Sunday, June 3, 2012

Freud fled the Nazis

My post below mentioned Freud, and I discovered a huge section was removed from the Wikipedia article:
There is a growing body of literature that points to the ongoing legacy of Freud’s work for understandings of questions of race and cultural difference, as well as for understandings of the political frameworks through which these questions of difference are addressed. The ways in which both psychoanalysis and Freud himself were persecuted as Jewish by Nazis and their collaborators have been well documented. As Karen Brecht and others have pointed out, “During the 1930s, while there were about 56 members of the German Psychoanalytic Society (Deutsche Psychoanalytische Gesellschaft, DPG); only nine were German ‘Aryans.’ ... Most of Germany’s Jewish psychoanalysts fled from Germany and Nazi-occupied Europe in the early 1930s; ...

While Freud himself defined psychoanalysis in universalist terms, a number of scholars have argued that psychoanalysis can nonetheless be understood as a Jewish science. Sander Gilman has argued that psychoanalysis can be understood as a Jewish science not simply because many of its founders were themselves Jewish and because psychoanalysis was attacked as a Jewish science, but because Freud’s development of psychoanalysis was itself informed by the ways in which Jews were pathologized. He argues that Freud made the Jew invisible in psychoanalysis in response to the ways in which Jews were pathologized, and that “the new science of psychoanalysis provided status for the Jew as scientist while re-forming the idea of medical science to exclude the debate about the implication of race.”
I don't get why this is so controversial. It appears to be well-sourced and not any more controversial that a lot of other Freud opinions.

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