A beautiful and thoughtful interview with Dvora Kutzinski, Jungian analyst and supervisor, a past supervisee of Erich Neumann. The interview took place on October 23, 2005 . Dora Kutzinski speaks about her first meeting with Neumann’s and the beginning of her analytical training, recollects their cooperation in the supervision relationship and life long friendship.
See below for some excerpts from the interview:
Henry Abramovitch: What was your first impression of Erich Neumann?
DK: My first impression was enormous. When we first met, I think he was 43. I thought he was 70. In my eyes, he was older than he really was. Quiet. Here and there a word. He had very warm eyes. Very introvert. Quiet. He emanated tranquility, calming. I was so impressed by him. He had long, full massive mane – before it was in style, long beautiful fingers and he smoked with an elegant cigarette holder. (…)
DK: I was devastated [after receiving the message about Neumann’s liver cancer] and I will tell you why. For me, Neumann symbolized a wall against the terrible psychological effects of the holocaust, which I went through. He deeply believed that there is renewal out of the hell (see his books, Crisis and Renewal; Depth Psychology and the New Ethics). He meant salvation for me. I was afraid that without him I would descend into a suicidal depression that I had when I first came from Auschwitz to Israel. My unconscious came to the rescue in a dream: “I am in amphitheater, not a half but a full circular one. There are people sitting all around. On the stage is a gigantic lion, three meters tall, who opens its mouth. The lion faces me and inside his maw, I see is the gate of Auschwitz, “Arbeit Macht Frei”. He wants to swallow me. I turn around and see outside the circle fields of gold, golden wheat that came nearly shoulder high, moving in the wind. Suddenly, I see Neumann, only his head above the golden wheat, his hair blowing in the wind. I turn to my friend who is there and say, “Look! Look! He is alive. He is only walking now in other fields.”
HA: That brings me tot he question: How did your experience with Neumann influence your own work as an analyst and as a supervisor?
DK: First of all, he taught me that you have to serve the Self and the soul, not the ego. [An analyst should] not be nice or pleasing. If you want to be nice, become a beautician and not an analyst. But what you say should come out with the right affect. If I have something to say than I say, “You have this and that which is your black point or blind spot.” You can only help if you have a positive relationship.