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by T. W. Adorno, Else Frenkel-Brunsik,
Daniel J. Levjnson and H. Nevitt Sanford
by Bruno Bettelbeim and Morris Janowitz
by Nathan W. Ackernnm and Marie Jahoda
by Paul W. Massing
by Leo Lowenthal and Norbert Guterman

Other Volumes in Preparation

A Psychoanalytic Interpretation



Copyright, 1950, by The American Jewish Committee
Printed in the United States of America
All rights in this book are reserved.
No part of the book may be reproduced in any
manner whatsoever without written permLwion
except in the case of brief quotations embodied
in critical articles and reviews. For information
address Harper & Brothers

At this moment in world history anti-Semitism is not manifesting itself.

with the full and violent destructiveness of which we know it to be
capable. Even a social disease has its periods of quiescence during which
the social scientist, like the biologist or the physician, can study it in
the search for more effective ways to prevent or reduce the virulence
of the next outbreak.
Today the world scarcely remembers the mechanized persecution and
extermination of millions of human beings only a short span of years
away in what was once regarded as the citadel of Western civilization.
Yet the conscience of many men was aroused. How could it be, they
asked each other, that in a culture of law, order and reason, there should
have survived the irrational remnants of ancient racial and religious
hatreds? How could they explain the willingness of great masses of
people to tolerate the mass extermination of their fellow citizens? What
tissues in the life of our modem society remain cancerous, and despite
our assumed enlightenment show the incongruous atavism of ancient
peoples? And what within the individual organism responds to certain
stimuli in our culture with attitudes and acts of destructive aggression?
But an aroused conscience is not enough if it does not stimulate a
systematic search for an answer. Mankind has paid too dearly for its
naive faith in the automatic effect of the mere passage of time; incanta-
tions have really never dispelled storms, disaster, pestilence, disease or
other evils; nor does he who torments another cease his torture out of
sheer boredom with his victim.
Prejudice is one of the problems of our times for which everyone has
a theory but no one an answer. Every man, in a sense, believes that he
is his own social scientist, for social science is the stuff of every day
living. The progress of science can perhaps be charted by the advances
that scientists have made over commonsense notions of phenomena. In
an effort to advance beyond mere commonsense approaches to problems
of intergroup conffict, the American Jewish Committee in May, 1944,
invited a group of American scholars of various backgrounds and dis-
ciplines to a two-day conference on religious and racial prejudice. At
this meeting, a research program was outlined which would enlist
scientific method in the cause of seeking solutions to this crucial problem.
Two levels of research were recommended. One was more limited in
scope and geared to the recurring problems faced by educational
agencies; e.g., the study of public reaction to selected current events,
and the evaluation of various techniques and methods such as those
involved in mass media of communication as they impinge upon inter-
group relationships. The other level suggested was one of basic research,
basic in that it should eventually result in additions to organized knowl-
edge in this field. The first level frequently consisted of a large number
of small studies, limited in scope and focused sharply on a given issue.
In practice, we have found that the "goodness" of our smaller studies
was proportional to our ingenuity in so devising them that they, too,
could contribute basically to knowledge. The chief difference between
the two levels of researchsometimes loosely called "short-range" and
"long-range" researchseems largely to be due to the immediacy of
implementation of findings as program-related or unrelated, rather than
to differences in methodology, skills and techniques. On both levels, it
is necessary to pursue an interdisciplinary approach to research problems.
To further research on both levels, the American Jewish Committee
established a Department of Scientific Research, headed in turn by each
of us. The Department saw its responsibility not only in itself initiating
fundamental studies in the phenomena of prejudice, but also in helping
to stimulate new studies.
The present series of volumes represents the first fruits of this effort.
In a sense, the initial five volumes constitute one unit, an integrated
whole, each part of which illuminates one or another facet of the phe-
nomenon we call prejudice. Three of the books deal with those elements
in the personality of modern man that predispose him to reactions of
hostility to racial and religious groups. They attempt answers to the
questions: What is there in the psychology of the individual that renders
him "prejudiced" or "unprejudiced," that makes him more or less likely
to respond favorably to the agitation of a Goebbels or a Gerald K.
Smith? The volume on The Authoritarian Personality by Adorno, Frenkel-
Brunswik, Levinson and Sanford, based upon a combination of research
techniques, suggests one answer. It demonstrates that there is a close
correlation between a number of deep-rooted personality traits, and overt
prejudice. The study has also succeeded in producing an instrument for
measuring these traits among various strata of the population.
Within a more limited range of inquiry, the same question was asked
with respect to two specific groups. The study on Dynamics of Prejudice,

Bettelheim and Janowitz, considers the connection between personality

by Here the investigators were
traits and prejudice among war veterans.
of the war experience, with its complex
able to examine the impact factor of major significance affecting
anxieties and tensions, as an added
Anti-Semitism and Emotional Disorder, by
tens of millions of people. the case histories of a number of
Ackerman and Jahoda, is based upon have received intensive
individuals, from different walks of life, whostudy lies precisely in the
psychotherapy. The special significance of this
availability of a body of evidence
analytical source of the material, in the
realm of the conscious and the
dealing with phenomena beneath the established in more general
rational, and illuminating the correlation
authoritarian personality.
terms in the basic investigation of the the social situation
The other important factor in prejudice is of course
the predispositions within the in-
itself, i.e., the external stimuli to which
Nazi Germany is the vivid
dividual have reacted and continue to react.
and it is to the understanding
example of the effect of the social situation,
thence to the present task of demo-
of the roots of Nazi anti-Semitism and
Rehearsal for Destruction by Massing
cratic reorientation in Germany that
is directed.
and Guterman, the role of the
In Prophets of Deceit, by Lowenthal
of persuasion, the mecha-
agitator is studied. The agitator's technique feeling into specific belief and
nism of mediation that translates inchoate
volume. As mediator between the world
action make up the theme of that
molds already existing prejudices
and the individual psyche, the agitator into overt action.
and tendencies into overt doctrines and ultimately the
placed undue stress upon
It may strike the reader that we have
personal and the psychological rather than upon the social aspect of
preference for psychological
prejudice. This is not due to a personal irrational hostility is in
analysis nor to a failure to see that the cause of
frustration and injustice. Our aim
the last instance to be found in social explain it in order to help in
is not merely to describe prejudice but to
would meet. Eradication means
its eradication. That is the challenge we understanding scien-
re-education, scientifically planned on the basis of
is by its nature personal
tifically arrived at. And education in a strict sense
for example, how the war
and psychological. Once we understand, personality traits pre-
experience may in some cases have strengthened
remedies may follow logically.
disposed to group hatred, the educational
Similarly, to expose the psychological tricks in the arsenal of the agitator
victims against them.
may help to immunize his prospective Department of Scientific
Since the completion of these studies the moved ahead into areas
Research of the American Jewish Committee has
of research in which the unit of study is the group, the institution, the
community rather than the individual. Fortified by a better knowledge of
individual dynamics, we are now concerned with achieving a better
understanding of group dynamics. For we recognize that the individual
in vacuo is but an artifact; even in the present series of studies, although
essentially psychological in nature, it has been necessaiy to explain
individual behavior in terms of social antecedents and concomitants.
The second stage of our research is thus focused upon problems of group
pressures and the sociological determinants of roles in given social
situations. We seek answers to such questions as: Why does an individual
behave in a "tolerant" manner in one situation and in a "bigoted" manner
in another situation? To what extent may certain forms of intergroup
conflict, which appear on the surface to be based upon ethnic difference,
be based upon other factors, using ethnic difference as content?
The authors of the volumes and the many colleagues upon whose
experience and assistance they have been able to draw have widely
differing professional interests. This is immediately reflected in the various
techniques they have used,, even in the way they write. Some of the
books are more technical, others more "readable." We have not sought
uniformity. A search for the truth conducted with the best techniques of
contemporary social sciences was our sole aim. Yet through all this diver-
sity of method a significant measure of agreement has been achieved.
The problem requires a much more extensive and much more sustained
effort than any single institution or any small group such as ours, could
hope to put forth. It was our hope that whatever projects we could
undertake would not only be contributions in themselves, but would also
serve to stimulate active interest in continued study by other scholars.
With deep satisfaction we have watched the steady increase in scientffic
publications in this field in the past few years. We believe that any study
that bears upon this central theme, if carried out in a truly scientific
spirit, cannot help but bring us closer to the theoretical, and ultimately
to the practical, solution for reducing intergroup prejudice and hatred.
This foreword to Studies in Prejudice would not be complete without
a tribute to the vision and leadership of Dr. John Slawson, Executive
Vice-President of the American Jewish Committee, who was responsible
for calling the conference of scholars and for establishing the Department
of Scientific Research. Both editors owe Dr. Slawson a debt of gratitude
for the inspiration, guidance, and stimulation which he gave them.


INTRODUCTION by Carl Binger xi



A. Cultural Climate and Social Research 1

B. Value Judgments and Potential Bias 2

C. Some Underlying Concepts S

1. Prejudice
2. Normalcy
3. National Character
A. Methodological Approach and Purpose of the Study 9
B. Data Collection 11
C. Specific Methodological Considerations 17
1. The Selective Character of the Material
2. The Development of Conceptual Tools
A. The Clinical Picture 25
1. Diagnosis and Symptoms
2. Emotional Predispositions to Anti-Semitism
a. Anxiety
b. Confusion of the Concept of Self
c. Interpersonal Relations
d. Conformity and the Fear of the Different
e. Reality Adaptation
f. Conscience Development and Repression
B. The Cenetic Aspect
1. Relationship Between the Parents of the Anti-Semite
2. The Relationship of the Parents to the Anti-Semitic
Patients as Children
3. The Oedipal Struggle
C. Anti-Semitism in the Service of Defense Mechanisms 55
1. Projection
a. The "Selective" Anti-Semite
b. The "Unselective" Anti-Semite
2. Denial
3. Social Aggression Substituted for Anxiety
4. Displacement
5. Reaction Formation and Compensation
6. Introjection
D. Group Pressures and Intrapsychic Needs 73
1. The Social Determination of the Stereotype
2. The Social Determination of Anti-Semitic Manifesta-
3. Jewish Anti-Semitism
4. The "Liberal" Anti-Semite
Contact with Jews
Anti-Semitism in the Family

THE AUThORS of this book have attempted to describe and to define, in a

clinical study, an ancient, baffling, and perplexing social problem. Since
their training and experience lies in psychoanalysis and social psychology
they have examined their material from the theoretical bases on which
these sciences rest. This is their point of view, their stand. But they give
full recognition to the importance of other onesethnic, for example,
or economic. For anti-Semitism is a many-headed hydra. Each head that
is cut off is replaced by two others, unless a burning iron is applied to the
wound. The authors know how to use the cautery. But it will take a
Hercules to do the monster in.
You may say that Dr. Ackerman and Dr. Jahoda are prejudiced against
anti-Semitism. Yes, in the same way that Pasteur was prejudiced against
rabies; Koch against tuberculosis; Walter Reed against yellow fever;
or Harvey Cushing against brain tumors. Each one of these scientists spent
his genius, or his courage, or both, to attack an evil. The evil was disease.
Their method of attack was the cool and careful method of science. But
they had formed a prejudgment which might be stated in this way: "It is
better for man to inherit the earth than it is for rabid dogs or tubercle
bacilli or mosquitoes."
In the same way Doctors Ackerman and Jahoda have formed a pre-
judgment. They consider anti-Semitism an evil; a symptom of social
illness. They are courageous enough to do battle with evil, using the
combined weapons of their respective sciences. Since the application of
psychoanalytic theory to social phenomena is at its beginning this is
pioneering work. It is important, however, not only for that, but also
because in bringing reason to bear on certain irrational attitudes the
authors of this book have struck a blow at once for freedom and for
mental health. The day is now past when the true scientist can be in-
different to ethical values and moral judgments.
If the quality of mercy is twice blessed, the quality of anti-Semitism
bears a double curse. It curses him who gives and him who receives. In
its country club and summer hotel guise it may appear only to enhance

what Freud called "the narcissism of small differences." But even when
it does not deprive Jews of life and liberty, anti-Semitism is an obscenity
and a sin against the human spirit.
In a world that appears, just now, to be entering a state of fission, how
heartening to find two experienced investigators who have had the faith
and patience to tackle so difficult a problem. They have done it with
sldll and with dignified sincerity. Jew and Gentile alike owe Dr. Acker-
man and Dr. Jahoda a debt for their labors. it is easy to be cynical. It
is much harder to get down to work.

Tins s'rum is one of a series of interrelated investigations undertaken by

the Department of Scientific Research of the American Jewish Committee.
The idea for a study of this kind had arisen in discussions between Dr.
John Slawson, Executive Vice-President of the American Jewish Com-
mittee, and Dr. Nathan W. Ackerman some time before the formal
establishment of the Department. Based on his experience as a prac-
ticing psychoanalyst, and on his interest in social-psychiatry, Dr. Acker-
man had suggested a collection of detailed case studies of anti-Semitic
persons undergoing psychoanalytic treatment, and a collection of social
service agencys' case studies of adolescents manifesting prejudice.
When the Department of Scientific Research was first founded early in
1944, Dr. Max Horkheimer, its first director, who had for many years
been interested in the psychoanalytic approach to the problem of
prejudice, enlisted the cooperation of a number of psychoanalysts in an
attempt to design basic studies which might increase understanding of
anti-Semitism. Dr. Ackerman was among those who, during this period,
served as consultants to the Department of Scientific Research.
The execution of this idea was somewhat delayed as a result of early
organizational problems and of a lack of suitable personnel, but toward
the end of 1945 the collection of case studies got under way. This proved
to be a more time-consuming procedure than had been originally en
visaged. This was due mainly to difficulties inherent in the study which
are fully discussed in the body of the report, but also to the fact that the
cooperating psychoanalysts were overburdened with work so that the
repeated interviews on one case often stretched over weeks, or even
months. Furthermore, the period of data collection was simultaneously
employed for continuous analysis of findings and for interpretation.
The two authors were assisted in the collection and interpretation of
data by Alvin Gouldner, a sociologist, and Bluma Swerdloff, a psychiatric
social worker. Arthur Brenner participated frequently in the regular
sessions during which each case was thoroughly discussed. With the

exception of one member of the team all had been psychoanalyzed. The
authors are indebted to their collaborators for their contributions to
conceptual clarification of the study as well as for their indefatigable zeal
in the process of data collection.
The authors owe their greatest debt to the cooperating psychoanalysts
who so generously contributed their time and interest to this study,
either by providing case material or by discussions of concepts and
methods. The following psychoanalysts contributed case material: Drs.
Nathan W. Ackerman, Jacob A. Arlow, Robert C. Bak, Edmund Bergler,
Viola Bernard, A. Blau, Kilian Blulim, Franz Cohen, George Daniels,
Jule Eisenbud, Harmon S. Ephron, Marynia F. Farnham, Sol W. Gins-
burg, Andre Glaz, Frederick J. Hacker, Mary O'Neil Hawkins, Emeline
Place Hayward, Henriette Klein, Henry Lowenfeld, Peter B. Neubauer,
Geza Roheim, Irving J. Sands, Nathanial E. Selby, William V. Silver-
berg, and Otto Sperling. These analysts helped the authors develop ap-
propriate forms of camouflage in order to safeguard the anonymity of
their patients; to double-check this anonymity, each contributing analyst
examined the final script.
Drs. Heinz Hartmann and Robert Waelder gave valuable assistance
by discussing the concepts and the methodology of the study at an early
stage with the authors. Later, Drs. Ernst Kris and William V. Silverberg
reviewed the manuscript and made suggestions and criticisms. The study
has thus benefited from constructive advice from many quarters, but the
responsibility for its final formulation and its shortcomings lies, of course,
exclusively with the authors.
Thanks are further due to Anna Kempshall of the Community Service
Society, and Herschel Alt and Frederika Neumann of the Jewish Board
of Guardians who made it possible for us to study appropriate cases in
their ifies and who further enabled us to discuss these cases with the
psychiatric social worker in charge of each case.

NAThAN W. Acxxsi
New York, June, 1949
"If the Tiber overflows into the city, if the
Nile does not flow into the countryside, if
the heavens remain unmoved, if the earth
quakes, if there is famine or pestilence, at
once the cry goes up: to the lions with the


This study of anti-Semitism, like the study of other contemporary social
issues of some urgency, takes place in a cultural climate that is far from
being dispassionate about such issues. A traditional concept of science
which is often uncritically transferred from the physical to the social
sciencesmaintains that detachment from the issue is the most im-
portant qualification for one who desires to study it.
We are opposed to this concept, which we believe is logically and
psychologically untenable.
If the student of a social phenomcnon is part of the culture in which
it occurs, his choice of position is limited: he is either for it, against it,
or indifferent to the issue. And indifference to an issue which incites
others to participation is obviously as well defined a position in terms of
its relation to particular value concepts, as either one of the other two
positions. On the other hand, even if the student is not part of the culture,
he will nevertheless bring to his study those value judgments which he
acquired in his native society.
Psychologically, the demand for detachment is equally unsound. It
presupposes an ability in the student to split his personality, to divorce
his functioning as a scientist from his functioning as a human being,
an ability which, fortunately, is none too common.
In spite of the frequent, though misguided, cry for this type of
"objectivity," the actual output of research stamped by this dissociated
pattern is comparatively limited. For as a rule, consciously or not, value
judgments enter into every step of social research, from the selection of a
research topic to the methodology and to the final interpretation of
Does such a state of affairs, then, place in question the ultimate
validity of all findings in the social sciences? Broadly considered, the
answer must be: yes. Results are valid only in relation to three distinct
factors: the limits of the cultural climate in which they were obtained,
of the methodology utilized in their pursuit, and of the student who
undertook the task.
In a more specific sense, validity can be increasedat least its limita-
tions can be indicatedby a definition of these three factors. Cultural
climate and methods are extensively dealt with in the following chap-
ters; in this introduction we shall attempt to define our own bias on the
issue of anti-Semitism. We shall also define a few major concepts bearing
on the subject of anti-Semitism, which incidentally may reflect some
aspects of the authors' bias. After all, the only safeguard against one's
own emotional involvement is awareness of such involvement and its ex-
plicit admission.


Both authors of this study are Jewish. Both believe that anti-Semitism
in whatever form it appears is a symptom of social pathology, indicating
a form of social disorganization that menaces the stability, if not the
very foundation of a culture, even beyond the suffering that it entails
for its victims.
Both are convinced that decisive social action should and can be
taken to prevent the spread of anti-Semitism, if not to cure all its
adherents; and that the design of such action will benefit from an in-
creased understanding of the functioning of prejudice. Such action must
be on a broad basis, attacking prejudice not in isolation but rather in
connection with other social ills to which it is related. Indeed, one of
the motives for undertaking this study was the concern for its potential
pragmatic value.
This, too, is the place for raising the question of possible professional
bias, in one or both authorsone of whom is a psychoanalyst, the other
a psychoanalyzed social psychologist. This study is based on the psycho-
analytic method and theory of personality. The term "psychoanalysis" is,
at present, being applied to a variety of theoretical systems which repre-
sent different degrees of departure from the original Freudian founda-
tions. It is, therefore, essential to make some definitive commitment as to
the position of the authors with regard to the controversial aspects of
contemporary psychoanalytic theory of personality. This includes the

need for an explanation of the authors' preferential use of certain
analytic terms.
The psychoanalytic author, who had the usual professional training in
teachings, is now an As-
a Psychoanalytic Institute founded on Freud's
sociate Psychoanalyst at the Psychoanalytic Clinic for Training and Re-
search at Columbia University. Concerning theory, he accepts the major
tenets of the Freudian conceptual system with certain specific modifica-
tions which have been suggested both by newer empirical research and
by recognition of the pressing need for emphasis on the integrative func-
tions of the total personality, more specifically, on the organizational
functions of the "ego" and the role of defense in social adaptation.
Because anti-Semitic motivation plays so central a role in the group
adaptation of certain individuals, the authors have seen fit in the dis-
cussion of the relevant psychodynamic processes to stress "ego" mecha-
nisms and defensive reactions against anxiety.
Psychoanalytic readers of this study will undoubtedly note its cal-
culated avoidance of some tradional psychoanalytic terminology. This
has no bearing on the authors' preference for one or another psycho-
analytic school of thought. There is rather another reason for this: Basic
psychoanalytic terms such as "ego" "superego" and "id" are not employed
in exactly the same way, unfortunately, even by analysts of the same
school. The clarification and standardization of terminology is an urgent
task of great importance for the further development of psychoanalysis,
a task which, however, is decidedly beyond the scope of this study.
In the virtually unexplored field of applying psychoanalysis to the
empirical study of a social issue, it has been deemed advisable to use
terms which described as fittingly as possible the actual phenomena
with which we dealt.


1. Pnxjunicx. In its broad etymological sense, prejudiceprejudgment
is a term applied to categorical generalizations based on inadequate
data and without sufficient regard for individual differences. Such pre-
judgments are continuously made by everyone on a great variety of sub-
jects. By and large, such generalizations result in some economy of
intellectual effort. But inherent in the process of forming prejudgments is
the danger of stereotyped thinking. The stereotype is distinguished from
the prejudgment only by a greater degree of rigidity. Prejudgment occurs
where facts are not available. But stereotypy is a process which shows
little concern for facts even when they are available.
Prejudice in its narrowest sense is distinct from prejudgment and
stereotypy. It is a sub-category of prejudgment and it uses stereotypy
but it is not identical with either. In the psychological context, as we
shall endeavor to demonstrate through the evidence of this study,
prejudice is a pattern of hostility in interpersonal relations which is
directed against an entire group, or against its individual members;
it fulfills a specific irrational function for its bearer. This implies that its
motivation arises from causes other than the actual qualities of the group
against whom the prejudice is directed. If a person alleges that Jews
are economically powerful, he is employing stereotyped thinking. He
may be right or wrong; if sufficient facts are presented to him, he may
change the content of his stereotype to saying: Jews are not powerful
economically. But neither of these two statements is in itself a sufficient
indication of prejudice. Only when there is evidence that his stereotypes
are used as rationalizations for an irrational hostility rooted in his own
personality are we talking of prejudice. That anti-Semitism in the cases
here investigated is a prejudice in the sense of this definition, and not
just a prejudgment or a manifestation of stereotyped thinking, is the
main hypothesis of this investigation. Anticipating our presentation, we
can state that this hypothesis has been verified.
2. Nomswcy. The prinipIes and concepts of dynamic psychology were
developed clinically in the treatment of individuals who were emotionally
ill. The material upon which this study is based consists of case his-
tories of people who were under psychoanalytic treatment or who were
receiving case-work service from psychiatrically oriented social agencies;
the question therefore arises as to whether the conclusions of such a
study can have any relevance to anti-Semitism as manifested by "normal"
individuals. This in turn raises another question: Is not some anti-
Semitism "normal" in our culture?
The answer to the first of these questions is that psychoanalytic psy-
chiatry has fairly well demonstrated that the difference between the sick
and the healthy personality is one of degree and quantity rather than of
quality. It is indeed impossible to draw a dividing line if other than
extreme cases are considered. In the developing science of psycho-
dynamics, of course, no less than in anatomy and physiology, basic
concepts and principles have been evolved through study of pathological

conditions, but they are equally valid and equally applicable both in
sickness and in health. This conclusion is further confirmed by the suc-
cessful application of psychodynamic principles to "case work" in social
agencies serving all kinds of people in varieties of situations. It is cor-
roborated, too, by the depth of insight which psychoanalysis has con-
tributed to many other fields such as literature, sociology, anthropology,
education, and mental hygiene. Indeed, concepts and terminology which
did not exist before the development and popularization of modern
psychoanalytic psychiatry have become incorporated into the average
person's everyday vocabulary and are unhesitatingly applied in his daily
appraisal of the conduct of his family and friends. Thus the emotional
mechanisms and motivations described by psychoanalytic psychology
are present in all people, whether "sick" or "well," to some extent and
at some depth.
The second question is not so easily answered. Is some anti-Semitism
nonnal in our culture? The issue is complicated by the fact that two en-
tirely different concepts of normalcy appear to be in current use. In one
case, individual behavior is considered normal when it corresponds to
what the majority of people do, or when it falls within the tolerated
range of divergent behavior. This is the normalcy of the frequency
distribution. In such a statistical sense, anti-Semitism is undoubtedly,
and unfortunately, "normal"at least, in some of America's subcultures.
In the psychiatric sense, however, normalcy is another matter. Its defi-
nition derives from the theory and practice of psychiatry. Psychiatrically
speaking, the concept of normalcy refers to a condition of relative
harmony between the various parts of the personality, and between the
personality and the reality situation. Such a balance implies freedom
from chronic intrastructural conflict. Under social circumstances ap-
proaching the ideal, the normthe majoritywill also approach normalcy
in the psychiatric sense. While some degree of anxiety exists probably
in all cultures, it appears that in our culture, in this century, everybody
experiences a particularly high degre of anxiety and develops many de-
fense mechanisms. Psychiatric normalcy hence remains an ideal rather
than a reality.
Thus, a person who grew up in an anti-Semitic milieu without ever
having seen a Jew, who was told by a Sunday School teacher that "the
Jews killed Christ," and by his father that "Jews are commercially dis-
honest," might very well unfold a hostile attitude toward Jews. The test
for the normaic!, of such an attitude lies in its reversibility when exposed
to facts. If such a person failed to reexamine this group judgment in the
light of his subsequent general education and realistic experience, and
if it should be found on closer examination that the retention of such
prejudgment fulfilled a personal irrational need, then he has lost his
claim to normalcy in the psychiatric sense.
Again, if a man who has been injured by a Jew hates him for the
injury and not for being a Jew, this is not a case of anti-Semitism. After
having suffered successive injuries from several Jews, such a man may
commit the logical error of making an oversimple generalization and
consequently develop a negative expectation of Jews in general. If, how-
ever, he hates the Jewishness of all Jews in a manner which clearly
does not correspond in any way with his realistic experiences, but
which derives rather from some inner need of his individual personality,
then the clue to his anti-Semitism is to be found not in the objective
facts of the case but in the distortion stemming from his own personality.
The dispute over the normalcy of anti-Semitism thus reverts to the
question of whether or not anti-Semitism presents a prejudice in the sense
of the previous definition of the term. For in the light of that definition,
prejudice may be the social norm, but it can never be normal in the
psychiatric sense.
Our evidence, by definition, excludes cases from which such "normal"
anti-Semitism could be expected. It is certainly possible that some forms
of anti-Semitism are based on nothing but erroneous prejudgment or
stereotyped thought processes. If modification can be achieved through
a demonstration of actual facts about Jews or by rational discussion,
these forms can legitimately be labeled as "normal." Most forms of anti-
Semitism, however, are rigid and do not yield to learning experience.
Both categories, of course, require study, for both are socially dangerous.
Potentially the irrational form of anti-Semitism presents the greater
danger to society. In this study we are expressly concerned with irra-
tional anti-Semitism.
3. NAT[ONAL CHEACTER. In spite of the vast literature on the subject,
the concept of "national character" remains one of the least well defined
terms used in the social sciences. Though its complexities certainly can-
not be solved here, a brief reference to it nevertheless seems to be called
for because the "Jewish national character" appears in many discus-
sions' as a partial explanation of "normal" anti-Semitism.
1See, e.g., Parkes, James W.: An Enemy of the People: Anti-Semitism, New York,
Penguin Books, 1946.

There seems to be wide agreement that the concept of a national

character is justified. Common history and common institutions mold
the qualities of individuals exposed to them. But particularly in complex
industrialized societies, the factors which condition character are so
numerous and often so contradictory that no one individual or subgroup
can ever be taken to represent the national character. Thus, frequency
statements would have to modify sweeping generalizations about national
character. For the time being, all one can say is that although character-
ological differences between groups and nations certainly exist, knowl-
edge concerning their nature and frequency is as yet highly limited.
The concept of national character is particularly difficult to apply to
Jews. If national character is reflected by, and transmitted through, the
child-rearing practices of a people, then the Jews, who have in their
dispersion inevitably absorbed elements of the many nations within whose
boundaries they have lived, must be assumed to have developed more
than one national character. Yet there are irrefutable indications,
cherished by many self-respecting Jews of different national origin as
well as non-anti-Semitic Gentiles, that common character attributes fos-
tered by a perpetuation of Jewish culture and traditions do exist.
In the absence of conclusive evidence and in the full knowledge that
this is an expression of a belief rather than a fact, it is here assumed
that there are certain characteristics of personality which are typically
Jewish. Centuries of life in the ghetto, of emphasis on study rather than
manual work, of the experience of persecution in the living memory of
so many consecutive generations of Jewsall these and other experi-
ential factors cannot fail to have left their trace on the Jewish personality.
Some of these Jewish characteristics are valued and admired by the
Gentile world, while others, as for instance the Jewish overestimation of
self or the defensive underestimation of Gentile intellectual ability, are
understandably resented. Anticipating the results of this study at the
moment, however, it can be stated that in no single case were these Jewish
personality attributes the cause of anti-Semitic feelings. They were used,
to be sure, but that use was in the nature of a rationalized justification
for an antagonism which actually had a personal and irrational origin.
Whether one can scientifically speak of a single Jewish character
remains uncertain. Assuming its existence, we wish to make simply this
point: as far as we can see, only those who draw political or emotional
gain from anti-Semitism ever conceive of the Jewish national character
as the exclus-ive cause of anti-Semitism.
There is no doubt that a comprehensive examination of all aspects of
Gentile relations with Jews would require the scientific study of Jewish
character. Here, however, we deal only with a part of this phenomenon,
namely the feeling of antagonism against the Jews. It remains for the
future to investigate other aspects of the relationship of Jew to Gentile
and Gentile to Jew.


The problem of prejudice in general, and of anti-Semitism in particular,
has heretofore been approached from many different perspectives. Philoso-
phers, historians, sociologists, psychologists, and others, throughout the
history of the Christian era, have contributed a wealth of concepts,
theories, and facts on the relationship of the occurrence of mass preju-
dice to other events in society.
In offering this study, based on the psychodynamic approach, as an
additional contribution toward the development of a comprehensive
theory of anti-Semitism, we are fully aware of the scope of knowl-
edge which is already available. The claim of psychodynamic science,
that it can amplify existing knowledge of such behavior and refute errone-
ous hypotheses, rests upon a specific interpretation of social processes.
Cultural traditions and social forces do not exist as abstractions.
Although they have been profitably studied in isolation, they actually
exist only in so far as they express themselves dynamically in the behavior
of human beings. Ultimately, therefore, a completely meaningful con-
ception of social processes depends on an understanding of the expres-
sion of such forces through the behavior of persons singly and in groups.
To achieve such understanding it is necessary to study the continuous
and intricate interaction of intrapsychic tendencies and environmental
forces as they shape and develop each other.
The acquisition of such expanded understanding has been made pos-
sible through the evolution of the science of psychodynamics, and the
development of specific methods for exploring the interaction between
psychic forces in the individual and the social environment.
The relative newness of psychodynamic studies of prejudice is, how-
ever, not entirely due to the short history of psychodynamic science. After
all, such concepts have been in use for some fifty years, and during
the last thirty years, particularly, the methods of psychodynamics have
found increasing application in the field of psychotherapy. The reason
for the failure of emphasis on the psychological aspect of anti-Semitism
up to now lies rather in the nature of the phenomenon itself. When-
ever and wherever prejudice arises in its full force, supported by mass
movements, its destructive impact is most conspicuous on the social
structure and it is, therefore, viewedby no means incorrectlyas being
largely a social phenomenon.
It manifests itself as a form of intergroup behavior; it expresses itself
in stereotyped accusations which are part of the socially transmitted cul-
tural pattern; and it produces social consequences of disastrous dimen-
sions, as the world has witnessed during the last decade.
It is with reference to these social manifestations that the psycho-
dynamic approach to the study of prejudice is even now brushed aside by
some as irrelevant. In view of the magnitude and the social urgency of
the problem of prejudice, such efforts at "microscopic" investigations are
regarded at times as valueless, and even as dangerous. Certain people
argue that this emphasis might serve to detract from the social, political,
and economic concomitants of anti-Semitism, and diminish the demand
for decisive social action against them.
The answer to such arguments is simply our conviction that intel-
ligent counteraction against organized or sporadic anti-Semitism must be
based on the fullest possible knowledge of its character, and that psycho-
dynamic insight adds to such knowledge.
More specifically, the psychodynamic view itself is based on the
consideration of the specific place of anti-Semitism in American culture.
Psychologically, morally, and legally, anti-Semitism is neither outlawed
nor imposed in this country. Under the same historical, social, and eco-
nomic circmnstances some people, even within the same family, adhere
to such an ideology while others do not. Where social compulsions to
anti-Semitism are not overpowering, the question arises: What determines
this seemingly free choice of an individual, to be or not to be anti-
Semitic? Formulated in a deceptively simple way: Why is a person anti-
Semitic? It is the purpose of this study to seek an answer to this question.
As in all motivational studies, three types of behavior determinants
are to be distinguished:
1. The functional determination or the purpose of the attitude;

2. The genetic determination or the history of the attitude; and

3. The circumstantial or external determination, or the impact of
external factors on the formation of the attitude.
While we shall treat each of these determinants consecutively, their
constant interaction will be pointed out at every step.
A more precise definition of the scope of this study will be possible
only after the specific nature of our data has been described.

With the broad aim of this study in mind, a small number of psychoan-
alysts were first approached, and about a dozen preliminary case histories
of patients manifesting anti-Semitic attitudes were collected. There was,
at that stage, no attempt to obtain the same kind of information on every
case. The psychoanalyst was completely at liberty to include any fact that
seemed relevant to the patient's anti-Semitism. These informal and un-
directed preliminary interviews revealed many different aspects in the
psychodynamic approach to the study of prejudice, and they served
chiefly to direct the expansion of the investigators' original concepts. The
ideas that emerged were condensed into the final recording schedule,
which served as a methodological guide for the systematic collection of
comparable data.


I. CharLwterization of the Patient's Anti-Semitism
1. Patient's statements about Jews (quotations)
2. Dreams about Jews and other minority groups
3. Verbal or behavioral anti-Semitism: i.e., Does the patient act out
his anti-Semitism as well as verbalize it? Under what conditions
and in what ways does he do either one or both?
4. Threshold of anti-Semitism: What stimulus is required to activate
it? Is the patient anti-Semitic (a) only in analysis, (b) in his in-
group, or (c) before Jews themselves? If only (b), are there any
ingroups to which the patient belongs in which he would not
express his anti-Semitism? Does he originate, respond to, or
acquiesce to anti-Semitic remarks in his ingroup? If only (c), are
there any Jews before whom he would not express his anti-Semitism?
5. Fixity of anti-Semitic pattern: When did the patient first become
anti-Semitic? In what ways, if any, has the pattern of the patient's
anti-Semitism changed? What caused the change?

6. Specific or nonspecific anti-Semitism: Is the patient anti-Semitic

toward individual Jews or the Jewish group as a whole?
7. Diffuseness of anti-Semitism: Is the patient against the Jewish group
alone or against other minority groups as well? Which other
minorities? Quote remarks made about them. In what ways are
the patient's other anti-minority feelings similar to, or different
from, his anti-Semitic attitudes? Is there any displacement of hos-
tility toward a non-Jewish minority onto the Jews? What motivates
this displacement?
8. Relative novelty of anti-Semitism in analysis:
a. Transference manifestationsmeaning and origin? Difference in
anti-Semitic reactions reported by Jewish and non-Jewish
b. Periodicity?
c. Intensity?
d. Restricted to analytic relationship or acted out?
e. Method of resolution?
f. Residue, if any?
g. How are such transference reactions related to the patient's
previous attitudes toward Jews?
h. What is the basis for the displacement of the patient's hostility?
9. Does the patient attribute his anti-Semitism to real causes; e.g.,
disagreeable personal experiences with Jews? In the anal yst's
opinion, to what extent is this anti-Semitism rational, i.e., based on
really objectionable features in some Jews?
10. Does the patient attribute his anti-Semitism to socioeconomic or
religious influencesto competition, propaganda, education, etc.?
Does the analyst concur? What is the analyst's explanation of the
patient's anti-Semitism? Does the patient have any insight into the
psychological functions, if any, of his anti-Semitism?
11. Specfficity of anti-Semitic symbols: Is there anything peculiar or
idiosyncratic about the patient's attitude toward Jews? That is, in
what ways does it differ from the culturally prevalent stereotypes
regarding Jews?
12. Hierarchy of anti-Semitic symbols: Which of all the actual or
alleged qualities of the Jews is most important to the patient? How
does the analyst interpret this?
13. Which of the following alleged or actual qualities of Jews does the
patient consciously or unconsciously attribute to them: Inferiority,
superiority, weakness, oppression, enslavement? Invulnerable in-
dividual integrity or vulnerability? A solid sense of identity? Fem-
ininity or passivity? Castration or circumcision? The agency of
oppressive social forces? The cruel destructive side of humanity?
Loudness, demandingness, or vocalness? Aggressiveness? Moral or
intellectual superiority? Insatiable, unbridled appetites? Exaggerated
or passive oral needs? Success or failure? Isolatedness?
the above qualities to the Jews con-
whether the patient attributes
sciously or unconsciously.
identify With?
14. Which of all the above qualities does the patient
Consciously or unconsciously? Which does he attempt to deny?

II. General Clinical Data

1. Dates when treatment began and duration
2. Patient's presenting complaints The patient's
S. Analyst's diagnosis and interpretation of disturbance.
central conflicts. History of his illness.
(a) home, (b)
4. Patterns manifested by patient's attitudes toward: (f) equals, (g)
school, (c) college, (d) work, (e) authority,
5. Physiological and neurological diagnosis, if any
6. The patient's idiosyncratic habits
7. His sense of humor dark, etc. Does he look
8. Appearance type, for example, short, fat,
or think he looks "Jewish"?
example, fussy, neat, well
9. Attention to personal appearance, for
dressed, etc.

III. Brief Description of Patient's Character

attitude toward moral
1. Describe the patient's moral structure; his
obligation, authority, conventionality. Rigid perfectionist, compul-
sive, etc. facade
2. What is the patient's concept of self? What appearance or
identity as an
does he wish to present? How stable is his feeling of
individual? Define specific weaknesses and confusions in sense
self, if such are present. What are their origins?
manifest a neurotic
S. What are the patient's major drives? Does he
neurotic drives for wealth, prestige, and
need for affection, or this? How
power? What is their origin? What are the symptoms of
individual's basic conflicts? I
are these major drives related to the
what ways and to what extent does the patient manifest a sado
masochistic syndrome?
have his first sexual
4. The patient's sexual adjustment: When did he Describe any
experience? Describe his marital sexual experiences.
perverse experiences he may have had.
drinking, smoking,
5. How does he satisfy his other appetiteseating,
rely on?
6. What major patterns of defense does the patient which are im-
7. Other features in the patient's character structure
IV. Outline for the Life History
Environment into which Patient was Born
1. The patient's siblings, their age and sex
2. Family relationships: Mother-father, sibling-parents, father-patient,
mother-patient, siblings-patient. Analyst's characterization and in-
terpretation of these relationships.
3. Data on father: Age at patient's birth; occupational status and
history; social status; religious affiliation; degree of religiosity;
political ideology; attitudes toward Jews and other minorities; edu-
cation; special interest; place of bfrth. Brief description of father's
4. Data on mother: (same as for father)
5. Persons other than mother, father, and siblings in household
(nurses, grandparents, etc.) Their relationship to patient.
6. Other persons frequently interacting with members of the patient's
household. Their relationship with patient.
Infancy to Adolesence
1. Patient's infant rearing experiences: Nursing, weaning, sphincter
training, enuresis, infantile masturbation. Is there evidence that any
of the above were culturally atypical?
2. Childhood: Friendships; first sexual knowledgeage at which this
was acquired; circumstances, patient's reaction if known; type and
intensity of patient's religious education. Outstanding events.
3. Group adaptation in adolescence: Shift in identity; control of sexual
and aggressive drives; displacement of hostility.
1. Education; present religion; changes in religion, if any, and degree
of religiosity. Occupational history; social status; patient's political
views; degree to which patient is interested in politics; special
personal interests; attitude toward money.
2. Group activity: Social, civic, recreational, political, etc., groups to
which patient belongs; major group activities. The approximate
amount of time patient chooses to spend with other people. The
intensity of his relationships with these other people; the approxi-
mate number of people the patient chooses to spend time with.
Does he originate group activity more or less often than he re-
sponds to it?
3. Own family experiences: Present marital status and marital history;
concrete description of own family relationshipsnumber and age
of children, patient-child relationships, wife-child relationships,
patient-wife relationship, and analyst's characterization and inter-
pretation of these relationships.
4. Data on patient's spouse: Older or younger than the patient;
religion; religiosity; occupational history and social status; education;

political ideology; attitudes toward Jews and other minorities; special

interests. Brief description of spouse's personality.

V. Summary and Interpretation

1. Is anti-Semitism an expression of the patient's conflict patterns?
If so, which patterns, and how is anti-Semitism interrelated with
these? What is the genesis of these conflicts and of the anti-Semitic
2. What functions does the patient's anti-Semitism fulfill in his char-
acter structure?
8. What is the relationship between the patient's other anti-minority
sentiments and his anti-Semitic attitudes, and how, if at all, does
either one develop from the other?

VI. General Background Data

1. Patient's age; sex; and place of birth (if foreign-born, age at
2. Case number
8. Analyst
4. Dates of interviews with analyst

This recording schedule was intentionally designed to be as compre-

hensive as possible. For example, Part I, Characterization of the Patient's
Anti-S etnitLsm, includes conceptual items which go far beyond the type
of data usually obtained in the average case study. Even though com-
plete information on all items was not obtained in any single case, the
comprehensiveness of the schedule proved to be an advantage because
it demanded a systematic approach to each case, with consideration
of every possible feature.
The cooperation of psychoanalysts was then enlisted on a larger scale.
Accredited psychoanalysts in New York were first approached by a letter
in which the research plan was outlined. Those who expressed interest
were then visited by a member of the research team. During the pro-
longed period of data collection, the authors were assisted by a trained
psychiatric social worker, also previously psychoanalyzed, and a soci-
After some initial experimentation, it was found to be essential that
interviews with the psychoanalysts should be conducted only by those
members of the team who had been psychoanalyzed. This helped to
establish quickly an atmosphere of confidence between the psycho-
analysts and the research personneL In the first interview, the form of
cooperation was discussed, and the collection of relevant data begun,
with full assurance given the psychoanalyst that all customary precau
tions to preserve the anonymity of each case would be taken. The inter
view procedure was essentially as follows:
The psychoanalyst was first asked to describe a case of anti-Semitiso
in a consecutive manner so that the interviewer would become familia
with the anti-Semite's life history. The interviewer then started to dis
cuss the case with the psychoanalyst in terms of the items included ii
the recording schedule. As a rule, these were prolonged discussions re
quiring two or three meetings. During interim periods, each psycho
analyst's case was recorded in detail and discussed further by th
research team under the guidance of its psychoanalyst member. A tenth
tive interpretation of the dynamic and the genetic aspect of every cas
was formulated by the research team and resubmitted to the psycho
analyst in the following interview for agreement or modification.
The research team discussed each case again and again in terms of an:
divergences of interpretation which might have emerged, and in term
of its place within the general frame of the investigation.
In addition to practicing psychoanalysts, another source of data wa
tapped: two social-welfare agencies. In their case work, such agencie
employ trained psychiatric social workers, usually under the supervisioi
of a psychoanalytically trained psychiatrist. The hope of getting fror
this source additional data on the environmental determination of ant
Semitism was fulfilled at least in some cases. Data approximately coir
parable to the psychoanalytic material were actually obtained. The di
velopment of concepts leading to a psychodynamic interpretation of th
evidence, however, was based exclusively on the material obtained fror
psychoanalysts about their patients. Case histories from social-servic
agencies, where appropriate, are used in the text as illustrations.
The procedure in gathering case material from agencies was essentiall
the same as that used in obtaining psychoanalytic material. The cas
worker, when aware of the incidence of prejudice in one of her cient
discussed the case with a member of the research team who afterward
studied the written record in full detail. When all relevant informatio
had been extracted, another discussion with the case worker complete
the data collection for that case.
After discarding cases containing insufficient or contradictory informl
lion, the material for this study consisted of twenty-seven cases obtaine
from psychoanalysts and thirteen cases obtained from social servic

agencies. A summary of the relevant information covering each case will

be found in the appendix.


The specific methodological problems which this study had to face
arose out of the fact that the cooperation of practicing psychoanalysts
was enlisted not for the study of psychotherapeutic theory or practice, but
for that of a sociopsychological phenomenon. This means that material
originally gathered in the process of therapy, and thus geared to that
purpose, was to be used for another purpose, that of research. Such
procedure is gaining increasing favor with the growing awareness by
both psychoanalysts and social scientists of the need for coordinating
scientific results which are obtained by the application of different
methods. This awareness grows in proportion to the demand for investiga-
tions which are problem-centered rather than method-centered.
1. Ti SELECrIVE CIi4rACrEE OF TEE MATE1IIAL. Despite the ever-
widening range of people receiving therapeutic help from psychoanalysts,
such people compared to the population as a whole constitute, in many
respects, a special group. First, they are emotionally disturbed per-
sonalities, andto make this a characteristic truly distinctive from the
rest of the populationthey are aware of their disturbances to a degree
that makes them voluntarily seek help. Furthermore, they are aware
that psychoanalysis may provide this help. It is impossible to determine
how this selective factor influences the study of the psychological
mechanisms of anti-Semitism. It may well be that the "lunatic fringe"
type of anti-Semite, who acts out his violent feelings with little restraint,
will hardly ever seek psychoanalytic treatment. More important, how-
ever, than the infrequent representation of the extreme type, is the
possibility that less extreme forms of anti-Semitism are excluded because
of the peculiarity of the source of our material. Some studies on preju-
dice have suggested that a certain rigidity and unwillingness to engage
in introspection are frequently found in the prejudiced personality.' It is
not impossible that those persons undergoing psychoanalytic treatment
present marginal cases of even the mildly prejudiced population.
This does not, however, impair the findings of this study, which is
essentially exploratory in character. The demonstration of the patterns
1Harfley, Eugene: Problems in Prejudice, New York, King's Crown Press, 1946.
Also, Adorno, Frenkel-Brunswick, Levinson and Sanford: The Authoritarian Per-
sonality, Vol. I in this series.
of interaction between intrapsychic needs and social forces is independent
of any such considerations as frequency. This is also the answer to those
who might question the value of the material because it is derived exclu-
sively from emotionally disturbed persons in need of help. They assume
that anti-Semitism in a "sick" personality is different in its motivation and
functioning from anti-Semitism in a "healthy" person. As has been pointed
out earlier, modern psychiatry assumes that the difference between the
"sick" and the "healthy" personality is one of degree and quantity rather
than one of quality.
Similarly, the geographical limitation of this study does not interfere
with its purpose. The material stems almost exclusively from psycho-
analysts practicing in New York City and refers mostly to patients
residing in the metropolitan area. Many of these patients, however, were
brought up in other parts of the country so that the early development of
a predisposition to anti-Semitism is not limited to social conditioning in
an area with an exceptionally large Jewish population. Nevertheless, the
manifestations of current anti-Semitism as they emerge from the case
studies must be regarded as being influenced by the social climate of
New York.
The cases collected from psychoanalysts are further defined in economic
terms, since most such patients belong to the upper economic income
stratum. The selectivity of the cases in this respect was offset by cases
from social-service agencies.
Of obvious importance for the validity of the material are those dif-
ferences which were found in the accounts of Jewish and non-Jewish
psychoanalysts who cooperated in this study. As far as the content of
anti-Semitic accusations and the underlying psychodynamic mechanisms
are concerned, no such differences were found. However, the patient's
knowledge as to whether his psychoanalyst was Jewish or not influenced
the timing and the intensity of his anti-Semitic utterances in analysis,
especially in the "negative transference" phase. Following the resolution
of the "transference hostility," no significant differences could be dis-
cerned. Finally, the preference of the psychoanalyst for describing
patient A rather than patient B must be mentioned. To a certain extent
his freedom of choice was limited by our insistence on a current case that
was well enough advanced to allow an interpretation of the basic eon-
fficts. This condition, however, was occasionally waived. Although it is
possible that some accidental selective principle was at work here, the
case studies themselves are so varied that there is no reason to believe

that the choice of the variOus psychoanalysts was

made according to any
one universal principle.
In view of these selective factors the scope of this study can now be
defined with greater precision: It investigates those forms of interaction
between intrapsychic and social forces which result in anti-Semitism, in
persons suffering from an emotional disturbance, who are aware of the
disturbance and seek psychoanalytic treatment for its relief, who live at
present in the New York area, and whose cases have been arbitrarily
selected for contribution to this study by the cooperating psychoanalysts.
2. TuE DEVELOPMENT OF CONCEPTUAL TooLs. Very early in the study
it became clear that some working definition of anti-Semitism was needed
in order to determine whether or not a particular case was to be included.
The following operational definition was adopted: Anti-Semitism is ang
expression of hostility, verbal or behavioral, mild or violent, against the
Jews as a group, or against an individual Jew because of his belonging to
that group. This definition includes, of course, anti-Semitism that may
become manifest only in the temporary "negative transference" phase to
a Jewish psychoanalyst. It also includes the self-hatred type of anti-
Semitism that some Jews display.
It will be noted that this definition is much wider than the definition
of prejudice given previously. The study was begun with this broader
definition for a good reason: to discover whether or not anti-Semitism is
a prejudice in the psychological sense, that is, irrationally motivated, we
had to extend our inquiry beyond the scope of this more limited defini-
Several psychoanalysts, mainly those who had had personal experience
with Nazi anti-Semitism in Europe, felt that the broad scope of this defini-
tion was unacceptable. They refused to regard the "polite" anti-Semitism
(the Gentleman's Agreement type) and the violent acts of the Nazis as
expressions of the same phenomenon. Since they had not treated any
anti-Semites of the latter type, they felt themselves unable to cooperate,
assuming that these different forms of anti-Semitism represented distinct
psychological entities which were not comparable.
In some cases, even though our definition of anti-Semitism was
accepted, a preliminary discussion disclosed disagreement on the value
of such an investigation from a strategic point of view, and this deprived
us of the cooperation of a few more psychoanalysts. Two arguments were
advanced in this connection: Some psychoanalysts, both Jews and non-
Jews, adhered to the idea that the less said about anti-Semitism, the
better for its victims, and precisely because they had strong sympathies
with the Jewish cause, they preferred not to cooperate in a study which in
their opinion might antagonize Gentiles. The second argument concerned
the question of the psychological approach to the phenomenon. Some
analysts, as much concerned with the problem as those advocating a
policy of silence, feared that our investigation might detract attention
from the more fundamental social and economic causes of anti-Semitism.
Such discussions were important in the development of concepts. The
rejection of our definition as well as the rejection of the psychodynamic
approach to anti-Semitism appeared to us, in a few cases, as rationaliza-
tions for the wish not to be concerned with anti-Semitism at too close a
range, as an attempt to keep away from its horror and to avoid identifica-
tion with its victimsin short, it seemed to be an expression of self-
preservation. The fervor of feelings of this sort expressed by some psycho-
analysts gave us a dramatic demonstration of the intensely emotionalized
nature of the subject of anti-Semitism.
Conceptual clarification became both more difficult and more important
once the readiness for cooperation had been established. The need for
it was convincingly demonstrated by the great range of views among
psychoanalysts concerning the frequency of anti-Semitism. While some
psychoanalysts said that they had not encountered a single case of anti-
Semitism in all their practice, others declared that every patient they had
ever treated, whether Gentile or Jewish, showed some traces of it.
Admittedly, many subjective factors enter into a psychoanalyst's selec-
tion of patients. More than one psychoanalyst, for instance, stated that
he had refused treatment of violent anti-Semites. But these subjective
factors in the selection of patients can hardly be regarded as the sole
cause for the variety of views on the estimate of incidence.
The amount of data on anti-Semitism that a prejudiced patient pro-
duces in analysis obviously depends on several factors. When anti-
Semitism is very near to the central personality problems or when the
social conditions that go into the formation of that attitude are obvious,
the amount of data will, of course, be considerable. But the amount of
data depends also on the psychoanalyst's interest and incentive for
analyzing the motivation of this attitude. As the operation of this subjec-
tive factor must be assumed to have influenced the psychoanalyst's judg-
ment, his estimate cannot be taken as an objective indication of the
incidence of anti-Semitic attitudes among his patients.
From the outset, it had been our hope that the specificity of the anti-
Semitic reaction would be pursued in analysisthat its onset would be
noted, its history traced, its symbolic role in the patient's development
this was so in
and its current psychological function investigated. While
such detailed atten-
many cases, several psychoanalysts did not accord it
tion. In many instances what seemed to be a "neglect" in terms
of our
research project was the only justifiable course of treatment when other,
more urgent, symptoms needed to be taken up first. It is conceivable,
furthermore, that a successful analysis of a prejudiced person might
make the prejudice disappear without ever involving a direct discussion
of it. In some case histories, however, anti-Semitism may have received
no attention in analysis for a different reason: peripheral anti-Semitism
may have escaped the close, systematic attention of the psychoanalyst
because he might have unconsciously assumed an accepting, matter-of-
fact attitude toward this part of his patient's reactions. The same social
conformity trend in psychoanalyst and patient might have induced both
to regard some amount of anti-Semitism as "normal" in our culture, and
not as a symptom needing special clarification. A few cases, consequently,
were reported with such a paucity of relevant facts that it was necessary
to exclude them from consideration.
Among some psychoanalysts there was the tendency to present inter-
pretations rather than facts. Such interpretations were given in analytic
terms. At present it appears that psychoanalytic terminology is not suf-
ficiently standardized to make such short interpretations meaningful.
"Ego weakness," or other diagnostic terms were used with more or less
divergent meaning by different psychoanalysts, so that it was impossible
to compare any two cases on the basis of interpretative terminology.
Even classical concepts like "Oedipal conflict" proved to be a handicap
rather than a help. The statement, by some psychoanalysts, that anti-
Semitism in a given case was the result of an "Oedipal conifict," or "penis
envy," represented a level of abstraction unsuited to the purposes of this
This difficulty became especially clear in connection with our probing
for the motivation of anti-Semitism. Psychoanalysts are professionally
interested mainly in the discovery of primary motivations. To them, the
origin of anti-Semitism in a patient is often satisfactorily dealt with by
describing it as the outcome of the Oedipal conflict. But from the point
of view of this study, it is important to trace the path from primary
motivation to the actual manifestation of the attitude. There are sub-

stantial reasons for the diIflculiy encountered in obtaining this type of

A patient who undergoes psychoanalytic treatment usually presents
more data than a psychoanalyst can remember or put into notes. Short of
a phonographic or stenographic record of analytic sessions (a procedure
not used), nothing, not even the most painstaking note-taking, could
guarantee completeness. The selective perception of a psychoanalyst
while a patient is producing material is neither accidental nor arbitrary,
but is influenced both by his theoretical frame of reference and his own
emotional reactions. Apart from factors inherent in his personality, the
selectivity in the psychoanalyst's attention is partly the expression of the
vicissitudes of his professional training. This implies his acceptance of
a specific theoretical system of personality dynamics, genesis, and moti-
vation as evolved in his psychoanalytic education. Doubtless this selectiv-
ity is in itself an essential part of the therapeutic process, since the avoid-
ance of the two opposed dangersgetting lost in details or making
interpretations prematurely and thus losing the meaning of contradictory
cluesis an essential part of the psychoanalyst's therapeutic skifi. Here,
however, attention has been focused on the training-conditioned selectivity
of the analyst's memory as one of the factors bearing upon the develop-
ment of this research study.
With the exception of those patients committed to an ideology of
political liberalism, who before analysis were painfully puzzled by
thefr anti-Semitic prejudice, and of Jewish anti-Semites who were obvi-
ously involved in severe emotional cross-pressure, it was the psycho-
analyst and not the patient who accorded the prejudice special atten-
tion. The patients, as a rule, were quite unaware that this attitude
received special scrutiny. The psychoanalyst's purpose, however, was
restricted to linking anti-Semitism to prime motivations. Thus he
gathered data on the intrapsychic nature of the patient's confficts, and
in doing so was able to discern the predisposing mechanisms for place-
ment of hostility onto outside groups. In most of our cases the evidence
for the intrapsychic determination of this particular hostility is, there-
fore, ample and satisfactory. This is not always the case, however,
with group pressures and external stimuli which function as secondary
motivation in channeling the hostility pattern into group hostility, and
more specifically, into anti-Semitism.
This was especially noticeable with respect to the genetic aspect. A
serious handicap in tracing the development of anti-Semitism in some of
external life cir-
the cases is the lack of information on the history of
cumstances. Often little is known about ideological influences during
various stages of the patient's life: neighborhood contacts and circles
of friends; the accepted norm in daily behavior that the patient shared
with those around him; the first contacts with Jews, and the atmosphere
of such contacts, at home or at school; books and newspapers read;
group affiliations of the patient in various stages of his life; work condi-
tions, economic problems and adjustments. In short, little is known about
the daily experience of life unless it was conflict-laden and a significant
expression of the patient's intrapsychic life. The task of the psycho-
analyst is to reveal to the patient where attitudes and early acquired
behavior patterns have shaped his life. But the direction and coercion,
overt or silent, that a person experiences under the conditions of mod-
ern civilization are too much taken for granted, and the individual
slants they take in each case frequently do not receive special attention.
As has been pointed out, this was one of the reasons for including
cases from social-service agencies which are, by definition, more con-
cerned with external life circumstances.
The extent of this "neglect" varies considerably in individual his-
tories. Well-advanced current cases proved to be more useful than those
already terminated. Those for which notes had been taken were more
useful than those in which the psychoanalyst had relied on memory
alone. It is almost superfluous to add that those psychoanalysts who
considered anti-Semitism "nonnal" had less data on the history of its
development than those who regarded it as having irrational roots both
in society and in the psyche.
Hence, each individual case was in some way incomplete. But every
one which was finally included had demonstrated at least some aspects
of the psychodynamics of prejudice.
This brings us to the last, and most difficult, methodological problem,
that of the interpretation of the necessarily uneven data.
It lies in the nature of case history material that the elaboration of
common basic elements is fraught with difficulties. The more detailed the
information available, the more the unique qualities of each case stand
out. That is why the attempt to emphasize some basic common elements
for the purpose of comparison always implies the potential danger of a
violation of facts. There is, furthermore, the dilemma of fixing the level
of common denominators neither too low nor too high; for if fixed too
low, the material becomes meaningless because it includes features corn-
mon to every psychological conffict, and if fixed too high, no case could
be compared with another. The guiding principle for the following
formulations has been the attempt to evolve a meaningful syndrome of
personality reactions even at the risk of not accounting in detail for those
cases which do not manifest all elements of the syndrome.


1. DrGNosIs AND SYMPTOMS. An examination of the clinical diag-
noses of these psychoanalytic patients reveals that anti-Semitism is not
the concomitant of any one clinical category of personality disturbance.
The diagnoses cover a wide range of disturbances. Anti-Semitic reactions
are found in psychoneurotics of various types; in character disorders, per-
haps more particularly of the sado-masochistic type; in psychopathic
and psychotic personalities as well as in others with less precisely de-
fined disturbances.1 The range of symptoms that led the patient to con-
sult with a psychoanalyst or a social-service agency was, of course, even
wider. It was striking to observe that many of the symptoms presented
by these patients were vague, and relatively lacking in structure and
On the whole, the complaints concerned a feeling of insecurity, loneli-
ness, unhappiness, confusion, difficulty in finding friends or establishing
a satisfactory sex life, absence or vagueness of life goals, inability to
maintain interest, etc. Even in the few instances where the symptoms
were concretethe case material includes a few phobics, overt homo-
sexuals, and alcoholicsthe patients were apparently less troubled by
the existence of some obvious disturbance than by the absence of some-
thing else which they could describe only in vague terms. One of the
homosexuals, for example, consulted a psychoanalyst not because he
wished to rid himself of his homosexuality, but because he felt a lack of
fulfillment. Another patient, suffering from impotence, sought psychi-
atric help only out of a sense of duty to his wife, for he felt no
conscious urge to be cured in this respect.
In this broad range of diagnoses and vague symptoms, however, one
type of disturbance becomes conspicuous through its absence. None of
the cases manifested a genuine, deep depression.
The absence of a uniform terminology, together with the fact that no clear-cut
diagnosis was available in several cases, prevents a systematic account in this respect.
The material is, of course, unsuitable for drawing conclusions on a
statistical basis about the incompatability of anti-Semitic reactions and a
genuine depression. But the qualitative insight gained from the study of
all cases leads us to believe that the absence of depression in the
material is more than an accident due to the limited number of cases.
For the existence of an anti-Semitic reaction presupposes a tendency to
blame the outside world rather than one's own self, and, dynamically,
such a tendency is in contradiction to the self-destructive features of a
genuine depression. It would seem that when the focus of punitive
tendencies is directed back towards the self, the basis for anti-Semitic
aggression no longer exists. The incompatibility of the simultaneous exis-
tence of anti-Semitism and a depression, with its classical dynamics
of oppressive guilt and self-blame, does not preclude, of course, a de-
pressive reaction before or after anti-Semitic manifestations in one and the
same individual. Such alternate patterns of depressive moods and out-
bursts of anti-Semitism were indeed reported in a few cases.2
While there is no correlation between anti-Semitism and the specific
type of clinical diagnosis or specific symptoms, there is in general a corre-
lation between the quality of personality distortion and the quality of anti-
Semitic behavior. The intensity and violence of anti-Semitic attitudes,
as might have been expected, is in harmony with the degree of disturb-
ance of a given personality.
For example a man with some paranoid tendencies (Case I O) expressed the
violent anti-Semitic feelings. He talked for hours about his raging hatred for
the Jews. He exclaimed: ". . . a flare of anti-Semitism may come. I would wel-
come it. I wouldn't mind seeing the Jews slaughtered . . I'd kill all the Jews

and Communists before they attacked me.. . the Jew is deformed.. . debased;
. they are too intelligent, too powerful, they ally with the Negroes and
spur them to revolt
On the other hand, a patient (Case 18), with only limited disturbances which
did not interfere with the functioning of his personality in obvious ways, and
whose analysis was successfully terminated, acted throughout life as a cham-
pion of the Jews and all other suppressed groups. It was only in analysis, or
when under the influence of alcohol, that he used the term "dirty Jew."
Thus, the most crude and irrational forms of anti-Semitism have been
linked correctly with psychopathic and paranoid personalities. Milder ex-
anti-Semitism in such cases may well be regarded as an unconscious attempt
to escape depression by changing the target for the accumulated hostility will become
clearer when we discuss the function of anti-Semitism.
This case has been published elsewhere in full. See: Ackerman, Nathan W.,
M.D.: "Anti-Semitic motivation in a psychopathic personality: A case study," The
Psychoanalytic Review, 34: 1, 1947.
pressions of anti-Semitic attitudes occur in less sick personalities. The
common denominator is, then, not a similarity of specific psychiatric
symptoms, and certainly not an identical clinical diagnosis. The common
denominator lies on a deeper level. It consists of the common presence
of certain emotional predispositions. These must of necessity be general
in nature, since they run across the entire range of psychiatric classifica-
tions. And these character tendencies and reactions, furthermore, are not
in themselves necessarily specific for the production of anti-Semitism-
they may as well be the dynamic basis for other irrational group hostifi-
ties. Undoubtedly, they can exist without anti-Semitism. But in our case
studies, at least, anti-Semitism did not exist without these traits and dis-
An analogy might clarify this relationship: a child in a destructive tan-
trum must choose as the target for his destructive hate a person or an
object which his mother has allowed to be part of his environment. The
release of his destructive feelings is possible only if he discovers a suit-
able object within this limited range of choice. In some cases, almost any-
thing within reach might do; in other cases, the child's specific mood and
motivation will determine his particular choice among the available
objects. A person manifesting the character tendencies and reactions we
are about to describe will, in similar fashion, select as the target for his
attack something, or someone, made available by his culture. But here,
too, there is often a relation between the specific motivation for hostility
and the choice of the victim. In both cases, it is true, the choice is limited
by external factors. But availability alone wifi not incite attack unless
there are certain emotional predispositions. The predispositions are, then,
a necessary, though not a sufficient cause for the development of anti-
What are these emotional predispositions and the related character
a. Anxietj. As is characteristic of analytic patients, all the individuals
included in this study suffered from anxiety. In most instances, how-
ever, a large component of the anxiety was of a special nature: it was
diffuse, pervasive, relatively unorganized, and not adequately channelized
through specific symptom-formation. Generally it was not experienced as
a conscious dread but manifested itself indirectly in various forms of
social discomfort and disability. (This has already been indicated in dis-
cussing the vagueness of complaints and symptoms that these patients
presented as motives for treatment.)
A few illustrations of this pervasive anxiety may clarify the matter.
Case 4: This woman patient manifests diffuse fear. She is uncertain and
anxious about all aspects of herself. She is disturbed by her failure to get mar-
ried. She is nervous about her work performance. She is concerned about
"Democratic Party" election victories. In short, every event serves as a means
for attaching her anxiety to a pseudorealistic cause.
Case 29: This man feels anxious about not having any friends, and lacks
confidence in everybody. He fears women but, nevertheless, likes to pose as a
great success with them. Though qualified, he is reluctant to accept a job for
fear of not measuring up to it, and this fear characterizes himhe is afraid
of failure, afraid of conflict, afraid of responsibilities. He does not know what
to do or where to go or with whom to discuss his situation.
This continuous apprehension of injury throws over the lives of such
persons a constant shadow; apparently they can perceive nothing in the
world around them except danger. If other people suffer, they react
not with sympathy but rather with the fear that they too are destined
for the same suffering. Such an unsympathetic and self-centered view
of the world is illustrated by Case 12.
This young Jewish woman is deeply anti-Semitic. She underwent a nose
operation, and wore a cross-like ornament with the wish to be taken for a
Christian. To her, all Jews are "dirty and objectionable." Whenever the Nazi
atrocities were mentioned in her presence, she trembled in uncontrollable fear.
There was in her attitude no trace of sympathy with the victims, but a deep
irrational conviction that every form of injury and persecution would sooner or
later be aimed at her.
In other cases, patients display multiple and varied fears: fear of di-
verse forms of authority, of being hurt or becoming impotent, of being
imposed upon in their professional fields, and so on.
Socially, economically, emotionally, and sexually, they are plagued by
this exaggerated sense of vulnerability. Often, these fears are not ap-
parent on the surface, but analysis reveals their existence under a faade
of superficial self-confidence. The general picture is one of weakness and
incompleteness in total personality organization, and fear of injury in a
vast variety of social contexts. Because of their inner weakness and
negligible insight, these patients view the outer world as hostile, evil,
and inexplicably hard. They fail to see any relation between their own
personalities and whatever difficulties they experience. This is, of course,
the result of projectionwhich will be discussed later.
Authors of detective stories and murder mysteries know as well as
psychiatrists that nothing is more terrifying than the unknown danger.
When the dark and uncanny enemy becomes identified and can then
be labeled, tension subsides even though the real danger may still exist
in a quite different direction. It will be well to remember this in order
to understand why people who suffer from such pervasive, diffuse anxiety
cling tenaciously and irrationally to their anti-Semitism, once they have
mistakenly come to regard the Jews as the cause of the evil. Unfortunately
for them, notwithstanding this specious identification of the "enemy,"
the anxiety persists.
b. Confusion of the Concept of Self. Plagued by a vague apprehen-
sion of the world at large, these patients seem to derive little, if any,
strength from their own personal identity. So confused and vague is their
self-image that they do not seem to know who or what they are, what
they desire, and what they can forego. This confusion carries over di-
rectly to the roles they play in life. With little regard for facts and the
external situation of their lives they waver between feelings of inferiority
and superiority; between regarding themselves as strong or weak, and
between considering themselves as members of this or that group, or as
completely isolated human beings. In some cases they do not even waver
between extremes; they simply fail entirely to organize their psychological
A bizarre, and at the same time, revealing example of this confusion of
identity is offered by a patient (Case 2) who in his youth maintained the
fantasy that he was not conceived and born in the natural way but was the re-
sult of a chemical experiment. So deep was his confusion that not even in the
biological sense could he identify himself with other human beings. When he
indulged in this fantasy, he saw himself outside the human species; at other
times he made a supreme conscious effort to convince himself that he was
In another example (Case 30), a woman achieved an extraordinary rise in
social status, emerging from the worst slum conditions of poverty and crime to
gain a well-paid position as an executive.5 She was beset by anxiety, not know-
ing whether she belonged to the misery of her childhood or to the luxury of her
early adult life. In the course of attempts to escape this conflict, she became
unhappy and turned to alcoholism. This was terminated through prolonged
hospitalization, but since the basic confusion of her self-image remained, she
This case has been published elsewhere in full. See: Bak, Robert C., M.D.:
"Masochism in paranoia," The Psychoanalytic Quarterly 15:8, 1946.
The relationship of radical upward social mobility to the development of anti-
Semitic attitudes has been documented by Bettelheim, Bruno, and Janowitz, Morris,
in Dynamics of Prejudice, Vol. 2 in this series.
soon hit upon anti-Semitism as another and equally spurious means to escape
this conflict.
Changing life circumstances, as in this last case, are frequently made
the surface symbols to which the patients attach their deep-rooted con-
fusion about their own identity.
Another woman (Case 1), had spent many years of her childhood and youth
in Europe. When she returned to America, her native country, she did not know
whether to regard herself as a European or as an American. She consciously
regarded this as an extremely difficult and painful position in life, about which
she worried a good deal, without being aware that the surface character of
this conflict was rooted in something more fundamental within her personality.
In this and similar cases a curious phenomenon can be observed: These
patients do not seem to have achieved a clear separation of their indl-
vidual selves from the surrounding world. Unable to define clearly their
individuality or at least to recognize themselves as comparatively stable
entities, they attempt to achieve stability by utilizing props selected from
the external situation. When they resort to one after another of a series
of such props without effecting relief of emotional tension, doubts about
the identity of the self become painfully and plainly exposed.
External life circumstances, however, have a double function in rela-
tion to the confused self-image of these patients. On the one hand, they
form a constituent part of that self-image because no clear separation
of the self from the external world has been achieved, and consequently
as the situation changes, the self-image will inevitably shift and become
confused. On the other hand, external life circumstances are used as
convenient rationalizations for the origin of the identity conflict. Appar-
ently the discomfort of not knowing who one is, as a self, becomes easier
to face if the causes of this confusion can be attributed to outside factors.
The existence of conspicuous differences between a patient's mother
and father often serves as a convenient basis for rationalizing the patient'&
conflict concerning his identity. Those whose parents were of different
national origins, different social or economic backgrounds, or different
religious affiliations, readily exploited these factors in building rationaliza-
tions for their conflicts.
In doing so, the patients are indeed very near to the cause of their
troubles. The identity conflict within the individual is closely linked to
The tendency to blame the outside world rather than oneself accompanies all
the reactions of the anti-Semite. We have mentioned it when discussing the incom-
patibility of depression and anti-Semitism; we meet it here and we shall find it later,
as a dominant defense mechanism of these patients.
the process of identification with the parents in early childhood. How-
ever, it is not the actual difference of group membership of the parents,
but rather the basic emotional clash between them which accounts for
the failure of the identification process and the resulting confused self-
image. This aspect of the phenomenon is elaborated more clearly later,
in the section dealing with the genesis of anti-Semitism.
These feelings of inner doubt and ambivalence toward one's own self
are frequently too painful to be accepted without compensatory efforts.
Inferiority, weakness, dependency, a tendency toward compulsive sub-
missiveness and basic passivity, are often concealed from the world and
even from one's own consciousness. The apparent substitute for such
awareness is a tendency toward compensatory self-aggrandizement.
A few examples might illustrate such frantic attempts at ego-inflation.
One woman (Case 1), tries to create the impression wherever she goes that
she is a member of the social elite, although she knows very welland suffers
from the knowledgethat she is not. She takes great pains with her outward
appearance, devoting considerable attention to clothes, coiffure, and cosmetics,
trying to appear young and attractive, although actually she regards herself as
Another patient (Case 2), whose conflict of identity is manifested in the
phantasy of a "test tube" birth, thereby revealing that he considers himself
banished from all humanity, is well aware of his deep anxieties. He has one
overpowering wishto appear to be a "normal," strong, and successful person.
A third person (Case 15), lives as if he were an established and recognized
member of the elite. He sees himself as popular with men and women and
sought after by many social circles. Actually, he cannot remain for more than a
short period with any group, since his alcoholism and homosexuality lead to
repeated and unequivocal rejections. But neither these rejections nor his lack
of friends seem to whittle down his habitually excessive self-aggrandizement.
One stinking manifestation of the confusion of the self-image is the
tendency toward homosexuality. While there are only two instances of
overt homosexuality, and one of bisexual behavior in our material, the
fear of homosexual inclinations plays a considerable role in many cases.
More or less openly admitted to consciousness, the fear of homosexual
tendencies drives men and women to leave colleges or their jobs. It
goaded one woman into wild promiscuity as a preventive measure to
keep her from the danger of becoming involved with other women. Often
it makes men fight against the authority of their superiors.
But it would be erroneous to establish a direct link between homo-
sexuality and anti-Semitic attitudes, as has occasionally been done. Anti-
Semitism and homosexuality are related only to the extent that they are
expressions of the same basic conflict: the confusion about one's own
identity and the struggle with one's basic passivity. Both homosexuals
and anti-Semites are confused about their identity; both want to deny
their basic passive urgings. But these are two distinct expressions of one
and the same underlying conflict; each may emerge independent of the
other or both may appear simultaneously. Furthermore, there are, as has
been shown, many other ways in which a confusion of the self-image
can be manifested.
Whatever the manifestation, however, such persons are particularly
sensitive to the possession by anyone else of an unequivocal identity.
Organized anti-Semitism, for example, has always shown an irrational
concern for establishing Jewish identity. The Nazi regime, to achieve
this end, employed the yellow stripe, the investigation of "Jewish blood"
as far back as three generations, and the formulation of a pseudoscientific
racial mythology in which a "Jewish race" could be labeled. The same
irrational concern with Jewish identity is displayed by the American anti-
Semite, who as likely as not, will claim the ability to identify a Jew by
looking at him. One patient, a commuter, whiled away the time during his
regular train trips by "smelling out" Jews, and he reported greater success
in this venture during the summer months.
The function of this concern with Jewish identity will become clearer
as we proceed.
e. Interpersonal Relation& Because the self-image is unstable and
confused, it is extremely difficult for these anti-Semitic personalities to
achieve satisfactory interpersonal relationships. At best their capacities
permit them to establish little more than immature and incomplete
human relationships. Such .precarious relationships are continuously
endangered by attitudes of overaggressiveness or overdependence, both
of which serve to estrange the other person. What is worse, often there
is not even the capacity for such tentative, incomplete relationships, since
fear and mistrust of other people make some of these patients uneasy,
shy, and awkward in company. Quite a few have never known a relation-
ship deeper than that of casual acquaintance.
One woman (Case 1) who had shown a certain amount of surface aggressive-
ness in the achievement of her ambitious professional ends, is so distrustful of
people that, apart from her work, she has scarcely any human contacts. Through
her rigidity and timidity, she frightens people off, especially men. She cannot
bear being close to anyone and particularly she hates the idea of sharing living
quarters. Nevertheless, she suffers so deeply from utter loneliness that she
believes the one thing worse than being a Jew is being an unloved woman.
Another patient (Case 2), is also oppressed by loneliness. His fundamental
isolation started early in life when he considered himself an outcast in his own
family. He never had boyhood friends nor any friends in later life. Although
he had numerous sexual relationships, they never involved his tender emotions
and offered but momentary relief for his aloneness. Despite all his longing for
human contact, he becomes intensely belligerent at the slightest provocation
often without provocation.
Others have a more successful mechanism for disguising their incapacity
to establish genuine relationships. But at best such disguises deceive the
outer world and sometimes the self; they never lead to the establishment
of warm, human relations.
A man (Case 11), has a fine reputation for civic responsibility and leader-
ship in his community. Hundreds of people come to him to discuss issues and
seek his advice, but to him all this is nothing but a duty. He remains detached'
and isolated, without any warmth, and gains small satisfaction from his popu-
larity. At the height of his successful business career he now has only one
wish, which reveals his deep resignation: he wants to retire as soon as possible.
The admission of such resignation is rare. Generally the patients make
frantic efforts to establish human contacts, but their deep-rooted doubts
about themselves frustrate their attempts even before they get started.
Unwittingly they destroy every incipient relationship by wavering be-
tween extremes of behavior.
One woman (Case 4), uses the same pattern over and over again. She attracts
men through her seemingly submissive behavior, but as soon as they respond,
she becomes aggressively hostile, refusing herself at the very last moment. She
draws pleasure only from the fact that she has put a man "in his place," that
she has "castrated" him. Yet she is unable to understand why no lasting rela-
tionship develops.
Shifts between ingratiating and aggressive behavior, shifts which are
hardly related to the real situation but are produced mainly as a result
of deep-lying insecurity and emotional confusion, lead to repeated failures
in social and personal contacts. The result of such failure is increased
emotional isolation.
d. Conformity and the Fear of the Different. The absence of warm
human relationships causes these patients shame and suffering. Con-
sequently, what they cannot achieve within themselves they pretend to
achieve on the social level by putting up a "good front" of sociability.
Ca8e 10 illustrates this point. On the surface, in group meetings, this
man successfully pretends to belong whole-heartedly to a social circle. Indeed,
he created that circle himself. He is polite, conforming to his group's standards,
and he manages to make others believe in his interest and enthusiasm for peo-
ple. Analysis reveals a very different picture. This man has renounced all values
that signify a genuine group belongingness. He is convinced that "ours is not a
loving world, it is absurd to think it ever could be. . . . I have nothing to give
to this world . . . I have no faith in love or friendliness." He emphasizes in
analysis that he has no interest in humanity, and that money is the only real
security, with which one can buy service and devotion.
In most cases the strong emphasis on conformity to group standards
is basically as shallow as it is in the above case. Ordinarily, this type of
person seeks to reap the rewards of social conformity, but unconsciously
his fear of submission is too great. His striving for acceptance is governed
by the desire to appear like everyone else rather than to achieve genuine
identification, and frequently he shifts from one group to another, over-
protesting the strength of his allegiance to this or that cause according to
the immediate situation.
To the person beset by such a conflict concerning group adherence,
those people who are supposedly "different," and who in addition do
not seem to wish to abandon their difference, are an eternal source of
provocation. The Jews appear to the anti-Semite as different from himself,
and yet they appear to be alike among themselves. Hence qualities of
uncanniness are attributed to Jews.7 On the one hand they seem to have
the courage to be different; on the other, they seem also to succeed in
being identified within a group. The very existence of the Jews, then, is a
constant and painful reminder of the anti-Semite's own emotional de-
That is why the fear of the "different" is not in proportion to the ex-
tent of the objective, measurable difference.8 Rather it is in proportion to
the emotional deficiency which produces the need for conformity and
belonging. The "difference," as a result, is subjectively translated into an
attack on group identity; the "difference" is consequently exaggerated,
and the fear increases.
Those anti-Semites who habitually assert that "some of my best friends
are Jews" demonstrate their intolerance and extraordinary sensitiveness
to "difference" by this transparent denial of hostility. The actual differ-
This quality of uncanniness is probably the result of unconscious projection on
Jews which will be discussed later.
8 This idea has been formulated in an article by Ernst Kris. See: Kris, Ernst:
"Notes on the psychology of prejudice," The English Journal 35:6, 1946.
ence does not register with them; it never crosses the threshold of their
perception. They determine what Jewishness means according to their
own arbitrary standard. Such a Jewish friend may be Jewish looking or
non-Jewish looking, rich or poor, a native American or foreign-born, an
assimilated or a non-assimilated Jew, and so on. These dichotomies can,
of course, be combined in all variations, and produce different external
stimuli. But, again, the reaction to "difference" is not in proportion to
actual measurable degrees of difference, but rather to the implied threat
to self-esteem contained in any difference.
All prejudiced persons insist on conformity within their own group to
the extent of trying to destroy the nonconformist. The "difference" of the
outsider, on the other hand, has a special significance; it is exaggerated
because it serves a specific psychological function. By emphasizing this
"difference," the prejudiced person achieves, at least negatively, a sense
of identification with his own group. By conforming to Group A, he gets
at least the false security of feeling that he is not a member of the sup-
posedily inferior Group B. Within his own ranks, however, to assert dif-
ference is hazardous. This insistence on conformity in one's own group
is paired, on a deeper level, with an unconscious wish to rebel against
one's own group.
Since conformity connotes surrender of individuality, a person who
represents "difference," even though passively, symbolizes strength, ma-
turity, independence, superiority, and the ability to stand up against
others unashamed of his own "difference." Such a person immediately
looms as dangerous. He must not be tolerated in the ranks of the "or-
dinar,r" people but must be made an outsider. For the prejudiced person
cannot bear the implied comparison. Because of the inherent weakness
of his own self-image, the "different" person represents a potential menace
to his own integrityor whatever there is left of itas an individual.
The inevitable response is to attack the menace, the person who symbol-
izes difference.
"If only the Jews behaved like everybody else!" This frequent state-
ment of the apparently reasonable anti-Semite, with its emphasis on
conformity rather than on inherent merits or deficiencies of behavior, is
an unconscious betrayal of what is wrong in himself.
In one case, (11), where the phrase, "If only the Jews behaved like everybody
else" was repeatedly used by the patient, the link between anti-Semitism, the
surface wish for conformity and group-identification (coupled with the in-
ability to achieve it), and the resulting attitude of rejection of the "different,"
was particularly clear.
To all appearances the patient was a highly successful businessman and a
leading citizen in his community. He came to analysis because of his sexual
impotence. At first he denied all anxiety about this symptom, maintaining
that he was a happy, well-adjusted person who sought a cure only because he
wanted to be fair to his wife. Although he had innumerable acquaintances and
a busy social life, he had never developed an attitude of warm friendship. He
played the role of leader and "trouble shooter," a fact which disguised to a
certain extent his essential emotional isolation. This man accused the Jews of
being emotional, uncontrolled, aggressive, and ill-mannered, in addition to
being shrewd, capable, persistent, and industrious.
Analysis revealed that early in life this patient had started to repress all
emotion. His mother was a dominant woman whose rigid religiosity banned
all feelings of ease and relaxation. Not even laughter was permitted in her
house, and under her influence, emotionality and sex became symbols of evil.
As a boy, the patient lived as though pleasure and "goodness" were incompat-
ible. Pleasure was reprehensible and he decided in favor of goodness.
But the repression was incomplete; and impotence, as the manifestation of
the unsuccessful repression, was revealed in analysis to be accompanied by
deep-seated anxiety about the threat of injury in sexual relations. Jews, who
supposedly have the same abilitiespersistence, shrewdness, intelligence
which the patient valued in himself, presented a source of deep irritation be-
cause they had apparently resolved the false conflict which had governed his
life. To him, they had the courage to be emotional, uncontrolled, and yet
somehow "good." The injury to his self-esteem implied in this comparison was
too strong to be faced. Therefore he defended himself by hating the Jews, and
by an insistence upon conformity.
e. Reality Adaptation. The emotional deficiencies of these patients,
extending beyond the sphere of human relations, seem also to have
impaired their capacity to establish a satisfactory relationship with ex-
ternal objects. Their very perception of reality is vague, dull, and in-
definitely formed. Since there is nothing that interests them for its own
sake, they rarely know what to do with themselves in their spare time.
Drabness permeates their entire emotional adaptation to reality. Their
affective responses seem shallow and colorless, and quite often restricted.
In the analytic situation, however, they occasionally become imagina-
tively affective when they are dominated by the urge to restructure
reality in accordance with their unconscious needs; such affective excite-
ments often color the expression of their anti-Semitism. When it seems
to them that they have discovered the Jew as the source of all evil, they
resemble schizophrenics who have suddenly seen the light. In such fu-
tile attempts to restructure reality, they approach a state that is not so
much neurotic as psychotic.9 And yet so thoroughly imbued by drab-
ness are some of these patients that they cannot produce the semblance
of strong affects even against the Jew.
Apart from such outlets as anti-Semitism provides, this lusterless qual-
ity prevails generally in such patients. It is not surprising that no evidence
of clearly defined life-goals can be found in these persons. Unaware of
what they want, they seem vaguely concerned with impotent desires to
establish their relationship to the outside world.
In superficial contrast to this picture of general dullness and lack of
spontaneity is the fact that these persons seem to have the trappings of
success in at least the economic sphere. On closer inspection, however,
it appears that they hang on to their professional activities not so much
because of real interest in what they are doing but rather because the
prescribed routine of a working day gives them the emotional support
that they lack in themselves. Not the satisfaction of a job well done,
but routineand especially earning moneyare the ends-in-themselves
by which these individuals are dominated. The extent of their reliance
on strivings for control and power is, of course, a clear indication of
their basic insecurity. Bitterly competitive in feeling, they have an extraor-
dinarily low tolerance for realistic competition. They require proof that
their rival is completely crushed.
One woman patient (Case 1), had changed her profession four times, start-
ing on a subordinate level and changing into related fields with superior status
and prestige. Nevertheless, she does not seem to derive any gratification from
her success or from the exercise of her professional skill. Although past forty,
she is giving time and energy to training in order to achieve an even more fin-
portant position. But, once achieved, this highly craved position loses it value for
lack of any meaningful relationship to her way of living. Keeping herself occu-
pied is important as a means of overcoming the drabness of her life. Since she
treats work as a substitute for emotional depth, activity means everything to
her and genuine achievement nothing. This woman accuses the Jews of being
social climbers, vulgar, "pushers," low-class people who really do not belong in
good society. According to her, they force an illegitimate entrance. Her rejec-
tion of the Jews is thus based on their alleged achievements and her deep-
rooted envy of their success in a sphere in which she herself vainly seeks
The selective perception of reality, described earlier, is thus matched
by a selective adaptation to it. Although the break with reality is never
complete, the rift is deep; so deep that such persons can hardly escape
See in this connection Simmel, Ernst (ed.): Anti-Semitism: A Social Disease,
New York, International Universities Press, 1936.
awareness of its existence. From this stems the frantic attempt to restore
spontaneous contact with the real world. Anti-Semitic attitudes, however
futile, signify one of these disguised attempts.
f. Conscience Development and Repression. One further facet of the
reaction pattern which characterizes these prejudiced persons is the qual-
ity of their conscience. Generally speaking, there is little evidence of a
consistent value system protected by a well-developed conscience. Gen-
uine guilt feelings are sometimes entirely absent.' More specifically,
most of the patients do not appear to have overt guilt feelings about
their anti-Semitism. (An interesting exception occurs, however, with that
small number of persons who are committed to an ideology of political
liberalism. These people do feel ashamed of their anti-Semitism.)1'
Even apart from their absent or deficient sense of guilt about their anti-
Semitism, the political "liberals" and other anti-Semites provide ample
evidence of an insufficient conscience development. Often not even the
most elementary standards of decency are maintained, as abundant exam-
ples make clear. There is the wealthy businessman who cheats his news-
paper dealer out of small change; the father who happily eats the candies
which have been entrusted to him for his children; the mother who
leaves her small child alone at home because she feels like going for
a walk. One patient, with great delight, reported to his analyst a fantasy,
stimulated by his wife's slight indisposition, in which he imagined that
she would die, and that he would then be able to sell her recently pur-
chased mink coat. The price of fur coats having risen, he reveled in the
idea of the profit he could make in this manner.
In other cases, there is a definite guilt reaction which may perhaps be
substantial in intensity, but which is unreliable and fickle in kind. This
type of guilt reaction is often treacherous in interpersonal relations. In
such cases, people tend to equate the Jews with their own conscience to
whatever extent it has been developed, only to reject both. This is
most clearly expressed in the case of one woman patient, who sadly
neglected her child. She had a great deal of personal contact with both
Jews and Irish. "The Irish," she said, "want me to play and enjoy myself.
The Jews want me to work, to be serious and punctual." Actually, in her
way of life she followed the "Irish" (or what she believed to be "Irish")
rather than the ways of the "Jews." This woman had a conscience, but
it failed to operate in the discharge of her maternal responsibilities.
10 Hence the lack of genuine depression.
A more detailed discussion of this group is reserved for the section dealing with
group pressures.
Another patient (Case 3), highly successful in a business career, hates the
Jews for being shams and fakers who attained lofty positions by unfair means.
What she projects onto the Jews is precisely what her conscience blames her
for doing in her own career. She regards herself as a fake in the "successful"
external aspects of her life. From one point of view, she is right. She pretends
to be ambitious and serious, but in her deeper motivation she leans the other
way. She is compelled by her conscience to make this pretense, but inwardly
such behavior is conspicuously lacking in conviction. This contradiction in her
personality derives from her relationship to her father. The guiding principle
of her life was to do everything different from the way in which her father did
it; he was easy-going, unambitious, and irresponsible. Beneath her surface
gestures of earnest endeavor, she has a deep craving to be like him and ac-
cepted by him. The pretense of contrast to her father serves her purposes, no
matter by what means it is achieved. The fickleness of her conscience is dem-
onstrated by the fact that she, nevertheless, continued to do what she knows
she should not do. This evidence seems to point to an incomplete process of
internalization of conscience.
Psychoanalytic theory suggests that in such patients the process of
repression in some measure failsa trend that seems to be borne out
by the evidence of our case studies. The effort to prevent a particular
impulse from entering consciousness is never sufficiently strong or con-
sistent. Hence the frequent changes in manifest behavior between at-
tempts to be ingratiatinga temporary repressionand overt hostility
the breaking through of the repressed.
The effort involved in these frequent shifts, together with the diffi-
culties created in human relationships by such unreliable and unpre-
dictable responses, imposes considerable strain. Nothing is more under-
standable than the relief that such persons experience when they are
under no social compulsion to repress hostility. Perhaps this is what
occurs in some subcultures in the United States where anti-Semitism
meets with no disapproval. Since the effort of repression is not required,
there is no pain experienced in the failure to repress. In these instances,
externalized and pseudo-objectively justified anti-Semitism serves as a
safety valvehere one can let oneself go without getting into inner
Thus far we have described some of the emotional predispositions
common to all of our cases. Each of these individuals is plagued by
pervasive anxiety. Deeply confused in his own self-image, he derives
no strength from his personal identity with which to face a menacing
world. His personal relationships are shallow and unsatisfying. His group
relations are characterized by an exaggerated surface conformity, beneath
which lurks a primitive, untamed hostility. Within his group the slightest
indication of nonconformity appears as a threat. Outside his group, differ-
ences are exaggerated. Lacking a basis of genuine identification, he tends
in a compensatory way to define his group status by reference to qualities
he does not actually possess. He achieves only a partial adaptation to
reality, and is unable to develop spontaneous and genuine personal rela-
tionships. His conscience is underdeveloped and unreliable, his repres-
sions incomplete and inecient, thereby necessitating recourse to the
laborious tasks of conscious suppression.12 The full psychodynamic picture
wifi emerge only after the genetic aspects of anti-Semitism and the
defenses against anxiety have been discussed.
In the foregoing description of the emotional factors which predispose
the individual toward anti-Semitism, it has often been necessary to
isolate emotional tendencies for the purpose of systematic presentation.
It is self-evident, however, that they do not exist as isolated traits at all,
but are dynamically interrelated within the personality. By way of dem-
onstrating this interdependence, a clinical picture of one patient will
now be given in some detail before proceeding to the discussion of the
genetic aspects of anti-Semitism.
(Case 1): The patient is an unmarried woman of fortytall, slim, and fair.
Of her four sisters and two brothers, only two are married. Both parents were
Protestants and exceedingly religious; her father was born in the United States,
and her mother, the daughter of a clergyman, was born in Germany.
Anti-Semitism here seems to be an expression of this patient's envy of the
social status achieved by other people, especially by Jews. She assumes that
the Jews are "low-class" people, that they are climbers who want to get ahead
and improve their position. They do not belong in good society, but somehow
worm their way into it, being "vulgar enough to push." (Thus they achieve a
status which she thinks is denied her.) In the negative phase of the trans-
ference she implied that the psychoanalyst himself came from the slums and
concealed that fact by wearing good clothes. It was very diflicult for her, how-
ever, to voice her anti-Semitism. On occasion it would take her as much as
fifteen minutes to formulate and express such a sentiment.
She was born and raised in Bucharest, where her father taught at a theolog-
ical school. She considers that her parents' marriage was an unhappy one. Her
mother had married a man fifteen years older than herself in order to escape
the domination of her own father. She had enjoyed her many children while
they were suckling babes, but had later regarded them as nuisances. The
household had been dominated by her, with the father, a mild man, having
12 Recently, Jean Sartre, in his Portrait of an Anti-Semite, has given an intuitive
description which contains many similarities to ours.
little to say. The patient was outwardly submissive to her mother but inwardly
rebellious. She felt unable to compete with her many sisters. She thought of
herself as a bad daughter and had feelings of guilt because of her hostility
towards her mother and because she felt she had let her father down in what
she termed a "war" against her mother.
Outside the home, however, her father enjoyed considerable prestige as an
American in European society, a feeling which the patient shared while grow-
ing up. Her father discouraged normal sex attitudes in his daughters, saying
that a woman ought to think about being valuable to society rather than about
marriage. Even when the patient was a mere child, he scolded her for showing
affection toward a young man.
In her childhood the family atmosphere encouraged an intense emotional
attitude towards Jesus. Life was a series of repentances in the sense that
naughtiness was followed by reconciliation with Jesus. (Although she is a
deeply religious person her feelings about God are ambivalent.) She is now
a member of the Episcopal Church, which appeals to her especially because of
the ritual of communion whereby she believes that she is forgiven for her sins;
she receives communion infrequently, however, since guilt feelings are strongly
associated with it. She is otherwise not interested in the church services.
Though attracted by Catholicism, she has resisted conversion. Her anti-Semi-
tism, however, is never expressed in a religious context.
She came to this country for her college education, and when faced with the
choice of a women's or a coeducational college, she chose the former, taking a
course in nursing. She became a nursing companion in a private family, and
while there she had a flirtation with a man in the household but this did not
eventuate in complete sexual experience. Nevertheless, her guilt feelings as a
result of this incident were so strong that she left the family.
After several years at this kind of work, she felt that God wanted her to
study social work and in spite of feeling some inner resistance, she attended
school and received her diploma when in her thirties. Approaching forty, she
decided on psychoanalytic treatment for two reasons: she recognized the pov-
erty of her social relationships and she thought also that it would help her
professionally. Her first choice, a non-Jewish doctor, was too busy and recom-
mended the present psychoanalyst.
Simply by coming to this country, the patient had lost the social prestige
she had enjoyed abroad, and as a consequence has felt underprivileged. This
has represented a severe and continuous hurt to her self-esteem, since her main
pride is in her family and social position. In fact, she has never been able to
decide whether her status here is that of a visitor or a permanent resident.
Toward authority and toward those in her profession who display hostility,
she is quite submissive. This pattern originated in her early family relationships,
and though it is a source of annoyance, she is unable to do anything to change
it. Her chief problem is a lack of aggressive courage and a lack of self-confi-
dence. The structure of her character is determined by her envy and her
attitude toward this envy. She had always wanted to be a man, and feels that
being a woman is a disadvantage. Her envy of the social status of other people,
especially of the Jew, is a special version of this feeling.
More recently the patient met a Jewish man at a party. She had her first
complete sexual experience with this man, with whom she considered herself
to be deeply in love. She invested him with the role of a superior person, and
had he loved her she thought she would have been very happy. But this phan-
tasy was never fulfilled.
After this sexual experience, the patient experienced profound guilt towards
her unmarried sisters. There seemed to be a tacit agreement that none would
do anything to arouse the envy of the others, and this particularly applied to
marriage. There is one married sister whom the patient envies because she
has children. As for the other members of the family, there are indications
that they, like the patient, have never had an adequate sexual adjustment.
Apparently, the sisters also manifest the same type of anti-Semitism as the
Some years ago, the patient had a very close woman friend, with whom she
lived. There was an element of homosexuality in this friendship, though never
overt. During the analysis she started another relationship with a much younger
woman towards whom she feels ambivalent because this friend is young and
has several men friends. Her own attitude towards sex is highly ambivalent;
consciously she wanted to have sex relations but she has made it practically
impossible for all but the most aggressive men to approach her. She has severe
conflicts about masturbation. Somehow she does not seem to accept love, yet
she insists on remaining attractive and becomes upset when she considers that
she may be unacceptable to men. She thinks that it is bad enough to be a
woman, but to be an unloved woman is even worse than to be a Jew.
On the surface, the patient chose a polite form of "country-club" anti-
Semitism. It does not play an important part in her conscious life, nor is it
in its present form socially dangerous. Nevertheless, her anti-Semitism is
deeply linked with the neurotic conflicts in her personality. In all her human
relationships she is utterly insecure. She is upset by the idea of people living
with her, and she does not allow them to come close to her. From this general
insecurity and hostility stems her attitude towards Jews.
The Jews form a particularly convenient outlet for her deep-rooted envy
because, being subordinate in status to start with, they can make more open
bids for social position than she; for her to make similar bids and thus to admit
tacitly that her position is inferior would be an unbearable humiliation.
Though her anti-Semitism seems to be primarily a social reaction to her
group situation, it is nevertheless functionally related to her personality. Being
an unaggressive person, she sees the Jew as "aggressive." Since she considers
herself "dumb," and feels that people can "put things over on her," she thinks
of the Jews as "very clever," and as exploiters. She apparently projects on to
Jews the behavior and attitudes which she herself would like to possess and
use to her own advantage.


The genetic approach to the study of anti-Semitism should provide
answers to two questions: First, how do the relatively nonspecific emo-
tional predispositions to this pattern of antagonism arise? Second, what
is the development within the individual of this specific antagonism?
Discussion is here focused mainly on the first of these questions, the
origin of emotional predispositions to anti-Semitism, because we have
more evidence on this question. It should not be inferred from this,
however, that the history of the established anti-Semitic pattern within
the individual is of less importance. On the contrary, it is of considerable
value to demonstrate the type, timing, and cause of the first anti-Semitic
manifestation of an individual; to trace its development in the light of
relevant psychological and social factors; to examine the flexibility or
rigidity of the pattern, and perhaps even to predict the course of further
anti-Semitic occurrences.
But this kind of approach depends upon a highly specific collection
of data, and in this respect our evidence is far from complete. Had our
cooperating psychoanalysts been able to treat anti-Semitism as a clear-
cut, well-defined symptom, noting the onset and all subsequent relevant
occurrences, such an approach might have turned out to be most profit-
able. This, however, was not generally the case. As has been stated before,
the available material has serious shortcomings in this respect, especially
with regard to external cultural influences contributing to the develop-
ment of anti-Semitic hostility.
Consequently, this study must necessarily focus mainly on the genesis
of the emotional predispositions to anti-Semitism. For this approach,
there is ample material, most of which has been accumulated in the
psychoanalytic rather than in the social-service cases.
to every case of anti-Semitism collected for this study is the strikingly
similar psychological atmosphere into which the patient was born. There
is not a single example of a permanently well-adjusted marital relation-
ship between the parents. In almost half the cases, their superficial re-
spectability was violated by open quarrels, physical violence, divorce,
or desertion. At best, only the semblance of a respectable family union
was preserved through conformity to conventional standards. Basically,
there was no warmth, affection, or sympathy between the parents; and
what little evidence of the sexual adaptation between the parents is avail-
able indicates that sexual relations were unsatisfactory.
The mother of one woman (Case 1), told her adolescent daughter that she
had married her much older husband only to get away from home. She shocked
her daughter deeply by intimating that should her husband die, she might
quickly fall in love with another man.
The parents of a man (Case 10), had lived in a precarious relationship
through the course of a marriage that was in large part a product of spite.
Between the parents there existed an open hatred which occasionally erupted
into physical conffict. When the boy was eight years old, the father deserted
his family.
The parents of another patient (Case 14), maintained such an excellent sur-
face appearance of domesticity that they were regarded as a model couple.
But there was actually no warmth between them. The father carried on nu-
merous love affairs and the mother apparently renomced her feminine interests
and sexual activity.
Generally, a sharp contrast characterized the parents as individuals.
They were at cross-purposes on every possible occasion. In temperament,
ethical values, sexual attitudes, and social interests, father and mother
seemed to represent different worlds. Even where such basic differences
were not understood by the children, the fundamental hostility between
the parents was inescapably felt. Frequently, such hostility was covertly
shunted off into side channels, charging the family atmosphere with an
unpleasant tension. Existing differences in ethnic origin, or social and
religious background, appeared to be the area of sharpest overt conflict
between these emotionally maladjusted parents.
The Christian step-mother of a man (Case 25), whose father was Jewish,
would say to her husband whenever she disagreed with him: "Don't act
like a Jew." The implications for the patient's later attitude toward
Jewishness are obvious. But even where neither parent was Jewish,
parental disagreements seemed to be attributed in the presence of the
children to differences in group membership. The statement, "you are
different" (implying "you are bad because of your difference"), whether
relating to religious, ethnic, or social contrasts, was for many of our pa-
tients the first real awakening to the manner in which difference is some-
times treated in our culture.
Such an emphasis had, from the child's point of view, one apparent
advantage: group differences were tangible factors. They at least pro-
vided a name for the lack of ease, warmth, and unity in the family, which
the child perceived and from which he suffered, but could not under-
stand. Thus, the absence of affectionate human relations and the exist-
ence of hostility, often rationalized as difference in group membership,
represented the earliest childhood conditioning in human relations.
This pattern seemed often to be reinforced by the sharp contrast
between the parents as regards tendencies toward domination and sub-
mission. One parent was dominant and overaggressive; the other sub-
missive, weak, and masochistic. More often than not, it was the mother
who represented aggressive dominance.13
Although evidence concerning original parental attitudes towards hav-
ing children before actual conception is, of course, scarce, a deduction
is justified in view of the parental relationship which has just been de-
scribed. Where there is little love and much conflict, children tend not
to be regarded as a fulfillment of life, but at best as a compensation for
disappointment, and at worst as unwanted additional burdens.
CHILDnEN. The available evidence bearing on parental attitudes towards
their children from birth on tends to support the foregoing assumption.
The rejection of the child by one or both parents is the rule rather than
the exception in these cases.
One patient (Case 2), experienced rejection during early childhood through
the father's sadistic beatings and the mother's more subtle, but equally cruel,
ridicule. In relation to his enuresis and a physical handicap (a congenitally
exposed urinary canal), she told him again and again, "you are not like other
Another patient (Case 4), also felt rejected by both parents. Neither the
father, who was strict and remote, nor the mother showed the little girl any
affection. The experience of rejection in this case was aggravated by the pa-
tient's sibling position: an older brother received more affection because he was
a boy, while a younger sister was mentally deficient and thus required special
attention from the parents. The patient was assigned to the care of a nurse,
and was unable to compete with her siblings. She was rarely the subject of
parental concern.
Another man (Case 10), also felt rejected by both parents. At a very early
age, he was left with his grandparents because it suited his parents' conven-
ience, an early experience of desertion which was later to be repeated more
drastically. When the patient was eight, his father deserted the family, and
when he was sixteen, his mother, without any display of emotion, sent him
13 It is impossible to decide whether this is in accordance with a general cultural
trend or whether this configuration is specific to our cases. However this may be, the
aggressive dominant woman in our society is at variance with the accepted idea of
male superiority and presents an additional reason for conflict and difficulty in
reality adjustment.
away to a near relative. During that short period of his life in which he had
been with his parents, the patient had heard his mother express open prefer-
ence for other little boys, unrelated to the family. The fact that some of these
competitors were Jewish entered into the motivation of the patient's future
In several cases, the original pattern of sibling rivalry contributed to
the later development of hostile feelings against Jews. In some cases, the
early death of one parent contributed to the feeling of being rejected and
deserted; in others, open desertion by a living parent, with all the misery
that such action often visits upon the remaining parent and the child, left
a deep wound, with significant later effects on the patient's feelings
about rejection.
Each rejection, whatever its cause or form, damaged the self-esteem
of the child. The experience of not being wanted, of not belonging, was
closely related to one of the predominant confficts in the adult anti-
Semite: the conflict about his own identity and the resulting confusion
of his concept of self. The current cultural stereotype about "good Jewish
family life" tends to excite the unconscious envy of anti-Semites who have
themselves suffered from a lack of love and close family feeling.
The parents' attempt to achieve through the child some form of com-
pensation for their own personal disappointments is often expressed
through their narcissistic exploitation of the child, and leads in a more
roundabout way to the same final result of rejection.
One Jewish father (Case 16) projected all his own frustrated desires onto
his son. From early childhood, he compelled the boy to study music. He alter-
nated between exaggerated demonstrations of affection and great severity. He
intervened in his son's friendships (for the son's "own good," of course). The
mother was weak and ill, incapable of playing an active role in her child's up-
bringing. The child developed the idea that he was not wanted for himself,
but only for his achievement. He feared and hated his father in much the
same way that he later feared and hated all Jews.
A woman patient (Case 21) recalls bitterly an experience which made her
feel deeply victimized by her half-Jewish mother. At the age of four, she and her
brother decided to build their own toy train. When her mother heard of this
plan, she went out and bought them an expensive electric train which over-
whehned the children and gave them no pleasure. But the purchase satisfied
the mother, whose vanity and social snobbishness demanded that her children
should play with the biggest and most expensive toys. Such false indulgence
through gifts robbed this child of every chance to carry through what she
herself wished to do.
To this patient, then, Jews symbolize everything that is self-indulgent,
pleasurable, and hence vulgar. Of course, she did not consciously recog-
nize the connection between these adult antagonisms and her childhood
struggle with her half-Jewish mother.
Both open rejection and narcissistic exploitation damage considerably
the self-esteem and self-confidence of the child, who, consequently, feels
unwanted, unloved, and unworthy. At the same time, the child feels that
if only he were different perhaps his parents would like him. In this emo-
tional context, both the passive dependent needs projected toward the
parents and the related aggression, are fixated. Out of fear of parental
aggression the child attempts to repress its desire for dependency and
resorts to compensatory aggression, but this too must be repressed.
The fear of parental aggression appears more than justified when one
considers the disciplinary pattern in these families. Even where one
parent is indulgent, leniency is not consistent. Usually discipline is strict
and often enforced by brutal beatings. Acceptance of the child is condi-
tional on conforming behavior. Against this background, the rejected or
exploited child soon acquires skill in pretending, so that overtly he
assumes a submissive attitude, beneath which rebellion and hostility
continue to smolder. The pent-up aggression against the parent can be
released, if at all, only through displacement. In some cases this aggres-
sion is partly diverted into the sibling situation. The anxiety about failure
to compete with siblings is derived originally from the inability to pit
aggression competitively against the parent. This is an important genetic
factor for the later patterns of competitive aggression against Jews.
One of the first large tasks of conforming which a growing child
experiences is the process of habit training. The manner in which this
training is handled by the parents generally reveals to the child their
basic attitudes. Occurring at this early, extremely pliable age, it exercises
decisive influence on the child's incipient personality formation.
In several cases, the fixation of anal character traits in the patients
could clearly be traced back to severe and early toilet training which
was made a test of the parents' approval and affection. The following
is a case in point:
A young Jewish woman (Case 12), to whom Jewishness literally means dirt
and who manifests many "anal" character traits, was toilet-trained ("house-
broken") by the age of one. Otherwise completely left to the care of a governess,
this child received recognition and attention from her parents only as she was
clean and obedient. This pattern dominated her attitude toward her parents
all her life. If she wanted affection she had to conform to their exaggerated
ambition, especially that of her mother. She learned to read and write long
before school age, composed verse and played the piano at five. Her entire per-
sonality was motivated by the wish to obtain, through adherence to this early
pattern of conformity, what she had experienced in her first training in in-
fancy: the affection and recognition of an appreciative mother. Throughout
her life she manifested an excessive concern with dirt, vacillating between dis-
orderliness and exaggerated cleanliness. For her, Jewisimess signified something
low, dirty, anal. Her anti-Semitism symbolized the rejection of the dirty parts
of her self; to enjoy dirt meant to be deprived of her mother's love.
The attitude towards toilet training and dirtas conditioned by the
parentscolors the later emerging sexual attitudes. Thus, the pre-Oedipal
experiences of our patients generally tended to fixate basic passivity,
compulsive submission, and induced repression of the corresponding
compensatory aggression. This passivity and the concomitant ambivalence
represented a strong hindrance to healthy Oedipal development and
reinforced the later-appearing "castration anxiety" (fear of injury to the
sex organ or impairment of sexual pleasure).
At an early age, the characterological predispositions for prejudicial
attitudes are thus akeady apparent. The excessive tendency to conform-
ity, even though on a basis of pretense, has demonstrated its value to the
child in his attempt to master the dangers of parental aggression. This
sets the stage for the significant conflicts which emerge in the effort ta
establish personal identity.
3. Tins OEnII' STRUGGLE. The Oedipal conflict into which thes
patients entered as children was intense, was characterized by an exces-
sive amount of confusion and anxiety, and was never fully resolved. Th
evidence for this, it should be stressed, is often only to be inferred froir
later life patterns. A serious distortion of the process of identification witi
parents who offered neither acceptance nor loveso essential for thE
successful mastery of the Oedipal conffictis revealed. The most frequeni
indication of this unresolved conflict is to be found in the attitude whici
these patients, even as adults, manifest toward their parents.
Several instances clarify this point with the emphasis on a disturbed rela
tionship involving the father. One man (Case 2) reported that whenever h
visited his parents, he was troubled by a vague feeling of some "unfinishe
business" between him and his father, something he "wanted to settle"; thi:
urge for vengeance on his father represented a deep and bitter preoccupation
Another man (Case 7) had been so terrffied by his father that as an adult h
roamed the world, for this was the only way he could feel free. His father'
presence suffocated him, and only when his parent was dead could he settle
down. A woman patient (Case 2) had more or less consciously shaped her
entire life so that it would be contrary to her father's; where her father had
accepted almost everything but his family, this woman accepted little more
than her family. Another woman (Case 14) manifested an unresolved attach-
ment to her father by entering into a lifelong love affair with his friend.
Other cases emphasize the mother as the key figure in the Oedipal conflict.
One man (Case 9), who was utterly dependent on his mother's standards and
values in adult life, bluntly asserted that he hated her. In the case of another
man (Case 11), persistent dependence on his mother's values had been fore-
shadowed by his experiences of deep anxiety when, as a boy, he was repeatedly
separated from his mother for varying periods of time.
These examples could be multiplied. A compulsion to imitate their
parents, or, to use Tarde's phrase, "to imitate by opposition," is the
dominant drive that characterizes the lives of these individuals.
The cause of this trait lies in the incomplete incorporation of the pa-
rental images into the internalized conscience. The condition for the
completion of this process is a genuine love-identification. Where the
parents of these anti-Semites, through early rejection of the child, frus-
trate all attempts at healthy identification, the process of internalization
of conscience is seriously hindered. Often the child's partial identification
is with the weaker parent, who represents if not the kinder, at least the
less menacing of the two. Such identification, leading as it often does to
an identification with the underdog, is generally fraught with danger.
Because of the need for protection by a strong person, the child tends
overfly to renounce his identification with the weaker parent and over-
protests his alliance with the more aggressive parent. Here, too, the
patient is ambivalent. Because of his fear and hate of the more dangerous
parent, there is at best only a partial ambivalent identification with him.
As a result the patient withdraws and the identification with both parents
remains incomplete and distorted. This may produce lifelong indecisive-
ness and confusion as to sexual identity. The patient gives his whole-
hearted allegiance neither to father nor to mother, and correspondingly
neither to male nor to female attributes.
The relationship of this type of Oedipal experience to the later develop-
ment of anti-Semitic attitudes is not simple. Some indications of such a re-
lation have already been offered. There is, to begin with, the identification
with the weak, which is too dangerous to be maintained and for which
an identification with the strong is later substituted. This is one factor
that leads to anti-Semitic patterns based on a partially repressed identifi-
cation with the "weak Jew," this explaining the frequent discovery that
the conscious rejection of the Jew_or what is envied in the Jewis often
paralleled in the unconscious by a strong identification with him. The
deep-seated identification with the Jew because of his symbolic weakness,
his crippled, castrated state (circumcision) and defenseless position, is
denied because of its danger to the individual's self and social position;
and in its place there is substituted an identification with the attacker.
Frustrated in their attempts to achieve identification based on love, these
persons resort to partial identification based on hate and power. This
defensive need to substitute identification with the strong is, of course,
the result of the original failure of the child to compete with the parent's
Only a few cases contain concrete evidence for this genetic link between
the thwarted identification attempts and actual anti-Semitism.
One young man, for example (Case 6), presents the link rather clearly. This
person, a member of the Nazi movement in Europe, hates his father and the
Jews for the same reasons. They are not only the same in content but are
formulated by him in such identical terms that it seems almost unbelievable
that he should have been unaware of the actual identity of these two forms of
hatred. In this instance the dynamic parallel between the patient's attitude to
his parent and the meaning of anti-Semitism is clearly visible.
As already suggested, early distortion of the identification process
hampers the development of the conscience. The formation of conscience
remains incomplete. While guilt reactions may be quantitatively intense,
the internalized standards of right and wrong remain vague and unstable
in quality. Punishment is perceived largely as coming from without rather
than from within. Such a psychic tendency provides the basis for a denial
of guilt, and for projection onto the external world of that which is re-
jected in the self.
In the main, however, the connection between this Oedipal experience
and later anti-Semitism is indirect rather than direct. Unresolved Oedipal
problems must be understood as leading to the conflicts, character traits,
and weaknesses previously outlined. Overt anti-Semitic attitudes appear
when the individual, mobilizing mechanisms of self-defense to combat
or conceal his weakness, utilizes prejudice as a rationalized outlet for
inner confficts and pent-up hostility.
The genetic specificity is most obvious, of course, in cases where one
or both parents are identified with Jews, so that in a concrete manner the
concept "Jew" is built up simultaneously with the development of the

child's image of the parent. Cases of Jewish anti-Semitism, therefore,

most readily reveal genetic specificity. The basic conflicts, however, are
identical for the Jewish and the Gentile anti-Semite. By way of illustra-
tion, two cases will be presented at some lengthone of a Jewish patient,
the other of a Gentile.
(Case 25): The patient, forty years old, is a wealthy businessman who came
to analysis because of selective sexual impotence; he was impotent in his mar-
riage but not in extramarital affairs. He was born a Jew, but during his adoles-
cence his father converted to the Episcopalian religion, and the patient now
considers himself Episcopalian. He had a morbid fear of being revealed as a Jew.
His anti-Semitism takes the form of hatred of all Jews. He considers them
overbearing, aggressive, money-mad, and untrustworthy. He would dream of
his Jewish analyst as a huge, bearded, eastern Jew, ready to strike someone
down. When the psychoanalyst gave this patient an appointment on a Jewish
holiday, the patient felt that the doctor did not take the holiday because, being
a Jew, he wanted to earn money so intensely. In a period of positive transfer-
ence to the analyst, the patient expressed pleasure because the doctor did not
speak with a Jewish accent.
In his business activities the patient was openly anti-Semitic. He refused to
hire Jewish help, and he once got into a heated argument with a non-Jewish
business associate who had a Jewish secretary. So strong were his anti-Semitic
feelings that he endangered a business deal with this associate rather than
refrain from making anti-Semitic remarks about his secretary. Once the patient
struck a girl friend because she had called him a Jew. He was for a long time
on the verge of contributing to the Christian Front movement but finally
decided against it. At one time he contributed money to an organization which
worked to defeat the election of a Jew.
The patient ended the analysis when his sexual impotence was cured. His
attitudes towards Jews were still hostile, but less violent, and he had developed
some guilt feelings about his anti-Semitism. He even contributed money to a
college which did not bar Jews, something he would probably not have done
before analysis.
The patient's father was born abroad and came to this country as a young
man. He developed a business which was virtually a monopoly so that the
family was wealthy when the patient, the oldest of three brothers, was born.
His father was extremely severe, remote, and harsh in his discipline, feared by
the entire household, including his wife. It was customary for everyone to stand
up when his father walked into the room.
His father demonstrated the qualities which the patient later attributes to
all Jews: he was overbearing, money-mad, and aggressive. He would "rob
him" of his allowance by way of punishment ("the money-mad Jew"). For
violating the father's standards of good behavior, the children were often locked
in a room and given bread and water for days on end. His mother and the
servants would sneak food to the boys, always in great fear of being caught by
his father. The signfficance of this aspect of the relationship between the
parents is self-evident. It involves a weak mother and a domineering father,
each with entirely different values and attitudes, and constitutes a union based
on fear and domination. From early childhood on, the patient must have been
aware of the rift between his parents and the absence of understanding and
affection in their relationship.
In retrospect, and by comparison with his father, his mother appeared to the
patient as a kind person, but she was obviously too weak and vulnerable for
the patient to identify with her safely. She was also born Jewish, and in con-
trast to his father identified herself as such, contributing to Jewish charities.
The patient claims that he was closer to his mother than the other children
were. He recalls that when he was little, his father once went away on a busi-
ness trip and he slept in his mother's bed. He hoped his father would go away
often. His childhood was dominated by excessive fear of rejection by his re-
mote, domineering father, whom he nevertheless wished to emulate, as his
behavior in later life shows.
The mother died when the patient was thirteen. The patient interpreted her
death as a virtual desertion of him; she, too, was "untrustworthy." Soon after
this, the patient, his father, and brothers were converted to Christianity. The
patient states that his mother would not have approved of this at all. Thus the
last accusation against the Jews as a groupthey are untrustworthy and
treacherousis exemplified in his father's conversion soon after his mother's
death. After the conversion his father gave large contributions to the church.
Even before the change in religion, the family had not maintained any personal
contacts with Jews, and neither in childhood nor throughout his school and
college life did the patient become friendly with Jewish young men.
After the conversionwhich doubtless contributed to the patient's confusion
about his own identity, and to the corresponding conflict of valueshis father
married a wealthy Christian woman who enjoyed great social prestige. The
patient did not like his stepmother. He recalls that when she was angry at his
father she would say "Stop being a Jew." The patient, however, had little
contact with his stepmother because he was sent to a boarding school.
Most of his hostility was directed against his father. At that time he often
daydreamed that he would go to his father's oce to denounce him as a Jew.
Apparently by that time the anti-Semitic pattern must already have been
firmly established. What he hated in his father, he also hated in Jews as a
group. Nevertheless, he shared much with his father. Being anti-Semitic served
the purpose of a half-hearted attempt to deny part of his own self, the weaker,
more vulnerable part (mother), and to substitute identification with the
stronger enemy (father).
Although the patient was very successful in college and business, he derived
from his success no real pleasure or satisfaction. It was extremely important
for him to be accepted in socially high, non-Jewish circles in college. Later on,
to gain prestige and affiliate himself with a group representing superior power,
he joined a rich men's club. On the whole, his social life was dull and empty;
he spent most of his life at his work. He led a shut-in existence, accumulating
money and "counting gold," for he was niggardly about his wealth. With sub-
ordinates he was strict, exacting, and occasionally abusive. In this, too, he imi-
tated his father's behavior. This confirms his anti-Semitism as being not only a
rejection of his father, but also of elements of his own self, since he accused the
Jews of qualities that both he and his father possessed.
The patient was impotent in his marriage, but he attributed this to his wife's
lack of sex appeal and beauty, thus demonstrating his tendency to repress
awareness of his own weakness and to shift blame to others. He was openly
sadistic toward her. Throughout his marriage he had affairs with many women,
each lasting for only a short period because of his fear of becoming attached
to any one of them. With these women, whom he regarded as prostitutes, he
was sexually potent, and in his sexual relations there was always a considerable
display of sadism. Yet he never really enjoyed sexual intercourse, being con-
stantly fearful of discovery and the resulting loss of prestige.
The patient's main conffict is thus his unresolved Oedipal conflict, character-
ized by his open hatred for his father (the Jews), coupled with a tendency to
be like him. His anti-Semitism reinforces, and is reinforced by, the attempt to
deny parts of his own self and in so doing to project onto a group the essence
of his own weakness and immorality.
The second illustrative case, a Gentile (Case 29), is a client of a family
service agency, a white collar worker aged thirty. He is married and has one
stepdaughter. He originally approached the agency for financial assistance,
after having been discharged from the army as psychoneurotic. He manifested
a host of psychosomatic symptoms, such as aching joints, difficulty in breathing,
and a numb foot.
The client has repeatedly expressed hostility against Jews. He blames his low
wages in the small concern for which he works on the fact of Jewish owner-
ship. He has described his employers as being very "tight," and yet he con-
siders them clever and expresses admiration for their ability to make money, to
remain loyal to their families and helpful to their "race." But the Jews, he feels,
are out for what they can getand they get it. When they succeed in business
they move to better living quarters, buy fur coats for their wives, and patronize
the finest of restaurants. They stick by one another, and make good husbands
and fathers.
He knows a number of Jews, with whom he continually quarrels. This in-
cludes his stepdaughter's employer, some neighbors, and the doctors of a
hospital which he attends as an out-patient. The doctors, he complains, do not
really understand his ilnesshe calls them "refugees and quacks"and he
often temporarily interrupts his relationship with them by discontinuing his
hospital attendance. After a while, however, he resumes contact but gets into
quarrels once again.
He was born abroad. His parents died when he was an infant, so that he has
no memory of them, but is genuinely anxious to discover something about them
and their background. He was brought up by foster parents who immigrated
when the client was about twelve years old. His foster parents were supposed to
have been good friends of his real parents, but he is uncertain of the motives
which inspired them to adopt him. On the one hand, he thinks it was due to
their inability to have children of thefr own. He suggests that because they
were "cheated" out of having this experience they treated him so miserably.
On the other hand, he has a deep suspicion that he was an illegitimate child,
and that his foster father is actually his real father. (Here again we note the
confusion about origin and identity.) He never felt loved or wanted by his
foster parents.
He believed his foster father was sexually potent and indulged in numerous
extramarital affairs. The client suspects the same of his foster mother. He
always was, and is even now, deeply terrified of his foster mother. He fears see-
ing her again because he says he might kifi her. As a child he hated his
foster mother fiercely but repressed this hatred. She used to punish him se-
verely and when angry she would tell him: "You are no good, just like your
mother." On one occasion, after she had been nagging and chastizing him for
some time, he jumped at her and started choking her. It was only the inter-
vention of his foster father, he believes, that prevented him from killing her.
When he was fifteen the miserable treatment reached a climax. After a par-
ticularly difficult day with his foster mother he found himself unable to eat and
went off into a long crying spell. A doctor was consulted, and while the client
is not sure of the exact diagnosis, he believes that the doctor said something
of "an illness of the mind." About this time, finding himself no longer capable
of drawing and painting, he was forced to discontinue his high school studies
in art.
Later he obtained a job as an usher in a theater, and with hard work he was
able to rise to the position of assistant manager. A minor infraction of rules,
however, cost him his job. He had enjoyed his position as assistant manager
because, as he says, he liked being a boss and pushing people around, and for
much the same reason he later enjoyed being a sergeant in the army. It is both
interesting and significant that whenever something goes wrong he says like a
child, "I didn't do it, he did."
In general, he thinks that the only way to get anywhere in the world is to
know the right peoplethis is one of his favorite themes. In a recent election
he worked for a radical politician, not because of any particular political con-
viction but because he felt that by doing so he would be able to make the
"right contacts" and get somewhere.
Paradoxically enough, the client's ideology is conservative and anti-union. He
dislikes Negroes, believing that they are dirty and given to violence.
His anxiety is chronic and generalized; it is particularly evident in human
relations. He complains that people are talking about him when really he is
talking about them. He frets over the red tape involved in his being awarded
army compensation, feeling that he is being pushed around, that the army is
"against him," and that they now want to rob him of his rights. He considers
himself friendless and victimized by people whom he had considered his
friends. While he likes to brag about being chased by women, he is, in reality,
fearful of them. When his wife left him for a short period, taking most of
the household goods with her, he felt terribly hurt because, he explained, it
was so important for him to have a home. He is continuously frightened by his
instructors and superiors, whom he always accuses of not being sufficiently
understanding. He feels that he is not fulfilling his obligations as a husband and
father. His wife, ten years his senior, complains about his stinginess. Apparently,
he wants a wife to be a loving, affectionate mother-figure, as a contrast to his
foster mother. Fear of failure, insatiable desire for power and "success,"
conflict with superiors, a chronically unfulfilled longing for warmth and affec-
tion, are the driving factors in this man's life, and they are also the basis for
his deep envy of the Jews, whom he sees as possessing everything he himself


Thus far we have described the genesis of the confficts which predis-
pose a person to developing anti-Semitic attitudes. We wish now to
show how such persons try to deal with these conflicts, in attempts to
minimize their anxiety.
The syndrome of emotional predispositions and character tendencies
that we have described cannot of course be considered unique in the
anti-Semite. It exists in many persons and there is no reason to believe
that all who share such characteristics wifi necessarily manifest anti-
Semitic attitudes. But the fact still remains that where anti-Semitism is
demonstrated in the patient's cultural environment, individuals with this
specific syndrome will utilize this handy prejudice for their own irra-
tional purposes.
Such persons suffer, as has been revealed, from a sense of loneliness,
emptiness and privation. Their needs tend to be insatiable; they crave
intensely for that which they do not possess, and reject whatever is
within their grasp. Basically they reject themselves and envy others. To
find a semblance of balance in spite of their frustrations, they mobilize
against their anxiety and self-hate a variety of defense mechanisms. In
the interlocking pattern of these defenses, anti-Semitism seems to fulfill
a functionally well-defined role. It represents an effort to displace the
self-destroying trends in the personality. At the psychic level, anti-Semitic
hostility can be viewed as a profound though irrational and futile
defensive effort to restore a crippled self. At the social level, it can be
regarded as a device for achieving secondary emotional and material
The anti-Semite, unable to resolve or reconcile the conflicts of his
emotionally parasitic self, flees from his painful, insoluble dilemma into
a preoccupation with the outside world. He attempts to externalize his
inner conflicts. He does this in the hope of forestalling progressive de-
struction of valued parts of his ambiguous selfa vain hope, because
ultimately the anti-Semitism to which he turns in an attempt to find a
way out of his conflicts only intensifies and makes more obvious the frus-
trations from which he seeks escape. Such a defensive response results
inevitably in significant shifts in the equilibrium of unconscious forces.
In utilizing anti-Semitic hostility as an emotional defense, the anti-
Semite employs a series of psychological mechanisms. Some of these
defenses, such as projection, denial, substitution of aggression for anxiety,
and rationalization, are inevitably brought into play, while others, such
as avoidance, opposition, displacement, reaction formation, and compen-
sation, play an auxiliary role and do not necessarily constitute a part of
the anti-Semitic reaction.
In the discussion which follows, the mechanism of rationalization is
integrated with the treatment of the other defenses, since rationalization
is so frequently used to implement these other mechanisms.
1. PROJECTION. The mechanism of projection permeates the entire per-
sonality of the anti-Semite. From the psychoanalytic point of view, the
character pattern in such persons favors "acting out," seeking the relief of
emotional tension through impulsive expression, as an attempted solution
of inner conflict. This basic tendency to externalize inner conflict tends to
reinforce all those patterns of defense, in addition to projection, which
lend themselves to exploitation in this direction. There is extensive inter-
play between projection and the auxiliary defenses upon which the anti-
Semite relies. The need to attribute to other persons or groups qualities
and emotions belonging to the self arises when one cannot face in oneself
the conffict created by the existence of these very same qualities and
emotions. These accusations against the other person or group are then
reinforced by the process of rationalization, a psychic device which pro-
vides a plausible justification for an act arising from unconscious mo-
The original ritualistic model for the concept of projectionthe scape-
goatsharply dramatizes the relationship between inner conflict and
projection. At the height of pagan ritualistic ceremonies a goat, or some
other animal, was consigned the sins of those participating in the cere-
mony and driven off into the wilderness to perish, together with its

burden of evil. In one particular respect, however, projection as a de-

fense mechanism differs from this symbolic act. It excludes by definition
any clear awareness of the relationship between one's own conflict and
the qualities one attributes to other people. The anti-Semites here under
review use a great variety of rationalizations for their unconscious pro-
jections, the most common of which are the host of pseudo-rational
arguments about Jewish "national character" and the alleged position
of the Jews in society.
But notice that the concept of projection does not involve the element
of truth or falsity of the content of the projection. If a man who is ac-
cused of dirtiness is not in reality dirty, one may conclude with reason-
able confidence that the accusation serves, and is motivated by, the
psychological need of the accuser. He projects upon the accused his
own repressed attitude toward dirt. But even if, in a given instance, the
accused person is actually dirty, that fact does not exclude the possibility
that the accuser is nevertheless attributing to the accused a condition
which he himself possesses but denies, rather than passing an objective
judgment on that other person. It is, therefore, not the objective truth
or falsity of the accusation, but the psychological motivation of the ac-
cuser which defines the mechanism of projection. This means that the
actual qualities of the Jews as a group or as individuals are not relevant
to a discussion of the pro/ective nuture of anti-Semitism. Even if there
were a basis in fact for the accusations made against the Jews, such
accusations might, notwithstanding, constitute a projection on the part
of the accusers.
Generally speaking, however, the nature of the accusations against
Jews is such as to make obvious their projective character. The very
inconsistency of the accusations reveals the irrational character of the
projection. Not only will different people attribute different and mutually
contradictory characteristics to "the Jews" as a whole, but the very
accusations made against them by a single individual are often entirely
inconsistent. This is illustrated in the following examples:
One man (Case 2) accuses Jews of being a powerful, international cohesive
group, and at the same time petty, contemptible, and small-time crooks. An-
other man (Case 10) regards Jews simultaneously as being degraded robbers
and too ethical. A woman (Case 21) contends that the Jews are the incarnation
of vulgarity; simultaneously, however, they are the symbol of a God-figure.
Even such blatantly inconsistent accusations are rationalized by these
patients, at least to their own satisfaction. Anti-Semites appear corn-
pletely blind to the logical flaw in the statement that Jews are at one
and the same time tremendously powerful and petty crooks. Not only
does their irrational need for projection make them impervious to logical
reasoning, but they receive support for their warped ideas by a power-
ful forcethe culturally conditioned stereotype of the Jew.
The negative stereotype of the Jew, which has been developed in the
Christian era and passed on from one generation to the next, is highly
elaborated and highly inconsistent. Culturally the Jew is seen both as
"successful" and as "low class"; as "capitalist" and as "communist"; as
"clannish" and as "intruder into other people's society"; as "the per-
sonification of high moral and spiritual standards" and as given to "low,
primitive drives like greed and dirt"; as "oversexed" and as "impotent";
as "male" and as "female"; as "strong" and as "weak"; as "magically
omnipotent and omniscient, possessing uncanny demoniacal powers"
and as being "incredibly helpless, defenseless, and therefore readily at-
tacked and destroyed."
Whatever the original cause of this inconsistent cultural stereotype
it may well have been influenced by the complexities of Jewish history,
for throughout the centuries Jewish groups were forced to perform
different social roles in different cultural settings while adhering to
traditional and apparently strange customsit is this historic feature that
makes the Jews a particularly suitable projection screen for modem
man's conflicts. For the anti-Semite, the Jew is a living Rorschach ink-
blot. His alleged and sometimes actual qualities are so manifold and so
inconsistent, so ambiguous and indeterminate, that the anti-Semite sees
whatever he needs to see in the Jew.'4 The symbolism of other minority
groups, more consistent and narrower in scopefor example, the Negroes
or Mexicanscannot be psychologically exploited in quite the same
What do the patients project onto the Jews? The material contains
evidence for establishing two theoretically distinct types of projection.
First, there is the type of projection which selects for its content a few
specific qualities from the culturally offered variety of accusations. Sec-
ond, there is the type of projection which is less discriminating, in which
the anti-Semite dislikes the Jews because they are Jews, rather than
14 Adolf Hitler, in one of his notorious speeches, exploited the ambiguity of the
Jewish stereotype in a clever attempt to make the Jewish "inkblot" so all-embracing
that it could fit the needs of everyone in his audience. He spoke about two brothers,
one called Moische, the other Isidor: "Moische was a banker; Isidor a Commu-
because of this or that alleged quality. The former type may be dis-
tinguished by its higher degree of rationalization. But a more important
distinction is the contrast of basic motivation. The motivational source
for anti-Semitic hostility in general derives both from specific personality
disturbance and nonspecific group pressures. But the "selective" anti-
Semite appears to be motivated more by his individual emotional dis-
tortions; the "unselective" more by group pressures. It must be empha-
sized here that actual cases of anti-Semitism do not demonstrate one
or the other motivation, but rather a fusion in varying degrees of both
levels of motivation.
a. The "Selective" Ar&ti-Seinite. An outstanding example of projection
of specific qualities onto the Jews has already been quoted. One patient
(Case 11), as will be remembered, hated the Jews because they man-
aged to be both "good and happy," while his own personality conflict
represented an unsuccessful attempt to renounce the search for happi-
ness for the sake of "goodness." For him it would have made little psy-
chological sense to rationalize his anti-Semitism by accusing the Jews
of being either capitalists, communists, "low class," or exploiters. Neither
would it have made sense to hate the Negroes or the Catholics, because
the very combination of qualities that was meaningful to him as a pro-
jection target is not contained in the cultural stereotype of either of
these groups.
This case clearly illustrates the usual futility of a neurotic defense
pattern. Projection represents in one aspect an attempt to externalize a
conflict and thus escape from it. What this man achieved was a pro-
jection onto the Jews of paradoxical qualities which functioned as a
constant irritation, an incessant reminder of what was wrong in himself.
The same failure of the defense goal of projection is demonstrated in
a number of other cases, as for example, in that of the woman patient
(Case 3) who accused the Jews of being shams and fakers, capable of
attaining grand positions by unfair means. She herself was engaged in a
highly successful business career. Analysis revealed that this woman con-
tinuously accused herself of having achieved her business success with-
out any real merit, of being a "faker" who "bluffed" her way into a
position of prestige.
The dramatic irrationality of these projections becomes especially clear
when the alleged characteristics, as applied to a Jew, are disparaging,
but as applied to a Gentile are a measure of achievement in this culture.
This is illustrated by a man (Case 6) who accused the Jews of being
successful, sexually potent, and cleverqualities ordinarily admired in
this culture. The personality confficts of this young man can almost be
deduced from these accusations without further information. Analysis,
however, provided the information needed to bear out such speculation.
This man was a failure in his work and a failure with women; he feared
sexual impotence, and he considered himself incapable of competing
with his father.
Similar examples can be found with ease. Perhaps it is not superfluous
here to add that in no case were the patients conscious of the link be-
tween their own conflicts and the content of their anti-Semitic accusa-
tion, however obvious the link may appear in the examples given. At the
beginning of analysis, all these persons were convinced that their anti-
Semitism, if they were aware of it at all, was justified by objective ob-
b. The "Unselective" Anti-Semite. "Unselective" anti-Semitism is ex-
pressed either in name-calling alone"dirty Jew" or "kike" are typical
examplesor in an almost unlimited number of accusations. In these
cases, projection is used to externalize diffuse hostility.
A sixteen year old Irish boy (Case 33) is a client of a social-service agency.
His anti-Semitism was revealed in a conversation with his psychiatric social
worker, in the course of which he asked about her religion. When she told him
that she was Jewish, he was taken aback. Until that time he had had a fairly good
relationship with her. He then stated that the Jews really "are not bad," and
wondered why they call themselves Jews. To him, calling a person a Jew was
tantamount to an insult. When the worker inquired about the basis for his
objections to Jews, he found it difficult to express himself. After a pause, the
thought occurred to him that they are smart, conniving, and get the best of
things because they are so smart.
This boy had had virtually no contact with Jews. As an active member of a
neighborhood gang, he had apparently accepted uncritically the anti-Semitism
of his cultural subgroup. He had given the matter so little thought that he
actually considered the word "Jew" to be merely a bad word, without specffic
meaning, which no one in his right mind would apply to himself.
Reference to his life history reveals that he was beset by deep anxieties. Al-
though his confficts became manifest through behavior disorders in school,
they actually centered around his ambivalent and severely disturbed relation-
ship to his mother, which aroused deep hostility towardand rejection of
himself. When his gang offered anti-Semitism as an acceptable and well-estab-
lished outlet for his need to project his self-hatred, he accepted it whole-
Presumably, this boy's self-rejection could have been equally well
projected onto Negroes or any other underprivileged group. This Un-
selective form of projection, employed as a defense against anxiety and
self-hatred, is as futile and insatiable as selective projection. No gang
fight against Jewish boys, no amount of name-calling, wifi succeed in
achieving more than a momentary relief from inner tension.
In one man (Case 5) the unselective form of projection is manifested through
his accusing the Jews of virtually everything. This patient is a complete misfit
being an alcoholic, an overt homosexual, and incapable of earning his own
living. In order to support his urge for compensatory self-aggrandizement, he
projects his profound self-rejection onto the "lower" people. He finds little to
choose between Jews and Negroes. He firmly believes that mankind has been
permanently arranged in an unalterable hierarchy, and that Jews and Negroes,
uiilike himself, are at the bottom.
As is to be expected, cases of unselective projection of "badness" onto
an outside group express very clearly the pretense of conformity and its
correlate, the rejection of the "different."
An adolescent girl (Case 34) unwittingly became friendly with a Jewish girl.
When she discovered that her friend was Jewish, she could not get over her
surprise. "But she is exactly like all the other girls!" Her anti-Semitism, moti-
vated by her wish to conform, had consisted in regarding all Jews as "different"
simply by definition.

This is not the place to discuss the weight and sequence of the his-
torical events that have resulted in an image of the Jew so multicolored
that it makes him eminently suitable as a universal projection screen
for the personal conflicts of modern man. Earlier religious connotations
of what the Jew stands forthe "Christ killer," the forces symbolized
in the devil, the ritual murderer, and yet God's "chosen people"have
changed in name in accordance with the secularization of our culture,
but not in substance. Today, often devoid of religious connotations, the
Jew nevertheless remains the symbol of what man fears: his own weak-
ness, his own dark impulses, and his own conscience.
2. DENIAL. A neurotic defense against anxiety constitutes vicious
a cycle.
Projection, as has been shown, never fully achieves its aim of relieving
guilt and anxiety. Hence other auxiliary defense mechanisms are mobi-
lized. Their application, similarly unsuccessful, produces effects which
make further support necessary, thus reinforcing once again the need
for projection. This interplay of defense mechanisms is particularly
marked between projection on the one hand and denial on the other.
The term denial is here reserved for attempts to rid the self of those of
its constituent parts which are unwanted. Such attempts may be character-
ized by any degree of consciousness or lack of it. When unconscious
denial (repression) fails, the manifestations of this failure penetrate into
consciousness. When this happens, the person must expend con-
scious effort in disowning the unwelcome qualities (suppression). The
differential levels of consciousness at which the process of self-negation
takes place have important secondary effects in the whole defense
In a previously discussed case (Case 11) the sexual and emotional
components of the self were denied. Impotence and anxiety were the
conscious manifestations of this unsuccessful attempt to rid the self of
unwanted parts. The patient then had recourse to the mechanism of
conscious denial, as a means of dealing with his anxiety. He denied
being concerned with his symptoms and pretended to seek a cure only
out of consideration for his wife. His simultaneous effort to escape his
conflict by projecting the "bad" qualities onto the Jews failed. On the
contrary, the Jews represented a hated reminder of his own conffict. In
such cases, recourse to the mechanism of denial must always be in-
creased to compensate for this failing result of pro/ection. In this vicious
cycle the inevitable damage to the integrity of the selfin this case,
impotencebecomes progressively greater. The means chosen for lessen-
ing anxiety ultimately creates more anxiety.15
Anti-Semitism appears to serve the purpose of fortifying every step
in the defense pattern. A denial sounds more convincing when it is sub-
stantiated by the rejection of an external group which is alleged to have
those qualities which the anti-Semite wishes to renounce or deny in
himself. The patient (Case 11), who accuses the Jews of being emo-
tional, hopes to divert suspicion from the fact that he himself yearns for
the freedom to express his own emotions. He is like the thief pointing
his finger at an innocent bystander and shouting "Stop thief!"
The link between these defenses against anxiety and anti-Semitism can
be demonstrated even more convincingly. In many cases, there is evi-
dence of an identification with the qualities of the Jewish group even
before or at the very moment the urge to deny them arises. One man,
for example, once witnessed a scene in which a Jewish man was threat-
ened with a beating. At that moment, he felt as if he were himself
15This description of interaction between several mechanisms is not meant to
imply a temporal sequence. Projection, on the one hand, and denial, on the other,
have their own causes. Their manifestations reveal different trends in the personality.
Unconscious denial is one instance of the general process of repression.

Jewish. But the identification with the victimfor which there were
good reasons in his psychological historywas too painful for him to
endure. Thus, he shifted to an identification with the aggressor. From
that incident stems the violent anti-Semitism that he later displayed.
Basically, he felt as weak and helpless as the Jewish victim. For fear of
being a victim, he attempted to deny his weakness. This denial, he
hoped, would be convincing if he stood on the side of the aggressor.
Nobody would dare to accuse him of being as weak as a Jewwhich is
actually the way he saw himselfif he joined the ranks of anti-Semites.
Often the motivation for denial reflects a wish to conform. This im-
plies a passive submissiveness to externally imposed rules in order to
win acceptance. Having submissively denied parts of their own individ-
uality, such persons feel deep resentment against anyone who does not
do likewise. They demand that other persons should conform to the
same restrictions. The demand for conformity of others is thus a result
of partial self-denial.
From this point of view, the fanaticism with which some anti-Semites
try to convert others to their point of view becomes understandable.
They are afflicted with the compulsion to convert lest they themselves be
converted; that is, admit to themselves their submissive position, their
passivity which entails danger, their fundamental identification with the
Jew. For such conversion would expose their weakness, leaving them
defenseless and open to attack.
8. Sociu AGGRESSION SuBsTITu'rso FOR ANxIE'rY. The anxiety which sets
off the whole chain of interdependent mechanisms of self-defense con-
tinues unabated. It derives from an inner feeling of weakness in dealing
with the dangers of the outer world. As has been shown, the patients'
insight into the actual basis for this anxiety is negligible. Although they
do not admit their fears, they nevertheless organize themselves instantly
and continually to attack the imaginary, externalized dangers. Their
anxiety drives them into aggression. Aggression represents an effort to
shift from a passive to an active position. For at least that limited time,
during which they try to intimidate others, they may escape the need
to face their own anxiety.
We have already discussed a social-service agency client (Case 29),
who suffered from a pervasive anxiety, a deep feeling of unworthiness
and unlovableness. Wherever he was, he felt unwanted. Even where he
was qualified, he feared competition. Jews he regarded as being "out for
whatever they can get; economically successful, clever; they stick to
one another, are good husbands and fathers": in short, they possessed
exactly those attributes he longed to have himself. His anxiety was
sharply heightened by seeing others who seemed to possess what he
lacked. Hence he resorted to attacks against Jews. Some of his neighbors
were Jewish; so were his wife's employer and the medical staff at the
hospital where he went for treatment. At every occasion of contact he
would get into quarrels with these Jews. He called the doctors "refugee
quacks"; whenever in the presence of Jews, he seemed driven to assert
himself through attack and argument.
Another social-agency client (Case 30) suffered from a deep conffict
about her own identity. During her life she had risen from her origin
in a semi-criminal milieu in a slum area to an executive position in
business. Her first attempt to deal with her problems expressed itself
in excessive drinking; here her aggression was turned inward against
herself. During a period of hospitalization for alcoholism, the addiction
was cured, but her deep unresolved conflict and anxiety persisted. After
she left the hospital, she became overtly anti-Semitic. Now her aggression
had turned outward. She resorted to social aggression in an attempt to
relieve her anxiety. The Jews were "exploiters"; the Jews "wanted to
humiliate her."
The manner in which such persons handle their aggression is con-
sistent with their overall weakness. Only in psychopathic personalities
or borderline psychoses (in this culture) is there a complete lack of
restraint in implementing anti-Semitic aggression. Otherwise, there exists
a pattern of control which is, nevertheless, incomplete and erratic. Thus
one finds in most cases a labile pattern, in which social aggression alter-
nates with overt anxiety manifestations and a tendency to retreat.
AvoBMNcE OF CONTACT. The former client (Case 29), for example,
illustrates the interdependence of social aggression with secondary de-
fense reactions. After suffering a competitive defeat, he would cease all
contact with Jews, thus resorting to the mechanism of avoidance (with-
drawal) 16 Soon, however, the mounting pressure of anxiety would com-
pel him once again to seek an action outlet, so that after a while he
would set aside his trend toward avoidance and return to open attack.
It appears that such persons, with their "parasitic ego," waver in their
orientation to reality between two confficting trends, either to attack the
16 The term avoidance is used here as psychodynamically synonymous with the
mechanism of emotional withdrawal.

Jews, or avoid contact with them. Like straws in the wind, these anti-
Semites are tossed about because of their inabffity to make a clear-cut
distinction between their own selves and the surrounding world. This
puts them at the mercy of inconsistencies which stamp their culture,
inconsistencies which are ultimately reflected in their own behavior.
Lacking well-established internalized standards, they are likely to affiliate
themselves with groups which give them pseudo-strength by providing
outlets for their hostilities. Consequently, they feel attracted to avail-
able anti-Semitic organizations, but in spite of their need for such hostil-
ity-determined group membership, their insecure dependent nature is
also influenced by the broader, more idealistic American culture pattern
which condemns aggression against minority groups. Whether they in-
dulge in open attacks upon the Jews, or whether they resort to avoidance,
is a matter which depends upon circumstances rather than on their per-
sonal values. Since both sets of reaction to Jews seem to offer the im-
mediate advantage of protection from exposure to potentially dangerous
situations, situations in which their weakness might be revealed, both
types of defense are alternatively exploited for concealment of their es-
sential isolation.
In one instance the tendency toward avoidance was displayed prom-
inently. This patient (Case 10) reduced contact with others to a mini-
mum, for he despised not only himself but all symbols of contemporary
life as well, and, consequently, retreated into an idealization of a pre-
vious era. His tendency to withdraw, however, was masked by a super-
ficial manifestation of interest in a variety of subjects.
No such camouflage was utilized by the highly successful broker
(Case 11), who had one consuming wish: to withdrawhe intended to
retire as soon as possiblefrom relationships with all people. Many
other patients shun personal contacts with Jews in every conceivable
way. One such patient (Case 2) gave vent to his violent anti-Semitic
feelings only during analysis, because he dreaded the vengeance of the
OPPosrrxoN. The tendency to withdraw is closely associated with the
tendency to oppose. These people are not only against the Jewthey are
against themselves and everyone else. This reliance on attitudes both
of avoidance and opposition serves to strengthen the primary defense
pattern of substituting aggression for anxiety. The relief of tension, how-
ever, is less satisfactory where avoidance or opposition are employed.
Overt social aggression will therefore tend to appear whenever the cul-
ture permits it without painful consequences, particularly if it is dis-
placed from its original target. The opportunistic vacillation between
aggression and avoidance in the expression of anti-Semitism was ex-
plained by a number of patients as "good manners." They unloosed their
social aggression when Jews were not present but otherwise avoided the
subject. The application of their "good manners" was undoubtedly fa-
cilitated by the desire to avoid the possible unpleasant consequences of
overt aggression.
4. DISPLACEMENT. A clear example of the defense mechanism of dis-
placement is provided by the only colored person among our cases
(Case 28). This woman, born in the deep South, was filled with animos-
ity against the white culture, and when she approached the social-service
agency for financial help, she anticipated even more humiliation than
that which she had already endured. But to admit her hostility against
all whites was realistically too dangerous, particularly since she was
being advised by a white psychiatric social worker. She, therefore, dis-
placed her hostility onto the Jews.
When the agency did not provide her immediately with all the funds
she needed, she snapped back: "Things would be different, I'm sure, if
my baby were Jewish. The Jews get everything." Her resentment of the
agency's probing into the details of her personal history was also dis-
placed onto the Jews; she expressed her conviction that a Gentile in-
vestigator would never have asked as many questions as the Jewish
social worker did. All Jews in New York, she said, were "nosey, bad,
mean and sly," and the fact that she had received a baby carriage from
a Jewish woman did not alter her views. This is understandable in view
of the function of such a displacement.
5. REACTION FORMATION AN]) COMPENSATION. Depending on the stand-
ards of the group by which these patients want to be accepted, social
aggression as well as avoidance may sometimes turn out to be inoppor-
tune. They may be asked to attend a party or to work in a situation
where Jews have positions of prestige. As an alternative to avoidance
or aggression, they may then resort to a reaction formation which, accord-
ing to circumstances, may become more or less a permanent pattern in
their attitude towards Jews. A reaction formation is a tendency to express
overtly the exact opposite of the original attitude. Like all other defense
mechanisms, it gives itself away by its lack of completeness or by irra-
tional exaggerations.
One patient (Case 18) was a militant champion of the Jews, except when
under the influence of drink or in analysis, and then he found himself, to his
own consternation, using terms like "dirty Jew" and "kike." This man had suf-
fered a crippling accident in his early childhood. In spite of good surface ad-
justment, he had never been able to accept his crippled state. On the basis of
his own handicap he identified with the weak underdog, the Jew; but basically
he rejected both the Jew and himself. In order to escape the self-rejection
inherent in his anti-Semitism, he resorted to reaction formation and became a
militant champion of the Jews.
While this case reveals the nature of a reaction formation, it is almost
unique in our material because of the near success of the defense pattern.
In most other cases the futility of the effort is much more obvious because
of its limitation to specific occasions. By way of denying their hostility,
these patients frequently display outwardly submissive and ingratiating
behavior, and, in fact, may even be submissive and ingratiating toward
Jews if their social security is thereby enhanced.
One patient, who had expressed anti-Negro feelings as violently as anti-
Jewish feelings, referred, during his analytic treatment, to the pianist Hazel
Scott as "Hazel," although he had never met her. This was definitely done
not in a contemptuous but in an urbane way. He wished to impress the
analyst with his "broadmindedness." However, such "tolerance" was apparent
only where persons of prestige were concerned, a prestige he hoped to share
vicariously by pretended familiarity.
The alternation of defense mechanisms is clearly shown by the man (Case 2)
who had once felt identified with a Jewish victim. At two different places of
work, this man had had Jewish superiors and in both cases he started the re-
lationship with excessive submission and ingratiation. When this did not result
in "reward"money, social prestige, or lovehis anti-Semitism broke through
with renewed violence and fresh rationalizations.
As is to be expected in cases of such quickly shifting patterns, the wish
to remain in good favor with a particular Jew in no way interfered with
the general tendency to castigate Jews as a group.
Closely linked with reaction formation is the compensatory mechanism.
The link between the two consists in the identity of their immediate goals:
the achievement of power, status, money, social advantages, and privi-
leges of all sorts. A compensatory mechanism is the attempt to achieve
in special spheres gratifications which outweigh the frustrations of in-
herent deficiencies. Since this is a neurotic defense mechanism, its goal
is never achieved. The shallow pseudo-quality of the compensations
these patients seek to achieve is related to the relative emptiness of their
essential selves.
A truly successful defense would be expected to lead to genuine sub-
limation, a result which (perhaps with exception of Case 18) never
appeared within our material.
Perhaps one expression of these compensatory drives is the economic
success of most of these patients, testifying to their quasi-strength, self-
sufficiency, maturity, and superiority. Frequent in our evidence are com-
pensations in the direction of external appearance and class snobbery.
The patients pay exaggerated attention to clothing; the women long for
glamour, hoping to belong to the "best society" and trying to excel others
in conspicuous consumption. Here again they overtly assert complete
agreement with dominant cultural trends. Whether they achieve their
goal in reality, or have to restrict themselves to vicarious experiences and
reflected glory by attempts to associate with those who are successful,
is not too important. In one way or another their striving for success is
based on an attempt to get away from their essential selves.
6. INmojEcrioN. What compensatory mechanisms aim to achieve in the
sphere of social status, introjection attempts on the psychic level. Intro-
jection, the reverse of projection, is an attempt to take into oneself what
appears to be desirable in other persons. To whatever extent introjection
is incomplete these patients pretend to possess the desired qualities. In
this manner, partly by introjection, but perhaps mainly by imitation, they
build up a borrowed identity. The tendency to self-aggrandizement,
of which numerous examples have already been quoted, is based on
such mechanisms. The identity which these people want to borrow is
generally that of a popular, well-liked superior person who seems accept-
able to any group. Imitation and introjection, therefore, are most notice-
able where these patients strive to affiliate with dominant groups.
The weaker the capacity for real human ties, the weaker the individual
identity, the more intense is the effort to achieve compensatory group
identity. Because of their basically weak power of identification, this
effort to belong is uneasy, unstable, and continuously fraught with the
threat of failure. Often there is simply a pretense at belonging, a pseudo-
identification mediated on an "as if" level. Such patients over-strongly
protest their membership in the "social elite" or their acceptance by
dominant groups.
The mechanism of building up a borrowed identity is particularly
noticeable in those anti-Semites whose attitudes appear to be the result
of conformity to group pressures. If anti-Semitic remarks in the country-
club atmosphere help to make a person part of the social clique, they
obviously provide an easy ticket-of-admission for the individual whose
main desire is for acceptance.
In a pathetic and futile attempt at genuine acceptance by other human
beings, these persons are often driven into a slavish imitation of habits
and ideologies manifested by those who represent cohesive power in
their community. Much of the anti-Semitism in Jewish patients and clients
results from an attempt to introject Gentile qualities. One Jewish patient,
in spite of the occasional humiliation to which he was exposed, lived in
an area where Jews were restricted. Another Jewish woman made desper-
ate efforts to be on good terms with members of the French and British
aristocracy. A Jewish boy who had first been a member of the Com-
munist party, and was later expelled and joined the Trotskyite movement,
regarded Jews as the despised petit bourgeois par excellence. A Jewish
adolescent joined an Italian gang and completely adopted their attitude
that Jewish boys were not as tough, and Jewish girls were not as sexually
desirable, as Italians.17
For the non-Jew who seeks to establish a borrowed identity by affilia-
tion with dominant groups, the imitation of anti-Semitic tendencies, if
prevalent in the particular group, offers a highly suitable outlet for
compensatory aggression. To such persons all symbols of position, power,
and prestige_accepted, as they are, as attributes of the members of the
"elite"become eminently important. The pseudo-identification with
dominant groups helps them in their attempt to deny anxiety and basic
feelings of unworthiness. After all, they cannot be so bad if they think and
act like the successful people around them. Thus, there is in this pseudo-
identification with dominant groups also a denial of their own disad-
vantageous position. It is this need for the denial of the anti-Semite's
lack of privilege and his desire to introject the symbols of superiority and
power which is so frequently exploited by political demagogues.18 By
dividing the world simply into Jews and Jew-haters they pretend to erase
all social and economic inequalities within the monolithic anti-Semitic
group. In this manner all non-Jews have the promise, if not the realization,
17 James Farrell described a similar situation in Stud.s Lonigan. There a Jewish
boy becomes a member of a Catholic gang which beats up Jewish boys.
Lowenthai and Gutterman: The Prophets of Deceit, Vol. 5 in this series.
of being members of the ruling set. The anti-Semitic rabble-rouser is not
satisfied with hurling specific accusations against the Jews. He wishes to
create a caste concept implying that contact between the two groups, and
transition from one to the other, is taboo. The need of his audience to
belong to an unequivocal "elite" group plays into his hands.

Two cases will be presented as illustrations of the relationship of anti-

Semitism to defense mechanisms:
Case 4: The patient is a professional woman in her middle thirties. She
consulted the analyst because she was unhappy about being unmarried, and
because of generally unsatisfactory relations with men. She also complained
about her difficulties in keeping a position, although she never had any trouble
in getting a job.
The patient was prejudiced against Jews, Negroes, and all people in the
lower economic stratum. She feared being attacked and hiving her handbag
stolen by workers and poor people when going home late. She regarded every
stranger as dangerous. She also had a deep-seated hostility to men, for they
"have the best of things." She accused the Jews of being low and inferior per-
sons, of being aggressive with bad, loud manners"they push in the subway."
The Jews are also shrewd and exploit others whenever they can, so that one
has to be particularly careful in business dealings with them.
The patient stated that she would rather stay unmarried than marry a Jew.
In non-Jewish company she indulged in anti-Semitic comments and jokes,
refraining from this in mixed company because to hurt another person's feel-
ings would indicate bad manners. Since she was prepared to make exceptions
for individual Jews, she considered herself unprejudiced. Her attitude towards
Jews, or for that matter towards any of the other groups against whom she
felt hostile, appeared to her to be quite rational and did not in any way con-
sciously bother her, when she began her psychoanalytic treatment.
The patient's sexual drives, diverted from their natural aims, were spent in
punitive measures against lovers whom she would seduce only in order to be
able to refuse herself at the last moment. She consciously enjoyed such situa-
tions. Otherwise she was very conventional in her standards and highly respect-
ful of authority. She over-identified in her work with her superiors and became
involved in their problems to an extent that impeded the efficiency of her own
The patient was a Protestant, but her religious affiliation was purely formal
and social. She led a superficial social life, not participating in any group
activities. Although she was a member of her professional organization, her
interest in her profession ended at the close of each working day. She had no
interest in politics, but voted Republican regularly. While she was extremely
neat and orderly in housekeeping and in the way she dressed, she was not so
in her work.
Analysis revealed that the patient's main conffict centered around a
deep feeling of inadequacy which was linked to her rejection of being
a woman.
This case reveals many of the character trends outlined in the previous
chapter: the diffuse anxiety, not tied to specific symptoms; the fear and
anticipation of injury; the confusion of her self-image, most obvious in
the confusion concerning her sexual role; the tendency to self-aggrandize-
ment manifested in her arrogance towards the economically under-
privileged; her isolation and incapacity to achieve real human contacts,
either on a person-to-person or on a group level; her lack of interest
and lack of relationship to the external world; her fundamental weakness
in dealing with reality; and the deep rebellion hidden beneath her at-
tempts at external conformity.
The task confronting us now is to show how this patient, in dealing
with her anxieties, utilizes anti-Semitism in the elaboration of her emo-
tional defenses. This woman attributes to Jews and others what she hates
in herselfnamely, the inferiority she considers identical with not being
a man. Thus, the chief mechanism she employs is the projection of her
destructive self-hatred, specifically, hatred of her femininity. Linked to
this attempt at denial of her femininity is the unconscious identification
of Jewishness with femininity and weakness. If she openly hates the low
and inferior, she cannot be as bad as they. Anti-Semitism thus not only
helps her deny her weakness but, by way of compensation, it also helps
restore her self-esteem. The attempt to renounce her femaleness is most
obvious in her sexual relations. In other human contacts she resorts to
exaggerated conformity with dominant groups and dominant mores. Her
attempts to identify with those in authority give her a vicarious experience
of strength, of masculinity, and make her accept uncritically any group-
prejudice voiced by those whom she wishes to emulate. This permits her
to be consciously free of conflict or guilt feeling with respect to her
In this context, it is interesting to note that after some time in analysis,
and before any fundamental change in her prejudicial attitudes had
taken place, she identified so much with the authority of the law that she
protested against the discriminatory practices of the company she was
working for. She was quite frank about her motivation: while sympathiz-
ing with the feelings that prompted discrimination, she could not pos-
sibly conceive of any extralegal action. Her basic passivity and submis-
siveness on the one hand, and her identification with masculine authority
on the other, induced her to respect unquestioningly whatever "the law
Case 18: The patient was a man in his early thirties, Protestant, and engaged
in a successful career. He had a slight iimp as the result of an accident that
occurred when he was four years old. He came to analysis because of a sexual
conflict between himself and his wife, complaining that he could not achieve
genuine sexual satisfaction. He also complained of a general feeling of failure
to fulfill himself.
He was a militant champion of the Jews and an active liberal, having fought
for the "underdog" all through his life. However, when intensely aroused emo-
tionally he manifested a deep underlying hostility to the Jews which shocked
him deeply and which, at the beginning of his analysis, was entirely incom-
prehensible to him. In an argument when slightly drunk, he found himself
calling a man a "dirty Jew." During the negative transference period in treat-
ment he also called his psychoanalyst a "dirty Jew" who allegedly took advan-
tage of him. He thought that his underlying anti-Semitism arose only when
seriously provoked by someone he disliked, especially by a Jew who he thought
concealed his Jewishness.
The patient had many Jewish friends. In his early youth when he was con-
fined to a wheel chair and had been somewhat neglected by his own family,
he had enjoyed the friendship of a Jewish family who had cheered him in his
loneliness. His own parents, especially his mother, were somewhat anti-Semitic.
Although the patient had a variety of outside interests and good human rela-
tionships with individuals and groups, he nevertheless suffered from a feeling
of detachment. In his fantasy, a complete union with a woman was identical
with death.
Analysis revealed as his central personality conflict an inner confusion
about his own personal identity, and about his adequacy as a man. From
early childhood on, this conflict had centered around his obvious physical
handicap, which had excluded him from the usual boyhood games. But
the accident was exploited emotionally as a rationalization for a deeper
castration anxiety, manifested in considerable guilt about masturbation
and in his fear of being discovered by his father.
In this case, although the character traits are less obvious than in the
previous one, there is much general vague anxiety, and a deep rift in the
self-image, together with a feeling of ultimate loneliness. Nevertheless
the adjustment to reality in many spheres is satisfactory. The motivation
for this patient's anti-Semitism stems from the identification of his own
crippled state with Jewish qualities. Despite an outward appearance of
adjustment to his handicap, he deeply rejects it and, therefore, also rejects
19 This attitude to the law has interesting implications for organized efforts to
combat discrimination.
the Jews with whom the physically injured state equates him. The patient's
unstable sense of personal identity creates a similarly unstable pattern
in his attitude to Jews, whom he occasionally rejects while simultane-
ously identifying with them in a positive manner. The main mechanism
in this case is projection onto the Jews of his own handicap and identifica-
tion with the underdog, a defensive attempt to deny and conceal his
rejection of himself as a defective, injured person.
Anxiety about the self is turned into social anxiety and is replaced by
an aggression characterized by missionary zeal. There are signs of hos-
tility present in his effort to force people to accept his surface attitude
towa:rd Jews, which means accepting him at his lowest. Championing
Jews thus stands for an effort to feel superior and to deny his own
crippled state.


From the outset it has been maintained that anti-Semitism must be
understood as both a social and as a psychological phenomenon. Every
attempt to seek its determinants at one level while neglecting the other
must fall short of a sufficient explanation. All forms of interpersonal
behaviorincluding anti-Semitismare the result of a continuous inter-
action between intrapsychic needs and social factors (excepting only
those components of behavior that are clearly produced by an organic
disturbance of the brain).
So far our discussion has emphasized intrapsychic factors. Emotional
predispositions to anti-Semitism and their development have been offered
as necessary, but not sufficient, determinants of anti-Semitism. The mo-
bilization of defense mechanisms has been described as the direct outcome
of these predispositions.
The focus must now be shifted to the external determinants of anti-
Semitism. We shall attempt to describe what Heinz Hartmann2 has called
"social compliance"those factors in the social structure that make it
convenient and easy to express personality disturbances through anti-
Two main questions arise: First, which factors in our society foster the
development of the emotional predispositions which are essential for the
organization of hostility in intergroup relatonships? Discussion of this
20Har Heinz: "Psychoanalysis and sociology," in Lorand, S., (ed.), Psycho-
analysis Today, New York, International Universities Press, 1944, p. 326.
point must be reserved for the last section of this report, since it tran-
scends the issue of anti-Semitism.
More appropriate here is the second question: How, and to what extent,
do social factors in our society shape anti-Semitic reactions?
tion we discussed the intrapsychic determinants of the content of anti-
Semitic accusations. A distinction was drawn between the level of re-
action in which persons are driven to externalize a specific unconscious
conffict, and the level of reaction in which they are driven to externalize
merely their-diffuse hostility. In most anti-Semites, both levels of reaction
can be discerned, but in varying proportion. We have characterized
these as the "selective" and "unselective" forms of anti-Semitic projection.
It is the unselective level of reaction which is characterized by an even
stronger intrapsychic need for conformity to group pressures than that
which externalizes specific individual conificts. This distinction arises
from a differential use of defense mechanisms. But social determinants,
more or less visible, operate equally on both types.
The Jew as a culturally provided projection screen (the Jewish "ink-
blot") generally has a negative quality. The power of this negative feel-
ing-tonea culturally derived productbecomes most impressive when
one examines those accusations which in other contexts would have
positive values. Consider some of the accusations brought out in out
material: the Jews are successful, powerful, superior, energetic, clever,
intelligent, capable, industrious, persistent, bright, ethical, good family
men, loyal to their people, seek the best in life, are sexually potent.21 Part
of the negative emotional tone attached to these "good" qualities is pro-
vided by the intrapsychic need of the anti-Semite to attack a "goodness"
which he cannot equal. In this particular sense, the Jew personffies the
anti-Semite's conscience. His attitude toward these alleged qualities of
the Jew is ambivalent. On the one hand, he admires and envies these
qualities; on the other hand, he ambivalently rejects them.
The cultural emphasis on these qualities has the effect of marking off
the Jewish group as "different." We have already demonstrated what
21Robe K. Merton, in a study, The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy, enumerates a brief
inventory of Abraham Lincoln's virtues as presented by some of his biographers:
". . . this selective list reminds us that he was thrifty, hard-working, eager for
knowledge, ambitious, devoted to the rights of the average man and eminently suc-
cessful in climbing the ladder of opportunity from the lowermost rung of laborer to
the respectable heights of merchant and lawyer." Merton points out that these very
same qualities which are used in eulogies of Lincoln are used as justification for
the dislike of Jews.
such "difference" implies for weak and immature personalities. Thus the
first, and perhaps most important, cultural contribution to the existence
of anti-Semitism is the perpetuation of a stereotyped image of the Jew.
It is as if the anti-Semite were placing a curse on the Jew that transforms
even the "good" qualities into a basis for condemnation.
The dichotomy between ingroup and outgroup is inherent in the
process of group formation. Nevertheless, while some groups provide
positive content for their organization, in terms of a specific group pur-
pose, others are satisfied merely with the distinction between "we" and
"they," a distinction which they tacitly equate with superiority and
inferiority. Whether or not a concrete group purpose is defined, the "we"
and "they" dichotomy usually represents a powerful emotional incentive
for individual group members. It is to be expected that when anti-
Semitism is expressed in groups whose main reason for existence is the
strengthening of the ingroupoutgroup distinction, prejudice will tend
to be expressed through unselective projection. In this connection, it will
be recalled that a boy of sixteen saw Jews so consistently as "they" that he
could not understand why anyone would voluntarily call himself a Jew.
Another illustration can be found in the adolescent Jewish girl (Case
38) who denied her religion to her gang. She was quite ready to give her
reasons. First, she said, everybody knows that Jewish girls are looked
down upon by others. And secondly, she had repeatedly heard members
of her gang say: "There is a Jewish boylet's beat him up."
In groups with a more objectively defined purpose, the conformity
pressure frequently operates on a less obvious level. An indication of this
pressure is apparent in the selection of stereotypes which are in keeping
with broad cultural trends. The fact that stereotypes with religious conno-
tation hardly occur in the case material, while there is considerable em-
phasis on ambition and socioeconomic status, illustrates the point. Re-
gardless of their own position, patients belonging to the upper income
stratum of the population tend to see the Jew either as a social climber
endangering their position in a competitive world, or as a member of a
low class with inferior status, since they themselves are driven by con-
tinuous pressure to assert their economic superiority.
Those who belong to lower income stratamainly the social-agency
casessee the Jew as successful, as an exploiter, as socially and eco-
nomically superior, thus manifesting the social pressure that makes them
strive to obtain a higher status.
The multiform, richly variegated, and self-contradictory stereotype of
the "Jew" is itself a social, and cultural productin a sense, a collective
projection. But the specific components of the stereotype which will pre-
dominate in a given culture are selected and determined by social pres-
sure and the social relations between groups, which together constitute
the social tensions of a culture.
pressures are, to a large extent, responsible for shaping the manifestations
of anti-Semitic attitudes. The psychodynamic basis for such submission
to cultural norms and codes has already been discussed: the parasitic self
of these patients induces them to live as though their immediate sur-
roundings were part of their selves or they a part of their surroundings.
In the choice of their defense mechanisms, their dependence on the
external world induces them to shift continually between aggression
and avoidance. The question to be considered here is, then: What social
determinants are responsible for sanctioning or encouraging specific anti-
Semitic manifestations?
In order to answer this question, the manifestations of anti-Semitism
as they occur in the material must first be described. Most of the cases
express anti-Semitism only verbally, and even then often in narrowly
confined situations. Only psychopathic personalities and borderline psy-
chotic persons (e.g., Case 5) fail to place sufficient restraint on these
manifestations. In the instance of the above patient the severity of his
psychiatric illness and symptoms of homosexuality and alcoholism make
him so much of an outcast that group pressures are of little importance
to him as a restraining factor.
Most of the others do not act out their anti-Semitism. They merely talk,
but they do so with unabated intensity of feeling. There is the example
of the patient who subscribed whole-heartedly to Hitler's treatment of
Jews, though he was so frightened of possible Jewish vengeance that he
did not even dare to agree with anti-Semitic remarks made in his presence,
except in the privacy of the analytic situation. From a study of those cases
where such intensity of feeling occurs, it would appear that the tendency
to "act out" anti-Semitism is related less to individual motivation than to
the accepted norms in a particular group. The following illustrations
indicate the social restrictions to which these persons submit:
Case 1: This woman regards herself as too "well-mannered" to voice anti-
Semitism when there is a possibility of Jews being present. When anti-Semitic
remarks are made in her presence, however, she agrees with them, regarding
this an another expression of "good manners." Case 4 shows a similar pattern.
Case 23: This man indulges in anti-Semitic talk inside the family (the rest
of the family is not anti-Semitic), although he never does so with outsiders.
Case 80: This patient refused a job because the employer is "nice, but Jew-
ish." But she gives a specious reason for her refusal, thereby indicating her
awareness of obedience to social norms.
Some of the patients confine their anti-Semitic remarks oniy to the
analytic situation. But there is one individual whose "acting out" of anti-
Semitism is uninhibited when Jews of no social prestige and standing are
concerned, although he goes out of his way to be ingratiating and obliging
to Jews in a superior position.
In view of the fact that. most of these analytic cases belonged to the
upper economic stratum, the emphasis on "polite" anti-Semitism is not
surprising. The notorious second-line defense of anti-Semites-"Some of
my best friends are Jews . ."flts in well with the surface politeness

demanded by "good" society.

The relationship of group sanctions to anti-Semitic action is further
illustrated by a closer examination of those who have "acted out" their
anti-Semitism in the past or are doing so now. Two such individuals be-
longed to anti-Semitic movements in Europe at a time when such mem-
bership was the fashion there. Both of them are, of course, aware that
they could become members of similar organizations even in this country,
but the group pressure in the circles in which these patients move in the
United States is against membership in such movements. While "good"
society had become actively anti-Semitic in Germany, "good" society
here is not involved in organized anti-Semitism. The difference in the
behavior of these patients in the two situations seems largely due to
the difference in cultural climates to which they blindly conformed,
although basically this difference in behavior (belonging or not belong-
ing to anti-Semitic movements) does not seem to involve any change
in the intensity of their hostile feelings.
Yet in this respect the cultural climate in the United States is not
consistent. We have already cited the aggressive behavior of adolescent
gangs, and the agency client who, in his cultural subgroup, was en-
couraged to seek fights with Jews in order to prove himself as a real
"man." Social-agency cases show more or less the same range of manifes-
tations as private psychoanalytic cases; they are particularly interesting
in so far as they provide further evidence for the lack of a correlation
between intensity of anti-Semitic attitudes and propensity for action.
Among the analytic patients there are cases of great violence of feeling
but complete obeisance to good manners, while among the social-
agency cases there are some for whom violence and gang warfare are
part of the accepted code of a group or neighborhood. Here one may
find participation in fights against the Jews with no particularly strong
feeling against them.
It would appear then, from our material, that anti-Semitic action is
dependent on group pressures. Where anti-Semitic pressures are of a
compelling nature, they may even involve individuals who have no
conscious hostility against the Jews. The reverse effect is also possible.
But where group pressures against prejudice are weak, or only in the
process of development, that weakness can be exploited by those whose
feelings of anti-Semitism are violent.
The inconsistency of the cultural climate has, in this respect, dangerous
implications because of the ease with which persons predisposed to anti-
Semitism can shift from adherence to one pattern of socially approved
behavior to another. True, the broad idealistic pattern of American cul-
ture is still based on decency in interpersonal relationships. But there are,
all over the country, many so-called "elite" groups which have deserted
this idealistic pattern. Our case material shows that what some people
call "normal" anti-Semitism and regard as harmless, may be anything but
harmless. "Polite" and violent anti-Semitism are often hardly distinguish-
able. A shift in the cultural climate, or a shift by an individual from one
cultural subgroup to another, may suffice to move a person with anti-
Semitic attitudes from one category to the other, from "polite" to violent
A memorable demonstration of the utter dependence of anti-Semitic
manifestations on social pressures was provided by the defendants at the
Nuremberg trials of the Nazi war criminals. With the exception of the
psychotic Julius Streicher, none of these criminals held completely to
the crude anti-Semitism of the Nazi period. They had all turned into
"polite" anti-Semites who did not like Jews particularly, but that was
all. To regard this shift only as a defensive lie would be a gross over-
simplification. People like Goering gave sufficient evidence that they
were not so frightened that they would not admit continued adherence
to the Nazi creed. But the society that demanded the extermination
of Jews had broken down. Goering immediately absorbed the shift in
social pressures.22 Such shifts can occur in both directions.
22Gjlbert, C. M.: Nuremberg Diartj, New York, Farrar, Straus & Co., 1947.
Nehring, Walter: "Ley's Last Lie, a Case History of the Unregenerate Nazi Mind,"
Commentary 1:4, 1946.
S. JEWISH ANTI-SEMITISM. Perhaps the most strildng manifestation of
the power of pervasive group pressures in shaping anti-Semitism is
Jewish anti-Semitism. The intrapsychic determinants of Jewish and
Gentile anti-Semitism seem to be essentially identical. The same emo-
tional predispositions occur in both: the central personality conifict is a
deep-seated self-rejection. However, some of the defense mechanisms
available to such fundamentally "weak" persons are less easily utilized
by Jews than by Gentiles. This is especially true for the mechanism of
projection which serves the function of externalizing a conffict in the
hope of escaping it, and the concomitant tendency to strive for absolute
conformity to one's ingroup.
Both these tendencies would seem to be obstacles to Jewish anti-
Semitism. For Jews, projection hits too near home to serve the purpose
of externalization; and conformity to the ingroup might even imply a
strengthening of Jewish loyalties. The very fact that these two apparent
obstacles to the development of Jewish anti-Semitism are overcome by
Jews who are emotionally predisposed to anti-Semitic prejudice bears
witness to the power of social pressure. Under its influence, the Jewish
anti-Semite becomes a chameleon. In flagrant contradiction of reality,
his conflicted, confused concept of self permits him to pretend that he
stands outside the Jewish group. Once this pretense is established he
can project "bad" qualities onto Jews and conform to the dominant
majority like Gentile anti-Semites. This explains why Jewish anti-Semjtes
must expend so much energy in dissimulating their group membership.
One violent anti-Semite (Case 8) changed his Jewish-sounding name and
adopted Christianity not because of religious conviction but in response to the
desire to fortify the barrier between himself and the Jewish group. Several
patients (Cases 35, 36, and 40) plan conversion to Catholicism, and one
woman (Case 12) underwent a nose operation to alter her appearance so that
she might pass as a Christian. To this end she also wears a cross. Although she
wants very much to be married, this can never be with a Jew"Who wants
to be a 'Mrs. Cohen'?"
One patient had, as a boy, avoided all contact with the few Jewish children
in his class, and as an adult he has carried through this pattern by living in
an area where Jews are barred, trying to achieve his main ambition in life
to be "as good as a Gentile." Other patients (Cases 20 and 25), simply changed
their Jewish-sounding names.
Two interesting differences between Jewish and Gentile anti-Semitism
emerge. First, in examining the content of the anti-Semitic projections of
Jewish anti-Semites, the absence of "good" qualities is conspicuous. Here,
there are no conscious claims that Jews are inteffigent, powerful, successful,
sexually potent, or ethical. The reason for this probably lies in the pre-
carious illusion of not belonging to the Jewish group, the even greater
ambivalence stemming from a dread of discovery, and even more, "con-
version" to their Jewishness. Their anti-Semitism seems better fortified
by denying the "good" elements of the cultural stereotype. Knowing deep
down that they are Jewsand failures, to bootthey cannot reconcile
the culturally favorable aspects of the Jewish stereotype with their own
state of being.
Second, it appears that while most Gentiles in our case material hate
not only Jews but also other groups as well, the Jewish need for hatred
is more exclusively directed against Jews. None of the Jewish patients
and clients manifested significantly any other form of prejudice.23
The explanation for such exclusiveness, in spite of strong group pres-
sures to hate other groups, too, lies probably in the genetic aspect of
Jewish anti-Semitism. Anti-Semitism here has a specific personal origin.
In such cases, the unresolved Oedipal situation is so closely linked with
their prejudice that they appear to get maximum satisfaction out of
anti-Semitism alone.
A confirmation of this explanation is provided, indirectly, by a non-Jewish
girl (Case 24), who was anti-Semitic but did not manifest any other prejudice.
The case is extraordinary because the girl had, for all practical purposes, two
sets of parents, her own Genifie parents and Jewish foster parents. The patient
was the second of four sisters of German parents. From early childhood on,
she spent most of her time with a Jewish couple, neighbors of her parents who,
having no children themselves, had formed a strong attachment to her. Later
on they adopted her legally and brought her to this country. Therefore it is
not surprising that Jewishness is for her as central a problem as for a Jewish
4. Txn "LIBERAI7 ANTI-SEMITE. Another form of anti-Semitism which
seems to violate logical expectations is presented by the anti-Semite who
is overtly committed. to an ideology of political liberalism. "Liberals" are
not supposed to hate minority-group members; nevertheless, some do.
Here again, only the pervasive power of social pressures in this direc-
tion can explain the inconsistent exploitation of cultural opportunities
the utilization of anti-Semitism for the spurious defense of a weak self.
The logical inconsistency between a liberal outlook and anti-Semitism is
so strong that we shall call these people "pseudo-liberals."
Such obvious inconsistency and irrationality of approach is made pos-
23 It is well known, however, that minority group members often are as prejudiced
against other minorities as some members of the majority groups.
sible because these views are maintained on different levels. On the
action level, liberalism is dominant; on the attitude level, prejudice is
dominant. The ambivalence in such "liberals" is frequently intense, and a
change of environment might well lift prejudice onto the action level
and put liberalism back on the attitude level.
About the existence of their anti-Semitic attitudes, there can be no
doubt. The Jews are "greedy in their eating habits; greedy about money;
promiscuous; inferior; low class; failures; dirty; alien; don't belong but
try to belong; uncultured; arrogant; moody; temperamental; melancholy;
driving and pushing; outsiders; ugly; loud; too sensitive; self-conscious;
insecure; weak; cheating." They are also, "intelligent and superior." Occa-
sionally the anti-Semitism of these people is formulated without much
content but rather on a name-calling level, as for example: "dirty Jew,"
"kikes," and "Jew bastard."
There can be little doubt that on a purely rational level these patients
are sufficiently intelligent to realize the incompatability of their points
of view. Only in analysis, however, did it occur to them to confront these
two contradictory types of social motivation. Outside the analytic situa-
tion, such contradictory modes can and do exist side-by-side in water-
tight compartments.
In analysis, the discovery of the pseudo-nature of their liberalism
came as a great shock to these patients. The patient (Case 18) who was
a militant champion of the Jew and the underdog in general,24 was horri-
fied by his own anti-Semitism. In discussing his reactions we have indi-
cated why he was driven to an identification with the underdog. But
that he should regard the Jew as an underdog is explicable only in
terms of the cultural stereotoype he had absorbed, which in his case
was against the evidence of his personal experience with Jews.
The situation is similar for a man (Case 7) who throughout his life main-
tained close personal friendships with Jews. One of his Jewish friends had been
his lifelong protector and had often helped him out of a tight spot. With signs
of conflict and distress this patient admitted to his psychoanalyst his anti-Sem-
itism. He accused Jews of being "greedy, promiscuous and out for money";
and also of being "intelligent." This man was a pseudo-liberal and an active
member of various intercultural organizations of good will.
As in Case 18, his pseudo-liberalism was based on an identification with
the underdog, which was one product of his self-rejection. His attitude was an
indication of the weakness and confusion of his self-image as well as of the
weakness of his defenses. That he included the Jews among those as weak as
24 The case has been quoted in some detail on page 72-73.
himself, was, again, the result of social forces that present the Jew in this;
special role.
5. CONTACr JTH JEWS.25 The belief in a simple and direct relationship!
between anti-Semitic attitudes and actual contact with Jews persists
among at least two groups, people of goodwill and anti-Semites. Many
people of goodwill attempt to solve the problem of prejudice by en-
couraging contact between non-Jews and Jews. On the other hand,
many extreme anti-Semites are firmly convinced that their attitudes are
the result of specific meetings and experiences with Jews, that sheer
contact is all that is needed to turn a person into an anti-Semite.
Such oversimplified concepts are easy to refute. The mere reference
to the anti-Semite, some of "whose best friends are Jews," ought to
convince the person of good will as much as the extreme anti-Semite that'
neither can rely on contact experiences alone to implement their mutu-
ally exclusive purposes.
In fact, the impact of a contact experience on the anti-Semite's attitude
is modified by factors of selective perception and cultural standards. A
person tends to perceive those parts of reality which are selected in
accordance with inner need. Such selective perception occurs in gen-
eral, and not only with persons who are anti-Semitic. But in the light of]
what has been said earlier about the reality adaptation of persons show-
ing emotional predispositions to anti-Semitism, it can be assumed that
selective perception of reality influences their group adaptation con-
A person also tends to subordinate his own perception (whether or
not it is marked by a high degree of selectivity) to culturally imposed
standards and value concepts.27
These two tendencies are in continuous interaction, sometimes support-
ing and sometimes counteracting each other. With the exception of
psychotic cases, where selective perception is carried to the extreme,
these tendencies must be understood as modifications of the actual
25 For a systematic approach to the investigation of contact between different
ethnic groups by means of experimental variables introduced into the contact situa-
tion see: Cook, Stuart W., Harding, John, Selltitz, Claire: "Problems of Inter-Group
Contacts: A Research Area" (publication pending).
26 Cooper, Eunice, and Jahoda, Marie: "The evasion of propaganda: How preju-

diced people respond to anti-prejudice propaganda," Journal of Psychology 23:15-25,

1947; Cooper, Eunice, and Schneider, Helen: "Don't Be a Sucker" (publication
27Allport, Gordon W., and Postman, Leo: The Psychology of Rumor, New York,
Henry Holt & Co., 1947.
contact experience. Their quality and intensity modify the whole range
of such experiences from those which are completely overwhelming to
those which are negligible in impact.
On the whole, the "good" and the "bad" contact experiences reported
in our case material do not seem to have had an overpowering impact
on the attitudes of the patients.
Two patients (Cases 18 and 7), both of whom have just been quoted as
examples of pseudo-liberalism, have had "good," prolonged and relatively im-
portant contact experiences with Jews. The former, as a child, experienced a
Jewish family's warmth and affection while he was suffering from a protracted
illness. The latter had received generous help from a Jewish friend. The
"good" quality of these contact experiences was perceived by both, and, if
anything, selective perception worked in a pro-Semitic way, inducing and rein-
forcing their pseudo-liberalism. The quality of their experiences with Jews had
a deep influence, and it may well have promoted the appearance of guilt
feelings when their anti-Semitism broke out under conditions of relaxed emo-
tional control. But in both cases there was a strong unconscious tendency to
subordinate their own perception to culturally imposed values.
A somewhat different example of selective perception in the direction of sub-
ordination to cultural pressures is to be seen with another patient (Case 21).
One would suspect such subordination from noting that all contact experiences
which he reports assume an almost identical pattern. This man had repeatedly
worked for Jewish employers, had had various disputes and fights with them,
and had reported three incidents as supporting evidence for his accusation
against the Jew. According to his reports, at least, it was he rather than the
Jewish employer who had emerged victorious in all three incidents. One em-
ployer apologized for a mistake and another yielded to the client's demands.
Notwithstanding these facts the client continued to regard the incidents as
"proof" of Jewish exploitation and of the successful power-position of Jews in
Much the same is true for a woman (Case 22) who went out of her way to
seek work with Jewish employers because she claimed that from them she got
better wages, better food, and better general treatment. This in no way inter-
fered with her general anti-Semitic feelings: Jews were objectionable and Hitler
was right in trying to get rid of them.
Perhaps even more surprising, at first glance, is the fact that even un-
pleasant contacts with Jews are not always carried over into the rationaliza-
tion of anti-Semitism. One woman patient (Case 1), deserted by a Jewish
lover, nevertheless continued to base her anti-Semitism on a problem that
was more fundamental for her. She suffered from a deep confusion about
her own self and her place in the world. She was filled with envy against
everyone. Thus in spite of the experience with her Jewish lover she treated
this affair as if it had nothing to do with her attitudes toward Jews. 1
Before, during, and after the period of personal contact with Jews, she
found them "obnoxious because they got things" (which she didn't),
"because they were social climbers, and vulgar enough to push them-
selves" (all this she craved but was unable to do).
In all these instances, individual contact experiences with Jews proved
to be subordinated in their importance to specific personal irrational
needs and to the cultural climate in the group to which the person be-
longed or wanted to belong. The impact of personal contact with Jews
can, therefore, not be predicted without further information. The
psychological needs and preconceived ideas of a person determine the
use he is going to make of such an experience and how he will fit it into
his personality structure. Such contacts, especially when early in life, may
also have a highly beneficial effect, particularly when they take place in an
atmosphere where broader group pressures can be enlisted to support
the impact of the experience.
6. ANTI-SEMITISM IN THE FAMILY. Frequently the assertion is made in
support of the "normalcy" hypothesis of anti-Semitism that this attitude
is passed on from one generation to the next within the family, which
is the main agent for transmission of culture. Just as the child is accul-
turated by his family to such things as the kinship system, the value of
money, the respect for authority and law and the use of fork and knife, so,
it is held, does he acquire anti-Semitism. The child supposedly absorbs
these norms of behavior and attitude at an age when he is far too young
to question their validity.
But this hypothesis of culturally imitated anti-Semitism tends to be dis-
proved by our case material. In about half the cases where the attitude of
the parents toward Jews is known, the parents were not anti-Semitic.
Indeed some of them were active champions of the Jews. This is merely
an indication that the development of anti-Semitic attitudes is not neces-
sarily dependent on the existence of such attitudes in the family. Aside
from our material, there is abundant evidence of lack of anti-Semitism in
the younger generation where it existed in the previous generation. The
relation between the parents' and the child's prejudice must be regarded
as a function of the dynamic outcome of the Oedipal development and
the vicissitudes of early identification attempts as well as of the recep-
tivity to cultural pressures coming from inside and outside the family.
In contradiction to the hypothesis of prejudice being a family heir-
loom is the man (Case 10) whose later anti-Semitism was partly promoted
by his mother's preference for Jews. Furthermore, most Jewish cases in
our material, though not all, develop their anti-Semitic attitudes in strict
opposition to the attitude of their parents.
In those cases where parents and children are anti-Semitic it is more
reasonable to assume that the emotional predispositions of the parents
created a psychological atmosphere conducive to the development of
similar emotional dispositions in the child, than to maintain the simple
imitation hypothesis.
Where parental anti-Semitism exists, however, the factor of parental
indoctrination is certainly not irrelevant. It might modify rationalizations,
stereotypes, and manifestations of anti-Semitism; it might help to fixate
the pattern at a relatively early age; under special circumstances it might
even be the only social agent from which the child learns that Jews can
be used as a projection target. Nevertheless, in American culture, parental
indoctrination does not appear as a necessary element in the production
of anti-Semitic attitudes.
Here, as elsewhere in this chapter, the evidence points against any one-
sided attempt to explain anti-Semitism exclusively as a psychological
phenomenon. Social and psychological determinants are inseparable, often
indistinguishable, components in the production of the phenomenon of

Throughout the preceding discussion, one question, implicitly raised

at several points, has remained unanswered. Given these emotional pre-
dispositions and their history, this pattern of defense mechanisms and
their interaction with cultural factorsis anti-Semitism then inevitable?
In other words, is anti-Semitism as a particular hostility pattern spe-
cifically determined by this complex of factors?
No simple "yes" or "no" answer can be given. The evidence has led to
the conclusion that psychological specificity is a relative factor; in the
case of some anti-Semitic personalities it is high, in others low. The anti-
Semitic reaction was highly specific, for example, in the case of the per-
son (Case 11) who hated Jews because he saw them combining success
with a happy emotional life. Color prejudice would not have fulfilled as
well the same emotional function.
Specificity of a somewhat lesser degree existed in the case of the white-
collar worker (Case 29) whose hatred of the Jews was an expression of his
feeble rebellion against authority and his own economically under-
privileged status. The pseudo-liberal (Case 18), on the other hand, whose
occasional outbursts of anti-Semitism were based on his identification
with the underdog whom he rejected along with himself, might well have
selected the Negro for the same purpose of projection. Underdog identi-
fication, however, is not necessarily unspecific. The patient (Case 2)
whose anti-Semitism contained the element of identification with a Jewish
victim, was particularly incensed by encountering Jews in positions of
authority. That he himself had betrayed the identification with the under-
dog mattered little compared to the Jewish "betrayal" in escaping the
underdog position and assuming a position of power. The chances are
that in the American culture no other target group of hatred and preju-
dice could have provided him with these two significant experiences.
Finally, the least degree of specificity was met in those for whom anti-
Semitism primarily served the function of emphasizing "difference" per
se. The sixteen year old boy, for whom "Jew" was synonymous with name-
calling, could easily have substituted any other prejudice for anti-
The psychological specificity of anti-Semitism thus varies from case to
case. That is why an attempt must be made to broaden the context of
the problem, to regard the wider implications of anti-Semitism along
with its relation to other disturbances of group living and other social
ills. For despite its historical uniqueness, the selection of anti-Semitism
from the psychodynamic point of viewis in several instances a more or
less accidental manifestation of the prejudiced person's deficiencies. Anti-
Semitism may occasionally be due to a historical accident in individual
cases, independent of the relative degree of emotional specificity; but
the disturbance in intergroup relations in such persons appears to be
psychologically determined.
A psychologically comprehensive description of attitudes in intergroup
relations demands consideration of four dimensions. If members of
group A and group B are interacting (say, Jews and Gentiles) these
dimensions are: the attitude of a member of group A to group A and
group B; the attitude of a member of group B to group B and group A.
In the case of anti-Semitism, disturbances occur not only in the attitude
of Gentiles to Jews and Jews to Gentiles, but also in the attitude of
each to his own group. As we have demonstrated, the concept of self
is continuously modified by one's own group and, in turn, the group is
modified by the concept of self of its members, which finds expression in
the relation to other groups.
While the suffering of the Jew as a victim is of a special brand, it is not
only he who suffers. As our case studies have shown, the anti-Semite also
suffers. Jew and Gentile, when they are driven by insecurity in them-
selves, resort to irrational hostility against outgroups. Thus, disturbances
in each of these four dimensions in intergroup relations are ubiquitous
in modern society.
The question then arises: Which factors in society, interacting with
intrapsychic anxiety, contribute to such disturbances and the concomitant
suffering? Otto Fenichel has posed this question in his article A psy-
choanalytic approach to anti-Semitism.' Having stated that in Germany
the Jewish separateness from the native culture and the discontent of
'American Imago, 1940.
the masses formed a complementary series which produced anti-Semitism
on a large scale, he goes on to say:
But what about the United States? At first glance, one may perhaps assume
that here the complementary series is reverse in structure. There is no general
revolutionary mood, and at least in some parts of the United States, traditional
Jewish life is practiced by many. However, Jewish peculiarities have certainly
not increased recently, whereas anti-Semitism has. Does this mean that there is
actually a mass discontent comparable to the discontent in pre-Hitler Germany?
It seems as if our theory of anti-Semitism compels us to assume something of
the kind. In a certain sense, something of "mass discontent" must be present;
the question is, in what sense?
Fenichel leaves this question open. To answer it comprehensively would
demand a detailed critique of these times for which we have neither the
qualffications nor the space.
All we can do is to refer again to our material and examine it once
more from a new angle. Assuming, in order to limit unfounded specula-
tion as much as possible, that our forty case histories are the only
available source of information about American culture, what general
deductions about the discontent in this culture can we make? The picture
will be sketchy and one-sided, but it remains the best approach available
in the context of this study toward finding an answer to such a question.
It appears that the most outstanding feature of the culture as seen in
the lives of these patients is its intense economic and social competitive-
ness. An indication of this competitiveness is contained in the content of
the anti-Semitic stereotype. There are but a very few cases in which
economic and social status qualities are not attributed to Jews: "low class,
inferior, not belonging to good society," or "powerful, superior, exploiters,
pushers, social climbers." These and other accusations, whether they
express rejection or envy of the Jew, are all modeled according to the
competitive world in which these people live.
But there are further indications of the pressure for economic success.
Most of the mothers of our casesso far as we know about them
apparently did not tell their children "be happy" but rather: "make
money," "outdo your father," "get a good job."
The mother of one man (Case 22) spurred all her children on to scholastic
achievement in order to acquire eventual material success and to become
better providers than their father. Another mother was snobbish and ever crit-
ical of her husband for being unambitious and making a poor living. Since she
could not succeed in pushing him she wanted her son (Case 9) to become a
person of wealth and social prestige. One patient (Case 1), as will be remem-
bered, was driven from one profession to another by her desperate longing to
achieve social security.
It is the essence of competitiveness that success is measured by com-
parison with others rather than by actual achievement. That is why a
strongly competitive society gives permanent cause for social anxiety to
everyone, even to those who have achieved material success. There are
always some who have done better, who have more money and more
social prestige; and there is always the danger of being pushed down the
social ladder by a competitor.
For some of the social-service agency cases, the economic anxiety was
realistically justified. Lack of food in some cases, crowded living quarters
and continuous quarrels between the parents about money are the normal
background factors that strengthen the importance of economic success
as a goal in life. But the social anxiety in this competitive culture caught
hold even of the economically privileged. Indeed they are often much
more vulnerable to competitive anxiety because of their extreme concern
with money; when they have it, they live in constant dread of losing it.
One man (Case 10), who had inherited so much money that he never did a
stroke of work, was plagued by fear that he would lose his money and was
quite convinced that whatever pleasures he could get out of life were in direct
proportion to the money he paid for them. A woman (Case 3), who to all ap-
pearances was a highly successful business woman, was continuously worried
about losing her position. Another (Case 4) was unable to work unless she felt
she was at the top of a hierarchy, and a third (Case 30), who had made a re-
markable ascent from utter poverty to a position of comfort, always felt insecure
in her achievement. A fourth woman (Case 12), who came from a wealthy
family, expressed her insatiable status drive by attempts to get into the circles
of French and British aristocracy.
Where economic gain or social status become the only yardstick for
success, acquisition of money is a virtue, poverty a crime. The acquisi-
tive society2 is reflected in the patients' attitudes toward money in the
analytic situation. Several analysts reported that their patients quibbled
over analytic fees despite their highly privileged economic situation.
Their material acquisitions, however, must be displayed to the world as
a sign of success, so that others should be driven to comparison and to
realize their own inferiority. Many patients seem to combine two con-
tradictory trends in our culture: the trend for acquisition and the trend
for conspicuous consumption.3 This was particularly evident for the man
2Tawney, R. H.: The Acquisitive Society, London, G. Bell & Son, 1921.
3Veblen, Thorstein: Theory of The Leisure Class, New York, Modem Library,
(Case 9) who cheated his newspaper man out of small change but
at the same time felt compelled to give expensive banquets to his busi-
ness friends.
Even where generosity appears in these caseswhich does not happen
too frequentlyit was motivated by the same desire for conspicuous
consumption that would prove to others that the individual was not a
To regard poverty as a crime and as a sign of degradation is a natural
correlate in a society that considers money a virtue. One woman (Case 4)
was convinced that poor people and laborers
get their support to a large
extent from stealing the pocketbooks of the "better" people.
Inherent in the competitive and acquisitive features of society, with
its concomitant social insecurity, is a progressive alienation from the
satisfactions of work. This problem has often been presented as the curse
of mass production for factory workers.4 Judging from our cases this
process of alienation is by no means restricted to monotonous work,
because a large proportion of these professional people and business
executives are as alienated from their work as if they stood at a conveyor
belt. As a matter of fact, with one exception (Case 18) none derive any
satisfaction from their actual work performance. The cultural climate
is such that no importance is attached to what is being done, but rather
the importance arises from how much one makes out of it.
The atomization of man, judging from the social life of these patients,
is highly advanced in this society. Individuals are isolated; families are
isolated. There does not seem to exist a meaningful group belongingness,
unless it is organized around an issue of social prestige. The country
club fulfills such a function, but a function without positive content.
There is, to be sure, an urge for group cohesion. But the culture places
no premium on the realization of such an urge. If the deep loneliness
of people in this society were in some way to be overcome, this achieve-
ment, apparently, would be considered of small consequence. It is little
wonder that the father of one patient (Case 3) is reported to have had the
best time of his life while serving in the army during the First World
War, for there he found purpose and companionship. Two other patients
joined the Communist Party, not because they shared its ideology, but
because they were drawn by its promise of group cohesion and purpose-

Jahoda, Marie, "Some socio-psychological problems of factory life," British

Journal of Psychology 81: 191-206, 1941.
These persons have learned from their work-life that to know other
people as human beings is of no profit. Spontaneous friendliness is ham-
strung by the fact and the fear of exploitation, and human relations are
consequently evaluated according to their utility. Thus society debases
friendship for its own sake, and debases group membership for any
purpose but prestige or utility. So much is this the case that one man
(Case 31), who was himself conservative and anti-union, worked during
an election campaign for a liberal politician because this was the best
way to meet the "right people."
The culture-induced premium on knowing the "right people" is already
considerable by the time of school and college age. Several patients re-
ported bitter childhood memories of having been ostracized by the "right"
clique in school, and of desperate struggles to get into the proper fra-
ternities and college circles. The realistic importance of good connections
in our society intensifies the atomization of man. The "right" people are
distrustful of others because they know that ulterior motives lie back of
much of the "friendliness" directed toward them. The one who seeks
their company for such ulterior motives is so purpose-bound on his ascent
up the success ladder that he becomes insensitive to the personal qualities
of those whom he wishes to use as tools. The isolation of the individual
is the result of regarding friendship as a means to security and money
rather than as an end in itself.
There is, in this society, a lack of capacity for relaxation, pleasure, or
the creative use of leisure time. Fundamentally, all these people are
"bored" by what is going on around them, unless they can set it into a
relation to their own success strivings. This boredom is, indeed, a symptom
of their deep anxiety. All activity becomes patterned by the need to con-
trol this anxiety, which emerges in part from unconscious self-hatred. So
preoccupied are they with this driven activity, that they lose the capacity
to enjoy themselves. To be interested in something for its own sake
appears a waste of time, however heavily free time presses on such
empty lives.
Social and political events are, as a rule, too far removed from the
sphere of possible personal gain to arouse these persons from their
apathy. The war was considered a "bore" by one patient, an "annoyance"
by another. One woman who joined a Red Cross sewing club during the
war explained that she did so because "it is done in my circles." Roose-
velt's death elicited the following comment from one patient: "I cannot
feel sorry for a man who gave office to Jews like Miss Perkins." The
comment is noteworthy for the level of interest in the country's affairs
that it manifests, as much as for the level of misinformation that
reveals. The culture presses these people into a selective perception of
realityin this case, into distorted perception through its emphasis on
individual gain as the highest goal.
The secularization of society is apparently increasing rapidly. Many
of the patients were brought up by parents whose lives were geared to
religious concepts and practices, but hardly one of the second generation
whom we studied had a genuine religious feeling. Religious guidance no
longer plays its traditional role of providing stable values and standards
for behavior. Instead, adherence to a religious group is motivated by
status purposes. This is most obvious in the few cases of religious con-
version, but it also manifests itself in those who continue their parental
religious affiliations. One man (Case 2), for example, whose parents
were members of a small religious sect, used his formal adherence to this
sect in order to get a job, although he had no religious feelings at all.
Apparently, no system of ethics and values has taken the place left
empty by the decline of genuine religiousness. Power, success, money,
conventionality, and conformity are the only value concepts applied by
these patients to judge themselves and others. The respect for the
individual and his soul, so deeply anchored in Judaism and Christianity,
has disappeared as a value, without a replacement.
All these trends are reflected, as they must be, in the functioning of the
family, the basic unit of society. The lack of warm family feeling has
already been mentioned in a different context. The rift is manifested in
other ways as well. The concept of married love is occasionally still
maintained as an illusion. More frequently, it is replaced by the idea of a
hard social and economic contract, a marriage for convenience or prestige.
The unmarried women patients all want to get married because of the
increased social status, if not the economic standards of married women.
A woman (Case 4), who went into analysis because she was unable to get
married, explained that she suffered from the fact that all her girl friends
had husbands. A man (Case 9) married a Jewish woman, in spite of his
anti-Semitism, because he expected her to be a good housekeeper who
would help save money.
The position of a woman in this society seems to be curiously ambigu-
ous. In spite of the fact that in many of the marriages in our cases the
woman actually dominates the relationship, the concept that this is a male
world is kept up even by these domineering women. Most of the women
patients suffered from their parents' preference for boys, and yearned
desperately in their youth to be men. Their professional life compels them
to compete with men on "male" issues. Being mothers and wives contains
meaning only insofar as sons and husbands can be expected to provide the
vicarious experience of male success. This is of special interest in view
of the evidence in some cases of an identification between femaleness and
Thus the relationship between the sexes manifests the pattern that
underlies most of these trends: domination-submission. Theirs is a world
in which the concept of cooperation and equality does not exist. Unless
they dominate, they are crushed.
This, then, is the answer to Fenichel's question as to the nature of the
mass discontent which disturbs intergroup relations in American society.
It does not paint a hopeful picture. In spite of its admittedly one-sided
source, there are too many indications that these features of our culture
indeed exist as powerful trends. They cannot be brushed aside as the
distorted experiences of our highly selected cases.
There are, however, other forces at work counteracting the discontent
produced by these trends. The American dilemma, as Gunnar Myrdal
described it, is still a dilemma. It would be futile to seek in our material
for manifestations of these positive trends. Nevertheless, we know from
daily struggle and experience that they exist. People still can cooperate,
respect the individual, strive for non-material purposes, voluntarily forego
economic gain, have friends, be happily married, experience deep satis-
faction in groups and in their work, give themselves to creative leisure
occupations, maintain genuine religious feelings, or substitute high ethical
values where religion has lost its meaning.
The psychodynamic study of the unprejudiced persona challenge to
research that has not yet been metwould indicate those trends in the
cultural climate which currently counteract destructive forces. It might
even reveal that some individuals live as human beings, in spite of social
forces that overwhelmingly manipulate most people. For manipulation it
remains, even when applied in the interest of a good cause. Perhaps we
might discover that some among us have been able to make that famous
jump from the realm of necessity into the realm of freedom.
All we can do here is to express our conviction that the case is not lost
not yet. Seen in the context of this cultural struggle, the fight against
anti-Semitism is, therefore, more than a fight for the rights of Jews, or of
Negroes, Catholics, Mexicans, Japanese-Americans and others who with
benefits to none often replace the Jewish victim. It is more than a fight
for the liberation of the prejudiced person whose thwarted personality
makes him insensitive to the joys of life. It is a fight for the very survival
of civilized mankind.

a: Source
b: Personal data (sex, age, religion, occupation, marital status)
C: Accusations against the Jews
d: Manifestations of anti-Semitism
e: Interpersonal relations with Jews
f: Dynamic role of anti-Semitism in current personality structure
g: Genesis of anti-Semitism
h: Group pressures in the direction of anti-Semitism
1: Patterns of interaction between intrapsychic and group determinants which
shape the final form of anti-Semitism.
1: Pages on which case is quoted in text


a. Psychoanalyst
b. Woman; forty-five; Episcopalian; professional work; unmarried
c. Jews are low class; social climbers; very clever; vulgar enough to push;
successful in their social aggressiveness.
d. Anti-Semitism on overt verbal level in her ingroup; patient would not
offend Jews in their presence.
e. Patient has probably had many contacts with Jews in the nature of a super-
ficial acquaintance during her university years and in her professional life.
No information on earlier contacts. Relatively late in life patient had her
first complete sex experience with a Jewish man. All through her life she
has had close contact with anti-Semites.
f. The Jews, to her a symbol of success, form a convenient outlet for her
deep-rooted envy and her frustrated social aspirations. Their "low-class"
status helps to enhance her own prestige in society. By artificially creating
a lower group on whom she can look down she attempts to increase her
own self-esteem.
g. Patient, like all siblings in the family, was rejected by her mother alter
the weaning period. The father was too weak a person to offer any com-
pensation for this rejection. The patient, therefore, never identified ade-
quately with either parent; hence her confusion about her sexual role in
life, and the development of her envy (penis envy) as a driving force
throughout her life. She always wanted to be a man, feeling it to be a
disadvantage to be a woman. Her envy of the social status of other
people, especially of Jews, is a different version of this feeling. The con-
ffict over her change of social status when she came from Europe (where
this American family had belonged to the social elite) to this country re-
emphasized her basic envy, for which she needed and found a socially
approved outlet in her anti-Semitism.
h. Apparently "polite" anti-Semitism was prevalent in the circles in which
she moved from childhood onwards. In her cultural milieu the Jew was
conceived of as a person equipped with all those qualities she desired to
1. A basic uncertainty about her own identity is in sharp contrast to the well-
defined identity of the Jews. To envy overtly their identity, or to admire
alleged Jewish qualities which she would like to possess, implies a self-
rejection which would be extremely painful for the patient to admit. She
therefore willingly accepts the culturally offered escape of hating and
despising the Jew so that in comparison with him she herself should not
fare too badly.
/. 30, 31, 32, 37, 40-42, 44, 76, 83, 88


a. Psychoanalyst
b. Man; about thirty-five; member of a small religious sect; professional work;
c. The Jews are an international, cohesive, powerful group. They are also
inferior, petty crooks, and cheaters.
d. Restricted to verbal level, mainly expressed in analysis for fear of Jewish
e. Jewish peddlers visited at regular intervals the small village in which the
patient was brought up. The boy despised these peddlers, as apparently
did his family and the community. In adulthood the patient twice had the
experience of working for Jewish superiors. He once witnessed a scene in
which a Jewish-looking man was given a beating.
f. The verbal expression of sadistic tendencies against the Jews serves as a
defense against the patient's masochistic needs. This release of verbal
sadism serves especially as a defense against his hostile feelings towards
his father (which are also based on masochistic needs).
g. In his early family situation the patient felt, and was made to feel, alone,
confronted by the united front of the rest of his family. Here the basis was
laid early in life for a deep identification with the persecuted. This made
him realize that in certain aspects of his self, which he resented and re-
jected, he was similar to the Jews. This, to him, painful identification with
the persecuted Jew was fortified by alleged similarities between his reli-
gious sect and Judaism, and a genital injury with which he was born, which
he equated with circumcision. Ostracism in school further strengthened his
identffication with the Jewish peddlers who had been ostracized by the
community. While watching the beating of a Jewish person he had the
sensation of being Jewish himself, a sensation which he violently rejected
in its implications.
He felt impelled to join forces with the attacker, to avoid being the
victim. The patient recalled during analysis a phantasy which he placed in
the latency period, of having been born as the result of a test tube experi-
ment. This phantasy reveals a severe lack of identification with either
parent; it may also be related to envy of Jewish identity which compared
with his own, seemed so much more dependable.
The severe beatings the boy received from his father created a strong
ambivalence of a sadistic-masochistic type. Through the release of his
sadism against the Jew he attempts identification with his cruel father; on
the other hand, he identifies with the beaten Jew.
In his adult contact with his Jewish superiors he manifested the same
ambivalence. When his wooing of them was unsuccessful he began to hate
them violently.
h. The social contempt in which the Jews were held by the community in
which the patient lived was brought home to the boy by the community's
attitude towards the Jewish peddlers.
i. Patient's doubts about his own identity are in sharp contrast to the secure
identity of the Jew. His feeling of helplessness leads to identification with
the beaten Jew as he sees him. The "power" of his Jewish chiefs leads
him to regard them with the same antagonism he has for his powerful
father. His social inferiority in school, due to his genital injury, corre-
sponds to the social inferiority of the peddlers in the community, and they,
being Jewish, also have a "genital injury," i.e., circumcision.
Patient's ambivalence towards his father finds a correspondingly am-
bivalent pattern in the outside world's ambivalent stereotype of the Jews.
j. 29, 31, 33, 45, 48, 57, 65, 67, 86, 92


a. Psychoanalyst
b. Woman; in her thirties; Gentile; business; unmarried
c. The Jews are dirty; social climbers; fakes.
d. Anti-Semitism on overt, verbal level.
a. Patient probably had no contact with Jews in her childhood. Since the
beginning of her business career she has met Jews, presumably only on
a business, never a social, basis.
f. The patient projects onto the Jews those things that she blames herself far
doing. (She regards herself as a fake who bluffed her way to success.)
Her anti-Semitism is a defense against a self-reproachful conscience.
g. Very little information. Apparently the patient felt deeply rejected by her
father who was a disagreeable, hypocritical, stupid man and completely
disinterested in his family. He accepted almost everything but his family;
she rejected almost everything but her family as a means of showing her
father how he should have acted. It is possible that the patient's anti-
Semitism was linked with this diffuse tendency to rejection.
h. No information
i. No information
j. 39, 49, 59, 89, 90


a. Psychoanalyst
b. Woman; in her thirties; Protestant; business; unmarried
c. The Jews are inferior, low class, bad-mannered, loud, aggressive, and
pushing; have to be watched in business dealings; shrewd.
d. Patient indulges in anti-Semitic talk and jokes in non-Jewish company but
never in front of Jews. While individual Jews are "all right," she rejects
the Jews as a group. In spite of a strong wish to get married, she would
prefer remaining unmarried to marrying a Jew.
e. Patient first met Jews in adulthood after moving to New York.
f. The patient has never accepted her role as a woman; she is full of self-
hatred which she denies to herself. However, her self-hatred and envy
become manifest in her relations with men whom she attracts in order to
humiliate them. As she wants to be married mainly for reasons of en-
hanced social prestige, this uncontrollable irrational outlet for her self-
rejection creates a real difficulty in her life. Anti-Semitism, for her, has the
function of providing a displacement for her self-hate which lessens the
overt difficulties in her life.
g. Patient felt rejected as a child by mother and father. Mother was a force-
ful aggressive person who never permitted the child any warm intimacy.
The patient felt that both parents were most interested in her brother; her
own interests and needs always had to be subordinated to the special care
required by a sick sister. The parents never showed each other affection;
all relationships in the family were rigid, conventional, and without
warmth. This was true also in respect to religion. The patient received
formal teachings but never had deep religious feelings. This emotional
climate, together with her own problem of deep-rooted envy, has led her
to continue the attitude toward Jews which prevailed in her parental
h. Anti-Semitism in her parental family and early environment.
i. No clear ideas about Jews were formulated until adulthood when the
traditional attitudes were called upon to strengthen her "observations"
that Jews are aggressive and loud, and tricky in their business habits.
Plagued by deep feelings of profound insufficiency she tried to inflate her
own position in the world by this prejudice.
j. 28, 33, 45, 70-72, 76, 89, 90, 92

Man; in his middle twenties; Episcopalian; shifting from job to job (alco-
holic); unmarried (overt homosexual)
c. Sweeping anti-Semitic accusations of the Nazi type.
d. The patient's anti-Semitism was verbal and bellicose and not in the least
repressed. He was not aware that such attitudes were not shared by
everyone. He is in favor of quota systems, of refusing scholarships to
Jrewish students, etc.
e. The patient regards any accidental contact with Jews as a humiliating
experience. When the analyst sent him to a Jewish doctor for a physical
examination he complained about the humiliation and said that only a
"damn Yankee could send a Southern gentleman to a Jewish doctor." One
of the patient's aunts is married to a Jew; patient is infuriated by this.
f. No information
g. No information
h. No information
i. No information
j. 61, 76


a. Psychoanalyst
b. Man; in his early twenties; atheist; white-collar worker; unmarried
c. Jews are more clever, more successful, and more sexually potent and
attractive than non-Jews.
d. His anti-Semitism was overt and was openly expressed to his Jewish em-
ployer, though he suffered no retaliation for it. The patient, an Austrian,
had been a member of the Nazi party. He had phantasies of killing all
e. Patient had a Jewish employer.
j. The patient attributes to Jews those qualities of superiority which he
envies in his father and which he has given up hope of developing in him-
self. They therefore serve as a projection screen for his hatred of his father.
While he does not dare to have phantasies about killing his father, he does
have phantasies of exterminating the Jews. Without much success he tries
to bolster his self-esteem by an alleged contempt for everything Jewish.
To hate the Jews, in contrast to his father's liberal attitude, further serves
the function of a defense against his yearnings for complete passive sub-
mission to the father.
g. No information
h. No information
i. No information
1. 50, 59

a. Psychoanalyst
b. Professional man; in his forties; Christian, denomination unknown; mar-
ried for the second time
c. Jews are greedy and promiscuous. They hoard food. They are intellec-
tually superior.
d. Anti-Semitism burst out in one stage of the psychoanalytic treatment.
Overtly patient always acted as a liberal.
e. Patient was first married to a Jewish woman; he had many close Jewish
friends; one of them had once generously assisted him financially. He
apparently had always been attracted by Jews and identified with them
on the grounds of persecution. In their company he felt secure and safe.
f. The patient was full of aggression which he projected onto others, fearing
that they intended to do him harm. On that basis he identffied with the
underdog, the Jew, and with radical political ideas. The anti-Semitic out-
burst during analysis presented an attempt to change position by identifi-
cation with the strong, the attacker. It was a belated effort to achieve
identification with his parents, both of whom were anti-Semitic and reac-
tionary in their political outlook. His accusation that the Jews are greedy
and promiscuous reflect elements of the patient's own character structure.
He is greedy and jealous, and probably considers himself promiscuous
because of his two marriages.
g. The patient's mother was, apparently, the dominant partner in the marital
relationship; she rejected the father who was a mild person. Patient re-
garded his father as a somewhat ridiculous figure; apparently he feared
his identification with him as an admission of weakness. He spent many
years roaming the world in an effort to escape from his father; only after
his father's death did he permit himself to settle In the U.S. Patient de-
spised his father as a simple, unsophisticated man. Apparently he had not
achieved in childhood identification with either of his parents, as demon-
strated by the quality of his identification attempts in analysis. The un-
conscious wish to become like his parentwhich also implies becoming
anti-Semiticmust have been constantly present.
h. His parents' anti-Semitism; counter-pressures
were experienced when the
patient mixed with liberal and radical groups. This reinforced his con-
scious protest against anti-Semitism.

i. The unfulfilled yearning for identification with his parents involved a wish
for passive submission to them in every respect, including their ideology,
i.e., anti-Semitism. The patient's surface rebellion against his parents led
him to exposures to counter-pressures from liberal groups. The struggle
between the two ideologies was not really resolved as long as the patient's
attitude to his parents remained ambivalent.
/. 48, 81, 83


a. Psychoanalyst
b. Man; about forty; born Jewish, converted Episcopaiian in adulthood; busi-
nessman; single
c. Patient considers the Jews inferior; he dislikes Jewish girls; rabidly pro-
Nazi; the patient feels that Hitler had the answer to the Jewish problem.
d. The patient's anti-Semitism is openly expressed in analysis, but somewhat
guarded outside analysis. He took every conceivable actionconversion
to Christianity, change of Jewish-sounding nameto disassociate himself
from the Jewish group.
e. Patient rejected his Jewishness from adolescence onwards but obviously
had many contacts with Jews through his family. Though neither of his
parents were orthodox, the patient at one time attended a Jewish school
which he thoroughly disliked. Once a Jewish girl was in love with him but
he rejected her in spite of his wish to be a success with women and to get
married. The patient once took a Jewish business partner but soon got
into difficulties with him and terminated the relationship.
f. The patient's own inferiority feelings gave rise to a desire for power and
status which he did not seem able to achieve as long as he was like his
father. The patient's rejection of himself and his father is symbolized
through his rejection of their Jewishness. He felt unable to satisfy his crav-
ing for power and status. In an attempt to overcome, and at the same time
yield to, a wish to disown himself and be someone else, he refuted his
g. The patient's father was an unstable person who did not adequately pro-
vide for his family but actually neglected and abandoned them. The
mother came from a "better" family than the father. She was socially and
intellectually superior to him and apparently suffered from the lowering
of her standards. The patient admired his mother; he hated and despised
his father. His mother, in an attempt to escape the disappointment and
dreariness of her own home, had the habit of frequenting a near-by settle-
ment house where she associated with the Christian social leaders. The
patient's desire for religious conversion, which dates back to his early
adolescence, might well have been stimulated through his mother's choice
of Christian friends.
h. Jewishness was represented to the patient more by his father than by his
mother since she associated with Christians. This representative of Jew-
ishness happened to be an inferior, unreliable, unrespected person. His
mother's friends represented the Gentile community to him as on a higher
cultural and social level.
i. The patient's desire to be accepted by his mother and his need to com-
pensate for his feelings of inadequacy made him accept readily the con-
viction that Jews were inferior. In terms of this acceptance he felt that to
achieve status he would have to renounce his Jewishness and become more
like one of the powerful and important Gentiles.
1. 79

a. Psychoanalyst
b. Businessman; in his thirties; Jewish; married
c. The Jews are dirty, lacking in charm and beauty, badly dressed, generally
low class and failures. He also regards them as castrated.
d. Patient is openly anti-Semitic. He lives in a neighborhood restricted against
Jews and seeks out only Gentiles for social contact.
e. Jewish family (not religious); Jewish wife; Jewish business partner.
Otherwise he intentionally withdraws from all contact with Jews.
f. The patient associates Jews with low status and inferiority, the attitude
his mother had towards his father. In accepting his mother's snobbish
ideas he also accepted her rejection of his father. Anti-Semitism for him
fulfills the function of emphasizing his identification with his mother's
value system. The denial of his own Jewishness gives the patient more
status in his own eyes and helps him in his success drive. The patient
nevertheless continues to feel threatened and vulnerable, and secretly
contributes to Jewish defense organizations.
g. The patient's parents were badly matched. His mother was critical of her
husband because of his lack of ambition, his low status, and because he
was a poor provider. While the patient now hates his mother overtly he
had apparently deeply yearned for identification with her at an early age.
His attitude towards his father is now ambivalent. At an early age he
had apparently desired identification with him but this was prevented
through the interference of his dominating mother. This ambivalence
towards the father is reflected in his ambivalence towards his Jewishness
which the father symbolizes. While he openly disassociates himself from
Jewishness, he nevertheless married a Jewish woman, has a Jewish business
partner, and supports Jewish organizations.
In his childhood when he was one of the very few Jewish boys in class
he was subjected to anti-Semitic hostility. He was ostracized and bullied
by the Gentile boys. This reinforced his feeling that being Jewish meant
being a failure.
h. Mother's attitude towards Jews as expressed in her rejection of father;
anti-Semitic experiences in school; anti-Semitism in the circles in which
the patient moves now.
i. His mother's dominance made the patient accept her values regarding
father and Jews. His dependence on her made it necessary to repress his
hostility against her. The patient's feeling of vulnerability was intensified
through his school experiences, and through his contacts with anti-Semites
in later life, As a result he rejects his Jewishness and strives to attain the
values which his mother attributed to Gentiles: success, power, money.
j. 49, 88, 90, 92


a. Psychoanalyst
b. Man; in his early fifties; a Protestant rentier; married second time (one
c. Jews are dishonest, lie, cheat, and rob. They are inferior, crude, incon-
siderate, alien, clannish. They are dangerously powerful, physically unat-
tractive, arrogant, aggressive, too intelligent, and too cohesive. They are
radical; they believe in spiritual values. They are insatiable, greedy, bad-
d. The patient's violent, at times murderous, feelings about Jews did not
emerge in their full fury until the latter part of his analysis. Outside analy-
sis, the manifestations of his anti-Semitism were on a verbal level only and
somewhat curbed by his need to ingratiate himself with everyone.
e. There is an unresolved suspicion in the mind of this patient that his mother
has some Jewish blood. In any case, his mother was actively pro-Semitic
and the patient met some Jews in his childhood in his mother's house. The
patient was jealous of his mother's preference for Jewish boys. The patient
exhibited a host of psychosomatic symptoms; from childhood onwards he
had been frequently treated by Jewish doctors. His only friendship in his
early adolescence, involving overt homosexual relations, was with a Jewish
f. The patient identifies with the symbol of the "Wandering Jew" to the
extent that he, too, feels homeless and unassimilated in any culture. On
the one hand, he has a deep envy of the secure and invulnerable identity
of the Jew which enables him to survive every attack. On the other hand,
this identification with the Jew represents a potential menace to the
patient since it places him always in an exposed and vulnerable position.
He, therefore, seeks to destroy this menace through an exaggerated and
violent denial of his identification. He seeks to reinforce this denial by
joining forces with the attackers of the Jew who are basically his own
enemies. This amounts to a self-betrayal, a kind of symbolic suicide.
To a certain extent, the patient's mother represents Jewishness. Figura-
tively speaking, the Jews were her chosen people. Being rejected by his
mother and failing to win her love he felt forced to renounce her. The hate
of the Jew, therefore, represents in part a denial of primary love for Jews.
The Jew is also a symbol of his own female, castrated side which he
wishes to deny. Being a woman and being cfrcumcized are both evidence
of degradation. Here, again, to avoid being the victim it seemed safer to
join the attacker.
g. Beginning with his birth, the patient was confused concerning his origin
and identity. He could not safely identify with either parent. He felt
basically rejected by his mother; he and the family were abandoned by
the father when the patient was eight. His feeling of unworthiness and
non-belonging was intensified by the hostility between the parents and
by the fact that his mother, without any apparent hesitation, handed him
over at the age of sixteen to the care of a near relative. A harsh and erratic
discipline, practiced by both his parents in his early childhood, created
deep-seated fears and hostilities in him which he did not dare to express
openly. Having been rejected by his mother his attitude toward her turned
into hate (and hate of everything she liked, e.g., Jewish boys) and he
tried unsuccessfully to renounce her.
h. The patient's need for hate was so closely related to his central personality
conflicts, and these conflicts in turn were so interwoven with competitive
feelings toward Jews, that little outside pressure was needed to activate his
1. See h above.
/. 26, 33, 44, 45, 57, 65, 85, 89

a. Psychoanalyst
b. Successful businessman; in his fifties; Protestant; married
c. The Jews are dangerous, untamed, uncontrollable,
emotional, over-sexed
but also castrated and less potent. They are ifi-mannered and overly ag-
gressive but also shrewd, capable, and industrious.
d. Outspokenly anti-Semitic in analysis. Little is known about his behavior
in this respect outside analysis.
e. None. The patient avoided mixing with them
and has no actual knowledge
of them.
f. The Jews are equated both with his
repressed emotions and his rigid con-
science. By hating them alternately for one or the other reason he can
maintain the repression of his own neurotic conflict. He need not
own up to
emotions, nor does he have to suppress them completely to be without
conflict. Either direction would make him similar to a Jew.
g. Patient's early emotional development was thwarted through rigidity and
strictness at home, and a religious education which put the main emphasis
on the concept of sin. He never developed emotionally beyond the anal
stage and apparently did not achieve a successful identification with
either mother or father. The anal character-attributes were overdeveloped
in a socially positive sense.
Nothing is known about when the patient discovered that hatred of the
Jews formed a suitable escape from his own problems.
h. Anti-Semitism was probably accepted as the cultural norm in his family
and in the community in which he grew up; no specific factors are known.
i. No information
j. 33, 35, 36, 49, 59, 62, 65, 86


a. Psychoanalyst
b. Professional woman; in her late twenties; Jewish; unmarried
c. Jews are dirty, have low status. They are generally objectionable.
d. Dissimulation of her own Jewishness: the patient underwent a nose oper-
ation; she wears ornaments resembling a crucifix; in spite of her great
desire to get married she refused to consider an offer of marriage made
by a Jew; she cultivates non-Jewish social contacts with a preference for
European aristocracy.
e. Patient's family (Jewish only nominally); she had two Jewish girl friends
in high school and has apparently had one or two Jewish lovers.
f. The patient is highly ambivalent about her own sexual role as a woman.
Unconsciously she equates sex with dirt. Her yearning for dirt and sex
creates guilt feelings which she tries to allay by finding a "dirty" object
outside herself. This love object symbolizes one side of her, which she can
secretly despise while avoiding overtly despising herself. Hence her pro-
jection onto Jews. Her need for social prestige and acceptance by powerful
groupswhich she cannot realistically fulfilldrives her to hate in herself
what she thinks prevents her from achieving her goal, namely her Jewish-
ness and her dirtiness. By attempting to disassociate herself from other Jews
she creates a lower status group which gives her an illusion of superiority.
In this way she tries to lift herself above the low level of her own anal
g. The patient's family history indicates that her parents were somewhat
ambivalent about their own Jewish identity. In the mother this is expressed
through her drive to be at home in all social groups.
From infancy, the patient's attempts to gain the love of her mother
were frustrated. As a result of this unfulfilled yearning for identification,
the patient persists in imitating her mother's behavior patterns: the
mother's mild anti-Semitism is repeated in a more violent form; she fol-
lows her mother's status drive and promiscuous tendencies. The mother's
rejection created a secondary wish to disassociate herself from her mother
therefore the nose operation to correct simultaneously similarity with
mother and Jewish identifiability. In her school life she had been ostracized
by her schoolmates for her Jewish appearance and for her ingratiating
behavior to teachers. This fortified her desire to be treated like a Gentile.
h. The half-hearted Jewishness of her family; the anti-Semitism in the circles
in which she moved.
i. The patient's attitude towards dirt makes it easy to accept the common
stereotype "dirty Jew." The patient's status drive makes her accept the
anti-Semitic attitudes of the power groups to which she wants to belong.
j. 28, 47-48, 79, 89

a. Psychoanalyst
b. Catholic woman; in her early forties; married to a Jew. The patient works
in an occupation demanding special skill.
c. The Jews are moody, temperamental, and too serious. They also have too
much drive.
d. Anti-Semitism on a verbal level mostly voiced in analysis. Patient con-
tinues to call herself a Catholic although she hasn't practiced her religion
since her marriage.
e. During her childhood the patient had little contact, if any, with Jews. Her
family regarded Jews as outlandish and "next to gypsies." Patient is mar-
ried to a Jewish (nonpracticing) businessman; she meets other Jews at
her place of work.
f. The patient regards the Jews as superior and more capable than herself.
This creates a resentment in her. To her the Jews stand for her conscience.
"The Jews want me to work and be serious; the Irish want me to play."
The patient's marriage to a Jew was the result of a desire to spite her
mother who was anti-Semitic, and to spite her brother toward whom she
had incestuous feelings.
g. From an early age the patient was used to anti-Semitism as an accepted
part of her family's ideology. The patient was rejected by her own mother
and spoiled by her older sister. She idolized her father and following the
same pattern, felt incestuous drives towards her older brother. Because of
her hostility toward her mother and her frustrations in her relationship to
her father and brother, she married a Jewish man in order to antagonize her
family. The patient is infantile, erratic and feels generally inadequate.
She is hostile to any group that shows up her inadequacies and thus adds
to her frustrations. She dislikes facing realities, and projects as shortcom-
ings onto the Jews what she envies: their drive and their serious attitude
toward life.
h. Family anti-Semitism; contact with Jews who are more capable than she is.
i. The patient's own frustrations and hostilities encourage her annoyance
with a group which is considered successful and different and outlandish.
a. Psychoanalyst
b. Protestant woman; in her early forties; unmarried; no permanent work
c. The Jews are inferior, alien, dirty. They do not belong anywhere. They
are not capable of achieving real "culture" despite all their efforts. They
are also aggressive.
d. No indication of anti-Semitism prior to analysis. During analysis it ap-
peared as a transference phenomenon.
e. The patient once had a love affair with a Jewish man. Apart from this
experience she had met Jews occasionally but was not close to anyone.
f. In the negative transference stage the patient compared her analyst un-
favorably to her own cultured father. She attempted to provoke her
analyst by anti-Semitic remarks in order to test him and to see if he would
push her out of his way as she felt her father had done. This anti-Semi-
tism is expected to disappear with a change in the transference situation.
g. A strong early attachment to, and feelings of rejection by her father play
an important role in this transference anti-Semitism. The symbol of the
"dirty Jew" stems from this early attachment and her continuous guilt
feelings about it. The patient also felt rejected by her mother. There is
some identification with the Jew, for she too feels alien, and that she does
not belong anywhere. She, too, has not achieved the level of culture in her
own life which her parents represented. The patient tries to escape this
painful realization by hating the Jew for what she rejects in herself.
h. Present analyst is Jewish.
i. The patient accepts the current stereotypes about the Jew in so far as they
enable her to project her self-criticism onto the analyst.
j. 44, 49

a. Psychoanalyst
1,.Protestant man; in his late twenties; overt homosexual; unmarried. Shifts
from job to job.
c. Jews are "kikes," abhorrent. Loud, inferior, offensive, greedy, Communists
who wish to take over the country. They are also morally superior and
d. Openly anti-Semitic wherever he goes.
e. The patient met Jewish boys casually when in prep school; had never had
any but accidental and superficial contact with Jews.
f. The patient is generally weak and a failure in life. As he feels threatened
by everyone in authority he tries to identify with those whom he con-
siders strong. By relegating the Jews to an inferior status, he tries to deny
their competitive power of which he is frightened, and tries simultaneously
to deny his own weakness. His hatred of the Jews is the result of his dis-
placed hatred and fear of his father. A dominating and indulgent mother
increased the patient's weakness so that he now depends on the status of
other people to achieve vicariously an infantile self-aggrandizement.
g. The pattern of anti-Semitism was set for the patient in his family where
it was understood that one did not mingle with Jews. The patient was
"castrated" by his domineering mother; he had little opportunity to iden-
tify with his submissive father. He grew up weak, uncertain, infantile,
and egocentric.
h. Anti-Semitism in his family and in his small hometown. The same attitudes
were prevalent in the snobbish prep school which the patient attended.
i. The patient's weakness and poorly developed sense of personal identity
fostered infantile self-aggrandizement and a blind acceptance of prevalent
status standards which, in his community, implied being anti-Semitic. He
tries to deny his own feeling of inferiority by projecting it onto the Jews.
1. 31

a. Psychoanalyst and Jewish Board of Guardians
b. Jewish man; in his early twenties; unmarried; salesman
c. "Jew bastards" strive for petty bourgeois success.
d. Prefers to go out with non-Jewish girls; indulges in anti-Semitic talk; can-
not accept authority from Jews. Gets distressed, begins to stammer when
working for a Jewish boss.
e. Jewish family living in Jewish neighborhood, but not practicing religion;
meets Jewish people in a political youth group; Jewish analyst
f. The patient's anti-Semitism is an expression of his struggle against iden-
tification with, or passive submission to, his father. There are indications
of the patient's fear of a homosexual attachment to his father. Uncon-
sciously he feels that submission to his father would destroy him. The
patient is so much preoccupied with not being like his father, and not
being Jewish, that he has apparently no drive left to identify in a positive
sense with anybody.
g. The patient's father was unhappy in his marriage; his mother was sick in
bed from the patient's birth onwards; she died when he was eight years of
age. The father had been shell-shocked during the First World War and
was severely disturbed. All his hopes and ambitions were projected onto
his son, whom he alternately overwhelmed with demonstrations of affec-
tion or ill-treated so severely that the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty
to Children had to interfere. He wanted to compel his son to become au
outstanding musician. The more the boy protested against his father's
continuous supervision and interference, the more intense became the
father's reaction. This led to a highly ambivalent attitude of the son to
the father, which focused on Jewishness.
h. In his boyhood the family lived in a mixed Jewish-Italian neighborhood.
Because of his father's insistence, the boy was always better dressed than
other children who teased him as a "sissy" and excluded him from their
groups. It is possible that this rejection by the Italian boys carried with
it some anti-Semitic elements. His rejection by the Jewish boys further
dissociated him from his own group. In late adolescence he found some
sort of acceptance in a radical youth group which provided him with a
rationalization for his hostility to Jews, namely their "petty bourgeois
success strivings." The social circumstances in the patient's family put
him, when still a small boy, in a queer position: His mother was too ill to
act the role of a mother; in relation to her he was prematurely pushed into
the role of an adult protector, which he could not, of course, fulfill. This
intensified the conflict with his father.
i. In adolescence he felt rejected by his own group, which caused his at-
tempt to identify with it to appear futile.
In late adolescence his group life, from which he tried to draw strength,
intensified and helped to rationalize the tendency, originating in his rela-
tionship to his father, to reject Jewishness.
j. 46

a. Psychoanalyst
b. Catholic woman; in her early thirties; engaged in office work; single
c. are only half-men, castrated through circumcision; they are inferior,
and in every sense less powerful than other people.
d. The patient's anti-Semitism manifested itself only indirectly in dreams of
Jews as "half-men" and also in her repeated attachments to Jewish men.
(Attachment to "real" men was impossible for the patient.)
e. The patient was brought up in an anti-Semitic environment (family and
larger community). As an adult she had several Jewish lovers. The pa-
tient's analyst was Jewish.
f. The patient's anti-Semitism was related to the idea that Jews are inferior
and especially that Jewish men, because of circumcision, are only half-
men. The patient's penis envy and general fears of the powerful male
made a satisfactory sexual adjustment for her difficult. Her anti-Semitism
served the function of providing at least a partial adjustment for her.
g. The patient had great difficulties in identifying with her mother who was
mentally ill. Identification with her implied the threat of insanity in the
patient herself. The compensatory attachment to, and partial identification
with her father, contributed to the repression of her femininity and the
development of penis envy. These two factors made for the main conflict
in the patient; her attitude to Jews gave her the illusion of an external
conflict behind which she concealed an essential inner conflict.
h. Anti-Semitism in her surroundings.

i. The cultural attitude of anti-Semitism with which the patient was indoc-
trinated in her strict Catholic home is linked with the patient's interpreta-
tion of the Jews' sexual inferiority.

a. Psychoanalyst
b. Man; in his early thirties; engaged in professional work; Episcopalian;
c. "Dirty Jew"; Jews take advantage of others.
d. In analysis and when slightly drunk the patient makes anti-Semitic re-
e. The patient had a childhood friendship with a Jewish boy and his family
which lasted for years. The Jewish family gave him affection and food.
As an adult the patient worked with Jewish men and had close Jewish
friends. The patient was on friendly terms with his Jewish sister-in-law
and her family.
f. The patient's unstable sense of personal identity is reflected in his similarly
unstable attitude to Jews, whom he occasionally rejects while simultane-
ously identifying with them. In general the patient tends to associate him-
self with democratic, liberal ideas, although he has occasionally been a
member of a snobbish, restricted group (college fraternity). The patient
picks up the cudgels for the Jews because he feels rejected and down-
trodden on the deepest level, a consequence of his castration fears which
had become attached to his physical handicap. (He suffered from a
crippling accident in his early childhood.) His crippled state fosters identi-
fication with the Jews who symbolically stand for weak, inferior, castrated
people. His occasional hostility against Jews is due to his resentment about
being reminded of his own infirmities.
The patient has considerable social anxiety which becomes transformed
into social aggression characterized by missionary zeal. There is hostility
in his efforts to compel others to accept Jews, which means accepting him
at his lowest. Championing the Jews represents an effort to feel superior
to them and thus to deny his identification with them and his own crippled
g. The patient's parents separated when he was a small child. He felt re-
jected by his father who left the home, and also by his mother. The
crippling accident separated him from his playmates and ordinary social
life. He felt unloved, an underdog. Soon after the accident his friendship
with a Jewish family began. In contrast to his own family they represented
warmth, affection, and cohesion. This led to his identification with the
Jews which was based on their and his weakness, and also implied the
rejection of his mother's and the community's attitude to the Jews. On
the other hand, this disagreement with his immediate surroundings made
him feel weak and vulnerable.
The patient's attitude toward his father was ambivalent. In his child-
hood he was frightened that his father might punish him for secret mastur-
bation and sex phantasies. This may have laid the basis for identification
with the Jews in terms of indulging in "dirty," prohibited pleasures, the
punishment for which was castration. As the patient longed for his father's
love he partly accepted his snobbish values. Later he feared that a sur-
render to his father would entail conversion to reactionary ideas and a
destruction of his individuality.
h. The patient's early personal contact with Jews, and the contrast of his
and his family's feelings in this respect, made him aware of the issue of
anti-Semitism. The home, community and his schoolall somewhat anti-
Semiticaffected the patient.
i. The patient's rejection by his mother, and his crippled state, promoted an
idealization of his first Jewish friends and an identification with Jews. He
resented his environment's antagonistic attitude toward Jews because it
reinforced his own vulnerability and feelings of being an underdog. The
patient's ambivalent attitude to his father implied a partial acceptance of
his father's outlook; hence his occasional membership in restricted groups.
Such membership further increased his insecurity because of his funda-
mental identification with Jews. The negative component in the attitude
toward his father helped him to reject his father's ideas and to become a
champion of the Jews. His aggressive liberalism in this respect functioned
as a device to disassociate from the Jews; if he felt strong enough to pro-
tect them, then he must be stronger than they themselves.
f. 26, 67, 68, 72-73, 81, 83, 86, 90

Woman; in her early thirties; Gentile; before her marriage she was a
c. The Jews are dirty; low class; sexually aggressive to Gentile women;
Christ-killers; all Democrats are Jews; Roosevelt was a Jew.
d. Goes to Jewish analyst only when assured by friends that he is a "white"
Jew. Mixes in highly anti-Semitic circles. In the course of the analysis
her attitude changed and she began to defend Jews although she con-
tinued to think of them as low class.
e. Apart from analyst, hardly any personal contact with Jews.
f. The patient has been brought up to consider sex as dirt. Being disgusted
by her own sexual impulses she tries to rid herself of them by projecting
them onto the Jews. Her anti-Semitism also functions to maintain her ties
with her parents, husband, and the social circles in which she moves.
g. The patient's parents were not happy in their marriage. The father was a
heavy drinker who stayed away a great deal; the mother was active in the
Anti-Saloon League. Quarrels between her parents witnessed in childhood
by the patient made her see sex in terms of brutality and dirt. Her family's,
especially her mother's, anti-Semitism helped her to project her own
interest in dirt and sex onto the Jews, the most easily available target
for displacement.
h. The family's anti-Semitism.
i. The patient's equation of sex and dirt, and her partial rejection of both
in her parents as well as in herself, created a conflict in her. The current
anti-Semitism in her milieu presented the Jews as having those qualities
which she tried to deny. The readily available target for her hate thus
served the function of helping her to pretend that she was free from what
she disliked in the Jews.

a. Psychoanalyst
b. Man; in his thirties; Jewish; married for second time; salesman
c. Unconscious
accusations: Jews are weak, subjugated, castrated, dirty.
d. As an adolescent the patient began to dislike his Jewish-sounding
He hated his mother for forcing him to go to Hebrew school. His dreams
revealed his anti-Semitism in analysis; consciously he went to great length
as an adult to stand up for Jews and other underprivileged minorities. He
changed his name to spare his son the experience of anti-Semitism. Fears
anti-Semitism in his girl friend.
e. Contact with Jews all through his life. In the
army he suffered from anti-
Semitism directed against him.
f. The patient's anti-Semitism presents a protest against both his parents.
On the one hand being Jewish meant being like his father: weak, subju-
gated, and castrated by a woman. His father, who was a staunch trade
unionist and not religious himself, objected to the patient's change of
name on grounds of principles. Nevertheless the patient took this step in
an attempt to disassociate himself from his father. On the other hand,
being Jewish meant being an aggressive, sexually thwarting person like
his mother. The patient wished to reject both parents in rejecting his
g. The patient's parents were apparently not happy in their marriage.
family was organized on a matriarchal basis. The mother dominated
husband and the entire household. She had a need to keep all
in her own hands and to suppress signs of independence in all family
members. From his infancy to his adulthood she treated the
according to the following pattern: she created a strong feeling of
ency in him and when he then turned to her for protection, she rejected
him. The patient was dependent on her and afraid to violate her
yet he was constantly unhappy in his submission. The father was a mild,
indulgent man who submitted with rare exception to his wife's domina-
tion and found comfort and ease outside the family with his political
friends. The father was much more attached to one of his daughters than
to his son. As a small child the patient felt displaced by the birth of a
younger sister. He then used to say that he was his father's child but not
his mother's.
At the age of eight the patient and his family moved to the country.
There the patient for the first time experienced anti-Semitism. There were
many unhappy incidents and the patient felt more keenly than ever before
that he was different from other boys. At the same time he had phantasies
of not being his parents' child. A few years later the patient saw his family
infuriated by his uncle's defiant marriage to a non-Jewish girl.
The patient reported a dream in which a Catholic girl friend of his
appeared while he was buying soap. Apparently he regarded this girl as
a means for washing off his Jewishness.
h. Anti-Semitism in a country town; later experience of anti-Semitism in the
army; his uncle's rebellion against the traditional Jewish standards of his
i. The patient has a need to reject both his parents. They are very different
personalities, but emphasis on Jewishness is the one thing they have in
common. This makes anti-Semitism particularly suitable for rejecting both
parents simultaneously through one attitude. The patient does not dare to
come out in open rebellion but he witnessed other members of the f am-
ily rebelling by means of disassociating themselves from Jewishness (his

Woman; in her early twenties; professional; Methodist (half-Jewish
origin); single
c. The Jews are on the one hand objectionable and vulgar in every respect;
they are equated with everything that is pleasurable; on the other hand,
they are the symbol of a God who denies life and spontaneity.
d. The patient felt humiliated when treated by a Jewish doctor. Whenever
possible she tends to avoid contact with Jews.
e. Some contacts. The patient's family always told her to keep away from
Jews. Apparently they felt ashamed of their Jewish ancestors; however
the mother had a number of prominent Jews as friends. When the patient's
parents quarreled, the father would accuse the mother of her Jewishness.
f. Thepatient projects onto the Jews her own conflicts and ambivalence
regarding her sexual role, her mother, and her ethical values. Her avoid-
ance of Jews is paralleled by her avoidance of her own sexual drives.
g. The patient's parents were unhappily married. The mother treated her
husband like a doormat; the father was weak, and soon began to spend
most of his life outside the family in his clubs.
The patient and her younger brother were brought up by their mother
and the maternal grandmother in a rigid and repressive manner. Sex and
dirt were openly equated by these two women and the children were
forced into exaggerated cleanliness. Severe masturbation threats helped
to thwart the child's attitude to sex. The mother's overindulgence led to
a suppression of spontaneous impulses. The child felt rebellious towards
her mother but did not dare to express her aggression frankly. Some of it
she displaced into hostility against her younger brother. The patient never
achieved a genuine identification with her mother. The resulting ambiv-
alence toward herself was reflected in her anti-Semitic attitudes.
h. Anti-Semitism of her partly Jewish family.
i. The patient's unstable sense of personal identity, resulting in partial self-
resection, was symbolized and supported by her family's snobbish anti-
Semitism which, because of their partial Jewishness, involved also some
/. 46,57

a. Psychoanalyst
b. Man; in his thirties; Catholic; married; teacher in a reformatory
c. Jewsare aggressive, shrewd, obtrusive, also good providers with much
family loyalty.
d. Bland expression of anti-Semitism in analysis and outside of it.
e. No contacts with Jews in childhood. Casual
contact through work in
f. The patient has a vague personality and feels
chronically insecure. He is
afraid to express any hostility lest its full extent come out into the open.
Anti-Semitism serves him as a channel for some of the hostility that he
dares not display otherwise. His own weakness makes the Jews appear
as a threat to his personality; yet he envies their aggression and sexual
potency. He attempts to enhance his own superiority by relegating the
Jews to a lower status.
g. Early seduction by his mother antedates the patient's later
attempts at
seducing his sisters. Though he was stimulated in both instances, his dom-
ineering mother prevented him from actually playing a male role. The
obvious weakness of his father deterred any identification with a man. In
the patient's mind, women and aggression were identified beginning
at an
early age; he also equated women with Jews whom he sees as potent,
aggressive, and destructive.
h. Anti-Semitic attitudes on the part of his
family, community and church.
i. The patient's fear of showing
any hostile feelings and aggression against
members of his family prompted him to accept the culturally sanctioned
hostility against the Jews as an outlet. His insecure sense of identity,
cially as a man, his infantile dependency on his mother, and his fear of her
destructive powers, abetted the patient's expression of hostility through
accepted channels, i.e., anti-Semitism. Thus he projected onto the Jews
his own hostility and those qualities which he fears and desires in himself.
/. 88

a. Psychoanalyst
b. Man; in his twenties; Protestant; at college; single
c. The Jews are ugly, loud, and oversensitive. They are also self-conscious
and defensive and try to be like Gentiles.
d. Verbal anti-Semitism within his family and in analysis. He is ever aware
of Jews, he can "smell" them in a train, and tries to avoid association with
Jewish-looking persons.
e. The patient met Jews at schools, and in adult life at work and socially.
His present girl friend is Jewish (though not Jewish-looking).
f. The patient feels socially insecure and emotionally isolated. He has a vague
self-image. He strives for superiority through class and cultural snobbish-
ness, expensive clothes, and superior tastes. Essentially he feels that he is
accepted nowhere and that he belongs nowhere. Hence he is ambivalent
toward the Jews: on the one side he identifies with them as being sensi-
tive, vulnerable, and inferior persons; on the other hand he simultaneously
makes an effort to deny this identification by relegating them to a position
inferior to his. Because the Jews remind him of his own inferiorities the
patient feels uncomfortable in their presence. The patient sees Jews as
aggressive and this he fears. He also envies their capacity for emotional
contact with others and for enjoyment of life. The patient identifies Jews
with aggressive women and sees them as his enemies. His own basic
passivity leaves him open for assault by strong women and emotional Jews.
g. The patient as a child felt unable to compete or identify with his gentle
and gifted father. He felt deserted when his mother died in his early
childhood. He regarded his stepmother as a dangerous intruder. Beset
by these fears the patient from an early age started to withdraw, to
feel insecure and suspicious of the world. His school experiences con-
firmed his idea that the Jews are both a lot like him and also what he
would like to be, but that they are not ashamed of owning up to their
qualities, which he rejects in himself. His dependent need of the Jews
is manifested through the selection of a Jewish girl friend.
h. Contact with Jews in school and later life confirms his ambivalent picture
of them.
1. The patient is fearful and envious of Jewish traits. He depends upon them
but needs to emphasize his dissociation from them in an attempt to
strengthen his weak self.
j. 76
a. Psychoanalyst
b. Woman; in her early twenties; Gentile; artist; single. From early child-
hood on the patient spent much of her time with a Jewish couple, neigh-
bors of her parents, who later adopted her legally and emigrated with her
from Germany to the United States. In fact she had two sets of parents:
one Gentile, one Jewish..
c. The patient's anti-Semitism was of the Nazi brand. (She was ten years old
when anti-Semitic propaganda was officially introduced into German
schools.) Specifically she thought that Jewish men raped small Gentile
girls; that they were obscene. She thinks of Jews as being fat, sloppy and
dirty (in the sense of oversexed).
d. Avoids Jewish men, but does not reveal her anti-Semitic feelings to her
foster parents.
e. Close but emotionally very ambivalent contact with her Jewish foster
parents. From the age of ten to fifteen, exposed to Nazi education and
propaganda, especially to reading the Strmer.
f. The patient is beset by a deep confusion about herself and her two sets
of parents. The rejection implied in her real parents' abandonment of
her to the Jewish neighbors makes it impossible for her to appreciate her
foster parents and their generosity. Her anti-Semitism is a spurious at-
tempt to solve this conffict; it does not succeed because she is in many
ways dependent on and attached to her foster parents.
g. The patient's real parents quarreled continuously with each other. The
father had an unusual interest in circuses. His wealth permitted him to
leave his home for months and follow a circus around the globe. The
patient was particularly anxious for the affection of her father but felt
displaced by a sister a year younger than she was. The patient shifted
continuously between her own home and that of her foster parents, with
the result that she felt insecure in both. However, she exploited the
situation: whenever she did not get her way she would change homes.
The patient's foster parents were, apparently, happily married. How-
ever, the patient strongly disliked being a witness to any sign of affection
between them. The patient phantasied that her foster father took a sexual
interest in her. The earliest and probably most continuous drive in the
life of the patient was her unfulfilled desire for her real father's love. Be-
cause this desire remained unfulfilled, she projected onto the Jew, who
happened to take her father's place, her hostility for not getting what she
wanted from her real father.
h. Nazi propaganda in all its forms and through all channels.
i. The patient's extraordinary family
situation created in her a partial hatred
and rejection of her Jewish foster parents. Nazi propaganda provided her
with arguments against the Jews which coincided with her own personal
needs, especially in the sphere of sex.


Man; in his early forties; Jewish-born, he was converted to the Episco-
palian religion at the age of fourteen; successful businessman.
c. Jews are overbearing, aggressive, money-mad, untrustworthy. Jewish
women can be "had."
d. The patient insulted a business acquaintance by refusing to deal with his
Jewish secretary. He never hired Jewish help himself. During the phase of
his negative transference to his Jewish analyst he accused the doctor of the
traits outlined above. During the positive transference phase his anti-
Semitism took the form of saying that the doctor was not as bad as other
Jews. He actively spread anti-Semitism. He had changed his Jewish-
sounding name.
e. Even before the family's religious conversion its members maintained little
contact with Jews. Ever since, the patient, plagued by a morbid fear that
his own Jewishness might be discovered, has kept aloof from Jews.
f. For the patient Jews are like his father, i.e., fearful, punishing, hard. He
hates the Jews for exactly the same reasons that he hates his father. This
hatred is the result of early rejection by his father which left the patient
with a lifelong frustration, a yearning for acceptance. While he overtly pro-
fesses to hate his father he emulates him in his behavior.
g. The patient's father was a severe disciplinarian who dominated the entire
household, including his timid wife. His mother's futile attempts to miti-
gate his father's harshness showed her as weak and helpless in the patient's
eyes. The mother never repudiated her Jewishness (she died when the
patient was thirteen years old). This difference between the parents' char-
acter structure, coinciding with their different attitude towards being Jew-
ish, created the impression in the patient that Jews, who remained Jews,
were weak and subjugated. Retrospectively the patient saw his mother as
warm, affectionate, and good. But the absence of any identification in him
with such values indicates that he must first have seen his mother through
his father's eyes: weak, inefficient, and negligible. Soon after the mother's
death the family became converted; the father then married a wealthy
Christian woman who occasionally chided the father for his Jewish back-
ground. The patient's anti-Semitism became manifest when he was about
seventeen years old. He then had a daydream that he would go into his
father's office and denounce him as a Jew. At the same time he was mor-
bidly afraid of being discovered as a Jew himself.
h. His father's conversion; his stepmother's anti-Semitism; the anti-Semitic
atmosphere in prep school and college.
i. The patient's childhood need for acceptance was frustrated by his father,
which left him with an exaggerated need to belong. The only acceptance
he ever experienced was by his mother, a Jew, i.e., a weak person, who
did not offer any protection. The cultural equivalent of his rejection by
hisfather was the rejection of Jews. He tried to identify,
and culturally, with the enemy (his father and the anti-Semites).
j. 44, 51-58, 79

a. Psychoanalyst
b. Man; in his middle fOrties; Catholic; married for second
jobs (artist) time; various
c. Jews are lower class; Jews "sweep
a holiday resort like locusts and change
its character." When drunk calls a Jew "kike."
d. Patient, a left-wing liberal, feels
ashamed of his anti-Semitic inclinations;
he supports the underdog (mainly the Negro but also the
Jew) where he
can. Hesitates to introduce his Jewish friend to other non-Jewish friends.
e. Continuous association with Jews
on socially friendly terms. Recalls an
incident of childhood where his mother was cheated by
a Jewish tenant.
f. The patient, who has charming and
ingratiating manners, is under the
surface full of hostility and sadistic aggression. These feelings
through in his occasional anti-Semitism and provide break
a certain amount of
relief. The patient identifies to a certain extent with the weak
underdog, i.e., the Jew, thus expressing his desire for identificationand the
his weak father. with
g. The patient was the son of a German father and
father was a weak person who suffered ostracism inanthis Irish mother. The
country during
the First World War because of his German origin. He spent little time
at home and died abroad when the patient was a child. The mother
an aggressive, cunning, efficient, money-greedy person who worked was
way up to considerable wealth. She frequently abandoned her her
son to a
wealthy woman friend; however, when she discovered that the
child be-
came too attached to that woman she took him away. The patient, there-
fore, had no chance of identifying with his father, nor with his mother to
whose domination he meekly submitted. From early childhood
on he
suffered from a feeling of isolation and a lack of belongingness.
h. The current anti-Semitism in the culture.
1. The patient's attempts to identify with his weak father,
and later on with
the underdog, left him unprotected against his domineering
on the social level against the powerful groups. In order tomother, and
escape his
feelings of loneliness and passivity he partially identified
with the aggres-
sor, i.e., he adopted the negative attitude of the culture against

a. Psychoanalyst
b. Woman; in her late twenties; Protestant; secretarial work; single
Jews are loud.
Overidentification with Jews
No contact in childhood; first contacts in college; later she had a Jewish
boss whom she liked and Jewish friends. Has Jewish sister-in-law. Her
family was outspokenly anti-Semitic, warning her that Jews would cheat
her, were loud and dirty.
f. Patient feels completely rejected by the world, and unloved. She is like
dirt. Hence her overidentiflcation with the "dirty" Jews. The patient is not
capable of feeling strong emotions or of being aggressive. Hence her self-
rejection, which makes her a "Jew" in her own mind, does not lead to anti-
Semitism but rather to a passive acceptance of her being like a Jew, i.e.,
g. No information
h. Anti-Semitism in her family and home town
i. The patient saw her family's rejection of herself as identical with her f am-
ily's rejection of the Jew. The patient, having repressed all aggression,
became resigned to her own rejection and the fact that this put her into
a position similar to that of the Jew. Her underlying reaction was one of
deep submission; she was unable to mobilize an effective protest.


a. Community Service Society

b. Woman; unmarried mother; Negro; in her twenties; Protestant
c. One cannot trust Jews. They are sly and mean; get all the advantages.
They ask too many questions.
d. Resentment against a case worker because she was Jewish. When the de-
mands for financial help were not immediately met by the agency, the
client said that things might be different if her baby were Jewish.
e. Client had worked in a hotel frequented by Jews. She had met Jews in
welfare agencies with which she was in contact.
f. The client has experienced many deprivations and hardships throughout
her life. She does not dare to feel resentful against all whites. In select-
ing the Jews as target for her displaced hatred, she finds an outlet for
her hostility without getting into conflict with society as a whole. She
probably also hopes for greater acceptance by some white people through
sharing their dislike for the Jews.
g. No information
h. No information
1. No information
j. 66
a. Community Service Society
b. Man; in his late thirties; white-collar worker; married; Protestant
c. Jewish doctors are quacks. All Jews are clever, though very tight it
money matters. They are loyal to their families, buy their women folk nice
clothes and take them to good restaurants. They are economically success-
ful; they stick by one another.
d. Client gets into fights with Jewish
neighbors and doctors; keeps out of
their way for a time, but after a while takes up contact with them again.
e. The client knows some of his Jewish
neighbors, the Jewish employer of
his stepdaughter, and Jewish doctors at a hospitalthe out-patient de-
partment of which he consulted frequently because of his psychosomatic
symptoms. He had a Jewish friend in a G.L training course who helped
him with his work. The client did not object to this friend's
f. The client suffers from deep frustrations; his emotional life is inhibited,
his ambitions checked. He sees the Jews as having achieved everything
that he cannot achieve: they are good husbands (his wife once
ran away
from him), good fathers (he has no children of his own; his stepdaughter
despises him); the Jews are socially and economically successful (he
so uncertain of himself that he does not dare to accept a good job offered
to him); they know where they belong (he is a foster child with a limited
and confused idea about his biological parents). The comparison is so
devastating for his self-confidence that his envy is turned into
ness against Jews as a form of self-defense. If he can pretend to look
down on them in spite of all their envied qualities, his own envy with its
self-destructive implications is, at least, bearable.
g. The client was born abroad. When he was very young both his
parents died,
and his foster parents, apparently friends of his real parents, adopted
and emigrated with him when he was twelve years old to the U.S.A. He
always had suspicions about his foster parents' motivation for the
tion, and thought that his foster father was probably his real father. His
foster parents treated him with extreme severity; he never felt loved,
wanted, or backed up by them. When he was fifteen he
kill his foster mother. Apparently he was so frightened by once attempted to
his father that
he renounced competing with him but decided to please his
mother by
remaining a baby. This brought him into serious conflict when faced
the responsibilities of an adult. In this context the adult behavior
of the
Jews as he saw them gave fresh support to his envy.
h. The cultural stereotype of the
Jew as the socially and economically suc-
cessful person; his underprivileged economic situation.
1. The client met Jews in two social settings: as his superiors and as his
equals. His entire feeling toward persons superior to himself (Jewish
doctors, employer) is thwarted because of his early life
experiences. His
hatred of Jews represents a displacement of his incapacity to face
superior to himself. In so far as the cultural stereotype of the Jews empha-
sizes attributes of superiority, it drives him into the camp of anti-Semites.
When he meets Jewish persons on his own level (a Jewish friend), his
anti-Semitism disappears.
j. 28, 58-55, 68, 64, 86

a. Community Service Society
b. Woman; fifty-eight years old; small shopkeeper; Protestant
c. The Jews are driving (as employers). They want to have the best of
every bargain; take advantage of other people, treat them in a humiliating
way as if they were servants.
d. Refuses to work for Jews in spite of need for employment and promise of
good working conditions. On another occasion when put under a Jewish
supervisor the client said: "My supervisor is a kind and understanding
person but she is a Jewess. When the supervisor is absent for a few days
there seems to be less pressure of work on me. I don't like Jews for one
reason or another." All manifestations of anti-Semitism occur in relation-
ships to a superior in work.
e. Some contacts through work.
f. The client became anti-Semitic apparently only after having been hospital-
ized for over a year because of alcoholism. Alcoholism had been for her
an escape from her personality conflicts. It is quite possible that anti-
Semitism provided a substitute for alcoholism, i.e., another way of escap-
ing from facing her conflicts. The client, who had from early childhood
accumulated a tremendous amount of hostility against the world and
against herself had never before dared to express her hostility against the
world. From that point of view the expression of anti-Semitic feelings in
this person indicates at least a loosening up of her rigidly repressed
g. The client was born into the worst possible milieu. Her parents were semi-
criminals, living in the slum area of a big town. The mother was an alco-
holic. The relationship between the parents alternated between quarreling
and indifference. The client hated both parents. In her youth she had to
take care of her younger siblings. When the client was sixteen she found a
job as a model, and from then on moved upward into an entirely different
life until she became a high executive of a beauty parlor concern. Ap-
parently she has never been able to build up a clear image of her personal
identity in this extreme social mobility. She suffered from not knowing
where she belonged. In her late thirties she took to drink which repre-
sented, superficially, an escape from conffict in her work that she could
not solve.
h. No information
1. No information
j. 83, 91

a.Community Service Society
b. Man; in his early fifties; Episcopalian; manual
worker; widowed; born in
Sweden, he came to this country some twenty years ago.
c. Jews are cheapskates; fakers; try to get away with "second best";
they do
not appreciate other people; exploiters; too powerful and too successful.
d. The client's anti-Semitism is entirely uninhibited. He expresses it at every
opportunity. He is unwilling to take a job under a Jewish employer. The
client felt that President Roosevelt was too friendly towards Jews.
e. In the client's boyhood in Europe he first met a Jew who settled down in
the client's home town as a fishmonger. Client reports that: "He didn't
last long because he tried to cheat the fishermen. But they squeezed him
out of business even after he had realized his mistake and tried to offer
better prices."
In the U.S.A. the client twice had Jewish employers. The first did not
sufficiently appreciate the client's services but, when the client told him
so, apparently apologized and thanked him for what he had done. The
second Jewish employer tried to use unfair practices with his customers.
When the client told him off, he changed his practice.
f. The client has a conspicuous need to protect himself against social dange
which he senses as imminent. He has a fear of being put at a disadvantage
and rejected. He has a deeply concealed feeling of smallness and weakness.
He tends to identify with authority and accept it unquestioningly. These
attitudes dominate all his human relationships; they are most sharply
focused on the Jews, a group that the client hates because of their greater
success, and a group that he can attack in relative safety so that he himself
can be less aware of his own weaknesses.
g. The client was one of many siblings; he was brought up on a farm in an
extremely strict manner. There was no affection between his parents; his
mother was a kind person who worked very hard but always submitted
to his father's will. The client hated his father but never dared to rebel
against him until he decided to go away to sea. He used the Jews as an
outlet for his hatred of powera hatred he had never dared to direct
against his father.
h. The anti-Semitism in his home town, which the client saw in action against
a Jewish fishmonger, was apparently linked with resentment against higher
economic classes and had in it a strong element of envy. The circum-
stances under which the client met Jews later, repeated the same pattern.
i. The client's ambivalent attitude to authorityinner rebellion and outward
submissionwas first developed in his relationship to his father. This
ambivalent attitude prevented any genuine identification and set up con-
siderable tension. The circumstances in which the client met Jews in-
duced him to regard them much as he regarded his father. His own
economic situation left him unsatisfied in this respect and forced him to
envy and hate those in more favorable circumstances. The Jews thus
presented an ideal displacement for his social and personal anxieties.
j. 83, 91

a. Community Service Society
b. 'Woman; near forty; Protestant; waitress; deserted by husband
c. "Jews live off the fat of the land"; "Jews don't appreciate anything." They
are stingy, don't tip properly; want the best of everything.
d. Treats Jewish customers badly, especially foreign-born Jews. Politically
she tends to agree with Hitlerite policies toward Jews.
a. Jews as customers in restaurant; during the summer months the client
chose voluntarily a Jewish resort as workplace because of the good food,
salary, and tips.
f. Client feels diffuse hostility against the entire world. She finds it especially
hard to get along with anyone in authority. She is also especially hostile to
everyone better off than she. Her anti-Semitism served her in part as a
displaced outlet for her hostility. Having been born in Germany herself,
German Jews better off than she served as a particularly suitable object
of hate because she identified with them as to their German origin and
therefore resented all the more their better social and economic position.
g. The client was the youngest of six children born to a German family.
Father and mother had to work. The client's main complaint about her
home was in relation to her mother. She felt her mother did not love her,
was dominating and strict, and abused her physically. The family's eco-
nomic position was very bad; the client had to work as a domestic from
an early age. At the age of twenty-one she decided to leave the misery of
her home and emigrate. She was deeply hurt by the fact that nobody but
her father came to see her off at the boat. Nothing is definitely known about
the onset of the client's anti-Semitism. However, it is interesting to note
that in the agency's first contact with the client in 1935, no anti-Semitism
was noted, while it did appear at a later contact in 1942. The client re-
jected everything American, felt proudly German, and may have been
influenced in the selection of her hate target through political events in
h. The client resented her own economic position which compelled her to
"serve Jews." Her German nationalism made her identify with the Hitler
regime in spite of the fact that she had voluntarily left that country about
twenty years ago.
i. Her hatred of authority, her resentment against persons better off than
she, was verbalized for her in the anti-Semitic utterances of Nazi propa-
ganda. Her own life experience, especially
as waitress, seemed to confirm
the "truth" of her ideology. She felt humiliated through
having to serve
at all; when the people she served were Jews she found a specific channel
for her grievances.
The client was frustrated in her need for identification
and country. This urge was thwarted twice in her life: with parents
in childhood
through her mother; and in later life through her own desertion of her
country. To appease her own guilt feelings in this respect she
wholeheartedly her country's attitude towards the Jews.
j. 83

a. Community Service Society
b. A Catholic school boy aged sixteen
c. Jew is synonymous with calling
names. Jews are smart and cunning and
get the best of things because of their smartness.
d. In the course of a discussion with his psychiatric social
worker about
neighborhood gangs he asked the worker what religion she had.
He was
quite taken aback when he learned that she was Jewish. He asked: "Why
do you call yourself a Jew?"
e. No actual contact with Jews before
meeting his psychiatric social worker.
f. This boy feels diffuse hostility against many groups, his
own group (the
Irish) included. His disparaging remarks against his
own group, and his
threat to his mother to change his name and dissociate himself
from her
completely, are indications of his desire for gaining a new identity. This
implies a poorly developed sense of self which makes
every group that
possesses a clear-cut identity appear as a threat, and hence as hateful.
g. The parents' marriage
was unhappy. Apparently neither of the parents
achieved sexual satisfaction. Their violent quarrels were intensified through
the economic distress in which they lived.
The mother rejected the boy repeatedly, often accusing him of being
like his father. This undermined his self-esteem and made
it impossible
for him to identify with either father or mother. Later, after
his father's
death, his mother also stimulated him by putting him into the
role of his
father and by being jealous of his girl friends. In this
manner she en-
couraged in him an attitude of infantile dependence.
h. Crude wholesale group hostilities
in his family and in the gangs to which
he belonged.
i. His conditional fear of
everyone who appeared to have a secure identity
was enhanced by the socially justified fear of poverty and misery,
competition for daily bread with others better qualified to win.
j. 60
Community Service Society
Sixteen year old Catholic girl; office worker
Jews are people with whom one avoids mixing.
Refused a job because there were many Jewish employees in the firm.
Client became friendly with a girl whom she later discovered to be Jew-
ish. She then confessed surprise about this girl's Jewishness because "she
was exactly like the rest of the girls."
f. The client's anti-Semitism helped her to conform to the standards of her
family and her neighborhood, both of which were outspokenly anti-
Semitic; her church community also supported her anti-Semitic feelings.
g. There was always much hostility within the client's family, and between
the family and the neighbors. This large family was dominated by a quick-
tempered mother who was a bad household manager. The father was
hard to get along with, and subject to spells of moodiness. Once the father
hit a neighbor with an ax; after this the family was ostracized by the
h. The family was poor. Anti-Semitism apparently presented a convenient
outlet for hostilities for everyone in this family, the client included. The
experience of being socially ostracized probably reinforced group hostility;
the client's anti-Semitism may also be regarded as an expression of con-
formity to the neighborhood.
i. The client is obviously insecure and in need of a feeling of belongingness.
The many family quarrels threaten to isolate her completely. As an ex-
pression of her desire to conform at least in some respects, the client
emulates the family's anti-Semitism in a manner similar to the family's
emulation of their neighbors' anti-Semitism.

a. Jewish Board of Guardians
b. Fifteen year old unmarried mother; Jewish
c. Jews are hypocrites.
d. Plans conversion to Catholicism; never has Jewish friends. Attended a
Catholic Sunday School.
e. Jewish family, but not orthodox. Father also somewhat anti-Semitic. The
father's parents are, however, extremely orthodox. Some Jewish children
in the neighborhood.
f. The client's rejection of Jewishness expresses her rejection of her parents,
especially of her mother. To an extent it also involves a denial of her own
identity. Her wish to become a Catholic is an expression of her rebellion
and her search for a more satisfying identity.
g. The client's parents have been separated since the client was five years
old. Little is known about the psychological development of the
infancy. Apparently there was continuous domestic friction at homeclient in
the children were used as "whipping posts." Economic misery
was con-
stant. The family was morally degenerated too; the father practiced incest
with the client when she was eight years old.
The client developed a deep need for love and warmth. She
became strongly attached to the mothers of her boy friends.
miscuous sexual relations,
Her pro-
as well as her wish for conversion to Catholicism,
express a need for affection of which she was quite conscious.
h. The utter misery of her family situation; the influence of the
Church and her Catholic friends.
1. The client's unhappy family life made her reject everything
that charac-
terized the family, including Jewishness, and seek support
in contrasting
atmospheres. Having discovered the contrasting atmosphere of the Cath-
olic Church her idea was strengthened that the Jewishness of her
was partly responsible for her misery.
1. 79

a. Jewish Board of Guardians
b. Girl; aged seven; half-Jewish
c. No formulation
d. Confusion about being half-Jewish
e. Jewish mother; partly Jewish neighborhood.
f. The child exploits the religious difference between her
the only concrete difference she can grasp in an attempt parents which is
to understand
what is wrong in her home. When she is angry at her father
the fact that he is not Jewish. On other occasions she she brings up
emphasizes her
being like her father. "I am as crazy as my father." She also
is impressed
by what her little Catholic friends tell her about their church
and school,
and expresses the wish to go there. She centers all her
being Jewish or non-Jewish, and wavers continuously in
problems around
her preference.
g. The child was said by her mother to have been perfectly
easily led, up to the age of two and a half years. Then she happy and
became ill and
was sent to a hospital. On return she seemed frightened and disturbed.
Soon afterwards a sister was born which made her worse. Her
ill after this birth and mother was
sent the child to live with a "mean" aunt. This
experience intensified the child's feeling of being rejected by both her
parents. This child had been unplanned and unwanted.
The mother is outwardly protective of her husband and children
there is ample evidence of her deep-seated hostility against them. but
The rela-
tionship between the parents is bad; a threatened separation
has been the
constant background for the child's emotional disturbance.
h. The difference in the parents' religious affiliations; the Catholic neighbor-
i. The child has not been able to identify with either parent; she gropes for
a way by which to externalize her own frustration and the conflict she
senses between her parents. In this attempt the religious difference be-
tween the parents, emphasized by the Catholic neighborhood, presents a
tangible opportunity for emotional exploitation.

a. Jewish Board of Guardians
b. A Jewish unmarried mother, aged seventeen
c. Jewish boys are not attractive.
d. Avoidance of Jewish friends
e. Jewish family
f. The client's dislike of Jews serves as a means for expressing hostility to
her Jewish parents.
g. The client's mother is a very rigid, nagging person. Her father is some-
what less critical of his daughter but both parents rejected the child dur-
ing her infancy in favor of her brother. They expressed their guilt feelings
by extreme overindulgence, hardly limiting the child in any way until
they discovered her pregnancy; from then on the father also turned se-
verely against her, mainly because she had been associating with a non-
Jewish boy.
h. A mixed Jewish and Catholic neighborhood in which each group empha-
sizes the essential difference and tries in spite of the involuntary physical
closeness to maintain its isolation from the other.
1. The client's need for warmth and affection was not met in her own home;
she therefore tried to discover an "opposed" atmosphere. In terms of the
actual neighborhood situation this meant turning to non-Jews.

a. Jewish Board of Guardians
b. A half-Jewish, half-Irish unmarried mother; aged fifteen
c. Jewishboys are immature and unattractive, "long-nosed and unmanly."
"Everyone knows that Jewish girls are looked down upon by others."
d. Keeps her Jewishness a secret from her boy friends; wants to be mistaken
for an Italian; dislikes one grandmother because she speaks Yiddish.
e. Jewish family; keeps contact with anti-Semitic gangs where she frequently
hears statements like, "He's a Jew; let's beat him up." The leader of one
of these gangs told her that the gang once raped a girl only because she
was Jewish. (The client was raped herself by a gang, but apparently
without reference to her Jewishness.)
The client feels strong hostility
f. toward her Jewish mother who rejected
her from bhth. Jewishness is identified in the girl's mind with
Her dislike of Jews serves the function of dissociation from her her mother.
g. The client was an unwanted child, rejected by her nagging
and domineer-
ing mother. In contrast to her mother, her father was overindulgent
being a nervous person he would occasionally have fits of anger against
the child. Her ambitious Jewish mother dominates her half-Irish
and drives him on, as his earning capacity leaves her father
child's early as much dissatisfied. The
as her present unhappiness is based on the lack
of love. Rejected by her constantly depriving mother the
girl searches for
male attributes in herself and others. She justifies her preference
for Italian
boys by saying that she admires their directness, forcefulness,
and unin-
hibited sexuality. She also likes their food and their warm family atmos-
phere. The ethnic difference in the parents' background
girl to rationalize her confused sense of personal was used by the
become Catholic is an expression of her search for identity. Her wish to
identity. a compensatory
h. Jewish-Catholic intermarriage is the rule in both her father's
mother's family. Apparently much family conversation and her
terms of religious group stereotypes. The gang which the girl conducted in
outspokenly anti-Semitic. joined was
i. The girl's confusion about her
own identity, created in early childhood, is
reflected in the divergent group memberships of her family. As the
happens to stand both for Jewishness and for rejection the girl treatsmother
two attributes as linked and tries to escape from both. Her
attempts in this
direction are helped by her father's Gentile identification,
Semitic attitudes of her group which, in contrast, does give her
and the anti-
ceptance. some ac-
j. 75

a. Jewish Board of Guardians
b. Girl; aged seventeen; partly
Jewish, partly Syrian
c. Jewish boys are morally unclean;
more sexual than Gentile boys; they are
also brighter, and more interesting. Jewish people
persons' private lives.
are curious about other
d. Feels revulsion towards Jewish boys; prefers non-Jewish
girl friends,
e. Jewish
mother; lived for twelve years in Europe with mother's Jewish
family. Now contact with Jews and non-Jews.
f. The girl's confessed revulsion towards Jewish boys is
attempt to repress all sexual feelings. By appearing toanlimit
expression of her
this revulsion
to one group she can pretend to herself that the
reasons for this half-
hearted repression lie outside herself. The selection of the Jewish group
for this purpose is encouraged through her ambivalent attitude towards
being half-Jewish herself. In open conflict with her Jewish mother she
idealizes her Syrian father who lives abroad and whom she does not know.
She tends to reject everything in connection with her mother; on a deeper
level she feels frustrated in her yearning for her mother's love.
g. The girl was an unwanted child. Her mother, a rigid, tense, controlling
person, was in conflict with her husband who, according to her account,
wanted her to behave like an eastern, and not a western woman. Her
mother felt she could solve her marital problems easier if the child were
away. Therefore the baby was sent to Europe at the age of eight months.
The marriage ended in divorce, and the father returned to Syria where he
remarried. The child stayed with her maternal grandmother by whom
she was loved and also spoiled. She regarded this grandmother for a long
time as her real mother.
Returning to her mother after the grandmother's death she was again
rejected by her and sent to various boarding schools. In one of these she
was subjected to anti-Semitic attacks from schoolmates.
h. The conflict between her parents which was expressed in their different
group memberships, i.e., eastern Mohammedan vs. western Jewish culture;
some cultural anti-Semitism in the United States.
i. The rejection that the child experienced at an early age prevented the
development of a healthy identification with either parent. The resulting
doubts about herself led to ambivalence about her own group member-
ships; the conflict between her parents, conveniently symbolized by the
conflicting group memberships, served as a means for expressing her own


Jewish Board of Guardians

A boy; aged fifteen; illegitimate son of a Catholic mother and a Jewish
father; adopted by a Jewish couple

d. He tends to think of himself as Gentile in spite of his Jewish upbringing.

When he goes to a synagogue he feels guilty and empty; when he goes to
a Catholic church he feels warm. He wants to be a Catholic like his
e. Jewish upbringing in a Jewish family from infancy.
f. The boy's vague anti-Jewish feelings serve as an expression of his longing
for the love of his Catholic mother. They are, at the same time, a rebellion
against the continuous rejection he experienced from his Jewish adoptive
g. The boy was born out of wedlock; he had been told that his mother
to kill him immediately after birth but he refused to believe this. Appar-
ently she neglected the baby completely, and neighbors cared for
until he was adopted. him
His adoptive mother is simple-minded and as a rule overindulgent.
When she loses her temper, however, she attacks the boy viciously,
him "ginny bastard." His adoptive father is paranoid. When the boy
thirteen he was crudely and unceremoniously told that he was onlywas an
adopted child. His understandable confusion about his own identity led
him to reject his Jewishness.
h. His social and family situation.
i. The confusion about his
own identity, his desire to belong, and the rejec-
tion and lack of understanding he experiences in his present home led
to imagine that everything was good that was different from his home him
represented his mother, i.e., Catholicism is better than Jewishness.
j. 79

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Adaptation, reality, 36-88 Case histories( Continued)

Aggression, social, see Anxiety projection, 57
Aggressiveness, 32-83 selective anti-Semite, 59-60
Alcoholism, 29, 31, 61, 76 unselective anti-Semite, 60-61
Anal character traits, 47-48 reaction formation, 67
Anti-Semitism, defined, 19 reality adaptation, 87
Anxiety, 27-29, 61 religious feelings, 92
social aggression substituted for, 63-64 selective character of, 17-19
avoidance of contact, 64-65 social aggression substituted for anxi-
opposition, 65-66 ety, 63-65
Apathy, 91-92 specificity, 86-87
Atomization, 90 stereotype, determination of, 75
Attitudes, in intergroup relations, 87 See also Appendix, 95-130
Avoidance of contact, 64-65 Castration anxiety, 48
Character, national, 6-8, 57
Children, Oedipal struggle, 48-55
relationship of parents to, 45-48
Behavior determinants, 10-11 Circumcision, 50
Bias, 2 Climate, cultural, see Cultural climate
Boredom, 91-92 Clinical diagnosis, 25-27
emotional predispositions, anxiety, 27-
conformity and fear of the different,
Case histories, anti-Semitism in family, 85 83-36
anxiety, 28 confusion of concept of self, 29-82
children, parents' relationship to, 45-48 conscience development and repres-
conceptual tools, development of, 19- sion, 88-42
24 interpersonal relations, 82-83
conformity and fear of the different, reality adaptation, 86-38
84, 35-36 Cohesion, group, 90
confusion of concept of self, 29-31 Columbia University, Psychoanalytic
conscience development and repres- Clinic for Training and Research, 3
sion, 88-42 Compensation, 67-68
contact with Jews, 83-84 Competition, 90
defense mechanisms, relationship to Compulsion, 49
anti-Semitism, 70-73 Concepts, development of tools, 19-24
denial, 62 anti-Semitic, 1-2
displacement, 66 national character, 6-8
economic anxiety, 89 normalcy, 4-6
form for, 11-17 prejudice, 8-4
interpersonal relations, 82-83 of self, confusion of, 29-82
Jewish anti-Semitism, 79-80 Conformity, 38-86, 47-48, 75
liberal anti-Semite, 81-82 Conscience, development and repression,
manifestations, anti-Semitic, 76-77 88-42
marriage, reasons for, 92 Consumption, conspicuous, 89-90
Oedipal conflict, 48-49, 50, 51-55 Contact, avoidance of, 64-65
parental relations, 44 between Jews and non-Jews, 82-84
Cultural climate, 77-78, 86-94
and social research, 1-2 Coering, Hermann, 78
Group cohesion, 90
Group pressures, 69-70
anti-Semitism in family, 84-85
Data, see Case histories contact with Jews, 82-84
Defense mechanisms, 55-56 and intrapsychic needs, 78-74
denial, 61-63 Jewish anti-Semitism, 79-SO
displacement, 66 liberal anti-Semite, 80-82
introjection, 68-70 social determination of stereotype,
projection, 56-59 74-76
selective anti-Semite, 59-80 social determination of anti-Semitic
unselective anti-Semite, 60-61 manifestations, 76-78
reaction formation and compensation,
relationship to anti-Semitism, 70-73
social aggression substituted for anx- Hartmann, Heinz, 73
iety, 63-84 Hitler, Adolf, 78
avoidance of contact, 64-65 Homosexuality, 25, 31-32, 42, 61, 76
opposition, 65-66 Hostility, 19, 41
Denial, 61-63
Depression, 25-26
Determinants, behavior, 10-11
Development, of conscience, 38-42 Identification, with parents, 48-55
Diagnosis, see Clinical diagnosis Identity, confusion of, 29-32
Different, fear of, 33-36 Impotence, 25, 36, 51, 53
Displacement, 66 Intergroup relations, attitudes in, 87
Drabness, 36-37 Interpersonal relations, 32-33
Dullness, 36-37 Interviews, form for, 11-17
Intrapsychic needs, see Group pressures
Introjection, 68-70
Economic success, pressure for, 88-89
Ego, 3
parasitic, 64 Jewish anti-Semitism, 79-80
Ego-inflation, 81
Ego weakness, 21
Emotional predispositions, see Clinical
diagnosis Liberal anti-Semites, 80-82
Envy, 41-42, 83-84 Life circumstances, changing, 29-30
Loneliness, 33

Family, anti-Semitism in, 84-85

See also Parents Manifestations, anti-Semitic, 76-78
Fear of the different, 33-86 Marriage, 92
Fenichel, Otto, 87-88, 93 Mass discontent, 87-88, 93
Form, data collection, 11-17 Methodological considerations, concep-
Freud, Sigmund, 2, 3 tual tools, development of, 19-24
selectivity of material, 17-19
Myrdal, Gunnar, 93
Genetics, 11, 22-23, 43
Oedipal struggle, 48-55
relationship between parents, 43-45
relationship of parents to children, 45- National character, 6-8, 57
Negative transference, 18, 19
Normalcy, 4-6
Oedipal conflict, 21, 48-55 Scapegoats, 56-57
Opposition, 65-66 Secularization, 92
Selective anti-Semite, 59-60
Selectivity, 17-19
Self, concept of, confusion of, 29-32
Paranoid personalities, 26 Sexual relations, 33, 88, 41-42, 44, 51,
Parasitic ego, 64 53-54, 70-72
Parents, and Oedipal conflict, 48-55 Sibling rivalry, 45-46, 47
relations between, 43-45 Social aggression, see Anxiety
relations to children, 45-48 Social research, and cultural climate, 1-2
Polite anti-Semitism, 77-78 Social-welfare agencies, 16-17, 63-64, 77-
Poverty, 90 78, 89
Predispositions, emotional, see Clinical Social workers, psychiatric, 15, 16
diagnosis Specificity, psychological, 86-87
Prejudgment, 3-4 Stereotype, 3-4, 48, 58, 88
Prejudice, concept of, 3-4 social determination of, 74-76
psychodynamic studies of, 9-10 Streicher, Julius, 78
Pressures, see Group pressures Success, economic, pressure for, 88-89
Projection, 28, 56-59 Suppression, 82
selective anti-Semite, 59-60 Symbolic acts, 56-57, 58
unselective anti-Semite, 60-61 Symptoms, 25-27
Psychoanalytic terminology, 2-3
Psychodynamics, 9-10
Psychological specificity, 88-87
Psychopathic personalities, 25, 26, 76 Tension, relief of, 65-66
Terminology, psychoanalytic, 2-3
Toilet training, 47-48
Transference, negative, 18, 19
Rationalization, 56
Transference hostility, 18
Reaction formation, 88-67
Reality adaptation, 38-38
Rejection, of child, 45-47 Unselective anti-Semite, 60-61
Relations, interpersonal, 32-33
parental, see Parents
Religiousness, 92
Repression, 36, 62 Violent anti-Semitism, 78
of conscience, 38-42
Research, social, 1-2
Resignation, 38 Women, position of, 92-93