C.G.Jung / History

Projection of the Nazi Complex – the Gunter Grass Case.


Guenther Grass 84-year-old social democratic activist and literature nobel prize winner published a poem last Wednesday entitled “What must be said” in the left-liberal Munich-based Süddeutsche Zeitung.  He accused Israel of planning a first nuclear strike against Iran to “extinguish the Iranian people” and noted that Israel is the principal impediment to world peace. Some German left intellectuals have voiced support for Grass’s poem. Klaus Staeck, the president of the Academy of the Arts in Berlin, defended Grass, saying on German radio that it is Grass’s “duty as a citizen” to intervene. Johano Strasser, the head of the German section of Pen, praised Grass’s criticism of Israel’s threats against Iran. Gunter Grass was over decades the  “Good German” (but not the quiet one), the perfect political correct anti-nazi role model of the sixties and the social democratic party of Germany. After he made a few years ago public, that he applied voluntarily  to the “U-Boot Waffe” and optional “Panzer Waffe” and subsequently became part of Himmlers Waffen SS, that became a little more difficult.

The poem of Gunter Grass, which gained applause from the radical left and radical right (and the Iran of course), is according to the Guardian a classical discharge projection:  being able to voice anti-Semitism by equating Israel with Nazi Germany. Lot of honorable Germans volunteered during the second world war. The projection of an old man who lied sixty years to himself and the world would not be relevant. What is worse, this projection – not Iran wants to destroy Israel, but in reverse – is shared  apparently by the majority of the Germans (in particularly in the left and the social-democratic parties).  Almost like in the Mao’s Cultural War, intellectuals have been freely labeled racist on exaggerated or invented charges  to condemn them if they raised opinions against the media mainstream.  To find their own shadows on other humans, is exciting and business with subsidized  activism ” Against Nazis” blossoms .

What the fashioned term Nazi hides, is that Hitlers party was named National Socialist Party and had a left and a right-wing before the  Röhm putsch. Even after the putsch its policy was quite paternalistic with “government handouts to its voters” (Jörg Aly, Hitlers Volksstaat).  But is very difficult to confront its own shadow. It needs a good portion of self-esteem, in order to be able to accept also the shady sides at the own personality.  Gunter GraSS does not have that. ” The embarrassing comparison between Israel and Iran says very few about Israel and very much about Grass” (Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu).  It does tell quite something about today’s Germany indeed. 

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu scolded Grass on Thursday for  his “ignorant and reprehensible statements.”  “It is Iran, not Israel, that is a threat to the peace and security of the world,” Netanyahu said.  He continued that “It is Iran, not Israel, that threatens other states with annihilation. It is Iran, not Israel, that supports terror organizations that fire rockets on innocent civilians. It is Iran, not Israel, that is supporting the Syrian regime’s massacre of its own people. It is Iran, not Israel, that stones women, hangs gays and brutally represses tens of millions of its own citizens.”  Or to say it with C.G. Jung: ” Western people grin  from the other side of the iron curtain at their own shadow” (C.G. Jung Menschen und Ihre Symbole, Olten 1968, S 85). 

If a complex is affected, this usually shows up in a more complicated, time-costing data processing and/or in changed reactions. Complex or psychological problems lead to a longer data processing. Nearly, he seems to me he has gone back in the GDR 1961. The Wall is not political,but cultural now. We let Gunter Grass his opinion all the decades. And he can maintain it gladly between its mediocre works of art with his bombastic language in the garden of its insincerity and hypocrisy. The Polish-born German Jewish literary critic Marcel Reich-Ranicki  termed Grass’s poem on Saturday to be “disgusting.“ Reich-Ranicki is widely considered to be Germany’s most important poem and book critic. Writing in Saturday’s newspaper “Die Welt”, the US Political Scientist Daniel Jonah Goldhagen said Grass”  falsified his own Nazi past” and sharply criticized  him for his “poem” which is more “Stammtisch” talk reciting the cultural prejudices of his time.

That is exactly the collective shadow,  Jolande Jacobi describes  (The Psychology of the C.G. Jung, Olten 1971 S 171) “collective shadows are the back of the mainstream opinions“. In this poem Grass states, that Israel threatens with the preventive destruction of the Iranian people, which is either an anti-Semitic fantasy or a complex, which comes with handy for many German,  as it allows the projection of the Nazi crimes on the Jews and Israel. The perversity of this thought  is astonishing. Indeed, I did not notice a such accumulation of anti-Semitism in newspaper comments e.g. the  Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung for a long time. Rage and the hate on the Jews or Israel are apparently unbroken in Germany – especially of those always want to be The Good. There Israel is made a scapegoat  for all evil  in the world, particularly in the region. There things are turned upside down, as if Israel would be a dark dictatorship and Iran the stronghold of the freedom.

Fact is: Iran, speak his president, denies the Holocaust and wants to extinguish Israel. Israel has to resist all rights.  Almost one would like to tell Gunter Grass (and the today’s collective unconscious one of the German) :  go West.  It lives, interpreted after C.G. young in a large myth: ” It is the old ark-typical dream of a golden age, where everything is present in the abundance for all and a large, fair and wise ruler governs a human kinder garden. [} we believe in the welfare state, in a world peace, in the equality of all humans, in human rights, in truth, and (we do not say it too loud) in the realm of God on Earth” (C.G.Jung). Sad truth is, the life consists of contrasts good and evil. We watch a slow, mental building of the wall in Germany again. Gunter Grass is only one of many stones. The shadows of Germany takes again over again.  Not as the C.G. Jung described them 1933, when he though the active warrior shadow of the young Germans were misled by the power shadow of a manipulative magician  (Seher). The passive weak warrior shadow today is walking hand in hand with an old hypocrite both opinionated, ignorant of facts and without good judgement.

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