Jung: His Life And Work, A Biographical Memoir Paperback

It was in 1942 that Jung was asked by some leading Swiss and a German psychiatrist to help in an attempt they planned to make to reestablish peace.

Jung threw himself into this project at first with considerable enthusiasm.

It was kept completely secret at the time, of course, and I knew about it only because Jung thought I would be a suitable person to take their message to England. “No one would ever suspect you,” he said.

Moreover, since the person they wanted to approach in England was Archbishop Temple (whom Jung knew, respected, and liked), I should —from my past—have had no difficulty in getting an interview with him.

The German doctor was far from being Nazi, but through his profession he had direct access to Nazi headquarters.

He reported that Hitler was becoming doubtful if he could really win the war and might be willing, the doctor thought, to make a peace treaty acceptable to the Allies.

Jung was enormously attracted by the possibility of saving many lives and much suffering, and spoke to me of the project as something very close to his heart.

He asked me to hold myself ready but not as yet to ask the British Consulate for my papers.

It would, of course, have been easy and would have looked quite natural for me to ask to be repatriated to my own country.

On the other hand, it was most unlikely that I could get back to Switzerland until after the end of the war.

It was, therefore, with a heavy heart—for I already felt Switzerland to be my home, containing all my dearest friends—that I accepted; it was something which I realized at once could on no account be refused.

Jung told me of the project in June. Toward the end of July he asked me up to Bollingen for the day, since he evidently wanted to discuss the matter.

He was waiting by the garage when I arrived, for he had not said a word about it even to his wife or Toni Wolff; it was at that time so hush-hush that even now I can hardly make myself write about it.

He told me the latest developments.

He was very hopeful that it would go through but he was not certain it would, and he told me to continue to delay asking for my papers.

I had dreamed of the project for the first time the night before and, when he heard this, he at once asked for the dream.

I dreamed that it was his son, still a very young man in the dream, who was running the project, and a voice informed me that nothing could come of it.

But, it added, it should never be held against him, for it was motivated by the very purest love of humanity.

Jung swore quite fluently and said: “Oh, damn it! Am I being too naïve?”

He then added that somewhere he had always feared it was a pipe dream, but that we would still wait to see what happened, before making a decision of any sort.

Some weeks later, at a concert one evening during the Eranos Tagung, he came to sit by me and murmured under cover of the music: “Yours was an Abraham’s sacrifice, we have had to give up the whole idea!”

He added: “The Nazis are too evil, no peace can be made with them, the whole thing will have to be completely destroyed, whatever it costs.”

The next day, during the journey back to Küsnacht, he told me what had happened.

When it was mentioned to Hitler, he had flown into one of his berserker rages, and the German psychiatrist had saved his life only by escaping to Switzerland, where he had to remain for the rest of the war.

Jung told me that since the unconscious had begun criticizing the project, he had lost his enthusiasm and his earlier trust in it, but was glad, under the circumstances, that it had settled itself without his being forced to withdraw his support.

This was typical of Jung’s attitude to the unconscious: he always sacrificed his ego will to the superior wisdom of the unconscious; in this case it was a great sacrifice, for he had been set on the hope of saving untold suffering and lives; but he never obeyed it blindly or hastily, only after a careful consideration of all the pros and cons.

Once this question was settled, I never heard him mention it again. ~Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and His Work, Pages