Group functions in times of war and terror - In this paper, the author presents an explanation from a self psychology viewpoint for the formation of groups, indicating that while the motivation of these groups may differ, the commitment and devotion with which they pursue their goals is identical. This is related to the exalted position that values and ideals hold in the psyche. For example, the author describes the genocides committed by the Third Reich, and by the Serbs against the Bosnian Muslims, and the terrorist acts perpetrated by religious fanatics. She has also included the description of the formation of small groups in German concentration camps; these groups were hugely significant for the inmates’ emotional survival and recovery.
Keywords: Genocide, ideals, ideology, self psychology, empathy, role of small groups.