Psychoanalysis and the Emigration of Central and Eastern European Intellectuals*


One of the most important phenomena in the intellectual history of the 20th century was the exodus of the European mind, the emigration of persons, ideas, techniques, and institutions in the vast areas of social, human, and natural sciences, as well as in literature and the visual arts. Among these exiled intellectuals, psychoanalysts formed a special group. This paper examines the major lines of the emigration of psychoanalysts from the countries of issue to the countries of reception. It focuses, in particular on Hungarian analysts and analytic candidates who left their country of birth in two waves, first after the failure of revolutions in 1918/19 for Berlin, and then after 1938, to escape the Nazis. The paper comments on the existential situation of émigré psychoanalysts in light of Hannah Arendt’s writings on refugees.

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Correspondence to Ferenc Erős.

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Address correspondence to Ferenc Erős, Ph.D. Tátra u. 24, 1136 Budapest, Hungary.

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Erős, F. Psychoanalysis and the Emigration of Central and Eastern European Intellectuals* . Am J Psychoanal 76, 399–413 (2016).

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  • emigration
  • psychoanalysis
  • Germany
  • Hungary
  • Hannah Arendt