Hungarian Otto Gross Society Founded
February 25, 2007 - During the first meeting on February 24, 2007 in Budapest the Hungarian branch of the International Otto Gross Society was founded. The twenty founding members, among them psychologists, literary people, psychoanalysts, sociologists, neurobiologists, lawyers, journalists and university professors, have as their goal to make Otto Gross' writings and theories, and also literature published abroad about Gross, better known in Hungary.
It is also planned, in cooperation with the International Otto Gross Society and the other two psychoanalytical associations in Hungary, to present research results at conferences and meetings and also to publish editions. The Executive Committee of the society consists of Dr. phil. Peter Gyorgy Hars (writer, art historian, Ph.D. in psychology, president), Dr. phil. Zoltan Szabo (economist, Ph.D. in psychology, university instructor, vice-president), Melinda Friedrich (Ph.D. student, secretary). The society is open for all people interested in the history of psychoanalysis, social research, literature and art.
As the president, Dr. phil. György Péter Hárs, announced, the Executive Committee of the society is highly delighted to be able to welcome Prof. Dr. Ferenc Erös, one of the founders of the journal "Thalassa", of the Sándor Ferenczi Association, and the director of the doctoral program "Theoretical Pschocanalysis" at the University of Pécs, as one of its members. Two members of the society are dealing in their Ph.D. dissertations with Otto Gross: Tímea Szabó (USA) und Melinda Friedrich (H). In the name of the association Dr. Hárs thanks the members of the International Otto Gross Society for its help and support.
Further information: Dr. phil. Peter Gyorgy Hars, E-Mail: email@example.com
Congress Report: “... now Freud’s enormous shadow no longer lies on my path”: The Rebellion of Otto Gross". 6th International Otto Gross Congress, Vienna 8 - 10 September, 2006
By Melinda Friedrich, translated by Jennifer Michaels
“... now Freud’s enormous shadow no longer lies on my path”: The Rebellion of Otto Gross" - this was the theme of the 6th International Otto Gross Congress that was held in Vienna, September 8-10, 2006, organized by the International Otto Gross Society in cooperation with the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Addiction Research and the University of Vienna. Vienna was not only the birthplace of psychoanalysis against whose founder, Sigmund Freud, Otto Gross, formerly an enthusiastic disciple, rebelled. Vienna led Sophie Templer-Kuh, the daughter of Otto Gross and Marianne Kuh, to her father: here in 1982 she discovered by chance her past. On September 8, 2006, she was again in the city in which she was born and grew up. But this time she was not alone but surrounded by people connected by their interest for Otto Gross and already for the sixth time brought together by a congress.
On Friday evening, many faces beamed with the joy of reunion, but also new friends of the International Otto Gross Society could feel a sense of belonging. At the opening event, participants were greeted first by Dr. Hubert Christian Ehalt, speaker of the city, Dr. Thomas Hübel, Director of the Institute of Science and Art, and Professor Alfred Springer, of the Ludwig-Boltzmann-Institute for Addiction Research, then Dr. Gottfried Heuer, London, the President of the International Otto Gross Society, gave an opening speech and finally, Sophie Templer-Kuh, Honorary President of the society, told about her eventful life and the terrible time of persecution and emigration. This deeply moved the listeners. Professor Rolf Schwendter spoke in his keynote address about Gross’ contacts, networks, friendships and aversions to the subcultures of the time. The evening ended with a dramatic reading “Otto Gross Mezz”, performed by the First Vienna Readers’ theater. Participating were Christel Bender, Konrad Rennert, Sybille Schesswendter, Dieter Schrage, Christian Schreibmüller; the direcor was Rolf Schwendter.
At the 6th International Otto Gross Congress, 32 renowned scholars from seven countries gave presentations about their research on Gross. The main themes were treated and discussed in six panels.
The presentations on Saturday morning developed Otto Gross’ roots. Professor Alfred Springer, Vienna, concentrated in his lecture on the scientific early work that has been neglected in Gross research, and emphasized the relevance of Gross’ contributions to the early development of the theory of psychoanalysis. Dr, Lois Madison, Hamilton, New York, explained in her lecture the scientific roots of Otto Gross, and Dr. Helmut Gröger from Vienna described a picture of psychiatry in Vienna around 1900. The morning ended with a presentation by Dr. Matthias Bormuth from Tübingen. Its title was “Limits of Sublimation: Max Weber’s Remarks and Otto Gross’ Cultural Theory”.
During the lunch break, the congress was enriched by a reading of Bärbel Reetz in the Café Prückl: the well known author read from her recently published work “The Russian Patient” (Frankfurt, 2006) that deals with the restless and passionate life of Sabina Spielrein, an unusual woman between Freud and Jung.
On Saturday afternoon there were parallel presentations at two different places. In the Institute for Science and Art the main topic was Gross’ relationships to different psychoanalysts, scientists, anarchists and women. Josef Dvorak from Vienna talked about the working relationship between Gross and Stekel. Dr. Gottfried Heuer devoted his presentation, “Fratricide on the Couch”, to the personal and professional relationship between Jung and Gross. Professor Bozena Choluj, Warsaw and Frankfurt/Oder, spoke about the contradiction between Gross’ ideas and the collective thinking of his time to which, in her view, Otto Gross fell victim. Dr. Albrecht Götz von Olenhusen, Freiburg, treated in his presentation Max Weber’s attitude to anarchism. Professor Erdmute Wenzel White, West Lafayette, Indiana, analyzed Otto Gross’ letters from the perspective of their recipients. Finally, Claudia Böhnke, Bonn, talked about Hans Walter Gruhle (“The Scientific Conscience of Psychiatry”).
In the reading room of the history of medicine the presentations revolved around the theme of Otto Gross’ trauma, pain, and addiction. Dr. Jann E. Schlimme, M.A. Hannover, spoke about “Fragility and Stability: About the Anthropology of Addiction”, Professor Marianne Springer-Kremser, Vienna, about “The Catastrophes of Childhood and their Effects on the Lives of Adults”, and at the end Raimund Dehmlow and Dr. Torsten Passie, M.A. Hannover spoke in their talk, “The ‘Iron Clamp around Head and Heart”, about the psychopathology of Gross and the resulting diagnostic implications.
A noteworthy experience was the two-hour literary walk with Dr. Karl Bruckschwaiger. Places were visited which reminded people of Sigmund Freud - such as the hospitals where he worked or the shops where he bought his antiques - and Otto Gross - the coffee houses of literary Vienna, such as the Café Central and the Herrenhof. The walk covered the whole first district and the participants finally came to Café Prückl where a pleasant evening with Sophie Templer-Kuh awaited them. The conversation with Sophie, who as a child and young woman belonged to the circles of Viennese Bohemia and who now shared her memories with those present, was moderated by Dr. Manfred Müller.
On Sunday morning, a beautiful sunny fall day, congress participants again met in the lecture hall of the Institute for the History of Medicine to listen to talks on the topic of emancipation. Professor Michael Rohrwasser, Vienna discussed in his talk, “Sigmund Freud, Hans Gross and Otto Gross: New Views through Old Holes”, the question of why Freud was closer to Hans Gross than to his student Otto Gross. The presentation “Eros and Emancipation” by Markus Brunner, Hannover, discussed how psychoanalytic findings could be employed usefully for an emancipating practice. Professor Diethart Kerbs, Berlin, reconstructed in his talk “From Bourgeois Youth Movement to Left Communism” the life history of Simon Guttmann, who was known in artistic circles and was friends with, among others, Franz Jung and Walter Benjamin. In the center of the contribution by Dr. Dieter Schrage,Vienna, was Pierre Ramus und the new creation of society. The morning ended with the presentation “Women’s Movements in Germany of the 20th Century: Lines of Tradition, Differences, and Transformations”, given by Professor Ingrid Miethe from Darmstadt.
During the lunch break, Teresa Ruiz Rosas gave a reading “The Portrait blinded you”/ “Posterity”. At the same time the membership meeting of the International Otto Gross Society took place at which Dr. Emanuel Hurwitz, Gross’ first biographer and the founder of Gross research, was elected Honorary President of the International Otto Gross Society.
In the afternoon there were presentations in the Institute for Science and Art on the theme of the Coffee House. Dr. Gerhard Dienes, Graz, gave in his talk “Breeding Ground of Revolutionary Ideas” an overview of the coffee house and politics in it. Professor Hans Hautmann, Linz, talked in his presentation “Franz Werfel, ‘Barbara oder Die Frömmigkeit’ and the Revolution in Vienna 1918” about the phenomenon of the proneness of intellectuals, artists, and bohemians for ultra-radical engagement in times of revolutionary change. Professor Rotraut Hackermüller, Vienna, presented on “The Reality of Hunger: The Example of Otfried Krzyzanowski with a Digression about Franz Kafka”. An interesting talk by Professor Ulrich N. Schulenburg, Vienna dealt with the loneliness of Anton Kuh. Finally, Dr. Alfred Strasser, Lille, dealt with the life of the literary patron, the Hungarian Lajos Hatvany.
The last panel of the day dealt with Otto Gross’ relationships to women. Dr. Gottfried Heuer, London, presented the results of his research and many unknown documents about the life of Marianne “Mizzi” Kuh, whom Gross called fiancée and who was the mother of their daughter Sophie, who was present with her son, her niece, and great niece. In the following talk, Professor Eberhard Demm, Lyon and Koszalin, spoke about a woman, “Else Jaffé-Richthofen between Edgar Jaffé, Otto Gross, and the brothers Alfred and Max Weber”. Hermann Müller, Freudenstein, gave voice to Sophie Benz and discussed the circumstances of her death. Kristina Kargl from Kirchseeon devoted her presentation to Regina Ullmann and her relationship to Otto Gross. The last talk of the day, by Shinji Hayashizaki, Osaka, dealt with the Czech journalist Milena Jesenská, her husband, the Jewish bank official Ernst Polak, a regular in the Prague and Vienna coffee house scene and a “writer without works”, and Otto Gross.
The presentations of the 6th International Otto Gross Congress will be documented in a collection and as usual will be published as congress proceedings in LiteraturWissenschaft.de, Marburg. At the meeting of the members of the International Otto Gross Society it was decided to hold the 7th International Otto Gross Congress in 2008. Since then, Dresden was chosen as the venue. Information about this will appear on the website of the society or can be obtained directly from Raimund Dehmlow (E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Emanuel Hurwitz elected as Honorary President of the International Otto Gross Society
September 12, 2006 - On the recommendation of the Executive Committee, Dr. Emanuel Hurwitz, psychoanalyst in Zurich, was unanimously elected by the members of the International Otto Gross Society at its business meeting on September 10, 2006 as Honorary President.
Emanuel Hurwitz belongs to the most important pioneers of research into the life and work of Otto Gross. His biography of Gross, "Paradies-Sucher zwischen Freud und Jung" (1979), remains unsurpassed. In it he examines the central conflict of the epoch between the turn-of-the-century and Expressionism, namely the father-son conflict, from a psychoanalytical perspective. In many different ways, the Zurich doctor made significant contributions to research on Gross, including the biography of the father Hans Gross, Graz, as well as numerous other themes that have promoted interdisciplinary research, especially at the congresses and conferences of the International Otto Gross Society.
Since the society was officially founded in Berlin in 1999 (he was one of its founders) Dr. Hurwitz has served, and continues to serve, the society in many significant ways: he has been Vice-President; he has given importantscholarly presentations; he has donated valuable materials that are presently in the Otto Gross Archives in London; together with Lydia Trüb-Hurwitz he organized two of the congresses in Zurich; and he has worked hard to further the tasks and goals of the society.
Since the appearance of his biography of Gross, which brought to light significant findings about Gross' biography and illness, and, in the context of the history of early psychoanalysis, about Sigmund Freud and C. G. Jung, he has continued to make significant contributions to this field.
In an excellent way, he has not only supported the work of the society through presentations, articles, donations, and support of other scholarship, but has immensely enriched it by his deep knowledge, his excellent intuition, and his ability to raise central questions and persuasively argue them in his scholarship.
Through electing Emanuel Hurwitz to Honorary President - an appointment made only once before for Sophie Templer-Kuh, Otto Gross's daughter - the International Otto Gross Society honors a long-time good friend, a respected researcher and scholar, and a humane person. (Translation: Jennifer Michaels)
About Utopia and Eros: Proceedings of the 5th International Otto Gross Congress" has appeared
In advance of the 6th Congress of the International Otto Gross Society to be held in Vienna, the proceedings of the Zurich Congress, edited by Gottfried Heuer, has appeared in the Marburg publisher LiteraturWissenschaft.de. The publication contains all the presentations of the conference, held in September 2005 at the cabaret voltaire. In addition to the presentations and contributions by Richard Butz, Esther Bertschinger-Joos, Gerhard Dienes, Albrecht Götz von Olenhusen, Gottfried Heuer, Christine Kanz, Andreas Kilcher, Gernot Kocher, Raimund Meyer, Jennifer Michaels, Hermann Müller, Petteri Pietikäinen, Werner Portmann, Juri Steiner, Sophie Templer-Kuh, Erdmute White, Günther Windhager and Stefan Zweife, the volume contains two previously unpublished texts by Otto Gross: a letter from Gross from the year 1887 to his uncle Alfred Anthony Freiherr von Siegenfeld and a fragment from his last years entitled "Zum Wiederaufbau des wahrheitsgetreuen Menschen".
Further Information: Table of Contents; Order Form
"... the enormous shadow of Freud no longer lies on my path" - Otto Gross's Rebellion / 6th International Otto Gross Congress in Vienna
March 7, 2006 - Under the motto "... the enormous shadow of Freud no longer lies on my path" the 6th International Otto Gross Congress will take place in Vienna from September 8-10, 2006. Otto Gross (1877-1920), at first private instructor for psychopathology in Graz, was one of the early disciples of Sigmund Freud. He made it his goal to use the findings of psychoanalysis to conquer patriarchal structures of society. Therefore, in the revolutionary days in Vienna in November 1918 he demanded a "Ministry for the liquidation of the bourgeois family and sexuality." At the three-day conference in Vienna scholars from various European countries as well as the United States and Japan, will discuss the scholarly work of Gross and its impact.
"Über die Freudsche Ideogenitätslehre" was the title of Gross's first lecture in the winter semester 1906/1907 as private instructor in psychopathology at the Karl-Franzens-University in Graz. After meeting Freud for the first time in 1904, Gross studied Freud's work intensively, as his first extensive work Das Freud'sche Ideogenitätsmoment und seine Bedeutung im manisch-depressiven Irresein Kraepelins demonstrates. Before he took part in the first meeting of the then still new school of psychoanalysis in 1908, he wrote: "Soon, in Salzburg, there will be the first congress of the Freud school. I will propose for it a talk on cultural perspectives in which I will express the program for my life. This is a moment like no other. Through a practical method, through a technique of examination we can suddenly see into the essence of spiritual and mental life. Those who have eyes can see in this new perspective the future at work."
Freud criticized Gross's talk by saying: "We are doctors and must remain doctors." Although Freud respected Gross ("Gross is a valuable person and has a good head") the differences between them are clear. In Gross's theoretical perspective, which has as its starting point the conflict of the individual with society, there is no separation between perception and reflective thinking. This led him to evaluate findings differently from Freud. Starting with the premise that the "psychology of the unconscious is the philosophy of revolution" and that therefore it has as its calling "to make people inwardly capable of freedom, to prepare the way for revolution", Gross stressed the destruction of patriarchal society. He founded unconventional communities and greeted the First World War as offering the possibility to create a matriarchal structure on the ruins of the old society.
Gross could, however, only realize his life as an example with the help of drugs. Already in 1911 he was a patient at the clinic "Am Steinhof." In 1913 he was interned in Tulln, and later was declared legally incapacitated by his father, the criminology professor Hans Gross. Despite this, Gross was active as a military doctor in the war, for example at the smallpox ward of the Franz Joseph hospital, Between 1914 and 1918 he was at the center of the coffee house scene of the "Herrenhof", inspired Franz Werfel's figure Doctor Gebhart in Barbara oder die Frömmigkeit, lived with the family of Anton Kuh with whose sister Margarethe ("Mitzi") he had a daughter, Sophie Templer-Kuh who is now living in Berlin. In November 1918, Otto Gross was involved with the Viennese revolutionaries. At a meeting "rather far out in the seventh district," he demanded a "Ministry for the liquidation of the bourgeois family and sexuality."
The 6th International Otto Gross Congress, organized by the International Otto Gross Society in cooperation with the Ludwig-Boltzmann Institute for Research into Addiction, Vienna, the University Clinic for Depth Psychology and Psychotherapy, Vienna, The Institute for Science and Art, Vienna, and the Austrian Society for the Pharmaceutical Treatment of Addicts will focus intensively on the roots of Otto Gross's thought, on questions of philosophy, medicine and psychoanalysis. A further focus of the congress, to which as satellite program there will be a "literary salon", will deal with analyzing the life and impact of Gross in Vienna, his influence on significant figures in Austrian cultural history such as Franz Werfel, Anton Kuh and others.
For further information and registration for the congress see: www.ottogross.org/deutsch/Kongresse/2006akongress.html
Raimund Dehmlow, E-Mail: email@example.com
Dr. phil. Ralf Rother, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
(Translation: Jennifer Michaels)
"... the enormous shadow of Freud no longer lies on my path" - Otto Gross's Rebellion / 6th International Otto Gross Congress in Vienna, 8-10 September 2006
Vienna/Hannover, 17 January 2006 - The 6th International Otto Gross Congress will take place in Vienna from September 8-10 2006. In a letter to Frieda Weekley (born von Richthofen), the Austrian doctor, psychoanalyst and revolutionary Otto Gross wrote: "The enormous shadow of Freud no longer lies on my path" and outlined with this his efforts to apply the psychoanalytic method to social structures. Gross developed a scientific concept that can be summarized in the sentence: "The psychology of the unconscious is the philosophy of revolution." He believed that the awareness of unconscious events, gained through therapy, could be directed to social change and thus to rebellion against the prevailing patriarchal structures.
The three-day congress is organized by the International Otto Gross Society together with the cooperation of the Ludwig-Boltzmann-Institut für Suchtforschung. Numerous presenters from Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Great Britain, Japan and the USA will address questions of the history of medicine, psychiatry, philosophy, and psychoanalysis. Other topics include "Trauma, Suffering, and Addiction," "Emancipation," and "Café House" and take up central questions about the life of Otto Gross and the young generation of the early twentieth century. Another focus deals with "Otto Gross and Women" and includes discussions of the Swiss writer Regina Ullmann, the painter Sophie Benz, and the sisters Else and Frieda von Richthofen.
The publication of the complete program is planned for March 1, 2006. At that time, registration for the congress will be possible on the website of the International Otto Gross Society (www.ottogross.org).
For further information please contact:
Raimund Dehmlow, E-Mail: email@example.com
Dr. phil. Ralf Rother, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
(Translation: Jennifer Michaels)
Utopia & Eros: The Dream of Modernity - 5th. International
Otto Gross Congress, cabaret voltaire / Dada-Haus, Zürich,
16 - 18 September 2005 / Gross vs. Gross. Hans & Otto Gross:
A Paradigmatic Generational Conflict. Symposium, Stadtmuseum,
Graz, 30 April 2005
by Gottfried Heuer, London
The 5th International Otto Gross Congress in Zürich was
held at the Cabaret Voltaire, the very location where 99 1/2
years previously Dada was born! Close to 100 participants and
Gross scholars of different disciplines - Cultural Anthropology,
the Arts, Ethnology, History, Law, Literature, Psychoanalysis
and Sociology - had gathered from six different European countries
and two Midwestern US States. The congress was organised by Richard
Butz, St. Gallen (Publicity); myself, Dr. Gottfried Heuer, London
(Program); Dr. Emanuel Hurwitz, Zürich (Program & Location);
and Lydia Trüb-Hurwitz, Zürich (Location).
My opening address as Chair of the International Otto Gross
Society included a booklaunch of the proceedings of the one-day
symposium on Gross vs. Gross in the spring of 2005 in Graz. Then,
the booklaunch of the proceedings of the 4th. International Otto
Gross Congress, Graz, 2003, had been combined with presentations
on this paradigmatic father/son conflict from biographical, cultural,
historical, legal and psychiatric perspectives.
The Zürich congress was dedicated to the memory of two people dear and important to the International Otto Gross Society who had both died in February 2005 in Zürich: Eva Schloffer (* 1910), daughter of Frieda Gross and the Swiss artist, linguist, archaeologist and anarchist Ernst Frick, and Prof. Harald Szeemann (* 1933), not only a curator of international renown, but also one of the first Gross scholars who had always been willing to generously support the research of so many of us in this field. Moving eulogies were presented by Esther Bertschinger-Joos, Zürich, a close friend of Eva Schloffer's for decades, and Dr. Albrecht Götz von Olenhusen, Freiburg.
The congress began with Sophie Templer-Kuh, Berlin, daughter
of Otto Gross and Marianne "Mizzi" Kuh, Honorary President
of the International Otto Gross Society, speaking about her own
Also among the participants were Frau Helene Kahl, Feldkirchen
nr. Munich, niece of Camilla Ullmann († 2000), daughter
of Otto Gross and the Swiss writer Regina Ullmann, and Werner
Frick, nephew of Ernst Frick, with his children Wolfgang Frick
and Gisela Bannermann-Frick.
The congress theme had invited an engagement with Gross' ideas
on radical political change and the sexual revolution - a term
he coined. This also meant facing the shadow aspects of his life
and work in terms of abuse of power, sexual violence and misogyny.
There certainly was ample material for all of these in the contribution
by the Zürich de Sade specialist Stefan Zweifel, "Sentence/Member/Orgies:
The Dream of Absolute Boundlessness from de Sade to Dada".
Dr. Petteri Pietikäinen, Helsinki, approached the subject
from a psychological perspective in his talk "Psychological
Utopianism in Otto Gross' Thought." Envisioning a matriarchal
communism, Gross linked mythical, depth-psychological and political
concerns that influenced later authors like Reich and Fromm.
I myself presented "The Spiritual Revolution: Psychoanalysis
and Sacral Politics - Otto Gross, Erich Mühsam and Johannes
Nohl. The Synthesis of Psychoanalysis, Religion and Radical Politics.
Origin and Reception". Central to my contribution was the
German anarchist writer Mühsam's summary of the "Grossian-Freudian
In an individual nothing happens independently of these equally
important aspects of the psyche: religion and sociability. The
argument that sexuality embraces both, is correct, but in the
same vein religiosity embraces sex and sociability, just as the
latter includes sexuality and the religious. They are three coordinated
and mutually inclusive aspects. We might understand sexuality
as the relating of people to the individual, sociability the
interpersonal relationship, and religiosity the relationship
of the individual to the cosmos. The fact that each of these
flows into the other, that there are no boundaries, and that
each of these aspects embraces the other two, is self-understood.
[. . .] It should be our task to heal not only the sexual "complexes"
but maybe even more the social and the religious ones, to help
the individual develop a sense of community and to re-experience
the buried beauty of the world.
I concluded my contribution with a critique of Gross' (self-)destructiveness
and to what extent this had affected his theories under the guise
of a matriarchal revolution. I compared this with aspects of
Jung's psychology, in particular from "Symbols of Transformation"
where Jung argues for the sacrifice of that aspect of the male
libido that is bound up with the mother so that he may become
capable of love in a hieros gamos. If that fails, he repeats
- as Gross did - misogynist attitudes of various ways of abuse
that mirror exactly those of previous generations.
The extent to which Gross had been able to live his own revolutionary
demands in his personal life, or, rather, how much he failed
in that was also demonstrated in Esther Bertschinger-Joos' talk
about the marriage of Frieda and Otto Gross, a moving account
from a feminine perspective, based on a large number of letters
that have survived from Frieda to her lifelong friend Else Jaffé,
who also had a son by Otto Gross. The lofty ideals and high expectations
that had led Frieda to marry this "strange" man, soon
gave way to deep disappointments. A "pact" enabled
both to be free in their choice of partners; yet Frieda, in spite
of relationships with Erich Mühsam, Emil Lask, Ernst Frick
- whom she bore three daughters - and others, remained fatefully
entangled with Otto Gross. Her in-laws blamed Frieda for their
son's incapacity to lead a more "normal" existence.
Bertschinger-Joos thus continued the presentation of her biographical
research into the life of Frieda Gross - an area neglected for
decades in the field of Gross studies!
Dr. Gerhard Dienes, historian and director of the Stadtmuseum
Graz, where he had invited the International Otto Gross Society
to its 4th. Congress in 2003, in his contribution linked historical
research with the congress theme by speaking of the rather different
utopian visions of father and son in "Prison Development
and Naturism. Hans and Otto Gross and the Adriatic Coast."
Both had dreams of a new society: the father envisioned a world
without criminals and considered deportation of undesirables
like anarchists, alcoholics, gypsies "and other criminals"
to Mediterranean island prison colonies. He said: "Theoretically
everybody can improve, but that is practically impossible. [.
. .] It would be best [. . .] to execute everyone who is incorrigible,
but we are not allowed to do that. To lock them up for life would
certainly be even more cruel, [. . .] so we shall have to find
a different solution: [. . .] deportation". At the same
time, the son mingled in exactly these circles and tried to realise
his utopia from there.
Indirectly Dr. Albrecht Götz von Olenhusen, Freiburg,
took up the theme of utopian ideal and lived reality by presentinjg
a film directed by the Vienna artist Otto Mühl in whose
work abuse takes a central place: he himself has served a seven
year jail sentence for sexual abuse. For years a rumour had existed
among Gross scholars that a film existed that featured Prof.
Harald Szeemann in the role of Otto Gross. Now Götz von
Olenhusen succeeded in locating this film - with Szeemann's help:
"Back to Fucking Cambridge", directed, in 1987, by
Otto Muehl and Therese Panoutsopoulos. Götz von Olenhusen
spoke about "1900 Vienna - Otto Gross and Otto Mühl
on Film". The movie shows episodes from the lives of Austrian
celebrities of the previous turn of the century - among them
Freud, Klimt, Schiele, Schönberg, Wittgenstein, etc., as
well as Gross - portrayed by Viennese artists of the 1980's.
In his contribution "Sexual Revolution and Jewish Liberation:
Otto Gross and Anton Kuh", Prof. Dr. Andreas Kilcher, Tübingen,
presented a critical analysis of German Jewry between 1900 and
1930 through the eyes of Anton Kuh, Gross' close friend. Not
only arguing with Ludwig Börne and Friedrich Nietzsche,
but in particularl with Otto Gross' brand of psychoanalysis,
Kilcher contrasted the "bourgeois" versions of modern
Jewry with an anti-bourgeois variation, according to Kuh a genuinely
Jewish modernity: that of the Diaspora, which he understood as
modern Jewry's true mission.
Closely linked with the congress' theme is the area of a continuing
biographical research into the life of Gross and those around
him. Having recently acquired some 400 letters by members of
Gross' parental family that had surfaced on the Vienna antique
market, Prof. Dr. Gernot Kocher, Graz, was in the unique position
to cast a completely different light on family dynamics and the
child Otto, as he spoke of "Young Otto Gross in the Eyes
of Parents and Relatives". Thus mother Adele writes about
the 11 year old "bad boy whose primary goal apparently is
to be other than how he is supposed to be", while father
Hans' letters, especially from 1911 onwards, show him as being
concerned with his son's welfare and indicate the network of
people used by him to "save" his son.
A scintillating personality from Gross' circle of friends
- and of particular interest today in view of the growing anti-Islamism
! - was introduced by Mag. Günther Windhager, Vienna in
his talk "From the Coffeehouses to the Saudi Royal Court
- Leopold Weiss' (Muhammad Asad's) Encounters in Vienna and Berlin
en Route Towards the Islam". The grandson of an orthodox
Rabbi met Gross in wartime Vienna. In an era of social and cultural
upheaval, Weiss was a seeker who came to discover the Islam for
himself as a Near-East correspondent. Following his conversion
in 1927, Weiss lived as Muhammad Asad in what today is Saudi
Arabia until 1932, when he was invited to join the King's counsel.
He later contributed to the founding of the State of Pakistan
which in 1952 he represented at the UN in New York. Asad became
an influential author and Islamic scholar, a translator and commentator
of the Qu'ran and thus an important cultural mediator.
Prof. of Literature Dr. Jennifer E. Michaels, Grinnell, Iowa,
in her talk "Otto Gross and Robert Musil: A Potential Link?"
confronted the question whether the life and work of Gross might
be reflected in Musils writings. It remains uncertain whether
the two ever met in person, but they frequented the same coffeehouses
and had a large number of friends in common. Michaels concentrated
in particular on Musil's play "The Dreamers", in whose
main character Hans Neuenfels, the renowned German director of
stage and screen, who has turned Musil's play into a film, thought
to have recognised Gross.
Prof. of Literature Dr. Erdmute White, West Lafayette, Indiana,
in her contribution explored the influence of Gross on the Brazilian
avantgarde of the 20's and 30's, mediated by the Swiss writer
Blaise Cendrars, who was familiar with Gross' life and work through
his friendship with Johannes Nohl. Cendrars had used some events
from Gross' life - notably the latter's escape from his analysis
with Jung and the Burghözli psychiatric institution - in
his own semi-autobiographical novel "Moravagine". For
a time, Cendrars was a celebrated author in Brazil, and thus
Gross' ideas may well have influenced the Brazilian surrealist
The Zürich writer Werner Portmann concluded the congress
with his poresentation "On Saccharine and Other White Powders".
For Gross cocaine and morphine, white powders in pure form, were
simultaneously ecstatic life motors and life toxins. Saccharine
was another white powder that at times played an important role
in his life as a means of earning money. Gross and his anarchist
comrades were involved in the smuggling of saccharine that spread
from Switzerland all across Europe into Russia. Smuggling was
then not just a source of income but at the same time a form
of social protest against governments who protected the financial
interests of the sugar industry against those of the predominantly
poorer parts of society.
Richard Meyer, who cordially welcomed the congress participants
to the cabaret voltaire, and who had organised a champagne reception
and buffet welcome donated by the Presidial Department of Zürich's
town council, together with Juri Steiner guided visitors through
the current exhibition of the "Dada Baroness" Elsa
In connection with the congress a number of important discoveries
have been made. Apart from the film with Harald Szeemann in the
role of Otto Gross, discovered by Dr. Albrecht Götz von
Olenhusen, Prof. Dr. Kocher, Graz, presented the earliest known
document written by Gross: a thank-you-letter for the gift of
a live squirrel, written by the 10 year old Otto to his uncle.
Kocher had also been able to identify the house Gross was born
in in the small village of Gniebing, near Feldbach in Styria.
With the help of Prof. Dr. Kilcher I myself was able to discover
an hitherto unknown text by Gross from the final years of his
life, "Towards the Re-Creation of the Truth-Loving Individual",
that had recently surfaced in Australia among a number of documents
that had belonged to Gross' friend Anton Kuh (now kept at the
Austrian National Library, Vienna). Both documents and a photo
of the house Gross was born in will be published with the congress
proceedings that I am currently editing.
Raimund Dehmlow, Hannover, who chaired the congress, published
abstracts of all presentations on the Society's website www.ottogross.org/deutsch/Kongresse/2005kongress_abstracts.html.
Leading up to the congress, Richard Butz wrote in the St.
Galler Tagblatt (Sept 15, p. 29) "'Behalte lieb Deine
Rega!' - Regina Ullmann und Otto Gross - Eine verdrängte
Geschichte aus den Anfängen der Psychiatrie", ("'Keep
loving your Rega!' - Regina Ullmann and Otto Gross. - A repressed
story from the beginnings of psychiatry") and Guido Kalberer
reviewed the congress in the Tages-Anzeiger, Zürich
(Sept 19, p. 50) under the title "Politische Psychoanalyse"
For Sophie Templer-Kuh's 90th. birthday in the "Freud-Year
2006", as Vienna will be celebrating the 150th. anniversary
of Freud's birth (as well as the 250th. of Mozart's!), Raimund
Dehmlow, Hannover, Dr. Ralf Rother, Vienna - who co-curated the
2003 exhibition on Hans and Otto Gross, Freud and Kafka in Graz
2003 - in co-operation with Prof. Dr. Alfred Springer of the
Ludwig-Boltzmann-Institut für Suchtforschung, Vienna, are
preparing the 6th. International Otto Gross Congress for September
2006 in Vienna.
The Dream of the Modern: The Fifth International Otto Gross
Congress in Zurich. A Report
By Albrecht Götz von Olenhusen, Freiburg i. Br.
Biographical aspects about Hans and Otto Gross were one of
the foci of the 5th International Otto Gross Congress that took
place from 16-18 of September 2005 in the Dada House in Zurich.
It was surprising how many new discoveries and interesting details
were offered in the presentations. Drawing on more than 400 letters,
now in the Kriminalmuseum in Graz, from Gross' family circle,
the Graz legal historian Gernot Kocher was able to offer important
personal perspectives about the young Otto Gross and the career
of Hans Gross. For the first time, his presentation made visible
the previously little understood figure of Otto Gross' mother,
Adele. Similarly, Esther Bertschinger-Joos, Zurich, the long-time
friend of Frieda Gross's daughter Eva (to whom she dedicated
an obituary at the beginning of the congress) shed light, using
Frieda Gross's correspondence with Else Jaffé, on the
remarkable life of Frieda Gross, characterized by tragedy and
disappointment. These biographically focused presentations were
complemented by Gerhard Dienes, Graz. He talked about the Dalmatian
islands as possible places of deportation, in the spirit of Hans
Gross, and about one of the nearby Dalmatian islands, frequented
by Graz society, which offered on occasions a refuge to Otto
Gross, his partner Sophie Benz and the painter Ernst Frick. Dienes
reported that hopefully in the coming year he would prepare an
exhibit in Rijeka devoted to this topic.
An early companion of Otto Gross, Leopold Weiss, who later
as Muhammad Asaf became famous at the Saudi court, was in the
center of the presentation by Günther Windhager, Vienna
a colorful path from Gross's psychoanalysis to ethnology
and the esoteric of Islam. The also biographically significant
contact of Anton Kuh with Otto Gross was the topic of the Tübingen
Germanist, Andreas Kilcher. Kuh used Gross's theories and developed
them creatively, applying them to the relationship between Jews
and Germans. The Viennese writer, Kuh, was not only a kind of
brother-in-law to Otto Gross, who was living with his sister
Mizzi Kuh, and not only a mere sympathizer, but also during his
life had a profound understanding of Gross's works and theories.
Presentations by Petteri Pietikäinen, Helsinki, and Gottfried
Heuer, London, who was reelected president at the congress, were
devoted to theoretical aspects. Psychological utopianism and
spiritual revolution formed the basis of the talk by Stefan Zweifel
(Zurich). Erdmute White (Indiana) dealt with the fascinating
influence of Otto Gross's theories on the Brazilian avant-garde.
Jennifer Michaels (Iowa) discussed the probable impact of Otto
Gross on Robert Musil's work.
Saturday evening concluded with a presentation (Götz
von Olenhusen, Freiburg) about the film by Otto Muehl dealing
with turn of the century Vienna. Otto Muehl played Sigmund Freud
and Harald Szeemann Otto Gross. The film included numerous episodes
depicting various aspects of the artistic, literary and musical
avant-garde in Vienna around 1900.
Biography, in this case her own, was also the focus of Sophie
Templer-Kuh's welcoming address. She spoke about her many years
without a father, the stepfather she disliked, the difficult
events in her life at the beginning of fascism in Vienna and
Berlin, and her forced emigration to Great Britain. A film about
Sophie Templer-Kuh, still in production, will soon document her
The three-day, well-attended congress, moderated by Raimund
Dehmlow (Hannover) and organized by the society (through Emanuel
Hurwitz, Lydia Hurwitz-Trüb and Richard Butz), which took
place in the Dada House in the Spiegelgasse, was opened with
a remembrance in honor of the famous curator Harald Szeemann,
who died in February 2005 (Götz von Olenhusen, Freiburg).
Since his legendary exhibit about "Monte Verità"
Gross scholarship has been closely connected to Szeemann. Together
with Emanuel Hurwitz, Martin Green, Thomas Anz, Bernd Nitzsche
and Nicolaus Sombart he founded and promoted this research. The
congress was dedicated to his memory.
The congress will be documented by congress proceedings. Those
interested can order this and earlier congress volumes: E-Mail:
The 6th International Otto Gross Congress will take place in
2006 in Vienna. (Translation: Jennifer Michaels)
International Otto Gross Congress in Zurich / Topic "Utopia
and Eros: The Dream of the Modern"
August 15, 2005 - The Fifth International Otto Gross Congress will take place on 16 - 18 September 2005 in Zurich. The three day event, which the International Otto Gross Society has organized with the "cabaret voltaire" in Zurich, has as its topic "Utopia and Eros: The Dream of the Modern."
The presenters include well known scholars from Germany, Finland,
Great Britain, Austria, Switzerland, and the USA.
Sophie Templer-Kuh, (who now lives in Berlin), the daughter
of the Austrian doctor and revolutionary Otto Gross (1877-1920)
and a niece of the Austrian writer Anton Kuh, will open the congress
in her capacity as honorary president of the society.
This year's congress continues a successful series of meetings
of the society. The first was in Berlin in 1999. In 2003 it reached
its highest point to date with the internationally acclaimed
meeting in Graz: "The Laws of the Fathers."
The carefully documented congresses give insights into the
life, work and impact of Otto Gross. Gross, who came into conflict
early with his father, the Austrian law professor and criminologist
Hans Gross, was a private instructor of psychopathology in Graz.
As psychoanalyst his ideas shaped literary Bohemia and the generation
rebelling against the fathers during the First World War.
In 1913/14 Hans Gross put him under guardianship and he was
interned in psychiatric institutions until shortly before the
beginning of the war. After the death of his father in 1915 he
succeeded only in changing this to a less restrictive guardianship.
He took part in the revolutionary activities in Munich, Vienna
and Berlin and devoted himself increasingly to developing the
theoretical basis for new forms of education, within the context
of a free society, liberated from patriarchal notions. Weakened
and destroyed by years of excessive drug abuse, he died in Berlin
in 1920 from pneumonia.
Proceedings of the congresses, organized by the International
Otto Gross Society, were published by Verlag literaturwissenschaft.de
and are available. Further information: www.literaturwissenschaft.de.
The abstracts of this year's congress as well as further materials
can be found on the web site of the International Otto Gross
The congress, which takes place in the DADA House is not only
for specialists but is also open to the public. The registration
fee is 60 Euros. Day tickets are available at the door.
"Archiv für Kriminologie" praises the collection
"The Laws of the Father"
The recently published collection by the Marburg LiteraturWissenschaft.de
of contributions to the Graz congress of the International Otto
Gross Society in October 2003 is reviewed positively in the latest
edition of the monthly "Archiv für Kriminologie",
edited by Professor Stefan Pollak, Freiburg i. Br., of
the university's institute for judicial medicine: "Overall,
the volume presents a varied picture of the interdisciplinary
research and discussion about Otto Gross and his relationship
to his father Hans Gross. The volume can be recommended without
reservation to all readers interested in legal and cultural-historical
issues." In the discussion, reference is also made to the
fourth congress of the society, the exhibition in Graz, and the
work of C. Jung and T. Anz ( Arch.Kriminol. 213:56-57, 2004),
as well as to the impact of the association, founded in 1999,
and its four congresses and its website. (Translation: Jennifer
Neue Juristische Wochenschrift contains a contribution
about the trial of Hans Gross vs. Otto Gross
Albrecht Götz von Olenhusen, Freiburg. i. Br. discusses
in the Neue Juristische Wochenschrift (Nr. 9/2005, pp. 554-558)
the suit brought by the Graz professor of criminology and criminologist
Hans Gross against his son, the psychoanalyst Dr. Otto Gross
concerning his committal and declaration of incompetency because
of madness. On the basis of documents in the Steiermark Landesarchiv
in Graz, the author discusses the case using a legal and legal
historical perspective. The six sections are: Otto Gross as a
symbolic figure of the father/son conflict; treatment of the
mentally ill in 19th century Austria; declaration of Otto Gross'
legal incompetency; his release as "healed"; developments
after Hans Gross' death; the significance of Otto Gross in psychoanalysis.
Once a year the NJW devotes an issue to the topic of literature,
art and law. The issue of 28. 2. 05 also contains articles about
the heresy trial against George Grosz (B.v. Becker), about justice
in Friedrich Dürrenmatt (A. Strunz-Happe), Thomas Mann and
his lawyer V. Heins (H. Blechschmid) and articles about German
lawyers of Jewish descent (J. Rott, K. Redeker) among others
(see also the NJW on the internet www.njw.de).
(Translation: Jennifer Michaels)
Symbols of the Future: Thoughts on the Death of Harald
By Hermann Müller, translated by Jennifer Michaels
Harald Szeeman is dead. The person who rediscovered Monte
Verita died on February 17, a day after Gräser's birthday.
I had sent him on the same day my greeting from Gusto.
His services to Monte Verita are enormous. Now the question
is: What will happen to his collection Monte Mitico? What will
happen with his uncompleted total work of art Monte Utopia?
Monte Verita was his passion. With pain I followed his long,
tenacious battle for a meaningful continuation of the historical
tradition on the mountain, without being able to help him. Although
there were great successes in the world, the lack of success
in his own country in this matter of the heart must have depressed
He was an adventurer and a rebel, always looking for "individual
mythologies." He sensed that in this mountain of truth a
real and fruitful myth was hidden. He called it "Utopia."
In his exhibition, he treated the society of the mountain thus:
What if utopia became reality, what if this fascinating potential
would become 'We'." He constructed utopia, he developed
"The exhibition was a dream, almost a total work of art,"
he once said about his Monte-Verita production. Monte Verita
was his dream, and through him it was to be a total work of art.
His death leaves us the task to complete the unbuilt 'temple"
on whose construction he worked with so much love and passion.
Eva Verena Schloffer Dies in Zurich
Eva Schloffer was born in Munich on September 9, 1910 as Eva
Gross. Her official parents were Frieda and Otto Gross, but her
real father was the Swiss Ernst Frick. She spent her childhood
and adolescence in Ascona with her half-brother Peter and two
younger sisters; her actual home however became Bosco Gurin,
the German-speaking mountain village in Tessin where her family
spent the summer months and where in 1920 she spent her first
year in school. She later completed her Abitur on the North Sea
island of Juist in the "School on the Ocean." Else
Jaffe, the friend of her mother, managed to procure her a place
When she left home, Eva Gross had to change her name. She
was the "trial child," who, through Otto Gross' father,
the professor of criminology Hans Gross, was declared as not
belonging to the Gross family and thus illegitimate. For Eva
Schloffer, as she now called herself, this was a life-long stigma.
After her training to be a medical laboratory technician in
Berlin, Eva Schloffer worked for twelve years in Zurich as a
doctor's assistant with a Jewish gynecologist and became acquainted
with the fate of many emigrants, which depressed her. In 1946,
the same year that her brother Peter died of tuberculosis, she
was awarded citizenship of the city of Zurich. From 1947 on,
she worked for many years as a housekeeper for families until
finally in 1958 she found her last position with the Swiss Refugee
Aid, where she worked until her retirement in 1975. During this
time, her parents and her youngest sister Ruth died.
She still had many healthy years left and she filled them
with many activities. She was involved with the fate of her fellow
man, was interested in world events, was critically engaged in
the Catholic Church, was a zealous participator in the senior
university, often went on long hikes, and kept in contact with
friends and above all with her sister Cornelia who lived in England
and unfortunately died in 1995.
After this, Eva Schloffer's life became gradually harder.
Moving to an old people's home was difficult; depression finally
led to hospitalization. There she attained inner peace. She lived
a modest but intellectually active life and was esteemed and
loved by her care-givers. Surrounded by friends she died peacefully
on February 5, 2005 after a short illness.
Esther Bertschinger-Joos (Translation: Jennifer Michaels)
Centennial of the German Society for Forensic Medicine
By Dr. jur. Albrecht, Götz von Olenhusen, Freiburg
i. Br., translated by Jennifer Michaels
The centennial of the founding of the German Society for Forensic
Medicine was celebrated at a festive occasion on October 30,
2004 in the Harnack-House in Berlin. Prof. Dr. Stefan Pollak,
Director of the Institute for Forensic Medicine at the University
of Freiburg i. Br. and editor of the now 106 year old "Archive
for Criminology, its present name, that was founded by Hans Gross,
Graz, presents a thorough and complete history of the society
in the latest number, Arch.Kriminol. 213: 56-57 (2004). In this
he discusses the founder Hans Gross, who was for many years the
editor of the archive. Also, he depicts the history of such societies
in Switzerland, Austria and the GDR.
The very instructive and detailed contribution of Prof. Pollak,
which includes an extensive bibliography, refers also to Hans
Gross' "Handbuch für Untersuchungsrichter," 6.
Edition, 1914, in which the important role of forensic doctors
is discussed. In 1915, Hans Gross formulated the tasks of the
journal, which even today is considered with justification, to
be an important publication for research in forensic medicine.
The journal appears monthly in Freiburg i. Br. Hans Gross published
in this journal early contributions of his son, Otto Gross.
In the same number of the Archive for Criminology, Prof. Pollak
discussed the following collection:
Dienes, Gerhard / Rother, Ralf (Eds.): Die Gesetze des Vaters.
Wien, Köln, Weimar (Böhlau) 2003 - 287 p., Paperback.
This is the accompanying book to the exhibition of the same
name in Graz, 2003, in which the interdisciplinary discussion
between "criminology, psychoanalysis, and literature"
was documented and in whose center was the father-son relationship
between Hans and Otto Gross.
On the same page (p. 57) of the number the author reviews
the volume by Christina Jung/Thomas Anz:
Der Fall Otto Gross. Marburg: Transmit 2002, 169 p., Paperback
In this text, Christina Jung (Hamburg) and Thomas Anz (Marburg),
using a literary perspective, document and analyze the press
campaign in winter 1913/14, brought about by Otto Gross' arrest
The Laws of the Fathers: Collection with presentations
from the 4th International Otto Gross Congress has now appeared.
The next congress will be held in September 2005 in Zurich
January 19, 2005 - The International Otto Gross Society, London/Hannover, is pleased to announce that the collection of presentations from the 4th International Otto Gross Congress (Graz 2003) has now appeared. This continues the series of congress publications with the publisher LiteraturWissenschaft.de Marburg.
Albrecht Götz von Olenhusen / Gottfried Heuer (Eds.):
Die Gesetze des Vaters. 4. Internationaler Otto Gross Kongress.
Robert Stolz-Museum, Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz, 24.-26.
Publisher: LiteraturWissenschaft.de, Marburg an der Lahn, 2005.
507 pages, 26,- EUR
The collection documents important contributions to current
research about Hans and Otto Gross as well as the father/son
conflict in the Wilhelminian period and in the Habsburg monarchy.
Included are collected presentations from the interdisciplinary
4th International Otto Gross Congress in Graz, 24-26 of October
2003. Authors: Thomas Anz, Peter Becker, Esther Bertschinger-Joos,
Wolfgang Buchner, Daniel Burston, Bozena Choluj, Gerhard Dienes,
Ernst Falzeder, Albrecht Götz von Olenhusen, Martin Green,
Gottfried Heuer, Emanuel Hurwitz, Gernot Kocher, Carl Krockel,
Jennifer Michaels, Bernd Nitzschke, Ralf Rother, Sophie Templer-Kuh,
John Turner, Erdmute White, Sam Whimster, Siegbert Wolf.
The volumes also contains two previously unpublished texts
by Otto Gross, documents about Gross, and the complete text of
the play about Gross that premiered in Graz, as well as congress
reports and commentaries. Hans Gross, the Graz Professor of Criminal
Law, had his son, the psychoanalyst Dr. Otto Gross, declared
legally incompetent because of "madness." This case
became a paradigm for the generational conflict in Expressionism.
Please send orders to:
Institut für Neuere Deutsche Literatur undMedien
Wilhelm-Röpke-Str. 6 a, 35039 Marburg
Tel.: 06421/2824674, Sekr.:
24673, Fax: 28973, Internet: www.literaturkritik.de/lit-wiss/
Requests for review copies should be addressed to Dr. Gottfried
The 5th International Otto Gross Congress will take place
in Zurich from 16-18 September, 2005. Again presenters from home,
abroad, and overseas will participate. Further information available
from Dr. Gottfried Heuer.
4th International Otto Gross Congress: "The Laws of
the Father" or: The Return of the Prodigal Son. October,
24 26, 2003, Robert-Stolz-Museum, Karl Franzens-University,
By Gottfried Heuer
December 20, 2003 - As part of the program of "Graz 2003:
Cultural Capital of Europe" the International Otto Gross
Society had been invited by Dr. Gerhard Dienes, the director
of the Stadtmuseum to hold its 4th Congress in Gross' hometown
of Graz. It was very much an occasion of bringing Otto Gross
back home, almost a return of the prodigal son. In 1902 Gross'
wife-to-be Frieda had written to a friend, "The people of
Graz don't like him. [. . .] Maybe he's a bit too different .
. ." And Gross' struggles with his father had near-archetypal
dimensions. Now, some hundred years later, the town of Graz really
did much more, it seemed, than preparing the biblical "fatted
calf" for Gross' homecoming:
In the large exhibition "The Laws of the Father. Problematic
Claims to Identity", curated by Dr. Gerhard Dienes and Dr.
Ralf Rother, Vienna, Otto Gross got reunited with his father,
the renowned criminologist Hans Gross. The exhibition also featured
Sigmund Freud and Franz Kafka altogether four men who related
to each other personally and in their focussing on law and order,
the unconscious, patriarchy and the state and the complex relationship
between self and other. The exhibition contained numerous photographs
and documents on loan from the Otto Gross Archive, London, established
by Gottfried Heuer in 1996. There were banners all over the city
advertising the exhibition, so that a Congress participant from
Iowa wrote "I was (as we used to say in the Midlands) tickled
pink to see Otto Gross' face peering at me throughout Graz."
The Stadtmuseum also created an extensive website for the
exhibition at www.stadtmuseum-graz.at/gdv
and the two curators edited an impressive large-format companion
volume to the exhibition, "Die Gesetze des Vaters",
published by Böhlau Verlag, Vienna, which on nearly 300
pages presents the cutting edge of international Gross studies
by some 20 different authors, including Richard Faber, Berlin,
Martin Green, Cambridge, New England, Laurence Rickels, Santa
Barbara, California, Michael Turnheim, Paris, Eva Züchner,
Berlin, as well as the Congress organisers Dr. Albrecht Götz
von Olenhusen, Freiburg, Gottfried Heuer, London, and the editors.
The Stadtmuseum also arganized a series of readings and lectures
accompanying the exhibition. The Austrian actor Gerhard Balluch
staged readings of a "Protocollage Gross Against Gross
a Fateful Father-Son Conflict", texts by Franz Werfel about
Otto Gross, "Someone must have betrayed Josef K. Franz
Kafka" and "I live naked and alert like a stag
Hermann Hesse and the Monte Verità". Dr. Gerhard
Dienes presented an introduction and overview of the exhibition
"Man Moses and the Torture of the Machine", Dr. Ralf
Rother on "The Dream of the End of Patriarchy or:
What Does it Mean to Survive Death?", Helmut Hanko and Dr.
Gerhard Dienes on "The Coffee Houses of Munich" and
Jank Ferch on "Judgements. Franz Kafka, his Teacher Hans
Gross and their Judges".
The Graz Werkraumtheater staged a two hours play, written
and directed by Franz Blauensteiner and Rezka Kanzian, "Fall
of an Anarchist. The Case of Dr. Otto Gross" just
four actors playing 30 different roles with immense skill, enthusiasm,
and panache; Otto Gross and his father being played by the same
actor, just as Gross and Freud had been played by the same actor
earlier in the year on the stage of the National Theatre, London,
in Christopher Hampton's "The Talking Cure" interesting
synchronicities and comments on the father-son theme!
Otto Gross' only surviving daughter, Sophie Templer-Kuh, Berlin,
was invited to stay for the duration of the Congress as guest
of the town mayor. The weekend edition (No. 205) of the Wiener
Zeitung published on a whole page Sandra Löhr's article
about her, "The Long search for the Father: Sophie Templer-Kuh,
daughter of the psychoanalyst Otto Gross" (www.taz.de/pt/2003/09/12/a0182.nf/text.ges,1
As Honorary President of the International Otto Gross Society
she opened the Congress after a warm welcome by Dr. Dienes and
Mag.Walter Titz who spoke for the mayor of Graz, Gottfried Heuer,
together with Dr. Albrecht Götz von Olenhusen the Congress
organiser, gave an opening speech and introduced also his and
his co-organiser's latest discoveries of their researches: Gross'
two last known texts and documents relating to Gross' wartime
activities as a physician in the Balkans. All these new discoveries
are published by Albrecht Götz von Olenhusen, ed. (2003).
Hans Gross gegen
Otto Gross. Die Geschichte eines Prozesses. Berichte. Dokumente.
Dr. Emanuel Hurwitz, Zürich, Gross' first biographer
and founder of Gross studies, in his keynote address on Friday
evening talked about the historiography of Gross and his relationship
to his father. Before all Congress participants went to see the
Werkraumtheater play, there was a wine & buffet reception
laid out for the Congress participants by the Mayor of Graz.
On Saturday, Dr. Ralf Rother, Vienna, presented on Hans Gross
and Franz Kafka "The Ladies in the Penal Colony", Albrecht
Götz von Olenhusen, Freiburg, spoke on "Madness in
Times of War: Franz Jung, Otto Gross and Martial Law", Dr.
John Turner, Swansea, Wales, on Otto Gross' influence on D.H.
Lawrence. Dr. Gerhard Dienes gave a guided tour through the exhibition
"The Laws of the Father". In the afternoon, Dr. Ernst
Falzeder, Spital am Pyhrn, presented on "Sigmund Freud,
Eugen Bleuler, C.G. Jung and the Burghölzli", Dr. Bernd
Nitzschke, Düsseldorf, on "The Magic Triangle
Otto Gross, C.G. Jung, Sabina Spielrein", Gottfried Heuer,
London, on the anarchist Otto Gross, Dr. Siegbert Wolf, Frankfurt,
on "Psychoanalysis and Anarchism". The evening program
consisted of the Head of the universities law department Prof.
Dr. Gernot Kocher's talk on Hans Gross and his career, followed
by a guided tour through the newly re-established "Kriminalmuseum"
at the Karl Franzens-Universität, that houses Hans Gross'
extensive collection of assault and murder weapons and other
evidence of crimes. Prof. Dr. Peter Becker, Florence, presented
on "Hans Gross and Criminology at the Turn of the Century",
following which Prof. Kocher invited the Congress participants
to another lavish wine & buffet reception.
On Sunday, Esther Bertschinger-Joos, Zürich presented
on "Frieda Gross: Letters from Graz 1882 1906",
for the first time in the history of Gross studies giving a voice
to Gross' wife. Prof. Dr. Jennifer Michaels, Grinnell, Iowa,
spoke on "The Army Deserter and the Priest of Astaroth:
Franz Werfel and Otto Gross".
Sunday noon the Graz artist Wolfgang Buchner gave a guided
tour through the exhibition he had curated within the exhibition
at the Stadtmuseum, called "Unterströmungen des Bewußtseins"
(Undercurrents of consciousness), linking art with Gross' early
psychiatric work on the energy flow along nerve pathways. Buchner
spoke of the role of cocaine in Gross' life and work as a drug
which he used to concentrate on scientific work. In this context,
Buchner called cocaine Gross' "assistent". Buchner
edited an extra catalogue for his exhibition. A further companion
exhibition was curated by Mag. Annette Rainer: "Wayward
daughters of the 20's and 30's", centering on women artists
like Gertrud Ring, a close friend of the Dadaist Hannah Höch.
Sunday afternoon Prof. Dr. Daniel Burston, Pittsburgh, on
"Otto Gross, R.D. Laing and the Politics of Diagnosis",
Prof. Dr. Erdmute White, West Lafayette, Indiana, on "Otto
Gross: The Taos Connection", the tangled relationships of
Gross, Frieda and D. H. Lawrence and their friends, and Dr. Sam
Whimster, London, on "Ethics in Max Weber and Otto Gross.
A Study in Personalities".
The Congress drew a good attendence by well over a hundred
participants and presenters from Austria, Belgium, England, Germany,
Indiana, Iowa, Italy, Japan, Pennsylvania, Switzerland, Wales
among them also Werner and Wolfgang Frick, nephew and grand
nephew of Ernst Frick, the Swiss anarchist with whom Frieda Gross
had a long relationship and three daughters (www.ernstfrick.ch/register.htm).
Sadly, Prof. Martin Green, Medford, Massachusetts, who was
to speak about Otto Gross and Robert Musil, Prof. Dr. Walter
Fähnders, Osnabrück, who was to present on patricide
and patricidees, Prof. Dr. Thomas Anz, Marburg, on family fathers
in the 20th century, and Prof. Dr. Bozena Choluj, Warsaw, on
the father in the background of Gross' anarchism, had not been
able to attend the Congress for health reasons. But the texts
of their talks will be included in the volume of congress proceedings
edited by Götz von Olenhusen & Heuer (Albrecht Götz
von Olenhusen & Gottfried Heuer, eds. (2004). Die Gesetze
des Vaters. 4. Internationaler Otto Gross Kongress, Graz. Marburg:
LiteraturWissenschaft.de). All presentations were videotaped
by Peter Waltersdorfer, Graz, who also guaranteed a smooth running
of the Congress. The tapes will be kept at the Otto Gross Archive,
The Congress had been announced on various websites, among
others on that of the International Otto Gross Society, the Stadtmuseum
the Werkblatt (home.subnet.at/werkblatt/WB-L.htm; pp. 1011
of this website also contain Gottfried Heuer's response to Caroline
Neubaur's malicious article in the Frankfurter Allgemeine
Zeitung on the 3rd. International Otto Gross Congress, Munich
2002, which the newspaper refused to publish.), Der Standard
the LiteraturWissenschaft.de, Marburg publisher (www.literaturkritik.de/redaktion/ankuendigungen.html),
as well as in the program edtions Graz 2003: Cultural Capital
of Europe, the "Agenda" in Süddeutsche Zeitung
(No. 244, 23 Oct. 2003, p. 16; I am grateful to Antje Peters-Hirt,
Lübeck, for providing me with a copy), the Zeitschrift für
Körpertherapie (Wien, Vol. 10, No 35, p. 21) and in the
Wiener Zeitung (No. 205, 24/25 October 2003, Extra, p. 8) on
the occasion of the publication of a textual variant of Sandra
Löhrs article on Sophie Templer-Kuh. In the internet edition
of the Neue Zürcher Zeitung of 29 October 2003 Paul Jandl
wrote a report on the Congress and the exhibition under the title
"Geben Sie acht, er beisst! Graz erinnert an den Anarchisten
Otto Gross" (Watch out, he bites! Graz rembers the anarchist
Otto Gross; www.nzz.ch/2003/10/29/fe/page-article96UKD.html).
The AGM of the International Otto Gross Society decided to
hold the 5th Otto Gross Congress in Zürich in the autumn
of 2005. For further information visit the society's website
or contact Gottfried Heuer (E-Mail: ).
Margarethe Faas-Hardegger: New Biography
Ina Boesch, cultural researcher and journalist, has just published
a biography of Margarethe Faas-Hardegger. The Chronos Publ. is
telling the following about the book:
Margarethe Hardegger (1882-1963) embodied the social and political
ideals that nowadays one calls left. She lived socialism here
and now. She preached and practiced free love. She was in contact
with Munich bohemian and Berlin anarchist circles. She was active
against fascism and she fought for peace. For many decades she
lived in Tessin in the shadow of Monte Verita and had international
contacts. She was faithful to her friends and for this reason
was imprisoned. She was the first secretary for women workers
of the Swiss association of trades unions. She was the lover
of the anarchist writers Gustav Landauer and Erich Mühsam.
She was the friend of the workers' doctor Fritz Brupbacher as
well as the chemist and pacifist Gertrud Woker.
In Margarethe Hardegger's "Counter Life" different
forms of living of her time, come together: In her life crystallize
such concepts of the first half of the 20th century as socialism,
reforming life, and pacifism. Her biography gives valuable insights
into these different forms of living, into her own life story,
and the organizations in which she was active. (Translation:
Ina Boesch: Gegenleben. Die Sozialistin Margarethe Hardegger
und ihre politischen Bühnen.
2003. 436 S. Br. CHF 48/EUR 32
ISBN 3-0340-0639-X, Chronos Verlag
The Laws of the Father: The 4th International Otto Gross
Conference in Graz, October 24-26, 2003. A Short Report
By Albrecht Götz von Olenhusen, Freiburg i. Br., translated by Jennifer Michaels
November 5, 2003 - The 4th International Otto Gross Conference
took place this year in Graz at the Robert Stolz Museum and the
Karl-Franzens University. The conference venue was chosen because
the Stadtmuseum in Graz under the guidance of its Director, Dr.
Gerhard M. Dienes, and of Dr. Ralf Rother (Vienna) presented
at the same time a well-conceived exhibition about Hans and Otto Gross, Sigmund
Freud and Franz Kafka. The visit to this exhibition, a lecture
by Dr. Dienes, visits to the "exhibitions within the exhibition"
about "wayward daughters" of the twenties and
thirties, the talk by Wolfgang Buchner about Otto Gross' earlier
Graz works, as well as the visit to the Hans Gross criminal museum
in its new place at the university (which was also its earlier
place) formed highpoints of the program. The visit to the criminal
museum was enriched by the lecture of the Graz legal historian
and dean, Professor Doctor Gernot Kocher. Professor Peter Becker's
(Florence) criminological-historical lecture about Hans Gross
and the criminology and criminal law of the turn of the 20th
century gave important insights into Hans Gross and his ambivalences
between tradition and a new beginning.
As a result of encouragement by Gerhard Dienes, the Graz Werkraumtheater
developed their own play "Death of an Anarchist: the Case
of Otto Gross." Participants in the conference had the opportunity
to see an interesting experiment in the dramatic confrontation
with this difficult and extensive material. The four actors showed
impressive artistic flexibility and talent in each playing a
number of different roles.
In his opening lecture, "Hans and Otto Gross Father
and Sons" before a numerous and interested audience Dr.
Emanuel Hurwitz, the founder of research on Otto Gross, included
also a personal biographical account of the genesis of his still
unsurpassed biography of Otto Gross (1979).
As in previous years, congress presentations will be published
in the 4th Conference Proceedings by Verlag LiteraturWissenschaft.de
On the occasion of the conference a companion book to the
exhibition, published by Gerhard Dienes and Ralf Rother (Vienna: Böhlau, 2003), about Hans and
Otto Gross, Sigmund Freud and Franz Kafka appeared: "Vier
Personen, die durch Begegnungen und in ihren Auseinandersetzungen
mit Gesetz und Strafe, dem Patriarchat und dem Staat, dem Eigenen
und dem Fremden in Beziehung traten." It contains contributions
by G. Dienes, R. Rother, G. Heuer, G. Kocher, C. Grafl, Janko
Ferk, H. Samer, G. Agamben, A. Götz v. Olenhusen, R. Faber,
E. Züchner, M. Green, L. A. Rickels, M. Turnheim, C. C.
Härle und G. Palmer. A CD-Rom entitled "Hans Gross gegen Otto Gross" (Freiburg:
Götz v. Olenhusen) also appeared for the conference. It
contains contributions by Sam Whimster, Gottfried Heuer and Albrecht
Götz von Olenhusen as well as a bibliography of Otto Gross'
published and unpublished works (G. Heuer) and a considerably
expanded version of the bibliography of secondary literature,
compiled in 1999 by Raimund Dehmlow and Gottfried Heuer. It now
contains about 1,600 titles. It also contains two works by Otto
Gross, published for the first time (publisher G. Heuer) as well
as a transcript of trial documents of Hans Gross/Otto Gross 1913/1914
and a transcript of evidence about Otto Gross from his time in
the military 1915-1917.
The presentations at the interdisciplinary conference included
contributions from the fields of philosophy, German literature,
psychology, psychoanalysis and its history, legal history and
sociology. Two contributions (Wolf, Heuer) concentrated on Otto
Gross, the anarchist. A more extensive evaluation of the scholarly
presentations will appear separately. To mention a few: Esther
Bertschinger-Joos (Zurich) used letters from 1882-1906 to offer
perspectives about the biography of Frieda Gross. Bernd Nitzschke's
talk on the "magic triangle" Otto Gross, C. G. Jung
and Sabina Spielrein provided new insights, particularly into
the relationship between Jung and Spielrein. Turner (about D.
H. Lawrence), White (about Frieda Weekly and Otto Gross in the
context of Taos) and Jennifer Michaels (about Werfel) also presented
the audience with new and important material. Ernst Falzeder
shed light on the problematic relationship between Freud, Bleuler
and C. G. Jung, and Sam Whimster discussed the ethical differences
between Max Weber and Otto Gross. My own presentation dealt with
the different versions of "madness" in the First World
War, using Franz Jung and Otto Gross as examples.
The exhibition in the Graz Stadtmuseum will continue until
the beginning of February 2004. It has already received positive
press reviews. For the conference there appeared in the Wiener Zeitung of October 24 an article on Gross'
daughter Sophie Templer-Kuh (also in taz and WOZ). As always,
Sophie Templer-Kuh took an active role in the conference. We
were also glad to welcome from Switzerland the nephew and great-nephew
of Ernst Frick to the conference. The local, regional, national
and international interest in the exhibitions and the conference
was since Graz is this year the cultural capital of Europe
very good, despite a variety of many other cultural offerings
At its meeting of the members, the International Otto Gross
Society decided that its next conference will take place in Zurich
The Zurich historian, journalist, and developer of exhibitions,
Regula Bochsler, has made parts of her extensive work on Margarethe
Faas-Hardegger (1882-1963) available on the internet
September 15, 2003 - As Regula Bochsler observes on the website,
Hardegger was an extraordinarily courageous woman. She not only
dreamed about a more just world, but also fought for it. Neither
setbacks nor even prison sentences could bring her from her goal.
She was the first worker secretary of the Swiss Federation of
Trade Unions. Her political contacts encompassed half Europe.
The topics that concerned her and her friends were new, radical,
and relevant to the present: emancipation for women, social equality,
abortion, and equality for homosexuals. Hardegger, who actively
worked in Switzerland for the journal "Sozialist,"
was attracted for a time to the ideas of Otto Gross. This led
to a fierce controversy with Gustav Landauer whom she had regarded
as a kindred soul. Bochsler, who published in 2004 in Verlag
Pendo a Hardegger biography with the title "Ich folgte meinem
Stern. Das kämpferische Leben der Margarethe Hardegger"
has already put on the website sources about Hardegger's biography
and a list of secondary literature. By so doing she has made
accessible to a wide public the life of a nearly forgotten woman
and an age in which many maladjusted people fought for spaces
from which we clearly benefit today. (rd/jm)
More informations: www.margarethe-hardegger.ch/autorin.html
Ernst Frick, the Swiss Anarchist, Artist, Archeologist
and Scholar of Primitive Languages on the Internet
September 1, 2003 - Werner and Wolfgang Frick have set themselves
the goal of making accessible the neglected life and work of
their uncle and great-uncle, the Swiss anarchist, artist, archaeologist
and scholar of primitive languages, Ernst Frick (1881-1956).
On a website they have put together such detailed information
as a biography of Ernst Frick, and numerous photographs, some
of them shown for the first time. Also included is information
about Frieda Gross, who since 1911 in Ascona lived with Frick,
and their children Eva Verena Schloffer and Cornelia and Ruth
Elisabeth Gross. Frick, who was a metal founder by profession,
edited the "Weckruf" in 1905 and, during a stay in
a sanatorium in Ascona quickly made connections to the circle
around Erich Mühsam, Johannes Nohl, and Otto Gross. In 1913
he was sentenced to one year in prison. He was accused of freeing
a Russian citizen from a barracks, by using explosives, and of
causing a derailment of a tram. The website gives information
about his artistic creations and his scholarly work, about which
little was known until now. (rd/jm)
More informations: www.ernstfrick.ch/
International Otto Gross Society has held
the 3rd International Congress in Munich
March 17, 2002 - The International Otto Gross Society, founded
in 1999, has held the third Otto Gross Congress from March 15-17
2002. The date of the conference was chosen because March 17
will be the 125th anniversary of the birth of the psychoanalyst
and revolutionary Otto Gross. With its choice of meeting places
for the congresses (Berlin, 1999), Zurich (2000) the International
Otto Gross Society is following the stages of Gross' life in
reverse. Gross died under tragic conditions in Berlin in 1920,
stayed in Zurich in 1907 to undergo a cure for his drug addiction.
At this time, his doctor C. G. Jung diagnosed Gross with "dementia
praecox" and thus discredited him as a scientist. (rd/jm)
Press release: A wrong diagnosis and its consequences:
2nd International Otto Gross Congress was held at the Burghoelzli
November 4, 2000 - From October 27 to 29 the 2nd International
Otto Gross Congress took place by invitation of the International
Otto Gross Society at the Psychiatric University Clinic of Zurich,
the "Burghoelzli". The motto for the congress was "Otto
Gross, psychiatry, psychoanalysis, and literature".
Numerous speakers from various European countries, the USA, and Japan presented and discussed their research concerning the influence of the Austrian medical doctor and psychoanalyst (1877-1920) on psychiatry, psychoanalysis, and literature. In 1908, Otto Gross had been in treatment at the Burghoelzli from where he fled later by his spectacular jump over the clinic wall. The diagnosis of "dementia praecox" made at the time by the assistant medical director Carl Gustav Jung furnished the foundation for the legal imposition of a guardianship for the reason of mental insanity. For the rest of his life Otto Gross fought a relentless battle for the disaffirmation of this judgment. As Emanuel Hurwitz sees it, the Gross biographer and Zurich psychoanalyst who has himself held the position of assistant medical director at the Burghoelzli, Jung made a wrong diagnosis: from today's perspective Gross suffered from a neurosis and the effects of a prolonged excessive use of drugs. Eugen Bleuler, medical director of the Burghoelzli in 1908, supported the diagnoses made by his assistant director Jung ? as becomes apparent from documents of the time. However, he refrained from making a medical statement of his own. Prof. Dr. med. Daniel Hell, the current head of the clinic, and Robert Neukomm who as a member of the City Council of Zurich represented the city and the Kanton of Zurich, by their mere presence and by the words of their greeting addresses supported the endeavors towards a - though belated - rehabilitation of Otto Gross.
The congress also for the first time brought together the early Gross biographers, the American historian of literature Martin Green, the Berlin sociologist Nicolaus Sombart, and the Swiss Emanuel Hurwitz, who independently of each other started a "Gross Renaissance" by their intelligent books on the subject in the 70's. The Gross daughter Sophie Templer-Kuh, honorary president of the inviting Society, and two nieces of the Gross daughter Camilla Ullmann, who died last May in Munich, attended the congress as well.
Several publications on Gross have appeared on the occasion of the congress:
- 1. Internationaler Otto Gross Kongress Bauhaus-Archiv, Berlin 1999, ed. by Raimund Dehmlow and Gottfried Heuer, Marburg/Lahn, Hannover: Verlag LiteraturWissenschaft.de, Laurentius Verl. 2000
- Gross, Otto: Von geschlechtlicher Not zur sozialen Katastrophe,
Hamburg: Edition Nautilus 2000
- Otto Gross: Werke. Die Grazer Jahre, ed. by Lois Madison, Hamilton,
N.Y.: Mindpiece 2000.
For 2002 the next congress is planned to take place in Munich, and another one is projected for 2003 in Graz, Gross' home city.
Camilla Ullmann 1908-2000. Obituary
Camilla Ullmann, 1997
(Photo: Gottfried Heuer)
May 29, 2000 - On 28 May this year Camilla Ullmann died after a brief illness in Hamburg. She was the daughter of Otto Gross and the Swiss writer Regina Ullmann (1884-1961). Camilla Ullmann was born in Munich on 18 July 1908. She worked as a nanny and as a nurse and from the 30's onwards she lived in Northern Germany together with her partner Maria Becker. She has been buried in Feldkirchen near Munich where she grew up with foster parents.
The following text are excerpts of an interview conducted with her by Gottfried Heuer in the summer of 1997.
Camilla UlIman was born on 18 July 1908 in Munich. Soon after her birth she was given to foster parents. Her foster father was a joiner. "We used to play hide and seek in the coffins standing around", she remembers. Else Jaffé tried indeed to integrate her into her own family. "We owe this to Otto Gross", Frau Ullmann has heard her say, and she says, "Well, one thought, this child of Otto Gross must not get lost", and she laughs. "Maybe one thought quietly, that something might become of me. But the world she had grown up in was a different one than that of Else Jaffé. I was supposed to become a bit more civilized". But "I was different from what they had imagined ... I had been with very simple people ... A rural and farmerlike element had been added and given me a different direction." She stayed with her foster parents until the age of four and was then put into a convent boarding school. "That was an absolutely catholic perspective." Camilla Ullmann visited the Jaffé family often and stayed with them during holidays. Every four weeks the children were allowed to have visitors. Sometimes her mother would visit. "I always suffered terribly because my mother was wearing a low-cut dress that did not fit with the convent. And I thought, 'Can't she wear dresses like normal people?!'"
In her late teens, after attending a housekeeping college for some time, Camilla Ullmann was sent to England for several years to learn the language. She stayed in Brighton with a lady who was a Quaker, "maybe not an absolute one, but in the spirit of the Quakers." She passed an examination in Manchester and her Abitur (final school examination) in London. She did some nursing in England and then went back to Germany as a nanny and stayed with families in Berlin and Hamburg to look after their children and teach them English. In Hamburg she trained to become a nurse. In the 30's, at nursing college, she became friends with Maria Becker. They started living together. "I could not take my examen because for the Nazis I was not 'house-trained' - My mother was not 'Aryan'." The two friends were separated for a while during the later years of the war. Camilla Ullmann went to Munich to work in hospitals while Maria Becker stayed in Northern Germany. Frau Ullmann was only able to pass her examen after the war. She then met up again with Frau Becker and they have been living together near Hamburg since then.
Frau Ullmann was not really able to ask her mother much about her relationship with Otto Gross. "I had to spare her feelings there, It was and remained a painful issue for her ... She could not and did not want to talk about it. And I respected that. I could not but respect that". She nursed her mother during the last months of her life until her death in 1961.
"What did I get from my father? There is a warmth for which I am grateful". She says about Otto Gross, "He did have bad manners and the other psychoanalysts did not want to tolerate that. He did go to extremes. And it was good that that was not repeated because on the one hand, I believe, it was very profound and creative, but it could be very destructive, too, in the wrong hands ... He cut off his own path." But "My father, as I have found out, has been passed over in silence by a certain category of ... scientists." I mention Freud's statement to Otto Gross, "We are physicians and we should remain physicians" to Frau Ullmann and she says, "I think Freud saw his own limitations there. And my father saw that in that respect he was, again, the more creative one." I refer to Freud's concern vis a vis Gross about intellectual ownership. "He steals!" Frau Ullmann exclaims. "The creative person - Freud sensed that. On the one hand it gripped him, and on the other he was afraid, too. Partly, that was justified, because with my father that developed in such a way that he was no longer fit for good society. That was the time when he took morphine and every other stuff. And my father was just very curious and did everything very thoroughly, in a way which Freud and Jung did not want. They deemed themselves to be somehow too good for that, if I understand correctly ... But that is a dangerous path, of course, and I believe my father did not know the boundaries or was unable to hold them ... I do believe that he was wrongly blamed and that ideas were stolen from him, ideas he had creatively worked out."
"He has brought a lot of unrest into this century, and a lot of fertility, too, especially intellectually. - And somewhere, sometimes, I have a notion of that, you know, I get a glimpse; and I feel, you did not only burden my life but you gave me something very positive, too, the saying 'Yes' to life! He must have had a warmth ... and a purity, too ... Sometimes I say, 'My dear father, I have got that from you, that I can say 'Yes' to life'."
When I ask her if I may take a photo of her she replies, "Well, yes, if you think that it won't tear your camera apart! - I could put my tongue out, that would be nice!"
Maria Becker and Camilla Ullmann, 1997
(Photo: Gottfried Heuer)
Sophie Templer-Kuh and Camilla Ullmann, 1999
(Photo: Maria Becker)