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Hidas, G. (1997). Psychoanalysis in Hungary in the Era of Communism and Postcommunism. Psychoanal. Inq., 17(4):486-497.

(1997). Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 17(4):486-497

Psychoanalysis in Hungary in the Era of Communism and Postcommunism

György Hidas, M.D.

The history of Hungarian psychoanalysis is closely interlaced with the twentieth century vicissitudes of the country itself. The Hungarian Psychoanalytical Association was founded in Budapest very early, in 1913, in the vivid spiritual atmosphere of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. The Association was headed by Freud's disciple and friend, Sándor Ferenczi (1873-1933), and existed until 1948, the year when the Communist regime came to full power. In the group forming around Ferenczi were such prominent analysts as Istvan Hollos, Lajos Levy, Sándor Rado, Geza Roheim, Michael and Alice Balint, Imre Hermann and also Melanie Klein, who trained with Ferenczi.

The Association was composed not only of medical members; for example, an active participant was Ignotus, editor-in-chief of the leading literature journal of the age, Nyugat (West). And a deep penetration by psychoanalytic ideas is evident in the contemporary literature and culture of the period as in the writings of many outstanding personalities (Frigyes Karinthy, Mihály Babits, Dezsô Kosztolányi, Milán Füst, Attila József, Gyula Krudy).

In the Spring of 1919, after Hungary's defeat in World War I, a communist government came to power for a short while, strongly supported by progressive, leftist, mostly Jewish intellectuals.

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