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Psychoanalysis and national socialism

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Was psychoanalysis in Germany "destroyed" or "saved" in the period 1933-1945? To this day ever new answers are given to the question, answers which depend on the time and the interests involved. This contribution seeks to reconstruct once again the steps leading to the incorporation in 1936 of the German Psychoanalytic Society (Deutsche Psychoanalytische Gesellschaft [DPG]) into the National Socialist German Institute for Psychological Research and Psychotherapy (Deutsches Institut für psychologische Forschung und Psychotherapie). This process of incorporation, which was intended as a "rescue" and led to the self-disbandment of the DPG in 1938, took place during ongoing talks between Felix Boehm and Carl Müller-Braunschweig, officials of the DPG, on the one hand, and Ernest Jones, president of the International Psychoanalytic Association (IPA), on the other. The process was connected to yet another desideratum: the expulsion of Wilhelm Reich from the DPG/IPA.
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Keywords: "Weltanschauung"; Müller-Braunschweig's Reichswart-article; National Socialism; Otto Fenichel's "Rundbriefe"; Schultz-Hencke; Wilhelm Reich; neo-psychoanalysis; psychoanalysis

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2003

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