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The New International, October 1945


P. Koster

Carl Jung and the Nazi Superman


From The New International, Vol. XI No. 7, October 1945, pp. 204–207.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.


Day by day the myth of the German monster grows. To give it credence, well known scientists along with big names in the field of art and literature are gratefully welcomed into the crowd of accusers. The doctrine they expound is difficult to distinguish from the Nazi racial theories they supposedly condemn, and it is just about as scientific.

Articles are written describing the infamous German character. All Germans are arrogant, sadistic, cowardly, etc. The word “German” rather than the word “Nazi” has become a symbol for all that is to be despised.

The latest addition to these preachers of hatred is Carl lung, one-time associate of Sigmund Freud. Like Thomas Mann, Jung’s zeal in attacking the German nation is of recent vintage.

Jung’s past championship of the Nazi system has been conveniently overlooked or forgotten by the American daily press. A few weeks ago the liberal, New Deal Chicago Sun reported an interview held with Jung in Zurich, Switzerland. Describing him as the “noted psychoanalyst,” the Sun gives the following high points of the interview:

Ten per cent of the German population today are incurable psychopaths.

Today the German resembles a drunkard awakening with a hangover, not knowing or not willing to know what he has done. He will try frantically to rehabilitate himself in the face of the world’s accusations and hate, but this is the wrong way; the only right way is unconditional acknowledgment of his guilt.

The psychologist cannot make any distinction between the mentality of the Nazis and their opponents. In the treatment of two anti-Nazis, analysis of their dreams revealed that behind their decency there swelled in them the most pronounced Nazi psychology with all its violence and cruelty.

Glib distinctions between decent and non-decent Germans are naive.

The sole salvation of mankind is minute individual educational work. Mass conversions cannot succeed. Man to man persuasion is the way we must go. [1]

A scientific eyebrow might well be raised at Jung’s wholesale condemnation of the German people and at his statement that there is no psychological difference between Nazis and anti-Nazis.

The unscientific nature of lung’s analysis leads one to question its objectivity. One wonders if his own guilty feelings color his opinions; and if his inability to distinguish between “decent and non-decent Germans” is actually a rejection of the entire German nation because it failed to justify his theories of the Superman.

The daily press is currently using articles of this nature in its hate campaign against the German people. The fact that these articles lay claim to a certain scientific authority makes them exceedingly dangerous.

The dishonesty of the campaign is illustrated in the use made of the interview with Carl Jung. The lay public, which knows little of lung except that he is important in the field of psychotherapy, is inclined to accept his statements without hesitation. A knowledge of his record would certainly cause these same readers to be far more critical in their attitude. In January, 1934, the following notice appeared in the Psychoanalytic Quarterly:

It will be of interest to the American reader to know that after a suspension of publication for six months, following the resignation of Prof. Kretschmer last spring, the Zentralblatt für Psychotherapie resumes publication under the editorship of the former psychoanalyst, Dr. C.G. Jung of Zurich. In his foreword to the December 1933 issue, with which the new state-regulated editorial regime assumes control, Dr. Jung lays down the new policy of the magazine, which will differentiate between the “Germanic” and “Jewish” psychologies – “die tatsächlich bestehenden und einsichtigen Leuten schon längst bekannten Verschiedenheiten der germanischen und der jüdischen Psychologie sollen nicht mehr verwischt sein.” (“The definite distinctions between Germanic and Jewish psychology long apparent to sensible people shall no longer be obliterated.”) This introduction is followed by a communication from the leader (“Reichsführer”) of the reorganized German Medical Association for Psychotherapy, Prof. Dr. jura Dr. med. M.H. Göring, declaring that the society “expects all its members who are actively engaged in writing or lecturing to have made a serious scientific study of Adolf Hitler’s fundamental book, My Battle, and to recognize it as a basic work. The society will cooperate with the Chancellor’s work in educating the German nation to a heroic, self-sacrificing state of mind.” [2]

In answer to the many unfavorable criticisms of his connections with this Nazi journal, Jung is said to have admitted that he had made a serious mistake – that he was unaware at the time of the political character of the Zentralblatt.

Jung’s ivory tower naivete might conceivably have been believed if he had immediately resigned the editorship of the Zentralblatt. On the contrary, Jung continued as chief editor until 1936, at which time he became a co-editor.

The first issue of the Zentralblatt in 1934 contains an article by Jung that raises grave doubts as to his scientific integrity.

Jung’s Racial Unconscious

In this article, Jung distinguishes between the “Aryan” and “Jewish” unconscious. In analyzing the “Jewish” unconscious, he says that the Jew as a relative nomad has never and will probably never create his own cultural forms. His instincts and abilities make it necessary for him to settle in a country that is already more or less civilized.

There are far greater potentialities lying dormant in the as yet undeveloped “Aryan” unconscious.

It is the mistake of German psychotherapy up till now (i.e.,. until the establishment of National Socialism) that it has applied “Jewish” concepts to the psychology of “Christian” Germans. [3]

The next issue of the Zentralblatt contains a report on the Seventh Congress for Psychotherapy held in May, 1934, at Bad Neuheim.

Jung in his speech to the Congress mentions the difficulties that arise in Switzerland because of his German connection. These difficulties occasioned personal sacrifices which, Jung states, were made. Because of Germany’s influence over the intellectual life of Switzerland it is necessary, says Jung, to maintain connections with German psychotherapy. [4]

Dr. Göring’s concluding speech to the Congress again stresses the need to study Mein Kampf, whose value lies not in its scientific terminology but in the intuitive nature of its inner content. Dr. Göring calls upon all National Socialist doctors to give full support to the Fuehrer and his ideas. [5]

The same issue contains an article by K. Gauger on psychotherapy and world politics.

Praising the Nazi state, Gauger writes that Adolph Hitler, through National Socialism, has pointed the way to a restored mental health for the German nation.

Seit Adolph Hitler sind die Worte Volksturm und Heimat, Zucht, Treu und Ehre in Deutschland wieder Worte von biologischem Wert! (Since Adolph Hitler the words people and homeland, breeding, fidelity and honor have again become words of biological value in Germany!) [6]

Medicine in the new Germany has a political meaning. This is demonstrated by the Fuehrer’s political plans concerning the German population. These plans, especially his exceedingly significant measures in regard to race hygiene, are under medical direction.

The article ends with a quotation from Adolph Hitler in which he says that Germans must recognize the ills of the times and that it is the purpose of National Socialism to gather together those forces in the people which herald a new “Weltanschauung.” [7]

Today Jung calls upon the German people to acknowledge their guilt; yet in 1934 as editor of the Zentralblatt he was responsible for articles that came out in praise of Hitler’s vicious Nuremberg laws!

Jung and the Leader Principle

Jung’s Nazi connections should not come as a surprise to anyone who has seriously studied his writings, for following his break with Freud, Jung turned toward a mystic philosophy embracing Nietzsche’s Superman. Some psychotherapists, among them the more tolerant of the Freudians, are apt to dismiss Jung’s mysticism as harmless. They regret the fact that it weakens his more concrete contributions to psychoanalytic theory, but that is all. They have unfortunately failed to understand the essence of Jung’s mysticism which lies, not in its astrological charts and palmistry, but in its fascistic character.

In Modern Man in Search of a Soul, Jung refers to the German soul as distinct from that of other nationalities in its desire for a leader.

Could we conceive of anyone but a German writing Faust or Also Sprach Zarathustra? Both play upon something that reverberates in the German soul – a “primordial image” ... the figure of a physician or teacher of mankind. The archetypal image of the wise man, the savior or redeemer, lies buried and dormant in man’s unconscious since the dawn of culture; it is awakened whenever the times are out of joint and a human society is committed to serious error ... These primordial images ... come to light in the dreams of individuals ... thus restoring the psychic equilibrium of the epoch. [8]

The modern man to whom Jung dedicates his book is by no means the average man.

He is rather the man who stands upon a peak, at the very edge of the world, the abyss of the future before him, above him the heavens, and below him the whole of mankind ...

He and his kind, few in number as they are, are hidden from the undiscerning eyes of mass men ... It cannot be helped, the “modern man” is questionable and suspect, and has always been so. [9]

It is this leadership ideology, gradually concretized into political theory, that marks Jung’s transfer from the land of harmless dreamers into the realm of very dangerous reality.

It is high time that psychotherapists grasp the full significance of Jung’s theories, especially those of his followers who continue to deny his Nazi connections. It is possible that they do not want to recognize an unpleasant truth, but whatever the reason for their blindness, it is unhealthy and dangerous. They should be made to realize that Jung’s anti-democratic scheme finds its embodiment in fascism.

Jung, in his analysis of the individual man, speaks of his inferior or archaic self, which is confined to his unconscious- rather than evil, this archaic self is only primitive, unadapted and awkward. Man’s problem arises from the fact that, less good than he wants to be, he continues to suppress this side of his personality.

The Theory of the Social Elite

The innocuous character of this analysis changes considerably when applied to society as a whole where, Jung states, psychological problems are represented on a grand scale. The “elite,” the “aristocrats” of society, represent man’s conscious self, while the masses are identified with inferior, primitive man.

The educated public, the flower of our actual civilization, has lifted itself from its roots and is about to lose its connection with the earth. There is no civilized country nowadays where the lower strata of our population are not in a state of unrest and dissent. [10]

The man who wrote–

Not for nothing is it just our own epoch that calls for the liberating personality, for the one who distinguishes himself from the inescapable power of collectivity ... and who lights a hopeful watch fire announcing to others that at least one man has succeeded in escaping from the fateful identity with the group soul. The fact is that the group, because of its unconsciousness, has no freedom of choice ... The people always long for a hero ... when it feels the danger of psychic forces. [11]

is not far in spirit from the man who wrote–

One thing we must and may never forget: a majority can never be a substitute for the Man. [12]

Jung writes–

As a Swiss, I am an inveterate democrat, yet I recognize that nature is aristocratic, and what is even more, esoteric. [13]

Hitler writes–

By its denial of the authority of the individual and its substitution of the sum of the mass present at any given time, the parliamentary principle of the consent of the majority sins against the basic aristocratic principle in nature. [14]

It should not be hard to understand why Jung wrote, “The paean of the Italian nation is addressed to the personality of the Duce, and the dirges of other nations lament the absence of great leaders.” [15]

Or why he added the following footnote:

“This chapter was originally given as a lecture in November 1932. Since then Germany, too, has found its leader.” [16]

In Adolph Hitler, Jung saw the truly modern man – the man for whom the German masses had waited.

Hitler, Jung’s Medicine Man

In 1936, lung still saw Hitler as the great leader of the German people. Distinguishing Hitler from Roosevelt, Stalin and Mussolini, he speaks of Hitler as the medicine man type of leader ruling by revelation. The other dictators are of the practical, chieftain type. In America, Russia and Italy, the people no longer dream. In Germany, because of the mystic kind of leadership offered by Hitler there is still a place for dreams.

Hitler is the medium through which German policy is revealed. He is the mouthpiece of the gods of old. [17]

For the struggles of the masses, Jung continued to express great contempt:

Communistic or socialistic democracy is an upheaval of the unfit against attempts at order.

He lists as examples the stay-in strikes in France and the former socialistic upheavals in Germany and Italy.

This state of disorder called democratic freedom or liberalism brings its own reactions. [18]

After the dictators there will be an oligarchy in some form. “A decent oligarchy, call it aristocracy if you like, is the most ideal form of government.” It depends on the quality of the nation whether it will form a decent oligarchy. Jung was not sure of Russia, but he felt that Germany and Italy had a chance. [19]

Apparently the quality of the German nation underwent a very rapid change in the years from 1936 to 1945! Or perhaps Dr. Jung needs to have his memory refreshed as regards his past political prognoses.

In 1936, Jung referred to the SS men as being transformed into a caste of knights ruling sixty million natives. [20]

This is rather fanciful language to describe a political army of sadists and degenerates, and by 1936 not even Carl Jung could plead ignorance to the incredibly brutal acts committed daily by his “caste of knights”!

Jung ends his political utterances for the year with the statement:

The dictatorships of Germany, Russia and Italy may not be the best form of government, but they are the only possible form of government at the moment. [21]

In 1939, Jung’s voice was heard for the last time before the cataclysm of total war descended upon Europe.

”Adolph Hitler belongs in the category of the truly mystic man.”

Instinct should tell the Western statesmen not to touch Germany in her present mood as she is too dangerous. As an alternative Jung suggests they turn Hitler’s attention to Russia. [22]

Today Jung’s Superman presents a sorry figure before his real accusers – the tortured and the dead – the ghosts of the concentration camps – members of the German and other European masses who refused to bow before the altar of the Superman.

They, not the former editor of the Zentralblatt, are the ones whose opinions are worth listening to.

As for Dr. Jung, who now tells us how to handle the German people, let him reread what he himself once wrote:

... For who can educate others while himself uneducated? Who can enlighten his fellows while still in the dark about himself, and who can purify if he is himself unclean? [23]


Note by ETOL: In the German quotations and titles we have corrected some orthographical and grammatical errors.

1. Chicago Sun, May 10, 1945, Page 2, col. 1.

2. The Psychoanalytic Quarterly, Vol. III No. 1, Jan. 1934, p. 150.

3. Jung, C.G., Zur gegenwärtigen Lage der Psychotherapie, Zentralblatt für Psychotherapie, Band 7, Erstes und Zweites Heft, 1934 (62).

4. Zentralblatt für Psychotherapie, Band 7, Drittes Heft, 1934 (63), Actuelles, p. 180.

5. Ibid.

6. Gauger, K., Psychotherapie und politisches Weltbild.

7. Ibid., p. 168.

8. Jung, C. G., Modern Man In Search of a Soul, New York, Harcourt, Brace & Co., 1933, translated by W.S. Dell and Carl F. Baynes, p. 197.

9. Ibid., p. 228.

10. Jung, C.G., Psychology and Religion, New Haven, Yale University Press, 1938. p. 95.

11. Jung, C.G., Integration of Personality, New York, Farrar & Rinehart, Inc., translated by Stanley Dell, p. 294.

12. Hitler, Adolph, My Battle, Boston and New York, Mifflin Co., 1933, translated and abridged by E.T.S. Dugdale, p. 35.

13. Jung, C.G., Integration of Personality, p. 294.

14. Hitler, Adolph, My Battle, p. 35.

15. Jung, Integration of Personality, p. 281.

16. Ibid., fn. 2, p. 305.

17. Time Magazine, November 9, 1936, p. 15.

18. Living Age, December 1936.

19. Time, November 9, 1936. p. 15.

20. Ibid.

21. Ibid.

22. Time, May 8, 1939, p. 22.

23. Jung, C.G. Modern Man, p. 89.

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