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Plankers, T. Rothe, H. (1999). ‘You Know that our Old Institute was Entirely Destroyed…’ On the History of the Frankfurt Psychoanalytical Institute (FPI) 1929–1933. Psychoanal. Hist., 1(1):103-114.

(1999). Psychoanalysis and History, 1(1):103-114

‘You Know that our Old Institute was Entirely Destroyed…’ On the History of the Frankfurt Psychoanalytical Institute (FPI) 1929–1933

Tomas Plankers, DRPHIL and Hans-Joachim Rothe, DRMED

When we speak about the history of this Institute today we do so less for the purpose of investigating certain aspects of its institutionalization, activities or its sponsors than in order to inform: for damage to the knowledge about its existence was as severe as its physical destruction was in 1933, and this has caused an amnesia which even in Frankfurt persisted well into the 1980s. Possibly we are dealing here less with an act of repression for which we would have to presume an unconscious conflictual attitude at least. The argument that the memory traces were too weak because the Institute existed for only four years does not appear to us to carry much conviction either: after all Karl Landauer, Heinrich Meng, Frieda Fromm-Reichmann, Erich Fromm and S.H. Foulkes had been involved at this time in extensive public relations activities and had published widely, and some of them became world-famous after their emigration. More relevant is the fact that this Institute was not generative, i.e. did not set up any psychoanalytic training and consequently there are no ‘daughters’ and ‘sons’, no links between the generations.


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