This book explores how the Budapest School of Psychoanalysis took shape, and in particular examines the role played in it by Sándor Ferenczi, Freud’s closest friend and associate. It asks what the significance of this intellectual grouping held for the evolution of modern psychoanalytic theory and practice, and how the defining moments of early twentieth-century Hungarian and European politics impacted on both psychoanalysis and the analysts themselves. It also explores the importance in these pivotal times of the Emergency Committee on Relief and Immigration, an organisation formed in 1938 by the American Psychoanalytic Association. This book raises many questions and demonstrates through the emigration of the Budapest psychoanalysts how the threat of destruction can draw people together from across continents. Indeed, American psychoanalysts had set aside considerations of professional achievement and rivalry to assist their peers forced to flee European Nazism. In collaboration with the International Psychoanalytical Association, the Emergency Committee not only rescued lives, but also enriched our intellectual heritage as it salvaged seminal cultural and scholarly resources, which influenced the development of psychoanalysis in our time.
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Reviews and Endorsements:
‘Ferenczi and Beyond is a crucial book for understanding the state of psychoanalysis today. Foremost, it details the two waves of emigration of psychoanalysts from Hungary: first, during the twenties with the Hungarian fascist threat, and then again in the late thirties, with the Nazi threat. Judit Meszaros captures the spirit of the diaspora, the word conveying a “scattering of seeds”, and indeed these two migrations scattered and planted amazing seeds that have enriched and diversified psychoanalysis and constitute a vital and creative field today. We are so grateful that this work is now available in English translation.’
— Bennett Simon, MD, Training and Supervising Analyst, Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute; Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Emeritus, Harvard Medical School at the Cambridge Health Alliance, USA
‘This book is the tale of an exceptional cultural adventure and the saga of an extraordinary effort of international solidarity. It follows the history of the birth and evolution of psychoanalysis in Central Europe and especially Budapest. Indeed, the thinkers, scientists, and artists of this city, with those of Vienna, have significantly influenced twentieth-century psychoanalytic ways of thinking about the world. This is a wonderful reading about human solidarity and the victory of courageous and noble attitudes over devastation.’
— André E. Haynal, MD, Psychoanalyst (IPA), Professor, University of Geneva, Switzerland
‘In this meticulously researched and documented history, Judit Meszaros tells a gripping story about the best of psychoanalysis in the twentieth century. Against the background of the Holocaust, anti-semitism, and fascism, she explores the growth of the Hungarian school of psychoanalysis, the diaspora of analysts to Europe and America, and the shining moment of the American Psychoanalytic Association “Committee”. This is a compelling narrative that in its English translation will be available to the wide audience it deserves.’
— Roberta J. Apfel, MD, MPH, Harvard Medical School, Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute, USA
‘This is not only an intriguing survey of a group of Hungarian psychoanalysts and their interconnections, but also a pioneering representation of their exile and their immigrant activities in the 1920s and 1930s. Based on a wide variety of hitherto unused international primary sources, this book is a more than welcome addition to our knowledge of the transatlantic psychoanalytical movement before and during World War II.’
— Tibor Frank, PhD, DLitt, FRHS, Professor of History and Director, School of English and American History, Eotvos Lorand University, Budapest, Hungary
‘This book is an extraordinary gift to English-speaking psychoanalysts. The volume is the product of the author’s thorough immersion for twenty years in the work of one of Freud’s most gifted contemporaries. But the book is more than that; it is also the result of her archival investigation of European immigrant psychoanalysts who came to the USA in response to rising anti-Semitism and persecution starting in the 1920s. Each chapter provides insight into the extraordinary creativity and productivity of these psychoanalytic pioneers.’
— Anna Ornstein, MD, and Paul Ornstein, MD, Supervising Analysts, Boston Psychoanalytic Institute and Massachusetts Institute for Psychoanalysis, USA
About the Author:
Judit Mészáros, PhD, is a training and supervising analyst with the Hungarian Psychoanalytical Society (IPA) and honorary associate professor at the Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest. As President of the Sándor Ferenczi Society and International Ferenczi Foundation, she has played a key role in raising awareness of the Ferenczi legacy. She has written and edited books on Ferenczi, the Budapest School, and their contribution to the theory and technique of modern psychoanalysis. She has also curated exhibitions at the Freud Museum, London, and the Gallery of the Open Society Archives, Budapest, and consulted on documentaries on Ferenczi’s life.