The Freud Museum

Events Archive

19 May 2014
7-8.30pm - doors open at 6.30pm

Not Gentle Creatures: Psychoanalysis and the Legacy of the Third Reich

Emily A. Kuriloff

During the 1930s and 1940s, European psychoanalysts held fast to their professional identities despite a profoundly destabilizing reality. From Budapest to Paris the Nazis disrupted the work of this group and threatened their very lives. That psychoanalysis endured, and even flourished in postwar Europe and the Americas, is itself remarkable. And yet, in the end, the 20th century belonged as much to Freud as it did to Hitler.

In her recent book Psychoanalysis and the Legacy of the Third Reich Emily Kuriloff explores the myriad ways in which theory and praxis – and thus the course of psychoanalysis – has been and continues to be influenced by this history. In tonight’s talk she will focus particularly on the British experience before and after the Second World War.

Kuriloff’s work leans heavily on personal interviews conducted with analysts who lived during the period, and who frequented the Freud house in Hampstead, consulting and commiserating with their displaced leader and his daughter and heir apparent, Anna. Their narratives bring an immediacy and nuance to a terrible and auspicious time.

Emily A. Kuriloff is a Psychologist and Psychoanalyst. She is in private practice in New York City and she is Training and Supervising Psychoanalyst at the William Alanson White Institute, New York.

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