Topics: Diaspora, Emigration, Main Topic: Identity and Community, Jewish Identity, Psychotherapy / Psychoanalysis, Refugees, Interviews, Ageing and the Elderly
Abstract: The relationship between psychoanalysis and Jewishness has been debated for over one hundred years and the derogatory term ”Jewish science” has been used to describe psychoanalysis. Because of the Nazi regime both Jewish and non-Jewish psychoanalysts left their homelands. In this study, aging Jewish individuals born in Central Europe and forced into exile were interviewed concerning their perceptions of psychoanalysis and Jewishness, of Jewish identity and exile. Anti-Semitism had influenced their perceptions of their work in the psychoanalytic field. The findings are discussed in relation to the current position of psychoanalysis as well as to questions of trauma and exile.