Psychotherapy in the Third Reich: The Göring Institute

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Transaction Publishers, Jan 1, 1997 - Psychology - 461 pages

The idea for this book sprang from Geoffrey Cocks' curiosity as to what happened in the new, dynamic field of psychotherapy hi Germany with the advent of Hitler. While traditional views merely asserted that the Nazis destroyed the field of psychotherapy in Germany, a viewpoint justifiably based on the testimony of those in the field who had emigrated from Germany to escape Nazi persecution, Cocks learned that there was more to the story. He looked to several interesting shards of evidence that pointed to the possibility that one could reconstruct a history of morally questionable professional developments in German psychotherapy during the Third Reich.

The evidence included: existence of a journal for psychotherapy published continuously from 1928 to 1944; accounts of a psychotherapist who assumed leadership of his colleagues and who was a relative of the powerful Nazi leader Hermann Goring; and a strong psychotherapeutic lobby in German medicine that was intellectually impoverished but apparently not destroyed by the expulsion of the prominent and predominantly Jewish psychoanalytic movement. Non-Jewish psychoanalysts and psychotherapists had in fact pursued their profession under the aegis of the so-called Goring Institute, with substantial support from agencies of the Nazi party, the Reich government, the military, and private business.

Much research has been done in the ten years since the first edition of this book was published, hence the need for a second edition. Included is more information on the history of psychotherapy and psychoanalysis in Nazi Germany, on the social history of the Third Reich, and on the history of the professions in Germany. Three new chapters analyze postwar developments and conflicts as well as broader issues of continuity and discontinuity in the history of modern Germany and the West. In addition, the author has reorganized the volume along chronological and narrative lines for greater ease of reading. "Psychotherapy in the Third Reich "is an important work for psychotherapists, psychologists, psychoanalysts, sociologists, and historians.

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Selected pages


Medicine and the Mind in Modern Germany
The General Medical Society for Psychotherapy 19261933
Nazi Medicine and the Jewish Science
Psyche and Swastika
Psychiatry Old Enemy in a New Reich
The Parvenu and the Patriarch
Institute and Profession
The First Goring Institute 19361939
The SS the Wehrmacht and Sexuality
Psychotherapy and War Neurosis
Reich Institute
Reconstruction and Repression
Rebellion and Remembrance
Psychotherapy the Third Reich and the Course of Modern German History

Patients and Psychotherapy Neurosis in Nazi Germany
The Second Goring Institute 19391942

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Page 151 - It would not surprise us if we were to find a special institution in the mind which performs the task of seeing that narcissistic gratification is secured from the ego-ideal and that, with this end in view, it constantly watches the real ego and measures it by that ideal.
Page 142 - 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 towards perdition
Page 279 - Franz Neumann, Behemoth: The Structure and Practice of National Socialism (New York: Oxford University Press, 1942), pp.
Page 156 - The Burden of Success: Reflections on German Jewry," in idem, Dreams and Delusions: The Drama of German History (New York, 1987), p. 108. 92. George L. Mosse, Germans and Jews: The Right, the Left, and the Search for a "Third Force" in Pre-Nazi Germany (New York, 1970), pp.
Page 400 - ... also offers insight into the dynamics of German society as a whole under National Socialism, which is a phenomenon that has often and necessarily been ignored in the historical literature out of concern for the broad, characteristic extremes comprised of Nazi victimizers and their victims. This was a social environment in which "the overwhelming majority of... citizens... were ready to complain but willing to comply..., maintaining a clear sense of their own interests and a profound indifference...
Page 112 - This collaboration began with the Law for the Prevention of Genetically Diseased Offspring of July 14, 1933. This law mandated the sterilization of those individuals suffering from a wide range of illnesses which, in keeping with Nazi racial theory and the physicalist views of most psychiatrists, were defined as hereditary. These included schizophrenia, manic-depressive insanity, and alcoholism, among others. One of the three chief authors of the expert commentary on the law was the prominent psychiatrist...
Page 326 - Martin Van Creveld, Fighting Power: German and US Army Performance, 1939-1945 (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1982), pp. 163-164. 10. Reuven Gal, "Unit Morale: Some Observations on Its Israeli Version," Department of Military Psychiatry, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Washington, DC, 1983.
Page 150 - Nazism: the essence of the defect of Jungian psychotherapy is the attempt to avoid touching on those issues that are most concrete, most real, most related to the body and to a specific moment in history.... Jung could not afford to urge his patients to examine their pasts, for he needed to avoid thinking about his own past, tainted as it was by collaboration with the Nazis.
Page 147 - The paean of the Italian nation is addressed to the personality of the Duce, and the dirges of other nations lament the absence of great leaders
Page 279 - Joan Campbell, JOY in Work, German Work: The National Debate, 18001945 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1989); and Frank Trommler, "Die Nationalisierung der Arbeit...

About the author (1997)

Geoffrey Cocks is Royal G. Hall Professor of History at Albion College.

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