As with the previous chapters, only some of the material that exists will be used to demonstrate the kind of criticisms that Jung, along with every seminal thinker, has been on the receiving end of since he first started to develop his own ideas. Some have already been touched on above, for instance, the statements declaring that he was overstepping the boundary of psychology into the territory of theology.
There is a much greater exploration of this in the section on Martin Buber in this chapter, which will start with an exposition of the controversial issue of Jung’s alleged pro-Nazi and anti-Semitic views.
Nazism and Anti-Semitism-
In exploring the accusations against Jung in this area, it is necessary first to set the background to how psychotherapy and psychoanalysis came into being in Germany and, for this purpose, I have consulted the writings of the American student of German history and psychoanalysis, Geoffrey Cocks.
He has steeped himself in the study of what happened in the dynamic field of medical psychology in Germany both before and after the advent of Hitler.
Briefly, psychoanalysis began to have an impact in Germany early in the century and its concepts challenged those of the psychiatric establishment which were grounded in mechanistic empiricism and heredity.
Freud’ s achievement was to combine the preoccupation with the hidden forces in the psyche of the Romantics with that of nineteenth-century materialism.
The German Psychoanalytic Society was founded in 1910. However, Freud’s concern that it would remain labelled as the ‘Jewish science’ (see Chapter 1) was above all true in Germany under the Nazis when it was completely banned.
On the other hand, the history of psychotherapy in Germany took a different course.
Due to the economic and political chaos resulting from the First World War and the fact that it was criticized by the medical establishment for being non-scientific, psychotherapy was not accepted until the late 1920s.
The annual meeting of psychiatrists and neurologists in 1925 led to the first General Medical Congress for Psychotherapy in Baden-Baden followed in 1928 by the founding of the International General Medical Society for Psychotherapy.
In 1930 a journal called the Zentralblatt came into being which covered matters to do with psychotherapy along with psychological medicine and hygiene.
‘The primary purpose of the society and its annual congresses from 1926 to 1931 was to minimize the dissension among the various theories of psychotherapy . . .and to encourage research in the young field’ (Cocks, 1997: 24).
In 1934 Jung became the President of the International General Medical Society for Psychotherapy, which was composed of rival factions such as the Adlerians, including Alfred Adler; Jungians, including Jung; Stekelians, including Stekel; and Freudians, including Karen Horney and Wilhelm Reich but not Freud; and a large number of eclectic psychotherapists.
Jung, for his part, hoped that in making it internationally known, psychotherapy would be protected from extinction in Germany and he stated that he was planning an institute in Zurich based ‘after our Berlin model’ (Cocks, 1997: 133).
Jung’s stated intention in being associated with the Society was to act in the interest of its Jewish members. ‘. . . The Germans’ use of Jung was also in his interest in promoting analytical psychology, particularly at the expense of its arch rival, Freudian psychoanalysis’ (Cocks, 1997: 135).
Cocks has no doubt that there was a genuine anxiety on Jung’s part for the Jewish members of the society.
The membership of the Society as a whole comprised a largely
Protestant and conservative constituency and it was this number who easily transformed themselves into supporters of the Nazi party after 1933 when Hitler became Chancellor of Germany.
The medical profession in Germany held largely anti-Semitic views based on Social Darwinist theories of the survival of the fittest and eugenics.
After 1918 at a time of economic hardship there was particular envy with regard to the successful Jewish physicians practising in Berlin and other large cities
Jacob Burckhardt, the well-known historian, expressed concern about the decline of civilization and attributed this to venal Jews.
Jung never voiced such thoughts directly but was also concerned about the decline of spiritual values and hoped that the fascist movements of the 1920s and 1930s might provide an antidote.
The advent of Hitler as the Chancellor was followed by increasing persecution of the Jews, for instance, the expulsion of the predominantly Jewish psychoanalytic movement from that country.
Those members of the psychoanalytic movement who did not
manage to escape were tortured and murdered in Nazi concentration camps.
What replaced it was a psychotherapy in service of the state
which ‘for the Nazis . . . existed as an extension of what they
regarded as nature, ensuring the well-being of its inhabitants for the purpose of cultivating their potential for its use . . . Health policy . . .was not so much a matter of care of the sick but of care of the healthy’ (Cocks, 1997: 92).
For this reason, the psychotherapist’s role in the Nazi regime was to be an active agent on behalf of the community in leading patients to live healthy and productive lives.
According to Cocks, the founders of German psychotherapy were keen to have Jung associated with it in order to provide the prestige associated with his reputation.
For Jung’s part, Cocks has no doubt that the former was motivated by genuine anxieties about the survival of psychotherapy in Germany under the Nazis but he also claims that Jung and the other German psychotherapists were enthusiastic about National Socialism.
As was shown in the preceding chapters, the kind of psychology that J u n g was developing was strongly influenced by mythological motifs linked to a teleological orientation.
The philosophy underlying this approach appeared to be in line with Nazi ideology.
‘More than one Nazi racial theoretician saw Jung’s work as indispensable in providing rich material for the history and culture of a race’ (Cocks, 1997: 137).
In a broadcast in 1933 in an interview over Radio Berlin, Jung
said ‘every movement culminates organically in a leader’ (Cocks, 1997: 139).
He declared that there was a different European soul to
the German one which was ‘youthful’ and that Europe could not understand Germany because it did not share the same heritage and psychological experiences.
Jung even went on to approve Hitler’s assertion that the individual must go his own way without taking issue with the totalitarian attitudes of the Nazi regime.
Jung’s actions between 1933 and 1940 have caused a great deal
of controversy and Cocks’s research reveals a complicated situation with regard to Jung during these years.
Enthusiasm for Jung in Germany did not mean that analytical psychology had carte blanche there.
For instance, in 1936 participation by Germans was not allowed at the annual Jungian Eranos Conference at Ascona in Switzerland because Jews attended in large numbers and because some of the topics were ‘politically conflictual. However, it has to be said that most of Jung’s protests about the course of events in Germany were only seen or heard by non-Germans and were not voiced in the country itself.
Although Jung was President of the International General
Medical Society until 1940 when he finally resigned, he did not take an active part in its internal workings but confined himself to the international congresses organized under its aegis.
His role in German psychotherapy diminished considerably after the founding of the Goring Institute in 1936 but it is in his role as editor of the Zentralblatt that he provoked most criticism.
In this capacity: ‘Genuinely independent and perceptive people have for a long time recognized that the difference between Germanic and Jewish psychology should no longer be effaced, something that can only be beneficial to the science’ (Cocks, 1997: 140).
This distinction between Jewish and German science was attacked by many people outside Germany as it was a theme put forward by German intellectuals in support of the Nazi regime.
The same issue of the Zentralblatt contained an article by
Matthias Goring which was full of pro-Nazi rhetoric so that Jung’s remarks could be used by German colleagues to associate his name and theory as sanctioning the Nazi regime. This was all the more the case as the journal was published in Germany. ‘Regardless of their context, however, Jung’s observations were objectionable in and of themselves to many, as they seemed to support the official anti-Semitism of the Nazi government’ (Cocks, 1997: 140).
Jung again wrote an article for the journal in 1944 seeking to distinguish between an ‘Aryan’ and a Jewish unconscious claiming that Freud ‘did not know the German soul, and neither do any of his blind adherents.
Has not the shattering advent of National Socialism, upon which the world gazes with astonished eyes, taught them better?’ (Cocks, 1997: 141).
Jung’s criticism was addressed at Freud’s materialism and the rootlessness of modern Jewish culture and of the anti-Christian orientation of the psychoanalysts.
In a letter to a colleague he stated: ‘. . . in this instance the Aryan people can point out with Freud and Adler, specific Jewish points of view are publicly preached and, as can likewise be proved, points of view that have an essentially corrosive character’ (Cocks, 1997: 142).
Cocks holds a middle position between pointing to Jung’s lack of judgement in making the above statements and damning him as a Nazi collaborator.
He acknowledges that Jung’s cultural relativism never deteriorated from differentiating to denigrating Jews in the
crude and vicious way that the Nazis did and goes on to say:
While Jung’s words here betrayed some ethically dubious habits of mind, Jung’s opponents have often reduced these pronouncements to proof of unalloyed anti-Semitism and wholehearted collaboration with the Nazis.
Such a view, however, ignores Jung’s increasing disaffection toward the Nazis and his desire to protect psychotherapists in Germany. (Cocks, 1997: 146)
At the same time as taking Jung’s critics to task, Cocks a l s o observes that his defenders must be more candid about ‘the disturbing ambiguities in his thought, especially with regard to Jews’ (Cocks, 1997: 146).
He asserts that uncritical admirers of J u n g have tried to render harmless the latter’s assertions at a politically sensitive time.
The most common approach amongst the first generation of Jungians after the Second World War was to deny that he was anti-Semitic in any way.
Another has been to ignore the problem completely.
‘The third approach is to argue simplistically that Jung made mistakes rather than acting out of evil intent’ (Cocks, 1997: 146).
By 1939 relations between J u n g and Goring were worsening and there was no congress held that year.
The latter was concerned by what he saw as Jung’s anti-German views in various ways, one being the latter’s attempts to get non-Germanic or axis powers to join the General Medical Society.
Instead Goring asserted that ‘it would be very good if the authoritarian states were to join the international society so that the liberalistic states would not maintain superiority’ (Cocks, 1997: 144).
By this time, Jung was clearly more jaundiced in his view of the Nazis as in the following:
The impressive thing about the German phenomenon is that one man, who is obviously ‘possessed’, has infected a whole nation to such an extent that everything is set in motion and has started rolling on its course to perdition. (Cocks, 1997: 142)
In 1938 after the Night of Broken Glass and the attacks on the
Jewish community, the C.G. Jung Society along with others lost its official status as a registered association.
Cocks summarizes Jung’s stance towards Nazism as a dialectic between prejudice and tolerance in which the latter eventually won out.
However, he disagrees with the Jungian, Wolfgang Giegerich’s point that J u n g was purposefully engaging the shadow of racial prejudice in order to extirpate it.
Such a judgment naively ignores the plurality of motives and conditions present in any human action . . . (and) turns a blind eye to the negative effects of Jung’s lack of early criticism of Hitler and the possible legitimacy for the regime created in the minds of many or some through Jung’s association with it. (Cocks, 1997: 150)
‘Carl Gustav jung and the jews: The Real Story’ James Kirsch, in the above-titled paper published in 1982, explores
the case against Jung and ends by declaring him completely
exonerated. ‘The fact that some of Jung’s statements concerning Jews are problematic is not denied . . . and his later rejection of his former views should be considered as the overriding feature in judging Jung’ (Kirsch, 1982: 113).
Kirsch had taken issue with Jung after the Second World War about some of these views but, in the end, declared himself satisfied that Jung was not anti-Semitic.
Kirsch’s own background is that he studied with Jung in 1929 and remained in frequent contact with him until the latter’s death in 1961.
He went on to become a Jungian analyst and founded the
Society of Jungian Analysts of Southern California.
He has quotes from Jung which show him in a moral conflict about whether to remain neutral and within the Swiss frontier or to venture into Germany and bring on himself what he calls the inevitable misunderstandings of anyone who had dealings with the political powers there.
According to his Secretary, Aniela Jaffe, in the article she wrote entitled ‘Jung and National Socialism’, Jung accepted the post of president of the General Medical Society at the urgent request of its leading members and managed to redraft the statutes so that Jewish psychotherapists could become members.
At the same time his assistant, C.A. Meier, became the Secretary-General of the Society and the managing editor of the Zentralblatt.
According to Jaffe, Jung and Meier did this in order to keep the young science of psychotherapy alive in Germany and to come to the aid of Jewish colleagues in Germany.
Jaffe also takes up the problematic of Jung’s ambivalent attitude to Jews, quoting him as saying, on the one hand, ‘. . . the Jew, who is something of a nomad, has never yet created a cultural form of his own . . . since all his instincts and talents require a more or less civilized nation to act as a host for their development’ (Kirsch, 1982: 122).
On the other hand, he protested that he was no more
trying to depreciate Semitic psychology when he talked of the ‘personal equation’ than ‘it is a depreciation of the Chinese to speak of the peculiar psychology of the Oriental’ (Kirsch, 1982: 122).
She does admit that he was willing to give National Socialism the benefit of the doubt in the early years: ‘The “Aryan” unconscious contains creative tensions and “seeds of a future yet to be born” was the psychological foundation of his hopes’ (Kirsch, 1982: 123).
Kirsch reports that in a conversation he had with Jung in Berlin in 1933, the latter had hopes that there might be a positive outcome to the Nazi movement.
He could not accept Kirsch’s completely pessimistic view and the latter’s intention of leaving Germany as soon as possible. When Kirsch s aw Jung in 1947, the latter remembered this conversation and apologized for it.
Jung’s view was based on his theory of archetypes which would see a mass movement as being essentially archetypal – containing both evil and g o o d – and capable of producing diametrically opposite results.
For Jung, therefore, National Socialism was a manifestation of the storm-god, Wotan, that represented an outburst of the collective unconscious and he counted on the healing and creative forces in the human psyche to do their work.
When this failed to happen with regard to the Nazi movement and the full extent of their horrors became known, Jung revised his hope and from then on was publicly critical of it.
Jaffe states that the psychic background to Jung’s ambivalent feelings towards Jews has its deepest roots in the relationship between Freud and Jung:
. . . it ended tragically in mutual resentment which has never quite died o u t . . . In their friendship and separation, so spotlighted by the world, it was not only two great personalities that confronted one another in scientific and man-to-man discussion, not only the old master and the young disciple, but, above all, the Jew and the gentile. (Jaffe, 1989: 96)
One of the criticisms of Jung’s ambivalence towards the Nazis is
that it stemmed from an unconscious power-drive but Kirsch completely dismisses this and says that J u n g had integrated the collective unconscious to such a degree that he had acquired enormous power from that and had no need of an ego-power-drive.
Kirsch also points to the sensitivity to anti-Semitism of Jews and
quotes Ernest Jones as follows:
I became, of course, aware, somewhat to my astonishment, of how extraordinarily suspicious Jews could be of the faintest sign of anti-Semitism and of how many remarks of actions could be interpreted in that sense. The members most sensitive were Ferenczi and Sachs; Abraham and Rank were less so. Freud himself was pretty sensitive in this respect. (Jones, 1955: 163)
Kirsch acknowledges that although Jung tried to help Jews from the beginning of the time that the Nazis took over in Germany, he had an unresolved ‘Jewish’ complex.
This had been activated in him by the relationship with Freud – at first in a positive way which
transformed later into negative and critical feelings that extended to Jews in general.
According to Kirsch, Jung completely liberated himself from it finally by writing Answer to Job.
Thomas Kirsch, the son of James Kirsch whose paper has been explored above, has conducted some original research into the issue of Jung’s involvement with the Nazis during the 1930s in his book, The Jungians: A Comparative and Historical Perspective.
Some of this research relates to Gustav Richard Heyer, who was the first significant person in Germany to be drawn to Jung’s ideas.
He and his wife had a short analysis with Jung in the mid-1920s and most German students of analytical psychology went to Heyer for analysis and training.
Heyer had National Socialist affiliations and claimed that it was
Jung’s own recommendation that he join the Nazi party. However, T. Kirsch cites a document housed in the National Library in Berlin, written by Heyer in February 1944, that states as follows:
I did my training analysis with C.G. Jung in whose teachings the breakthrough was made from ‘alien’ construct.
Yet today I cannot underwrite everything he published.
Several things differentiate us, for instance, that he is more researcher than physician; that he does not value my inclusion
of the feminine into psycho-therapy, and besides such scientific differences there are also different attitudes to political situations. (Kirsch, 2000: 126)
In 1945, Jung wrote to a colleague in Munich that he would have nothing further to do with Heyer because of the latter’s Nazi affiliations.
- Kirsch also states that a number of Jewish people who saw Jung during the 1930s say that they detected no trace of anti-Semitism in him.
- Kirsch’s mother, also an analyst, told him that it was through her analysis with Jung that she came to understand what it meant to be Jewish.
Everyone looks for a ‘smoking gun’ to prove that Jung was really a Nazi way back when. It is not there.
What Jung did not do is openly and publicly repudiate the Nazis before the war.
That criticism could be made of many other influential people. There is still the expectation that Jung, as a depth psychologist, should have known better. (Kirsch, 2000: 132)
Ô. Kirsch raises the question as to whether Jung’s theories promote racism, for instance, the hypothesis of the collective unconscious.
For his own part, he does not believe them to have a racist bias and, in any case, they are open to scientific enquiry.
He declares that he feels a sense of relief about the fact that personal anecdotes told to him by many Jewish people point to the fact that Jung pulled away from any association with the Nazis possibly as early as 1934.
Recently, T. Kirsch has had an exchange of letters with Harold
Blum, the director of the Freud Archive in New York, in the new
journal Psychoanalysis and History, in which Blum called Jung a
Nazi. (Personal communication with Thomas Kirsch.)
Maidenbaum and Martin’s book, Lingering Shadows, published in 1 9 9 1 , grew out of a N e w York conference in 1989 and from papers given at a workshop during the Eleventh International Congress for Analytical Psychology in Paris in the same year.
At both these, debates focused on the question of Jung’s involvement with the Nazis and the related issues about whether he was anti-Semitic, self-promoting or just unfortunate in being where he was in the 1930s.
Contributors to the book itself were drawn from a wide source,
This section already includes coverage from their own sources by some of the writers represented in Lingering Shadows, but one fascinating chapter deserves special mention and that is the one contributed by the psychoanalyst, Micha Neumann,
son of a close colleague of Jung’s, the analytical psychologist, Erich Neumann.
During the 1930s, Jung and Neumann corresponded on Jewish matters and the latter implored J u n g to delve more deeply into these and tried to keep up his positive relationship with Jung.
In the end, for E. Neumann, the inner connection to Jung was more important than their different human experiences as J ew and Christian and the unpleasantnesses that occurred between them.
After Kristallnacht, Å. Neumann wrote to Jung on 15 December 1938:
I do not know if you can imagine how difficult it is to maintain an inner relationship with a man who naturally feels, at most, a superficial connection to the events that injure all of us Jews . . . Still I feel the need to write to you once again in order to sustain within me the feeling that even for a Jew like myself there still exists some piece of Europe. (Maidenbaum and Martin, 1991: 282)
Micha Neumann takes a different view to his father and says that there was a blind spot in Jung with regard to the Jews that had its roots in the complicated and conflict-laden relationship with Freud.
This was due not only to the father projections onto Freud but also had strong elements of religious contents.
He identified himself unconsciously with Nazi symbols, ideology, and anti-Semitism.
He believed in the positive collective ‘Germanic soul’, to
which he felt he belonged.
Is it not true that Jung’s shadow remained repressed and cut off from his own consciousness? (Maidenbaum and Martin, 1991: 276)
One telling incident recorded at the back of the book and told to this writer by Hella and Gerhard Adler, is that of Franz Riklin’s visit to Vienna in 1938.
A large sum of money was gathered together by some rich Swiss Jews and Riklin was sent with this to Austria in order to try to bring out some of the prominent Jews.
He went to see Freud with this offer but the latter responded: ºrefuse to be beholden to my enemies.’
Riklin knew that Jungg would be very sorry but, although sad, J u n g was not surprised saying: ‘He (Freud) would not take help from me under any circumstances’ (Maidenbaum and Martin, 1991: 382).
The Political Psyche
Andrew Samuels, another contributor to the above book, has been instrumental in opening up these issues within the Jungian community.
In his book The Political Psyche Samuels says that both
defenders and attackers of Jung are sitting in judgment on him and looking for a ‘final solution’ to the Jung problem.
As Samuels expresses it: ‘The shadows surrounding Jung are going to linger, for they want us to pay psychological attention to them’ (Samuels, 1993: 294).
Samuels takes issue with those who defend Jung on the grounds that he was a man of his times, for instance, the Jungian Adolf Guggenbühl-Craig’s statement that ‘the anti-semitism of Jung was a sheer banality of the collective he belonged to’ (Samuels, 1993: 294).
In response, Samuels cites a number of criticisms of Jung in the
1930s, one being that of the philosopher and critic Walter Benjamin who studied Jung’s works in order to criticize them on political grounds.
In Benjamin’s opinion Jung had ‘leaped to the rescue of the Aryan soul with a therapy reserved for it alone’ (Samuels, 1993:295).
A month later he wrote that Jung’s psychology was ‘the devil’s work’ (Samuels, 1993: 296).
Many of the articles that appeared in the Zentralblatt at the time of Jung’s editorship consisted of repeated attacks on ‘Jewish’ mental states countered by praise for Aryan psychology.
Many also praised Hitler and the Nazi party.
Even though the journal was published in Germany and Jung and Meier were editing it from Zurich there were occasions when anti-Semitic statements were taken out by Jung or Meier or papers by Jewish writers included.
Samuels asks why they only sometimes exercised their editors’ discretion and what to make of the fact that many anti-Semitic ideas were allowed to be published in the journal.
Samuels has made a study of one of the co-signed pieces that Jung wrote for the journal with Matthias Goring – a 70th birthday tribute to Dr Robert Sommer in which they particularly praise a new chapter in a book he wrote in 1927. The following lines from that chapter are indicative of many others: ‘There has been an intrusion of alien blood into the Germanic race’; ‘The type of the Nordic race . . . forms a contrast . . . to the backwards sloping forehead of the primitive human races’; ‘The selection of the gifted has to be performed’ (Samuels, 1993: 299).
The reason Samuels puts forward for Jung’s approval of these
statements is echoed in Cocks above: that Jung’s position at the
head of German psychotherapy enabled him to promote analytical psychology.
Freud had maintained that psychoanalysis had to be accepted in Germany before it came into its own.
‘History, and Hitler, put that goal within Jung’s grasp’ (Samuels, 1993: 299).
The point Samuels is making is that Jung’s papers and editorials
in the 1930s related to racial and national psychologies, in particular the kind of disturbing statements he made about Jewish culture and psychology could easily be taken to be underwriting Nazi ideology.
One instance of this is what Jung said about the Jews never having created a cultural form of their own but needing a
‘host nation’ in order to develop has strong echoes of Hitler’s image of the Jews as parasitic.
If Jung had only been the president of the General Medical Society in support of his a im to save psychotherapy in Germany and to protect the rights of Jewish psychotherapists then there would be far less controversy over his activities still in evidence today.
Samuels cites Jung’s own theory of meaningful coincidences that is called synchronicity, to demonstrate the merging of Jung’s thoughts with his actions: ‘. . . the psychic world (his ideas on Jewish psychology, perhaps) and the social world (German politics, perhaps) are acausally intertwined’ (Samuels, 1993: 302).
Defenders of Jung claim that he was not personally anti-Semitic
but even here Samuels produces evidence to the contrary. Michael Fordham has reported that on meeting J u n g for the first time he was greeted with a long harangue against the Jews and the ‘parasitic elements in Jewish psychology’.
Again in a letter J u n g wrote in 1945 to Mary Mellon, the wife of the American multi-millionaire, Paul Mellon, he says:
you probably have heard the absurd rumor that I am a Nazi. This rumor has been started by Freudian Jews in America . . . I found a falsified photo of mine in the Psychological Seminar of Calcutta University. It was a photo retouched in such a way as to make me appear as an ugly Jew . . . It is however difficult to mention the anti-christianism of the Jews after the horrible things that have happened in Germany. But Jews are not so damned innocent after all – the role played by the intellectual Jews in prewar Germany would be an interesting object of investigation. (Samuels, 1993: 304)
Blood and Soil
Samuels points to the twin concepts in Jung’s thinking that link it with National Socialist ideas around leadership and nation. These are discussed at length in The Political Psyche, and the interested reader is directed to that book for further reading.
This section will content itself with a brief look at Jung’s own ambivalence about leadership which found expression, on the one hand, in his denial of leadership ambitions in trying to create a following in the much-quoted statement: ‘Thank God I’m Jung and not a Jungian’.
In contrast to this are his statements in the interview on Radio Berlin in 1933, alluded to above, where he appeared to accept the idea of a Führer – in other words of unquestioned leadership.
Jung did display attributes of leadership in many of his statements, including his ideas around individuation, but there is still an atmosphere of denial about this in the Jungian community which prefers to see him instead as only unworldly.
The idea of nation that was common to both Jung and National Socialism was that of blood and soil.
This postulates that the land in or on which an individual lives not only influences the psyche and the psychological development of that individual; it can, according to Jung, even cause profound physiological changes such as the size of the skull.
It was Jung’s attempt to found a cultural psychology that brought him into line with Nazi thinking.
Further, his fascination with the question of leadership added to the nexus between the two.
Both have their roots in Germanic Romantic philosophy which, when activated, can result in powerful forces being unleashed in the psyche on a mass or individual level.
In Zurich in 1946 Jung admitted to Rabbi Leo Baeck that he had ‘slipped up’.
The Case of Dr Carl Gustav Jung
The section on Jung’s activities in this area will close with an
account from a file that came into my possession some time back.
About 13 or 14 years ago, I was informed that there existed a file on Jung at the British Foreign Office accusing him of being a Nazi collaborator.
This document is mentioned in several accounts by people who have never seen it often with a strong bias indicating that it provides proof of Jung’s alleged pro-Nazi sympathies.
Attempts to get hold of this file had so far been unsuccessful so I contacted a friend in the Cabinet Office and asked if he could do anything to obtain it. The next thing I knew was that the file arrived by post with the compliments of the Foreign Office.
It is entitled ‘The Case of Dr. Carl Gustav Jung: Pseudo-scientist Nazi Auxiliary by Maurice Leon’.
The file was put together in 1946 at the time of the Nuremberg
Trials (I am using the same spelling as the document).
It contains a 15-page denunciation of Jung by a man living in New York called Maurice Leon.
There is nothing in the file to show who he is or from where he originates and enquiries at the Foreign Office have been to no avail in this regard.
As a result, there is a restriction on copyright to do with the document itself as permission cannot be sought.
This means that I can only give a summary of the content of
his denunciation of Jung and will not be able to include lengthy
verbatim extracts from the document itself.
The file also includes a few letters from officials at the Foreign
Office and the latter have generously granted permission for me to reproduce them.
As they are quite short, I will quote them in full.
It is difficult to know how to appraise the Leon document as it is an uneasy mix of the horrors of the Nazi regime combined with slightly comical accounts of Jung’s personal and professional life.
The plaintiff starts by saying that the letters column of the New York Herald Tribune of 22 November 1945 contained correspondence for and against Jungg as a Nazi.
Leon himself is quite sure that Jung was and cites the latter’s ‘blatant outburst’ in support of the over-running of Russia.
He goes on to say that supporters of N a z i sm should be held responsible for the horrors of Dachau, Buchenwald and Auschwitz.
From there he proceeds to say that since Jung’s deviation from Freud, his followers have been made up of frustrated women who claim that he is of ancient Swiss descent whereas Leon declares that he is German.
Visitors to Jung’s house ‘of rather forbidding mysterious exterior’ in Kusnacht were received ‘by Jung’s wife, a woman of sad countenance who acted as an assistant to her husband, but in a capacity secondary to that of Jung’s principal assistant, Fraulein Toni Wolff.’
Jung himself is described as ‘a tall, gray-haired man of enigmatic mien’.
Patients and other visitors succeeded one another at hourly
intervals and were charged 5 0 Swiss francs each.
Wealthy Americans were amongst these, including an American Senator whom Jung apparently claimed to have cured but who died soon after.
The American women who came were either accompanied by their husbands or not and in the latter case this often resulted in divorce.
The document goes on to assert that ‘these two great minds (Hitler’s and Jung’s) concurred in favouring a specifically German religion’ over the Ten Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount.
It also gives an account of the General Medical Society and
claims that Jungg knew what the Nazis were doing in concentration camps.
Jung’s article on Wotan is portrayed as a justification of Nazi neo-paganism in comparing it to what the Jews did to others in the name of Jehovah and the Moslems in the name of Allah – ‘another Semitic experience of God’.
Most of the rest of the document is based on this paper of Jung’s and on the assertion that he, like the Nazis, was caught in the paganism that was unleashed at the time.
Leon concludes that: ‘Only those who pursue illusions will believe that the sadistic madness implanted in German minds will soon disappear.
The process may take a century.’
H e advocates that Jung, as the leader of the intellectuals who supported the Nazis, should be brought to justice in Germany along with his confederate Hermann Goring.
This document was sent to Lord Vansittart, a well-known
Germanophobe, who wrote on 6 March 1946 to a Mr P. Dean in
the Legal Adviser’s Department at the Foreign Office as follows:
Dear Mr Dean,
I am sending the enclosed to you because I was asked to do so by Maurice Leon, who is a good friend of ours and very influential in the United States.
I don’t suppose there is anything to be done about Jung as
he seems to be Swiss now, but Dr. Goring is just the sort of fellow who ought to be brought to book, together with a great number of his fellows.
Yours sincerely, Vansittart
Pat Dean’s assistant replied as follows on 25 March 1946:
Dear Lord Vansittart,
Many thanks for your letter of the 6th March addressed to Pat Dean enclosing two copies of an article by Maurice Leon.
We are sending a copy of the article to Dean who is now in the Control Commission in Berlin.
Yours sincerely, F.F. Garner
F.F. Garner wrote to Mr P. Dean at the British War Crimes
Executive, Nuremberg, on 25 March 1946, as follows:
I enclose herewith a copy of an article by a Mr. Maurice Leon which was sent to us by Lord Vansittart under cover of a letter addressed to you.
We feel that the best thing to do with this article is to put it straight into the waste paper basket and forget about it.
We are acknowledging receipt of Lord Vansittart’s letter and are telling him that we have passed a copy of the article on to you.
Yours sincerely, F.F. Garner ~Ann Casement, C.G. Jung, Criticisms and Rebuttals, Page 103-116