Eran Rolnik and the Abreactions of Zionism

Eran Rolnik published “Freud in Jerusalem” (Éditions de l’Antilope), about the reception of psychoanalysis in the early years of Zionism.

Could you tell us about yourself, origins, studies and your first contact with psychoanalysis?

I grew up in Tel-Aviv. My father was born in a Kibbutz and my mother came to Israel with her parents from Berlin when she was a baby. I took an interest in psychoanalysis when I was 12. I studied biology, medicine, psychiatry and history in Tel-Aviv and in Germany. I began to translate Freud into Hebrew when I was 25 and by the time I finished my training as a psychiatrist I finished a PhD in history. I teach, write and treat people in Tel-Aviv.

Max Eitingon, assistant of Carl Jung and founder of Israeli psychoanalysis is said to be a soviet spy. Is that a proved fact?

Max Eitingon was not a Russian spy. There is no evidence to prove that allegation. But if he turns out to have been a spy…I wouldn’t be too surprised.

We know thanks to Moshe Wulff that Trotsky was more interested in psychoanalysis than Lenin and Stalin. Is it possible that this assassination led by Nahum Eitingon, said to be Max Eitington’s  brother, is the first paranoid step towards a more sociopathological ideology?

An interesting thought. It is true that Trotsky, for a very short time, took an interest in psychoanalysis, but I wouldn’t count on his brief love for psychoanalysis to make such a speculation. Beginning in the early 1930’s communism rejected psychoanalysis officially.
There is virtually no connection between the merderous Nachum Eitingon and Max Eitingon. Its a huge family. Making such an insinuation is like saying that all the Rothschild’s are rich.

Are you connected in anyway to French psychoanalysis, Laforgue, Dolto, Lacan etc?

I am familiar with some of the things that are going on in french psychoanalysis today, but I am not an expert in the history of psychoanalysis in France. I wrote an article about it, some time ago in Haaretz. I also have quite a few friends here in Paris who are analyst.

How did you decide to discuss this week end with Dominc Bourel?

I never met Bourel or heard about him before. I was not part of the preparation for this meeting. There are 8 book launches and lectures planned for me for this week. And I don’t know personally any of the speakers/interviewers that I will meet during each event. Perhaps it better that way that I will be meeting strangers here in Paris to discuss My book. Psychoanalysis thought us that only by meeting strangers you can discover something new about yourself.

About the Author
Alexandre Gilbert is the director of the Chappe gallery since 2005. He lives and works in Paris.
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