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Klüners, M. (2016). Mitscherlich in Amerika: Westernisierung am Beispiel eines Arztes und Intellektuellen. Luzifer-Amor, 29(58):63-91.

(2016). Luzifer-Amor: Zeitschrift zur Geschichte der Psychoanalyse, 29(58):63-91

Mitscherlich in Amerika: Westernisierung am Beispiel eines Arztes und Intellektuellen

Martin Klüners

Zusammenfassung: Der Aufsatz widmet sich dem Tagebuch, das Alexander Mitscherlich während seiner auf Einladung der Rockefeller Foundation unternommenen Amerika-Reise im Jahr 1951 verfasst hat. Das Hauptaugenmerk gilt dabei Mitscherlichs Amerika-Bild. Es wird der Frage nachgegangen, inwieweit sich in den ausführlichen Schilderungen seiner Erlebnisse und Eindrücke traditionelle alteuropäisch-bildungsbürgerliche Vorbehalte und moderne Westernisierungstendenzen miteinander mischen. Bis weit in die 1930er Jahre hinein stand Mitscherlich nämlich unter dem Einfluss eines deutlich anti-amerikanisch ausgerichteten intellektuellen Milieus, bevor sich seine Haltung im Zuge des passiven Widerstandes gegen das NS-Regime änderte und er insbesondere in der unmittelbaren Nachkriegszeit freundschaftliche Kontakte zur Besatzungsmacht pflegte sowie darüber hinaus am Westernisierungsprojekt amerikanischer und deutscher Intellektueller sogar selbst aktiv Anteil hatte. Als Einstieg in die Untersuchung von Mitscherlichs Reiseaufzeichnungen dient daher ein kurzer Überblick über seine geistige Sozialisation vor dem Hintergrund der Geschichte des deutschen Amerika-Bildes.

Summary: Mitscherlich in US. Westernization and its influence on a medical practitioner and intellectual. The topic of this article is the diary written by Alexander Mitscherlich during his visit to America in 1951 where he travelled on invitation of the Rockefeller Foundation. The focus of the paper is Mitscherlich's image of America. The question is considered in how far the detailed description of his adventures and impressions reflects a mixture of his traditional, old-fashioned European reservations and modern trends of westernization. It is a fact that until late into the 1930s Mitscherlich was under the influence of a marked anti-American academic milieu, before his attitudes changed with the gradual development of passive resistance to the NS-regime. Furthermore he established friendly contacts with the American occupation forces immediately after World War II, and actively took part in the projects to westernise Germany undertaken by American and German intellectuals. A short survey of his spiritual socialisation serves as an introduction to the research into Mitscherlich's minutes of his journey, against the background of the history of the German image of America.

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