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James Kirsch’s Defense of Jung by Ann Lammers

My lecture for the Zurich conference on Jung in the 1930s was published in Winter 2012 issue of the Jung Journal.1 What follows may be read as a long footnote, expand­ing on my earlier discussion of James Kirsch’s May 1934 article for the Berlin Zionist newspaper Jüdische Rundschau (Kirsch 1934a). A tranAslation of Kirsch’s article should ideally have appeared in The Jung-Kirsch Letters (Lammers 2011) as an addendum to the correspondence of Jung and Kirsch. Due to the challenge of deciphering archival microfiche,2 I lacked time to include it, so it gives me pleasure to make up the deficit here. Meanwhile, my Berlin colleague Jörg Rasche has transcribed the texts of several relevant articles from Jüdische Rundschau, including the one by James Kirsch. He gen­erously allowed me to consult his unpublished paper on the topic (Rasche 2009) while I was writing this one.

James Kirsch was a German-Jewish psychiatrist and devoted disciple of Jung, prac­ticing in Berlin. He went to the passport office the day aher Hitler became Chancellor (Kirsch 1986, 150). He and his wife and their two small children arrived in Tel Aviv in late 1933. In the spring of 1934, Kirsch was the first of five Jewish psychologists to pub­lish positive articles about Jung in Jüdische Rundschau. His article, dated May 29, 1934, was one of his six writings that year arguing against the suspicion, then rampant in the Jewish community, that Jung was anti-Semitic or even affiliated with Hitler’s regime.

Founded in 1902, Jüdische Rundschau (Jewish Review) was the widely read

biweekly paper of the Zionistische Vereinigung für Deutschland (Zionist Union for Germany). That a Zionist newspaper could keep publishing in Hitler’s Berlin until late November 1938 is astonishing (cf. Rasche, this issue, page 63). Given the destruction of the Jewish community, and the general chaos of war, the survival of the paper’s archive seems equally remarkable.

The other Jungian contributors to the Rundschau discussion of Jung in 1934 were Erich Neumann (Nr. 48, June 15, 1934) and Gerhard Adler (Nr. 62, Aug. 3, 1934). In addition, two Freudian analysts, Otto Juliusburger and J. Steinfeld, wrote nuanced arti­cles. The paper’s publisher, Robert Weltsch, also commented on the series, expressing his regret that the paper had only limited space for such a discussion and taking pains to point out that the paper had never called Jung anti-Semitic (Rasche 2009, 20). The gist of the series was that Jung’s writings about “Jewish psychology” and the “Jewish question” belonged to a topic central to Zionism, making him an ally to the Jewish community, rather than the reverse.

Kirsch’s article, “Die Judenfrage in der Psychotherapie: Einige Bemerkungen zu einem Aufsatz von C. G. Jung” (“The Jewish Question in Psychotherapy: Some remarks on an Essay by C. G. Jung”), is devoted to a careful evaluation of Jung’s pub­lished statements about “the Jewish question.” This phrase, which sounds offensive today, was then in common currency. It belonged to the Zionist debate about Jewish identity. “Die Judenfrage” was thus, in some sense, the essential focus of a Zionist newspaper.

To understand Kirsch’s article, we must take time to recall the circumstances that made it necessary for him to defend Jung to a Jewish audience. By the time Kirsch pub­lished his Rundschau article, suspicions of Jung as an anti-Semite and Hitler-sympathizer had been circulating for a year and had become dramatically louder in the spring of 1934. In the spring of 1933, Jung had agreed to take up the presidency of the General Med­ical Society for Psychotherapy aher the abrupt resignation of its then president, Ernst Kretschmer (cf. Rasche, this issue, 57). Jung made this decision, aher an inner struggle, on the clear understanding that he would preside, not over a Nazified German organiza­tion, but over a restructured, politically neutral, international society. The journal of the society was also to be under his control, making it international and politically neutral as well. Scientific integrity, he wrote, required independence from politics. Research must be “objective” ( Jung 1933, CW 10, ¶1014).

Yet no matter how good his intentions, the “umbrella” organization over which Jung took charge was unavoidably entangled with the German chapter, whose Nazi-affiliated officials immediately put pressure on the International Society and its new president (Lammers 2011, 309ff ). A pro-Hitler statement by the president of the German chapter,

Matthias Göring, appeared in the inaugural issue of the supposedly neutral Zentralblatt für Psychotherapie und ihre Grenzgebiete (Journal for Psychotherapy and Related Fields) aher Jung had given express orders to reserve all such statements for the special German issue. By mistake or political manipulation, the statement of praise for Mein Kampf, printed in close proximity to Jung’s name, had an indelible impact.

Not all the initial battles went against Jung, however. To combat Germany’s laws of Gleichschaltung (Nazi conformity), Jung enlisted private help from a young Jewish lawyer in Zurich, Wladimir Rosenbaum, who devised statutory language opening the way for German-Jewish psychotherapists to become individual members of the inter­national organization. In this way, for a time at least, Jung may have helped a few Jewish colleagues to maintain their professional qualifications and continue earning a living in Germany (Lammers 2012a, 108ff ).

At the same time, Jung’s positive actions in restructuring the international society were undermined by some of his own problematic statements. In December 1933, and again in February 1934, he stirred public protest by printing statements about Jews and Germans in the journal of the International Society of which he was now editor-in-chief. First, his December 1933 “Geleitwort des Herausgebers” (“Editorial”) cre­ated a public outcry ( Jung 1933). A few months later his essay “Zur gegenwärtigen Lage der Psychotherapie” (“The State of Psychotherapy Today”) added fuel to the fire ( Jung 1934a). In his 1933 editorial, he drew attention to the contrast between Jewish and Germanic psychologies, proclaiming that science would benefit because this dis­tinction (obvious to any thinking person) had now been acknowledged. In his 1934 essay, he described Jews as nomads, lacking their own land and culture. These writings seemed to echo the National Socialist ideology, and they aroused suspicions that the International Society and its president (for all Jung’s claims to the contrary) were in sympathy with Hitler’s regime.

Looking back, it is hard to believe the tone-deafness of Jung’s statement in his December 1933 “Editorial,” where he proclaimed, in essence: Now that everyone acknowledges the long-recognized di$erences between Germanic and Jewish psychology, science can only benefit.3 An outraged response by a Swiss psychoanalyst, Dr. Gustav Bally,4 asking whether Jung was gleichgeschaltet (brought into line with the Nazi regime), was immediately published in the Neue Zürcher Zeitung (Bally 1934). Ignor­ing Jung’s rebuttal ( Jung 1934b), Bally traveled to Palestine (Israel), with the result described by James Kirsch:

Then Mr. Bally appeared in this country, visited with all our colleagues, and stated publicly that you had openly crossed over to Hitler, that you had been received by him, and thus that you are an anti-Semite. His essay in the Zürcher Zeitung, titled “Deutschstämmige Psychotherapie” was read by a great many people. The result was that your books, which had been displayed in many bookstores, disappeared from the shop windows, and your name was placed on the boycott list. Your detailed reply was not read. This general feeling against you was, of course, fabulously exploited by the Freudians in an effort to silence you totally, at least here. ( J. Kirsch 1934b/2011, 40f )

Jung’s statement about Germanic and Jewish psychologies seemed appallingly rac­ist to Bally at the time, and it may sound so to us today. Yet Jung himself thought that by drawing attention to cultural differences in psychology, he was demonstrating something quite different. His Editorial’s next sentence reads: “In psychology, more than in any other science, there is a ‘personal equation,’ disregard of which falsifies the findings of practice and theory” ( Jung 1933, 139; CW 10, ¶1014, alt. trans.).5

These distinctions, he goes on, say nothing about inferiority or superiority. They are an essential component of the “persönliche Gleichung,” which is not only at the core of individual identity but also at the heart of psychotherapy.

James Kirsch turns the moral meaning of Jung’s statement around, arguing that his insistence on cultural differentiation is a reason for Jews to embrace his psychol­ogy, which maintains the importance of the human person. He stresses Jung’s argu­ment that psychological healing is never purely a technical matter—it always involves a personal encounter—so the doctor’s subjectivity, as well as the patient’s, is essential ( Jung 1934a). The therapist, too, must know his “personal equation.” Kirsch highlights this point with the editorial device of expanded print: “der M e n s c h.” This word Mensch (person, human being) surely spoke to Kirsch’s original readers; it still has deep resonance for Yiddish-speakers. Its implication, in the context, is that one who so values the individual cannot glorify the totalitarian state. Jung’s statements about the “personal equation” and the relational role of the therapist have nothing in common with the Nazi gang-mentality.

One may ask, if this point was essential in Kirsch’s defense of Jung, why he did not say forthrightly that Jung’s thought ran contrary to Hitler’s? The answer requires us to consider his rhetorical priorities. To make this argument explicit would have dignified the rumors of Jung’s supposed Nazi leanings by naming them. By pointing to relation-ality and unique personality as core features of Jung’s psychology, he gave prima facie evidence against the rumors.

The relational aspect of Jung’s psychology also foreshadows what we now call inter-subjectivity.6 Thomas Kirsch, James Kirsch’s son, points to a passage in one of Jung’s let­ters to his father that clearly anticipates the theory. He made this observation as an aside during his lecture at the ETH in July 2008 (T. Kirsch 2010). The passage occurs in Jung’s letter of September 29, 1934. At the end of a letter about the current political tumult and issues of anti-Semitism, Jung responds to Kirsch’s clinical question about a woman patient: “In the deepest sense, all of us do not dream out of ourseltes but out of that which exists between myself and the other” ( Jung 1934c/2011, 63; emphasis in original).

The same passage is cited by Joseph Cambray in his lecture for the 2010 IAAP Congress, representing an early form of “Jung’s intersubjective model” (2011, 296). If Jung’s thought in the 1930s already displays foreshadowings of intersubjectivity, this fact is important in relation to the accusations that were swirling around him during the Hitler years. Jung’s commitment to an intersubjective (relational) model in psy­chotherapy is also relevant to the implicit argument in Kirsch’s Rundschau article. Any psychologist whose chief concern is the human individual, and the healing power of relationship, shares no ground in common with Hitler’s ideology.

In making this observation, I would also draw attention to Werner Disler’s 2010 self-published monograph, Freud, Jung, der Nationalsozialismus und die Theorie der Intersubjektivität (Freud, Jung, National Socialism and the Theory of Intersubjectivity). In a chapter titled, “C. G. Jungs Modernität: Intersubjektivitätstheorie” (“Jung’s Moder­nity: Intersubjectivity Theory”), Disler focuses on Jung’s 1935 lecture for the Zurich Medical Society, “Principles of Practical Psychotherapy” ( Jung 1935, CW 16). Jung’s psychology not only anticipates Heinz Kohut’s intersubjective theory but also “stands in the clearest opposition to the ‘conformed’ Nazi ideology” (Disler 2010, 83). If some of his statements seem anti-Semitic, “they are contradicted by his teaching” (99).

In my previously published lecture, I explored the many ways Kirsch developed his argument that Jung, not Freud, was the true friend of “galut” (exiled) Jews and the best ally for those who have come home to their land. This aspect of Kirsch’s brief for Jung rests mainly on Jung’s view of the unconscious as the primal source, the Urgrund of the soul’s creativity, and secondarily on his idea that Jung had learned a distorted ver­sion of Judaism through his extended struggle with Freud (Lammers 2012b). Rather than repeat that discussion here, I would like to devote the remaining space to James Kirsch’s article for Jüdische Rundschau.

James Kirsch

“The Jewish Question in Psychotherapy: Some Remarks on an Essay by C. G. Jung,” Jüdische Rundschau, Nr. 43, 29.V.1934, Berlin, 11.7

In the “Zentralblatt für Psychotherapie und ihre Grenzgebiete,” vol. VII,8 issue 2, the well-known Zurich psychologist C. G. Jung has published an important essay: “The State of Psychotherapy Today,” which also possesses great value for us Jews and contains a series of general perspectives that can serve for healing in our particular situation. The central meaning which belongs today, fatefully, to psychotherapy, and its wide influence on the modern life of the spirit, philosophy, religion, mythological research, literature, and not least on the eternal locus of human events, the human soul, justifies paying attention to this essay and discussing it in a nonprofessional periodical.

Jung begins with the fact that, in the beginning, modern psychotherapy in its various forms believed it could develop a “technique,” and that this technique must, by profes­sional application, lead to successes. Jung does not, of course, deny the value of tech­nique in psychotherapy. But he is conscious that in every psychological treatment two people encounter each other, and that the basis of every psychological treatment is not technique but the human being. That is why for him the subjective background which the doctor brings into treatment is of the greatest importance. He considers it an unavoidable requirement for the doctor practicing psychotherapy to know his own background, his “personal equation.”

He reproaches Freud (and also Adler) for having made, with absolute one-sidedness, one viewpoint, one psychological conception into the weight-bearing pillar of their psycho­logical building, a conception which in general considers only the human shadow side. Of course Jung is also aware of the meaning and weight of the human shadow side, and he knows that in many cases it is extremely helpful “to confront the person with his own most uncomfortable truth.” But he could never embrace a conception of the unconscious which is purely negative and hostile to life. For Jung the unconscious is not only some­thing which causes fear and sexually perverse infantile fantasies; it also has a completely positive aspect. It is the creative ground of the soul, from which all human greatness comes. “In the neurosis is our best enemy or friend. It’s not how to get rid of a neurosis that the sick person has to learn, but rather how one carries it” [Cf. CW 10, ¶359]. The origin of the neurosis for Jung is the “loss of connection” with the eternally creative images of the primal source [Cf. CW 10, ¶367]. “The religions are psychotherapeutic systems. . . . They express the extent of the problem of the soul in powerful images. They are the soul’s confession and acknowledgment, and at the same time the soul’s revelation and manifes-tation” [Cf. CW 10, ¶367].

Freud himself got caught in a neurosis, in throwing out the “larger aspects of the expres­sions of the soul” (Future of an Illusion). It is very interesting to see that Jung derives from Freud’s subjective bias, from his Judaism, the fact that Freud psychologically elucidates only the shadow side and would prefer to avoid the larger aspects.

In seeing Freud this way, as a typical Jew, Jung comes to an image of Jews that is charac­teristic of Galut psychology in general, and of the 19th century in particular; but is surely not the last word about Jewish psychology. It seems that due to his decade-long fight with Freud, only the Galut image stayed with Jung. He did not get past the phenotype of the Jew living in exile from the Shekhinah, to the genotype of the real Jew. Actually, he wrote recently in the Neue Zürcher Zeitung that there must be something in the psycho­logical way of being of Jewish people themselves that leads them to call themselves the chosen people. Wouldn’t that correspond to a special connection of the Jews to the orig­inal source? Do they not suffer especially by their separation from this connection? And yet Jung calls them “Jewish,” these categories negating the root of all creativity, with the necessary result of intellectualism and fixation on the family drama! Admittedly, he also adds the reservation that even these categories don’t apply to all Jews.

In this way he overlooks the real tragedy of Freud and the whole Galut, namely that we have lost the connection to the soul’s original creative source. Jung therefore reaches mistaken judgments, for example that “for the Jew it is less dangerous to evaluate his unconscious negatively” [Cf. CW 10, ¶353]. On the contrary, for the Jew in exile it is especially characteristic, but also especially dangerous, to destroy the connection to the unconscious. The “culture form” of the Jew—he has always had one of his own—is a spe­cial way of dealing with the unconscious.

This can be most clearly recognized in the grand monument of Jewish culture, the Bible, for example Job, chap. 33, verses 14–16: “Because God talks in one way and another, only people do not pay attention. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls on human beings, and when they lie on their beds sleeping lightly, then he opens the ears of men and seals them with his teachings.” Are the final chapters of Job and Isaiah’s visions not great images of the soul? More about this can be found in the book, Wortempfang und Symbol in der alttestamentlichen Prophetie [Reception of the Word and Symbols in Old Testament Prophecy] (Töpelmann, Giessen, 1932), by the theologian Häussermann, who grounds his work on Jungian precepts.

We are not, as Jung believes, relative nomads, rather we are a restless people, a people with a collective neurosis, which since this loss of connection, and as a result of it, has found no abiding place. Within the Jewish people themselves—this seems to be insuffi­ciently known to Jung—a new level of awareness has broken through, by means of a thor­ough and bitter psychological analysis,9 whose most visible sign up to now is the return to their own ground. It is certain that here, in the old-new land, a new type of Jew has already come into being, who affirms himself and his way of being and says yes to all the forces of life. But there is a still larger task before us, to rediscover in the soul the living connection with the primal powers. On this journey the great Zurich psychologist, Jung, who until now has been treated with hostility, especially by Jews, and ignored in silence, can be a superb helper. For precisely here, in Jung’s personality, his psychology and psy­chotherapy, is something which speaks to the sick Jewish soul in its depths and can lead to its liberation.

Dr. James Kirsch, Tel Aviv

James Kirsch, “Die Judenfrage in der Psychotherapie: Einige Bemerkungen zu einem Aufsatz von C. G. Jung,” Jüdische Rundschau, Nr. 43, 29.V.1934, Berlin, 11.

Im Zentralblatt für Psychotherapie und ihre Grenzgebiete, Bd. VIII,10 Heh 2, veröffentli-cht der bekannte Züricher Psychologe, C. G. Jung, einen bedeutsamen Aufsatz: “Zur gegenwärtigen Lage in der Psychotherapie”, der auch für uns Juden gröβten Wert besitzt und eine Reihe allgemeiner Gesichtspunkte enthält, die zur Erheilung unserer eigentüm-lichen Situation dienen können. Die zentrale Bedeutung, die in der Gegenwart der Psy­chotherapie schicksalsmäβig zukommt, ihr weitreichender Einfluβ auf das moderne Geistesleben, Philosophie, Religion, Mythenforschung, Literatur und nicht zuletzt auf den ewigen Ort menschlichen Geschehens, die menschliche Seele, rechtfertigt es, auch in einer Nichtfachzeitschrih auf diesen Aufsatz hinzuweisen und ihn zu diskutieren.

Jung geht von der Tatsache aus, daβ die moderne Psychotherapie in ihren verschiedenen Formen anfangs eine “Technik” entwickeln zu können glaubte, und daβ diese bei nur fachgerechter Anwendung zu Erfolgen führen müsste. Jung leugnet selbstverständlich nicht den Wert der Technik in der Psychotherapie, ist sich aber bewuβt, daβ bei jeder seelischen Behandlung zwei Menschen aufeinander treffen, daβ die Grundlage jeder seelischen Behandlung nicht die Technik, sondern der Mensch ist. Daher sind für ihn die subjektiven Voraussetzungen, die der Arzt in die Therapie mit hineinbringt, von gröβter Wichtigkeit, und er hält es für ein unerläβliches Erfordernis des psychotherapeutisch tätigen Arztes, seine eigenen Voraussetzungen, seine “persönliche Gleichung” zu kennen.

Er macht nun Freud (und auch Adler) den Vorwurf, daβ sie mit absoluter Einseitigkeit einen Gesichtspunkt, eine psychologische Auffassung zum tragenden Pfeiler ihres psy-chologischen Gebäudes gemacht haben, eine Auffassung, die im wesentlichen nur die menschliche Schattenseite berücksichtigt. Selbstverständlich ist sich auch Jung über die

Bedeutung und das Ausmaβ der menschlichen Schattenseite klar, und er weiβ, daβ es in vielen Fällen äuβerst heilsam ist, den Menschen “mit seiner eigenen unangenehmsten Wahrheit zu konfrontieren”. Er konnte sich aber nie mit der rein negativen und lebens-feindlichen Auffassung des Unbewuβten befreunden. Für Jung ist das Unbewuβte nicht nur etwas, das Angst macht und sexuell-perverse Infantilphantasien, sondern es hat auch einen durchaus positiven Aspekt. Es ist der schöpferische Seelengrund, aus dem alles Groβe des Menschen stammt. “In der Neurose steckt unser bester Feind oder Freund. Nicht wie man eine Neurose los wird, hat der Kranke zu lernen, sondern wie man sie trägt.” Die Ursa-che der Neurose ist für Jung der “Verlust des Zusammenhanges” mit den ewigen schöp­ferischen Bildern des Urgrundes. “Die Religionen sind psychotherapeutische Systeme. . . . Sie drücken den Umfang des seelischen Problems in mächtigen Bildern aus. Sie sind Bek-enntnis und Erkenntnis der Seele, und zugleich Offenbarung und Erscheinung der Seele.”

Freud selbst hat sich in der Neurose gefangen, indem er den “gröβeren Aspekt der seelischen Erscheinung” den Garaus macht (“Zukunh einer Illusion”). Es ist nun sehr interessant zu sehen, daβ Jung die Tatsache, daβ Freud nur die Schattenseite psychol-ogisch erhellt und den gröβeren Aspekt vermeiden möchte, auf Freuds subjektive Voraussetzungen, sein Judentum, zurückführt.

Indem Jung in dieser Weise in Freud einen typischen Juden sieht, kommt Jung zu einem Bilde des Juden, das zwar charakteristisch für die Galuthpsychologie überhaupt und für die des 19. Jahrhunderts im besonderen, aber sicher nicht das letzte Wort über jüdische Psychologie ist. Es scheint, daβ in Jung durch seinen jahrzehntelangen Kampf mit Freud nur das Galuthbild hahen geblieben ist. Er ist von dem Phänotypus des in der Verban-nung von der Schechina lebenden Juden nicht zum Genotypus des wirklichen Juden gekommen. Zwar schrieb er selbt kürzlich in der “Neuen Zürcher Zeitung”, daβ es mit der seelischen Eigenart des jüdischen Volkes etwas auf sich haben müβe, das sich selbst als auserwählt bezeichnet. Sollte das nicht einer besonderen Verknüpfung des Juden mit dem ewigen Urgrund entsprechen? Rächt sich nicht die Trennung von diesem Zusam­menhang an ihnen ganz besonders? Und doch nennt Jung diese Kategorien der Negier-ung der Wurzel alles Schöpferischen mit den notwendigen Folgen des Intellektualismus und Fixierung an den Familienroman “jüdisch”! Freilich macht er auch die Einschrän-kung, daβ auch diese Kategorien nicht einmal für alle Juden zutreffen.

Damit übersieht er aber die eigentliche Tragik Freuds und der ganzen Galuth, nämlich, daβ wir den Zusammenhang mit dem schöpferischen Urgrund der Seele verloren haben, und kommt damit zu Fehlschlüssen wie z. B., daβ es “für den Juden weniger gefährlich sei, sein Unbewuβtes negativ zu bewerten”. Im Gegenteil, es ist für den in der “Verbannung” leben­den Juden zwar besonders charakteristisch, aber auch besonders gefährlich, den Zusam­menhang mit dem Unbewuβten zu zerstören. Die Kulturform des Juden – er hat stets eine eigene gehabt – ist gerade eine besondere Art des Umgangs mit dem Unbewuβten.

Das ist mit aller Klarheit in dem grandiosen Denkmal jüdischer Kultur, in der Bibel zu erkennen, z. B. in Hiob Kap. 33 Vers 14-16: “Denn in einer Weise redet Gott und wieder in einer anderen, nur achtet man’s nicht. Im Traum, im Nachtgesicht, wenn Tiefschlaf auf den Menschen fällt und wenn er im leisen Schlaf auf seinem Lager liegt, Da öffnet er das Ohr der Menschen und besiegelt sie mit seiner Lehre.” Oder sind die Schlieβkapitel des Hiob und Jesajas Visionen nicht groβartige Gemälde der Seele?

Näheres darüber findet sich in dem Buch des auf Jungscher Grundlage stehenden The-ologen Häuβermann: “Wortempfang und Symbol in der alttestamentlichen Prophetie” (Töpelmann, Gieβen, 1932).

Wir sind auch nicht, wie Jung meint, relative Nomaden, sondern ein rastloses Volk, ein Volk mit einer kollektiven Neurose, das infolge dieses Verlustes des Zusammenhanges seitdem keine bleibende Stätte gefunden hat. Innerhalb des jüdischen Volkes selbst hat sich, was Jung nicht genügend bekannt zu sein scheint, eine neue Erkenntnis durch eine gründliche und bittere psychologische Analyse Bahn gebrochen, deren sichtbarster Aus-druck bisher die Rückkehr zum eigenen Boden ist. Sicher ist hier im alt-neuen Lande bereits ein neuer Typ Jude entstanden, der sich und seine Eigenart bejaht und zu allen Krähen des Lebens Ja sagt. Aber noch steht uns die gröβere Aufgabe bevor, auch im Seelischen den lebendigen Zusammenhang mit den Urmächten wieder zu finden. Auf diesem Wege kann uns der groβe Züricher Psychologe Jung, der bisher vielfach gerade von Juden angefeindet und totgeschwiegen wurde, ein vorzüglicher Helfer werden. Denn gerade in Jungs Persönlichkeit, in seiner Psychologie und Psychotherapie ist etwas enthalten, das die kranke jüdische Seele in ihren Tiefen anspricht und zu ihrer Befreiung führen kann.

Dr. James Kirsch, Tel-Awiw

This article was originally published as “Hoffnung in der Verbannung: James Kirschs Verteidi­gung von C. G. Jung, 1934,” in Analytische Psychologie: Zeitschrifi für Psychotherapie und Psycho-analyse, 2012:43, 168 (Frankfurt/Main: Brandes & Apsel). Reprinted in English translation by courtesy of the Editorial Board of Analytische Psychologie and the publisher, Brandes & Apsel, Frankfurt/Main.

  1. The February 2012 issue of Jung Journal: Culture & Psyche was devoted to papers from the conference “Jung and Judaism: A Paradoxical Affinity,” held in Berkeley, California, on April 15–16, My paper for that conference, “James Kirsch’s Religious Debt to C. G. Jung” (Lammers 2012b), was printed in Jung Journal vol. 6.1, where the abstract reads:

Due in part to his published statements in 1933–34, Jung fell into disrepute with many Jews in Europe and Palestine (Israel). In a series of essays and letters written Pom Tel Aviv in 1934, James Kirsch, one of Jung’s first German-Jewish followers, defended him energetically against accusations of anti-Semitism. Kirsch argued that Jung’s early encounters with Freud had given him a distorted, “exilic” view of Judaism. He maintained that Jung’s psychology, not Freud’s, o$ered healing to modern Jews tragically cut o$ Pom The Holy, which has always spoken through dreams and other communications Pom the unconscious. (34)

A German version of the same lecture was delivered on April 30, 2011, at the ETH, Zurich. It has been published under the title “Hoffnung in der Verbannung: James Kirschs Verteidigung von C. G. Jung” (“Hope in Exile: James Kirsch’s Defense of C. G. Jung”) (Lammers 2012c).

  1. Archives of the Berlin Jüdische Rundschau are available in microfiche at the Jewish Read­ing Room of the New York Public They can also be viewed online at www—a resource to which Dr. Guenther Langwieler kindly directed me in 2008. In either format, these newspaper articles are in a tiny, sometimes blurred, almost illegible typeface. The present transcription of Kirsch’s article is based on microfiche, which I copied at the Jewish Reading Room in December 2007. In its original language, the article has been published as an appendix to “Hoffnung in der Verbannung” (Lammers 2012c, 183–199).

  1. Jung’s full statement reads,”Die tatsächlich bestehenden und einsichtigen Leuten schon längst bekannten Verschiedenheiten der germanischen und der jüdischen Psychologie sollen nicht mehr verwischt werden, was der Wissenschafi nur förderlich sein kann” ( Jung 1933, 139). In Hull’s translation, this reads: “The differences which actually do exist between Germanic and Jewish psychology and which have long been known to every intelligent person, are no longer to be glossed over, and this can only be beneficial to science” (CW 10, ¶1014).
  2. Gustav Bally (1893–1966), a Swiss-born psychiatrist, had been ejected from Germany for his “anti-state” In later years, he related to Jung as a trusted colleague.
  3. “Es gibt in der Psychologie tor allen anderen Wissenschafien eine ‘persönliche Gleichung’, deren Nichtbeachtung die Ergebnisse ton Praxis und Theorie verfälscht” ( Jung 1933, 139).
  4. The phrase “humanly related” may be more appropriate in relation to writings in the 1930s.
  5. I would like to thank Dr. Thomas Fischer for correcting my transcription, and Ursula Egli for checking my translation of this
  6. Kirsch erroneously identifies the 1934 Zentralblatt as Volume The first issue in 1934 was a “double issue,” combining the first and second numbers. Jung’s sixteen-page essay was the first piece in this Doppelhefi.
  7. Kirsch’s reference to Theodor Herzl’s polemical essay, “Maushel” (Lammers 2011, 55).
  8. Error in printed Volume number should be VII.

References to The Collected Works of C. G. Jung are cited in the text as CW, volume number, and paragraph number. The Collected Works are published in English by Routledge (UK) and Princeton University Press (USA).


Bally, G. “Deutschstämmige” Psychotherapie? (“German-born‘Psychotherapy?’”) Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 343, 27. Feb. 1934, Zürich, 2.

Cambray, J. 2011. Moments of complexity and enigmatic action: A Jungian view of the thera­peutic field. The Journal of Analytical Psychology, 65.3 ( June): 296–309.

Disler, W. A. 2010. Freud, Jung, der Nationalsozialismus und die Theorie der Intersubjektivität. (Freud, Jung, National Socialism and the Theory of Intersubjectivity). Erweiterte Neuau-flage. Zürich: Institut für kritische Theorie und Selbstpsychologie.

Jung, C. G. 1993. Geleitwort des Herausgebers. Zentralblatt für die Psychotherapie und ihre Grenzgebiete VI.3 (December), 139–140. Published in English as 1934/1968. Editorial. Civilization in transition. CW 10, ¶1014–1005.

———. 1934a. Zur gegenwärtigen Lage der Psychotherapie. Zentralblatt für die Psychotherapie und ihre Grenzgebiete VII.1 (February), 1–16. Published in English as 1934/1968. The state of psychotherapy today. Civilization in transition. CW 10, ¶333–370.


———. 1934b. A rejoinder to Dr. Bally. Civilization in Transition. CW 10, ¶1016–1034.

———. 1934c/2011. Letter to James Kirsch, September 29, 1934. In  ed. A. Lammers, 62–63. London: Routledge.

———. 1935. Principles of practical psychotherapy.  CW 16,¶1–27. Kirsch, J. 1934a. Die Judenfrage in der Psychotherapie: Einige Bemerkungen zu einem Aufsatz

Jung). Jüdische Rundschau, Nr. 43 (May 29), 11, Berlin. (See above, 76–80.)

———. 1934b/2011. Letter to C. G. Jung, May 7, 1934. In  ed. A. Lammers, 40–43. London: Routledge.  A modern Jew in search of a soul, ed. M. Spiegel-man and A. Jacobson, 147–155. Phoenix, AZ: Falcon.  Cultures and identities in transition: Jungian perspectives, ed. M. Stein and R. A. Jones, 190–198. London and New York: Routledge.Lammers, A. C. (ed.). 2011. Kirsch. Trans. Ursula Egli and Ann Lammers. London: Routledge.

———. 2012a. Professional relationships in dangerous times: C. G. Jung and the Society for Psychotherapy. Journal of Analytical Psychology, 57.1: 99–119.

———. 2012b. James Kirsch’s religious debt to C. G. Jung. Jung Journal: Culture & Psyche, 6.1: 21–34. 2/2012, 43.Jg: 183–199.

Rasche, J. 2009. “Das geistige Licht mit dem Irren im Dunkel verbinden”: C. G. Jung als

Zionist?). Unpublished typescript, 1–44, Berlin.

———. 2012. C. G. Jung in the 1930s: Not to idealize, neither to diminish.  Journal: Culture &Psyche, 6.4: 52–71.

In 1934, James Kirsch wrote to a Zionist newspaper, Jüdische Rundschau, defending Jung against charges of anti-Semitism. Stressing Jung’s awareness of the personal equation, Kirsch suggested that a psychology based on human relationship was radically out of tune with Nazi ideology. Here he anticipated recent discussions of Jung’s early discovery of the theory of inter­subjectivity. He also argued that by honoring the creative unconscious, Jung supported Jewish self-understanding better than any other psychology. Supplementing a prior publication in the Jung Journal (Winter 2012), “James Kirsch’s Religious Debt to C. G. Jung”, this essay concludes with the full text of Kirsch’s 1934 article in English and German.

anti-Semitism, Gustav Bally, intersubjectivity, Jewish identity, Jüdische Rundschau, C. G. Jung, James Kirsch, Nazism, personal equation, Zionism