A centenary study of the congress of German psychiatrists in Breslau (13-14 May 1913)
Inner Circle Seminar No. 191
Sunday 12 May 2013
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Psychiatry is essentially coercive; psychotherapy is essentially contractual. But psychiatry and psychotherapy masquerade as companionate, compassionate sister-professions. Psychotherapy serves as the handmaiden of psychiatry. But sometimes the mask drops. Fritz Wittels reported that, at the 1910 Nuremberg Psychoanalytic Congress, Sigmund Freud had said he was ‘perpetually attacked’; and, seizing his coat by the lapels, had declared: ‘They won’t even leave me a coat to my back’. Historians have dismissed Freud’s complaint as paranoid. But today, Ernst Falzeder, lecturer at the University of Innsbruck, psychotherapist, researcher, author, editor and translator, will show that Freud underestimated the conspiracy against him. Professor Falzeder will give evidence that, at the 1913 Breslau Congress of German Psychiatrists, Freud was unaware of the ‘perfectly staged concerted action’ of the psychiatrists led by Alfred Hoche, future advocate of ‘the extermination of life unworthy of life’, against the psychoanalysts, led by Eugen Bleuler, thought by Freud to be at best ‘ambivalent’.