Psychoanalysis in the Shadow of War and Holocaust

2nd Conference of the International Research Project from September 6 to 8, 2018

We would like especially to permit the forgotten psychoanalysts, psychiatrists and their patients, mostly of Jewish origin, who came from Poland to have their say, and speak about their fates against the background of war, the Holocaust, fleeing and emigration. The intention is to consider the individual and collective forms of coping and coming to terms with these experiences from a psychoanalytical perspective, and that especially addressed from the aspect of whether and how these have changed psychoanalysis and psychiatry.

Lastly, we intend to discuss the role of psychoanalysis in the development of forms of collective thinking in the postwar period and in the present. Analogously to the issue in the research project that forms the basis for this conference, the focus here is on the work of the Polish psychiatrists and psychoanalysts, as well as on the Polish discussion about coping and coming to terms with these events. This confrontation with the past and with Poland’s mourning for its Jews and minorities, for the victims of the civil war after World War II and Stalinism, for the decimation of the intelligentsia and the mass resettlements, as indeed for the loss of idealizations, has not really penetrated into broad segments of society, which can be seen not least in the current relapse into nationalism and marginalization.

The extent and the consequences of totalitarianism in the 20th century was also not a topic of discussion in the western world for decades – neither in the social discourse nor on the psychoanalyst’s couch. The questions about the return of the displaced and about the potentials for humanity within psychoanalysis in the light of its world collapsing form the unspoken horizon to our wandering conference series, that began in 2016 in Krakow, is coming to Berlin in 2018 and then moves on to Warsaw next year.

Many of the experts and speakers have chosen their approach here intuitively through the materiality of the places and the singularity of the individual fates. In that sense, when a young Korean was asked why he made the long journey to Auschwitz, he answered: "In order to understand Europe"

Conference Location

International Psychoanalytic University, Stromstraße 2, 10555 Berlin; Germany

International Psychoanalytic University Berlin, Pedagogical University of Krakow, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Bonn

Scientific Heads
Professor (PAN) Dr. habil. Ewa Kobylinska-Dehe, IPU Berlin
Professor Dr. Paweł Dybel, UP Krakow

Katja Thiele (registration): info(at)
Christine Zippel (organization): christine.zippel(at)
Ewa Kobylinska-Dehe: ewa.kobylinska(at)
Paweł Dybel: pawedybel(at)

Conference Fee
€90 (till August 1, 2018; then €110)
€70 students and candidates (till August 1, 2018; then €90)
Attendance is cost-free for IPU students.

Bank Account Connection
Donner & Reuschel
IBAN: DE35 2003 0300 0118 0691 00
Purpose: Conference Berlin 5055 / Tagung Berlin 5055

Conference Languages
English, German, Polish

Further information on the conference, as well as on the speakers is available in the attachment.

Conference Flyer (English; PDF)