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Müller-Braunschweig, Carl (1881-1958)


Carl Müller-Braunschweig, a German psychiatrist, philosopher, psychoanalyst, an founder and president of the German Psychoanalytic Association (DPV), was born in Braunschweig on April 8, 1881, and died in Berlin from arteriosclerosis on October 12, 1958, after a long illness.

His father, Heinrich Müller, owned joinery works in Braunschweig. Müller-Braunschweig studied philosophy with Jonas Cohn, Heinrich Rickert, Cay von Brockdorff, Paul Menzer, Carl Stumpf, Georg Lasson and, most importantly, Alois Riehl. His studies also included physics, biology, history, and political economy. Beginning in the winter of 1901-1902, he spent time studying in Heidelberg, Freiburg, Braunschweig, and Halle. In 1905 he settled with Riehl in Berlin and concluded his Kantian studies with a PhD in 1909.

After finishing his medical studies, particularly in psychiatry, with Karl Bonhoeffer (1912-1914), he completed his training by undergoing analysis with Karl Abraham, and then Hanns Sachs. He was a member of the Berlin Psychoanalytic Association (BPV) from 1919, in charge of training at the Berlin Psychoanalytic Institute (BPI), and became a member of the Executive Committee of the International Psychoanalytical Association (IPA) in 1925.

After a first marriage to child analyst Dr. Josine Müller, née Ebsen (1884-1930), which ended in divorced in 1925, he married the Jungian analyst Ada Schott (his analysand in training), with whom he had two children (Hans in 1926 and Elke in 1927).

Following the Nazi rise to power in 1933 he was appointed provisional president of the "Aryanized" committee of the German Psychoanalytic Society (DPG). In this capacity he worked as editor, treasurer, training analyst, and president of the candidates's commission, and broadly concentrated on adapting the institute ideologically to the National Socialist regime.

In 1938 Matthias H. Göring appointed him administrator in charge of the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society, the Berlin polyclinic and psychoanalytic publications, but he failed in this last mission because the National Socialists questioned his loyalty. He was then prohibited from conducting personal and training analysis, as well as from teaching in the Göring Institute, a prohibition he later invoked when claiming to be a "victim" of the Nazis.

On October 16, 1945, he was commissioned to reconstruct the DPG and appointed president of the society. In spite of his Jungian affinities (he had undergone some analysis with the Jungian Gertrud Weller), he found himself viewed as the representative of orthodox psychoanalysis. His intense personal and theoretical disputes with Harald Schultz-Hencke, the medical founder of neoanalysis who had succeeded in winning government recognition for the profession (psychoanalysis and psychotherapies were financed by social security in the Zentralinstitut für psychogene Erkrenkungen [Central Institute for Psychogenic Diseases]), found their epilogue in an official confrontation at the first post-war congress of the IPA, held in Zurich in 1949. This led to the creation of the German Psychoanalytic Association (DPV) on June 10, 1950, which then began to offer classic training in the Berlin Psychoanalytic Institute. Members who had stayed in the DPG were angry with their president for secretly forming a new association. Only the DPV was admitted to the 1951 IPA congress in Amsterdam.

While continuing to practice as an analyst, MüllerBraunschweig taught psychoanalysis at the Berlin Free University. He was particularly interested in the intersection between anthropology and psychoanalysis. From 1920 until the Nazis took power he regularly wrote in the Internationale Zeitschrift für Psychoanalyse, in the Zeitschrift für Sexualwissenschaften, and in Imago. After the war he concentrated essentially on a detailed exegesis of Freud's work.

Regine Lockot

See also: Berliner Psychoanalytisches Institut; Deutsches Institut für Psychologische Forschung und Psychotherapie ("Göring Institute"); Germany; Göring, Matthias Heinrich; International Federation of Psychoanalytic studies; Splits in psychoanalysis.


Lockot, Regine. (1985). Erinnern und Durcharbeiten: Zur Geschichte der Psychoanalyse und Psychotherapie im Nationalsozialismus. Frankfurt am Main: S. Fischer.

. (1994). Die Reinigung der Psychoanalyse: Die deutsche psychoanalytische Gesellschaft im Spiegel von Dokumenten und Zeitzeugen (1933-1951). Tübingen: Diskord.

Müller-Braunschweig, Carl. (1933, 22 October). Psychoanalyse und Weltanschauung. Reichswart.

. (1948). Streifzüge durch die Psychoanalyse (Welche Position vertritt der Psychoanalytiker heute). Hamburg: Reinbeck.

. (1955). Zur Menschlichen Grundhaltung, Psychologie und Technik der Psychoanalytischen Therapie. Psychologische Beiträge, 2, 56-69.

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