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Ermann, M. (2009). Michael Ermann Interviews Carola Mann. Int. Forum Psychoanal., 18(4):250-253.

(2009). International Forum of Psychoanalysis, 18(4):250-253

Michael Ermann Interviews Carola Mann

Michael Ermann

M.E.: Carola Mann, I am happy to have the opportunity to interview you. I think we met for the first time in Zurich at the 1985 Forum—quite a long time ago.

CM.: I am not very good with dates, but you are probably right. I feel honored that you think I can contribute something of interest to the readers of the Forum, in terms of my personal professional connection with the IFPS.

M.E.: As far as I know, you grew up in Switzerland and went over to the USA at the time of World War II.

CM.: Actually, it was a bit more complicated than that. I was borne in Berlin and lived there until I was 8, and then went to a boarding school in Switzerland. This clearly was not my choice, but my parents did not want me to grow up in Germany—remember that this was 1938, and having a Jewish mother and Protestant father made seem Switzerland a safe country.

Of course, no one could predict that my father would have a heart attack in 1939 and no longer be able to pay the tuition fees for me and my older sister. But luck would have it that my mother was visiting me at the school just as he died and, overnight, decided to stay in Switzerland as refugee. No doubt it saved her life and kept my sister and me safe, if poor. As so-called ‘Mischlinge’ (the offspring of a mixed marriage), my sister and I could not return to Germany. In the long run, we were really lucky.

The three of us moved to Basel for the remainder of the war; I went to the Gymnasium and my sister went to the medical school (neither school costing anything), and finally we went to the USA when our visa number came up and travel was again possible.

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