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Jung-Kirsch Correspondence

Dr. med. James Kirsch

Hayarkon str. 10128

Tel-Aviv                                                              7 May 1934

Dear Dr. Jung!

For many months I’ve avoided writing to you in detail.

As much as I enjoyed your letter, and as much as I know that on deeper levels there is no misunderstanding of any sort between us, I also know that on a superficial level I have to be completely detached from you.

All this makes your attitude toward me – especially as I experienced you in Ascona incomprehensible.

It would have been very good if we’d had a discussion at that time.

But perhaps it’s even better that we can have it now, after I’ve had a chance to read several of your publications.

First of all, I have to tell you that in Ascona, as well as here in Palestine, I’ve heard reports about some of your remarks which did not present you as a friend of the Jews.

At this distance, of course, I was unable to verify what you actually said.

For instance, it appears that you said Jews are not honest in analysis.

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 Zurcher Zeitung titled “Deutschstammige 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.

Because of these events the entire field of psychotherapy is now in a difficult situation here.

It is a fact that Freud is also being rejected here.

Adler’s students have generally not made any headway because of their shallowness.

If you are also silenced, what then?

For instance, Freud had personally proposed a student for the position of lecturer at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

During the meeting to discuss the appointment, an essay by the Freudian in question was read, wherein the Sabbath was traced back to sexuality in an obscene way and the lectureship was history.

One of these days a situation may very well arise when we Jews will have to ask for your help for the sake of our soul!

Well, dear Doctor, the rumors about your being anti-Semitic do not appear to be dying down.

In a letter I received from Germany last week someone wrote me that you had expressed on the radio, via German broadcasting stations, your gratitude for and recognition of Hitler’s reforms at the German universities.

If that is a fact, I do not understand you as a Swiss.

Please don’t interpret my letter as being aggressive I am merely attempting to understand you in this respect and hope that you will grant me the privilege of reaching such an understanding.

On the other hand, I don’t feel understood by you in this matter.

You know that I know and love German youth and can only subscribe, on the basis of profound experience, to what you are saying about the German people and also about the youthful Germanic spirit.

But, on the basis of many experiences, I know that the current leaders are abusing the young and misrepresenting their goals.

You would be correct in stating that I am biased, since I belonged to the defeated party.

I don’t know if that is an objection.

Sometimes one sees more clearly from the outside.

What is unbearable and incomprehensible to me is why you should be taking sides in this matter.

And for an important reason: You’ve always rejected the “making” of things and “organizing.”

Why should you say “yes” to this?

In China, an emperor is respected as a good leader when his rule goes unnoticed.


In Germany’s Third Reich one senses the “totality” of the state everywhere.


About the Jews you write: “The Jew … , as far as one can see, will never create his own form of culture, because all his instincts and talents presuppose a more or less civilized host-people for their development. ”


I am dumbfounded to hear an anticipation from you.


But even the premises to this prejudice seem incorrect to me.


What you are writing certainly is true for the Galut Jew.


It seems to me that you received your image of the Jew essentially from Freud, who of course is an excellent example of this Galut psychology.


This Galut psychology was rejected by a few Jews at first, by many today, and in a not too distant future perhaps it will be rejected by all.


Here in Palestine (and Palestine is already the intellectual center) the Jews are living as a people, resident, earth-bound, and self-reliant, not in the middle of another culture.


I wish you could see some of these new types of Jews.


However, all of this ( return to the soil, to the homeland) is only the presupposition for something much more important.


Surely we are an ancient culture.


Certainly, we cannot create entirely new cultural values like the Teutonic people.


Our tensions are differently determined – and comprise equally rich creative possibilities.


In Faulhaber’s words, since Christ, the Jews have been excluded from the revelation.


We made a vital mistake by rejecting Christ. Christ is the repressed complex of the Jew.


However, just as everything changes in the individual life of a person as soon as a repressed complex enters into consciousness and comes alive,


in the same way things can change collectively – and also creatively with our repressed Christ-complex.


I have a great number of proofs ( dreams and images) to support my view that this Christ-complex is central in the Jew.


On this basis one must understand the peculiar psychology and the peculiar fate of the Jew – and also anti-Semitism.


I believe you’ll be able to confirm my interpretation.


We are dealing with a collective standstill, a repression with all its consequences.


Also we are not nomads, but rather a restless people that has lost its living God, despite all the warnings of the prophets.


We even pronounced the dreadful word about Christ: His blood be on our head and that of our children.


You are not the first, and will not be the last, whose warnings we cast aside.


But I believe that – especially at this moment – your way will lead us back to the Living One and may be of enormous significance for the rebirth of the Jews.


For this reason, it appears to me an irreparable harm if your voice should be silenced here.


I cannot imagine that what you write in your essay “Zur gegenwartigen Lage der Psychotherapie” is everything you have to say about the Jews.


Would it not be useful if you published a detailed essay about the Jews here, too?


I could arrange for a good Hebrew translation to appear in an excellent publication.


Please excuse this somewhat confused letter, but it was written from my heart.


Could you answer me in detail?


With most cordial greetings,


Ever faithfully yours, JAMES KIRSCH  ~James Kirsch, Jung-Kirsch Letters, Pages 40-43