The history of psychoanalysis in Poland in Polish-German-Jewish cultural context. 1900-2015

The history of psychoanalysis in Poland in Polish-German-Jewish cultural context. 1900-2015

Partners: Pedagogical University (Cracow); International Psychoanalytic University (Berlin); Center for Psychoanalytic Thought (Warsaw)

Time framework: 2016-2020

Sponsors: Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Pedagogical University, International Psychoanalytic University

Research Team:
Ewa Kobylińska-Dehe, Paweł Dybel (directors), Arkadi Blatow, Bernhard Bolech, Lilli Gast, Ludger M. Hermanns, Mira Marcinów, Karolina Szymaniak, Katarzyna Prot-Klinger

A pilotage project designed to systematically study the forgotten history of psychoanalysis in Poland, to identify the specific research requirements of the field and to address them within the five years of study. The history of psychoanalysis in Poland is inextricably intertwined with the history of Polish Jews who worked and published both in Polish and in German. Therefore, the history has been studied in three cultural contexts.

The research has been divided into two fields:

  1. The reconstruction of the history of Polish psychoanalysis and its influence on Polish intelligentia in the period of 1900-1939. Special attention has been paid to the analysis of the transcultural processes as well as to the emancipatory and socio-critical postulates of psychoanalysis in the interwar period.
  2. Psychoanalysis in Poland during and after the Second World War: the Shoah, the post-war period, the development after the fall of communism in 1989.

The project resulted in three conferences, held in Cracow, Berlin and Warsaw, as well as in three books published in German by Psychosozial Verlag:

  1. Zwischen Hoffnung und Verzweiflung. Psychoanalyse im polnisch-deutsch-jüdischen Kulturkontext 1900-1939, ed. E. Kobylinska-Dehe, P.Dybel, L.M. Hermanns, Giessen 2018.
  2. Im Schatten von Krieg und Holocaust. Psychoanalyse im polnisch-deutsch-jüdischen Kontext, ed. E.Kobylinska-Dehe, P. Dybel, L.M. Hermanns, Giessen 2019.
  3. Wiederkehr des Verdrängten. Psychoanalyse und das Erbe der Totalitarismen, ed. E.Kobylinska-Dehe, P. Dybel, L.M. Hermanns, Giessen 2020.

The project was the first step toward a long-term collaboration between the Center for Psychoanalytic Thought in Warsaw and the International Psychoanalytic University in Berlin. The formal agreement between the two institutions was signed in December 2020.