To James Kirsch
My dear Kirsch, 26 May 1934
I am very glad you have written to me once again.
It appears that amusing rumours are being spread about me.
The only unquestionable fact behind all this stupid gossip is that as honorary president
of the International Society for Psychotherapy I could not leave the Society in the lurch
at the moment when Kretschmer resigned.
I have been urgently requested by the German doctors to retain this position and have subsequently
done what anyone would have done in my place, namely, my duty towards the International Society.
This consisted essentially in preserving the framework of the international organization and in
affiliating to it the German Society.
This has now been accomplished at the last Nauheim Congress.
We can also record the satisfying fact that at my suggestion a special provision was
adopted whereby German Jewish doctors can individually join the International Society.
They have thus become members with equal rights.
I need hardly go into the other rumours.
It is a downright lie to quote me as saying that Jews are dishonest in analysis.
Anyone who believes I could say anything so idiotic must think me extraordinarily
Neither have I addressed Hitler over the radio or in any other manner, nor have I made
any political statements.
With regard to my opinion that the Jews so far as we can see do not create a cultural form of
their own, this opinion is based
- on historical data,
- the fact that the specific cultural achievement of
the Jew is most clearly developed within a host culture, where he very
frequently becomes its actual carrier or its promoter.
This task is so specific and demanding that it is hardly conceivable how any individual
Jewish culture could arise alongside it.
Since very specific conditions do in fact exist in Palestine, I have inserted a cautious “so
far as we can see” in my sentence.
I would in no wise deny the possibility that something specific is being created there, but
so far I do not know it.
I simply cannot discover anything anti-Semitic in this opinion.
Coming to your suggestion that I should write a special work on this question, this has already
been anticipated, as I have proposed a correspondence with Dr. Neumann, who has worked
with me and is now also in Palestine, that will deal with all controversial questions.
So far I have heard nothing from him.
The Jewish Christ-complex is a very remarkable affair.
As you know, I completely agree with you in this matter.
The existence of this complex makes for a somewhat hysterical attitude of mind which has
become especially noticeable to me during the present anti-Christian attacks upon myself.
The mere fact that I speak of a difference between Jewish and Christian psychology suffices
to allow anyone to voice the prejudice that I am an anti-Semite.
Or, in the opinion of the Schweizer Israelitisches Wochenblatt, my assertion that I am as
little an anti-Semite as an anti-Chinese proves my intention to compare the Jews with a Mongolian
This hypersensitivity is simply pathological and makes every discussion practically impossible.
As you know, Freud previously accused me of anti-Semitism because I could not abide his soulless materialism.
The Jew directly solicits anti-Semitism with his readiness to scent out anti-Semitism everywhere.
I cannot see why the Jew, unlike any so-called Christian, is incapable of assuming that he is being criticized personally when one has an opinion about him.
Why must it always be assumed that one wants to damn the Jewish people?
Surely the individual is not the people?
I regard this as an inadmissible method of silencing one’s adversary.
In the great majority of cases I have got along very well with my Jewish patients and colleagues.
It happens with other people, too, that I have had to criticize the individual, but they do not ascribe it to the fact that they are English, American or French.
However, there is one exception worth mentioning, and that is the German.
It has happened more than once that when I criticized a German he immediately concluded that I hate the Germans.
It is really too cheap to try to hide one’s inferiority behind a political prejudice ….
. . . You ought to know me sufficiently well to realize that an unindividual stupidity like anti-Semitism cannot be laid at my door.
You know well enough how very much I take the human being as a personality and how I continually endeavour to lift him out of his collective condition and make him an individual.
This, as you know, is possible only if he acknowledges his peculiarity which has been forced on him by fate.
No one who is a Jew can become a human being without knowing that he is a Jew, since this is the basis from which he can reach out towards a higher humanity.
This holds good for all nations and races.
Nationalism-disagreeable as it is-is therefore a sine qua non, but the individual must not remain stuck in it.
On the other hand, in so far as he is a particle in the mass he must not raise himself above it either.
As a human being I am a European, as an atom in the mass I am a Swiss bourgeois, domiciled at Seestrasse 228, Kusnacht near Zurich.
If you see Dr. Neumann, please give him my greetings and remind him that I am waiting to hear from him.
In conclusion, I want to tell you that my new book Wirklichkeit der Seele has appeared.
I have included in it an essay by a Jewish author on the psychology of the Old Testament, just to annoy the Nazis and all those who have decried me as an anti-Semite.
The next thing that will be invented about me is that I suffer from a complete absence of convictions and am neither an anti-Semite nor a Nazi.
We happen to live in a time which overflows with lunacy.
Quern Deus vult perdere prius dementat.
With kindest regards,
et semper idem. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. I, Pages 160-163
Carl Jung across the web:
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Great Sites to visit:
1. Jenna Lilla’s Path of the Soul http://jennalilla.org/
2. Steve Jung-Hearted Parker’s Jung Currents http://jungcurrents.com/
3. Frith Luton’s Jungian Dream Analysis and Psychotherapy: http://frithluton.com/articles/