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Goggin, J.E. Goggin, E.B. Hill, M. (2004). Emigrant Psychoanalysts in the USA and the FBI Archives. Psychoanal. Hist., 6(1):75-92.

(2004). Psychoanalysis and History, 6(1):75-92

Emigrant Psychoanalysts in the USA and the FBI Archives

James E. Goggin, Ph.D., Eileen Brockman Goggin, Ph.D. and Mary Hill


We are going to present our findings from the FBI files collected on the émigré psychoanalysts from Germany during the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s. Interest in the fate of people who have had to flee their homes in Germany and find refuge in strange nations has increased. A perusal of this genre of ‘émigré research' shows that several themes recur. One prominent example is the theme of ‘loss’. There is loss of one's culture and homeland, loss of language and, very often, the loss of dear family members and economic security. Another theme is the ambivalent welcome these émigrés received in their new country. Even the American analysts had mixed feelings about the arrival of their new colleagues (Hale 1995; Langer & Gifford 1978). We Americans tend to pride ourselves on being a ‘melting pot’. However, this professed belief often concealed a darker side, such that every émigré group that has come to the United States has gone through a period of prejudice, was discriminated against and was viewed with suspicion before it was eventually given an opportunity to assimilate (Moynihan & Glazer 1963). Another factor to consider is that the German émigrés varied on an individual basis in both their desire and their ability to adapt to a new home.

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