A Hostile World: Facing Anti-Semitism
I of course belong to a race which in the Middle Ages was held responsible for all epidemics and which today is blamed for the disintegration of the Austrian Empire and the German defeat. Such experiences have a sobering effect and are not conducive to make one believe in illusions. A great part of my life’s work... has been spent trying to destroy illusions of my own and those of mankind. (Freud, 1961, p. 346)
Freud’s commitment, both conscious and unconscious, to the continuity between Jewish values and identity and those of psychoanalysis was very deep, with adherence to the rationalist worldview to be found in the Talmudic tradition — the intellectual impulse to ‘destroy illusions’ — a principle source of this continuity. He was also, however, a proud follower of the Western cultural heritage, specifically that of the German tradition associated with Goethe.
KeywordsJewish Identity Jewish People Racialised Hatred Historical Juncture Jewish Intellectual
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