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Kitlitschko, S. (2016). »Um Ihre Erfahrungen haben wir alle Grund Sie zu beneiden.« Walter-Fritz Seemanns Aufenthalt in Chicago im Spiegel seines Briefwechsels mit Alexander Mitscherlich. Luzifer-Amor, 29(58):7-33.

(2016). Luzifer-Amor: Zeitschrift zur Geschichte der Psychoanalyse, 29(58):7-33

Themenschwerpunkt: Amerikanische Impulse für die westdeutsche Nachkriegspsychoanalyse

»Um Ihre Erfahrungen haben wir alle Grund Sie zu beneiden.« Walter-Fritz Seemanns Aufenthalt in Chicago im Spiegel seines Briefwechsels mit Alexander Mitscherlich

Susanne Kitlitschko

Zusammenfassung: Der Arzt Walter-Fritz Seemann hielt sich dank eines Stipendiums der Rockefeller Foundation von November 1948 bis Juni 1949 als »special student« am Institute for Psychoanalysis in Chicago auf, das zu der Zeit ein Zentrum der analytischen psychosomatischen Forschung war. Anhand des Briefwechsels zwischen Seemann und Alexander Mitscherlich wird detailliert nachgezeichnet, auf welche Weise die Arbeit am Wissens- und Erfahrungstransfer in das von Nationalsozialismus und Krieg zerstörte Deutschland konkret geleistet wurde. Als einer der ersten nicht-emigrierten Deutschen an einer US-amerikanischen psychoanalytischen Institution fand sich Seemann dort überraschend freundlich aufgenommen und profitierte von einer kooperativen scientific community, reich gefüllten Bibliotheken und einer Lehranalyse beim Berliner Emigranten Fritz Moellenhoff. Über die Beschaffung von im Nachkriegsdeutschland dringend benötigter psychosomatischer Forschungsliteratur und die Akquise von Vortragsmanuskripten zum Abdruck in der jungen Psyche wurde Seemanns Aufenthalt auch für Mitscherlich hochwirksam. Nach seiner Rückkehr wurde Seemann ein enger Mitarbeiter Mitscherlichs in Heidelberg, ging ab 1954 jedoch eigene Wege. Skizziert werden auch die Hintergründe des Stipendiums, das ursprünglich Seemanns Ehefrau Ursula Seemann-de Boor erhalten hatte, eine Widerstandskämpferin gegen den Nationalsozialismus.

Summary: »We all have reason to envy you the rich experience you are having«. Walter-Fritz Seemann's stay in Chicago as reflected in his correspondence with Alexander Mitscherlich. W. F. Seemann was a »special student« at the Institute of Psychoanalysis in Chicago from November 1948 until June 1949 thanks to a Fellowship from the Rockefeller Foundation, which had originally been granted to his wife, Ursula Seemann-de Boor, who had been a political prisoner under the Nazis. Based on a close reading of the correspondence between Seemann and Alexander Mitscherlich the author outlines precisely the way in which professional knowledge and experience were transmitted to post-war Germany, which had been devastated by nationalsocialism and World War II. Seemann, as one of the first non-emigrant Germans received into an analytic institute in the USA, was given a surprisingly friendly welcome. He profited from the rich libraries, the cooperative style of the scientific community and some training analysis with Fritz Moellenhoff, an immigrant from Berlin. Seemann conveyed his experience back to Mitscherlich and post-war Germany by sending much-needed research literature and by making contact with analysts who would agree to publish their work in the newly founded Psyche. After his return to Germany Seemann became one of Mitscherlich's closest colleagues in Heidelberg. However from 1954 onwards Seemann stroke out on his own professionally.

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