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Psychoanalysis Under Nazi Occupation. The Origins, Impact and Influence of the Berlin Institute

Laura Sokolowsky

Translated by Janet Haney and John Haney

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Book Description

Laura Sokolowsky’s survey of psychoanalysis under Weimar and Nazism explores how the paradigm of a ‘psychoanalysis for all’ became untenable as the Nazis rose to power.

Mainly discussing the evolution of the Berlin Institute during the period between Freud’s creation of free psychoanalytic centres after the founding of the Weimar Republic and the Nazi seizure of power in 1933, the book explores the ideal of making psychoanalysis available to the population of a shattered country after World War I, and charts how the Institute later came under Nazi control following the segregation and dismissal of Jewish colleagues in the late 1930s. The book shows how Freudian standards resisted the medicalisation of psychoanalysis for purposes of adaptation and normalisation, but also follows Freud’s distinction between sacrifice (where you know what you have given up) and concession (an abandonment of position through compromise) to demonstrate how German psychoanalysts put themselves at the service of the fascist master, in the hope of obtaining official recognition and material rewards.

Discussing the relations of psychoanalysis with politics and ethics, as well as the origin of the Lacanian movement as a response to the institutionalisation of psychoanalysis during the Nazi occupation, this book is fascinating reading for scholars and practitioners of psychoanalysis working today.

Table of Contents

Part I. 1. The Golden Age of the Berlin Institute  2. Asserting the Authority of Psychoanalysis  3. The Original 1930 Report  Part II. 4. Institute, Training and Society  5. Psychoanalysis versus Psychotherapy  6. The End of an Experiment  7. Conclusion


Laura Sokolowsky is a psychoanalyst and member of the École de la Cause Freudienne and the World Association of Psychoanalysis. She is the current director of the psychoanalytical journal La Cause du désir.

Poids 0.500 kg
Date de publication

Octobre 2021

Nombre de pages






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