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Ekstein, R. (1995). A Reminiscence of My Friendship with Bruno Bettelheim. Psychoanal. Soc. Work, 2(4):5-13.

(1995). Psychoanalytic Social Work, 2(4):5-13

A Reminiscence of My Friendship with Bruno Bettelheim

Rudolf Ekstein, Ph.D., MSS

A few days before Bruno left Santa Monica to move to Silver Spring in Maryland, he gave me a copy of his latest book just published, entitled Freud's Vienna A. Other Essays and his final paragraphs in this book, perhaps the last published words of my friend, read now like a testament. He said:

Perhaps the time has come again when the Jews, because of their peculiar experience, have something of the greatest importance to teach. In many ways, the Western world itself seems to be embracing ghetto philosophy of not wishing to know, not wishing to understand what is going on in the rest of the world. If we are not careful, the white Western world, which is already a minority of mankind, will wail itself up in its own ghetto, by instruments of so-called deference. Within such a protective girdle-which is also a constrictive one-many contemplate digging into their shelters. Like the Jews who remained in their Eastern ghettos even after the Nazis arrived, we seem concerned only that business should go well in our big shtetl, and never mind what goes on in the rest of the world.


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