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Sabine Spielrein seduces her psychiatrist Jung

Jewish Link Mexico and Israel – The Russian Jew Sabine Spielrein was a patient of the famous psychiatrist Carl Jung. She seduced him and became his mistress and the great love of his life. Freud broke relations with Jung, whom he had named his successor, because he did not think his attitude was correct. Sabine was executed by the Nazis in the Rostov synagogue in 1942 during the holocaust.

Sabina Spielrein was born in Rostov (Russia) in 1885. She was a Russian psychiatrist and psychoanalyst of Jewish origin. She is one of the first women in the history of psychoanalysis, her main theoretical contribution being the elaboration of the concept of “destructive and sadistic drive” based on which Freud would later develop the death drive.

He was born into a family of Jewish merchants. At the age of 18, her parents sent her to Zurich to undergo psychiatric treatment at the Burghölzli Mental Hospital, where she stayed from August 17, 1904 to June 1, 1905. After a very complicated childhood, she spent various depressive crises. She had just had an acute psychotic episode and presented affectivity disorders, with alternating crying and compulsive laughter.

At the hospital she met the psychiatrist Carl Jung, who treated her applying the techniques of the recently developed psychoanalytic treatment to treat hysteria. The treatment was successful, completely curing her severe symptoms. Sabina fell in love with her analyst and they became lovers with her.

Sabine Spielrein was a psychology student. Jung was ten years older than her and married.

The two fall in love at first sight. They shared everything and had a great affinity. She was passionate about Wagner and spoke to Jung about the Ring of the Nibelung from a psychological point of view. He burst into tears listening to her. They became lovers right away.

Sabine was Jewish like Freud. Christian Jung. She asks Jung for a son that she would call “Siegfried”, in homage to the hero of the Ring and who would be a perfect child, half Jewish, half Christian. He hesitates.

Jung feels bad. It is not correct that as a therapist you maintain relationships with your patient. He tells Freud what happened, Freud forgives him but tells him that he must break up with Sabine. Freud is the “Parsifal” that heals the wound of Amfortas (Jung). Freud had appointed Jung as his successor and did not want any scandal to mar his career.

Jung tries to leave the relationship but the desire is stronger than him. He continues the relationship with Sabine. Now Freud gets really angry and breaks up with Jung.

Jung and Sabine separate after several years of relationship. They have learned a lot from each other. Both will be famous psychoanalysts.

Spielrein had an especially important role in the development of Jung’s theory of the anima and Freud’s theory of the death instinct.

After his recovery, he studied Medicine, following the specialty of Psychiatry. He graduated in 1911 defending a thesis on a case of schizophrenia.

In 1912 she married Pavel Scheftel, a Russian doctor of Jewish descent, and from there she carried his surname for a time. Two daughters were born from the marriage, Renate, in 1912, and Eva in 1924.

In the following years he devoted himself to psychoanalytic clinical work, in Vienna, Berlin and mainly in Geneva, where he worked in the laboratory of Édouard Claparède and became a member of the Geneva Psychoanalytic Society which he led.

In 1923, with the support of Sigmund Freud, Spielrein returned with his daughter to Russia, which in the meantime had become the Soviet Union. She was head of the pedology unit at the State University and worked together with Vera Schmidt in a kindergarten in Moscow, called the White Nursery.

The institution was created with the purpose of promoting the growth of children as free people as soon as possible. Stalin sent his own son, Vasily, to the White Nursery under a false name.

Her husband, Pavel, died in the Great Purge in 1936. One of her brothers, Isaac Spielrein, a Soviet psychologist and pioneer of work psychology, also died during Stalin’s Great Purge in 1937.

In 1942, after the Nazi occupation of Rostov, Sabina Spielrein and her two daughters were murdered, along with other Rostov Jews, by an SS Commando in the Rostov synagogue.

In 2002, Roberto Faenza directed the film Prendimi l’anima, in which he reconstructs the story of the relationship between Jung (Lain Glen) and Sabina Spielrein (Emilia Fox). It’s a beautiful movie.

Film director David Cronenberg released A Dangerous Method, the film adaptation of a 2002 play by Christopher Hampton, in 2011. His plot revolves around the professional and affective relationships that arose between Sabina Spielrein, Carl Gustav Jung and Sigmund Freud. Its protagonists are Keira Knightley (Spielrein), Michael Fassbender (Jung) and Viggo Mortensen (Freud). It is also highly recommended.

The only composer Jung speaks of in his works is Wagner. He was passionate about Wagner, especially the Wagner master of psychology. Jung is very selective in his Wagnerian preferences. He only comments on “The Ring of the Nibelung” and “Parsifal”.

Jung comments at length on “Parsifal” and the most amazing thing is that he fully identifies with one of the protagonists of Wagner’s last opera, Amfortas.

Amfortas had been seduced by the young Kundry sent by Klingsor for this purpose. Due to this seduction he had lost the holy spear of the Grail Knights. And since then a wound sprouted from Amfortas’s chest, with unbearable pain.

Jung’s identification with Amfortas is complete. For Jung Sabine she is Kundry, the seductress.

Jung considers him to be Amfortas. He also has a wound and it is the wound of having been seduced by a woman while he was married and the woman was also his patient.

Jung after breaking up with Sabine reproduces an identical scheme. He falls in love with Tony Wolf, another young patient who is also a psychology student. Wolf and Jung’s relationship as lovers continued throughout their lives with the consent of Jung’s wife. Tony Wolf was also a prominent psychologist and published several books.

Jung outlived his two young lovers. He passed away in 1961 at the age of 86. He is one of the greats of psychology.

The link is the trailer of the movie “A Dangerous method”

The author is President of the European Bar Association.


The opinions, beliefs and points of view expressed by the author in the opinion articles, and the comments therein, do not necessarily reflect the position or editorial line of Enlace Judío. Authorized reproduction with the following mention: ©️EnlaceJudío

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