, as Billy Bragg (1985) put it, “Between the Wars”; or we live during wars, or after wars; or we live in terror of the threat of war; or get passionately aroused into war. We may watch helplessly as TV news shows us events of horror and violence overseas; on 19th June this year New Zealanders watched video on TV3 News of Kiwi troops under fire in Afghanistan, recorded on a soldier’s helmet-cam. Recent events unfolded once more on TVNZ with gut-wrenching inevitability: I watched as two soldiers were killed, and four injured. The survivors probably will return home traumatised. My interest in reviewing The War Hotel was personal: my grandfather fought in the First World War, my father in the Second World War. I served in the Israeli Defense Force, 1965-1967, and soon felt appalled by Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians. Some of my Jewish extended family perished in Poland during the Shoah. All humanity is touched by war, in varying degrees of separation.