Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Journeying with Jung 37

Dealings with Jolande Jacobi

Among the coterie of followers who became famous analysts was Jolande Jacobi(1890-1973).  She would become a colleague of Jung for many years.   Jewish by birth, she had become a Catholic.  However, she had converted long before the Nazi threat.  Of course, this would not protect her from the "Final Solution" thought up by Wotan-Hitler.  Therefore, in March 1938, when the Germans marched into Austria, Jolande Jacobi was in grave danger.  In 1934, at the age of 44, she had written to Jung wanting him to train her as an analyst.  She had enrolled as a student of psychology at the University of Vienna and was only within four months of graduating when Austria was annexed.

Her flat was ransacked by the Gestapo soon after the occupation, but Jolande managed to escape to Budapest from where she again wrote to Jung, looking for asylum in the Shangri-La of Switzerland, the land of Jungian dreams, if I may be permitted to sustain my mythical metaphor. However, Jung refused to relent.  I find this position very hard-hearted and lacking in empathy as Jung must have realised her absolute and imminent danger.  Risking her life, Jolande returned to Vienna where she stayed in a friend's house pretending to be a widow.i.e., dressing all in black with a veil covering her head.  She graduated with her Doctorate in Psychology and went to Zurich where Jung finally admitted her to his inner circle. 

A little later, in Autumn 1941, Jung was to write to the president of the festival in Einsiedeln where Jolande had been asked to address the congress on the subject of "Paracelsus and Women" warning him of Jolande's being a close friend of Kurt von Schuschnigg, the Austrian Chancellor who had tried to stop Hitler from invading his country.  One might understand this protest if Switzerland was in imminent danger of invasion.  By Autumn of 1941, this danger had almost completely receded. (See Hayman, 376)  One might write this behaviour down to envy of a very capable woman and to Jung's machismo or ego. Hayman goes on to report the following which is an insight into Jung's dark side:

Forced to withdraw, she afterwards said: "I always regarded Jung as a Pétainist... He always wanted not to get into difficulties with people."... According to Jacobi, Jung had once said:  "You know the great difference between you and me is that I am a coward and you are unusually brave for a woman." (Ibid., 376)

One can see Jung's cowardice alright and we can accept him at his word, because at least he did admit his faults and acknowledge his shadow side.  However, we can note the then attitude to women in his final allusion to women in the above quoted paragraph.

Also Jung's treatment of the young Jewish lawyer Vladimir Rosenbaum leaves a lot to be desired.  This young man had helped Jung when he was being accused of Anti-SemitismJung failed to do anything to help him. (See ibid., 359)  The reader, including this one, is very disappointed in this hero with definite feet of clay.

Jung's Ego and Ambition:

Chapter 31 deals with the time period from March 1938 (when the German troops marched into Austria) until 23 of September 1939, the very day of Sigmund Freud's death.  It is also important to pint out that the Second World War was declared on the 3rd day of that same month.  So this was an emotional and turbulent period to say the least.  During this short interval Jung founded The Teaching Institute for Psychotherapy at Zurich University, chaired the congress of The International General Medical Society at Oxford, gave the last seminar on Nietzsche, stayed on as president of The International General Medical Society, appointed Dr Goring as co-editor of its journal the Zentralblatt, and wrote a very famous obituary for Freud which damned the great man with faint praise indeed.

According to Hayman,  Jung was all the while trying to establish himself as 'the dominant psychological theorist of the day.' (see ibid., 359-360)

Jung on Hitler:

Once again Jung is always interesting on this megalomaniac.  Hayman continues with his depiction of these ideas:

Unlike Mussolini, Hitler scarcely existed as a man.  While Mussolini's role disappeared behind him, Hitler disappeared behind his role.  Watching a parade of goose-stepping Germans soldiers, Mussolini enjoyed it 'with the zest of a small boy at a circus... It really is a most impressive step.'  But Hitler made 'upon me the impression of a sort of scaffolding of wood covered with cloth, an automaton with a mask, like a robot... During the whole performance he never laughed; it was as though he were in a bad humour, sulking.'  (ibid., 360)

Jung went on to say that Hitler's madness went on to affect the whole German people.  The megalomaniacal dictator was subject to ungovernable rages as many of his henchmen would suffer in like manner and so on down the line.  After the pact between Germany and Russia, Jung dreamed that Hitler was the 'Devil's Christ', in other words the Antichrist, but that, as such, he was 'God's instrument.'  In a letter he wrote in English on 2 September 1939, Jung said: 'Hitler is approaching his climax and with him the German Psychosis.'  (Ibid., 363)  The Second World War was to be declared the following day.

Above I have uploaded a Nazi propaganda poster. Sinister times when Wotan-Hitler captured the public imagination! What a nightmare to openly participate in!

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