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The Berlin Psychoanalytic Institute (later the Göring Institute) was founded in 1920 to further the science of psychoanalysis in Berlin. Its founding members included Karl Abraham and Max Eitingon. The scientists at the institute furthered Sigmund Freud's work but also challenged many of his ideas.


During the 1920s, Berlin became a center of psychoanalysis. The Berlin Institute was the first psychoanalytic training center in the world. It introduced the three-column model (theoretical courses, personal analysis, first patients under supervision) which was later adopted by most other training centers. Ernst Simmel, Hanns Sachs, Franz Alexander, Sándor Radó, Karen Horney, Siegfried Bernfeld, Otto Fenichel, Theodor Reik, Wilhelm Reich and Melanie Klein were among the many psychoanalysts who worked at the Institute.

The policlinic made psychoanalysis available for poor people. Many of the leading psychoanalysts working at the Berlin Institute were exiled or killed.

File:Gedenktafel Berliner Psychoanalytisches Institut.jpg

In 1933 Freud's books were burned in Berlin. During the time of the Third Reich non-Jewish German psychoanalysts tried to "save" psychoanalysis by collaborating with other psychotherapeutic currents and with the nazis.

In 1936 the "Deutsches Institut für psychologische Forschung und Psychotherapie e.v." was formed (the socalled Göring Institute). Its director Matthias Göring was a cousin of Hermann Göring. At the institute some psychoanalytic training was possible. Not all psychoanalysts were opportunists. John Rittmeister, head of the policlinic, who had become a member of the resistance group "Rote Kapelle" (Red Orchestra) was sentenced to death and executed in May 1943.

See alsoEdit



  • Geoffrey Cocks, Psychotherapy in the Third Reich—The Göring Institute, New York: Oxford University Press, 1985 (based on his dissertation: Psyche and Swastika: neue deutsche Seelenheilkunde 1933–1945, 1975)
  • Geoffrey Cocks, Repressing, Remembering, Working Through: German Psychiatry, Psychotherapy, Psychoanalysis, and the "Missed Resistance" in the Third Reich,The Journal of Modern History, Vol. 64, Supplement: Resistance Against the Third Reich (Dec., 1992), pp. S204-S216.


  • Zehn Jahre Berliner Psychoanalytisches Institut (Poliklinik und Lehranstalt) / Hrsg. v.d. Dt. Psychoanalyt. Gesellschaft. Mit e. Vorw. v. Sigmund Freud, Wien: Internat. Psychoanalyt. Verl., 1930.
  • Bannach, H.-J.: "Die wissenschaftliche Bedeutung des alten Berliner Psychoanalytischen Instituts" In: Psyche 23, 1969, pp. 242–254.
  • Regine Lockot, Erinnern und Durcharbeiten: zur Geschichte der Psychoanalyse und Psychotherapie im Nationalsozialismus, Frankfurt am Main: Fischer-Taschenbuch-Verlag, 1985.


  • Collectif édité pour la France sous la dir.: Alain de Mijolla : "- Ici, la vie continue d'une manière fort surprenante..." : Contribution à l'Histoire de la Psychanalyse en Allemagne., Ed.: Association internationale d'histoire de la psychanalyse, 1987, ISBN 2-85480-153-9
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