Tag Archive | "reich and trotsky"

Between Black and Red Fascism


Wilhelm Reich’s Political Theories and Experiences in The Interwar years.

The point I want to make today is that Wilhelm Reich is a person who does not only play a role in history of psychology, psychoanalysis or body psychotherapy, but he plays a lesser known political role in the 1920’s and 1930’s in two cities that were both crucial spots for the political clashes between communism and fascism in the inter war years. This part of Wilhelm Reich’s life story is usually condensed into few sentences stating that he was committed against fascism in the 1930’s and that he wrote a pivotal pamphlet about the mass psychology of fascism but then left the communist body in 1933 and never looked back.The perspective I want to offer you is more elaborate than that, there is more to know about Wilhelm Reich and his political entanglements but the ability to put facts and events in to proper historical context has up to now been very limited. I just want to say briefly that as most of you know Wilhelm Reich came to Vienna as a discharged officer at the end of the First World War in 1918 without any means for survival except his military salary and some privileges connected to his status as military veteran options to study medicine were open to him. He met Sigmund Freud for the first time as a medical student in 1919 and Freud took a liking to him. He helped Reich already during his study days by sending him patients before he had finished his medical degree and Reich was to become one of the most famous of Freud’s pupils and certainly the most controversial one. Vienna was at this time a social democratic city and municipality and the prewar conservatism was swept away during the war and replaced with modern systems of free education and free health care institutions and this greatly helped the expanding profession of psychoanalysis which was considered part and parcel of the socialist city red Vienna. Reich quickly rose to fame in Freud’s professional circuit and by 1925 when this picture is taken (PICTURE) he was a successful M.D. with his own psychiatric practice, he was a promising pupil of Sigmund Freud, one of the world’s most famous psychiatrists who’s reputation and influence was growing by the minute. He was an acknowledged author of scientific papers and a monograph on the impulsive character which even today regarded as a path breaking study on borderline personalities. Here is that brook from 1925.

The ending of the Great War coincided roughly with the Russian revolution and millions of people around the world the two events were related. The Great War was believed to be the ending of the old world with these aristocracy diplomates, capitalists dividing the world into market, labor slaves and eventually leading the world to war. The revolution was the beginning of a new world with just distribution production for society and not individuals and the prospect for world peace. It was a new inspiring hope for whole generation, oh it was violent, violent yes but less violent than the Great War and was a violence that was aiming for a just society without war. Reich was originally a member of the social democratic party of Vienna just like many of the other psychoanalysts but he was radicalized in 1927. The 15th of July in 1927 there was a public uprising in Vienna leading to mass riots and the burning of the palace of justice. The uprising was due to three fascist killers that had been shooting into social democratic demonstrations some months earlier and this day they were equated for killing an old handicap war veteran and a young child. The public was so enraged by this equital that riots erupted and 80 people were killed and over a 100 wounded. So Reich became a member of the Vienna communist party and he made a connection with this woman Marie Frischauf Pappenheim.

She was a medical doctor, socialist, 15 years older than Reich and a very strong personality. She was one of the first female medical doctors educated at the University of Vienna. Blonde and blue eyed socialist and feminist from the Viennese educated spheres, she was known as a poet and her early poetry had been published by the legendary editor Karl Krause in the Diefackel.

Her poetry also caught the attention of world famous composer Arnold Schoenberg who fell in love with her. She had met Schoenberg, Albanberg and Anton Webern in the summer of 1909, and Schoenberg had asked her to write a liberator for one of his compositions. After the Russian revolution she was one of the founders of the Austrian communist party. Wilhelm Reich and Marie Frischauf Poppenheim established some of the first sexual clinics in the world in Vienna and recently published a history of Vienna. Her work with Wilhelm Reich is noted as some of the world’s first sexual clinics. Clinics that provided free contraceptives advice on birth control and similar matters. She also published a book with Wilhelm Reich’s wife Annie Reich a pamphlet called "Is sexual Abstinence Dangerous " published through the Minister Verlog of which we shall hear more in a moment. Reich frequently discussed politics with Freud during this phase of political radicalization and eventually Freud published his counter arguments against Reich in his little pamphlet "Civilization at its Discontents" in 1929. The same year Reich went to the Soviet Union for the first time and visit did not dampen his communist conviction or commitment. He later noted that he dreamed at the time of being the Marx of psychoanalysis. During his collaboration with Marie Frischauf, Reich wrote his own pamphlet "Sexual Erregung and Sexual Fredigung" published by Minister Verlog in 1929 in a total print drum of more than 10,000 copies through 4 editions. The next year in 1930 published another pamphlet under the same imprint. These 2 pamphlets were later turned into Reich’s book "The Sexual Revolution". Today we know that the Minister Verlog was part of a branch of communist propaganda activities financed through comintern propaganda budget, its director was Arnold Deutsch born in 1904,

and we do not know his exact date of his death we believe it was late 1930’s or early 1940’s. Deutsch had graduated from the University of Vienna in 1928 with a PHD with distinction in chemistry along with his chemistry studies he had also studied philosophy and psychology. Immediately after graduation he was recruited as an agent of OMS the Comintern liason department. KGB historians Vladamir Mitrokhin and Christopher Andrew from Cambridge note the Dutch became publicly involved in Wilhelm Reich sex-pol organization at the same time he was recruited by the OMS. In Vienna Christopher Andrew discovered a secret police files on Deutsch where his relation to Reich’s sex-pol organization was noted, however the Austrian police did not know about his relation to OMS and NKVD which was the name for the KGB at the time. Wilhelm Reich was 5 years older than Deutsch and how they got in contact we do not know but we do know that Deutsch was devoted to Reich’s ideas of sexual liberation and in fact in his later recruitment of agents for the NKVD, he used Reich’s ideas of sexuality to great effect as talking points in a bonding strategy towards young students in Europe frustrated with the wide spread sexual reparation at university campuses. Mitrokhin and Andrew devoted a whole chapter to Arnold Deutsch in the history of KGB because this man

is actually one of the greatest recruiters for the KGB that ever lived. Millions of dollars have been spent to find the identity of this man because for many decades nobody knew who were the actual recruiters of the most famous spies in the history of intelligence mainly the 5 Cambridge spies with Kim Philby as the most famous. Arnold Deutsch called the greatest spy catcher of the century. He was the 4 of the 5 Cambridge spies,

Kim Philby, Guy Burgess, Donald McLean and Anthony Blunt. 3 of these were central in British and also collaborating with the American intelligence way into the 60’s when they were revealed to be soviet spies. The one to the far right is Anthony Blunt who was the British queen’s advisor on art. So, the soviet intelligence service was at this time like the mother of all intelligent services, they were far ahead of most others and contrary to all the national intelligence services communists parties were existing in every country so that you didn’t have to have national spies you could recruit in the local countries and many of the greatest spies in the history of the KGB had a thing common that they were Galician Jews mostly from the Austro Hungarian Empire or later located in the area of Vienna. Another one and this is Reich’s pamphlet issued on Arnold Deutsch publishing house. Now the KGB historian Mitrokhin and Andrew knew about the relation between Deutsch and Reich but they did not know that Reich was in fact a communist party member and already connected with a communist party. It is entirely conceivable that Reich was the link between Deutsch and the communist party but that we do not know. As I said in the NKVD Deutsch proposed a strategy of recruiting young radical students in the western countries for the NKVD a strategy that met approval from Moscow. He focused his attention on British elite universities Oxford and Cambridge and he settled for Cambridge. Reich’s theories of sexual oppression in modern society would fit the interest and enthusiasm of young Cambridge scholars in the 1930’s. The Cambridge atmosphere concerning sexual matters was not liberal. If a scholar was caught with a girl in his room the question was not whether to expel him or not but for how long if not permanently. Homosexual activity would cause a permanent expulsion if discovered. The writings of D.H. Lawrence expressed the extent to which sexual liberation was a crucial idea for the generation of Cambridge scholars growing up after the First World War. Reich’s theories stemming from Freud but accentuating the beneficial medical effect of a liberated genital sexuality were relatively unique in discussing these matters on intellectual level matching the tastes of the Cambridge 5. They all rebelled against the puritanism of interwar Britain Burgess and Blunt were homosexuals, McLean a bisexual and Philby a heterosexual athlete. Arnold Deutsch worked together with the soviet intelligence general Alexander Olof and also one other contact, one other intelligence agent working in Britain and we have now discovered that this

was one of his collaborators she’s called Edith Tudor-Hart but she was originally called Edith Suschitzky from Vienna originally but she married Alex Tudor-Hart and moved to Britain where she played a role in recruiting the Cambridge 5. She was a photographer well known for capturing the misery of the working masses in these decades. This is a few of the photographs she’s represented in the national Gallery in England.

This is an intelligence report from 1965 where there’s sort of beginning to figure out some of her pseudonyms and some of the biographical details.

This is one of the photographs from Vienna and here she is with Wilhelm Reich and his wife Annie in Vienna in the 1920’s. Although we now know there were close links between Reich and some central NKVD agents this in itself does not prove that Reich was part of the NKVD. Reich may have of course been completely unaware of Deutsch’s link to the Russian intelligence organization although I have to say I find it very unlikely. However we may start the other way around and ask who was indeed the main comintern operative in Western Europe at the time the one who was responsible for the money funding the Minister Verlog and is there any possible link between Reich and him. We will find that there is indeed such a link. Today we know that Reich had close and significant long term connection to one of the most secretive and important comintern representatives a man whose various false identities and names made even his wife, through over 25 years, uncertain of his real name. FBI agents under the direct orders from J Edgar Hoover tried to decipher his true identity and history as late as in 1966, 11 years after his death. It is only recently through gradual accumulation of bits and pieces of declassified evidence but Reich’s connection to this enigmatic character may be reconstructed. In the comintern he went under the nickname Comerade Thomas and a few knew him under any other name. He took part in the 1917 Russian revolution and had a high and entrusted position amongst such central revolutionaries as Lenin, Nikolai Bukharin, Leon Trutski, Vladamir Solovyov and Karl Rodek. He was part of the small group of revolutionaries that actually first conceived of a communist international becoming one of the first representatives of his executive board. Lenin personally appointed him head of cominterns Berlin office which was tantamount to be in charge of an overseeing the finances of all of cominterns western European activities. Thomas Rubenstein was a pseudonym one of his many, when he eventually applied for a permanent residency and a naturalized citizenship in the United States in 1938 he used the name Arnold Rubenstein under which lived of the rest of his life. His passport upon arrival in the U.S. was one of the iron clad documents prepared by the NKVD. Their favorite term for passports so well faked that they would never be exposed as false. A Russian double agent who worked for the FBI on several occasions notified the FBI in 1966 that he knew Comrade Thomas had lived in New York by that time Rubenstein was already dead but FBI immediately sent two agents to surviving wife to interview her about the real identity and life story of Comrade Thomas. When the 2 FBI agents turned up the apartment at 5th Avenue the surviving wife of Comrade Thomas turned out to be the psychoanalyst Annie Reich, Wilhelm Reich’s first wife. She had left Reich for Comrade Thomas in Berlin in 1933. Much of Comrade Thomas activities had to do with publishing and distributing books, books where the prime focus for propaganda purposes and substantial print drums for reaching mass audiences that was a clear strategy. The comintern founding he provided will then explain why Reich suddenly stopped publishing his books through channels other than the psychoanalytic press in fact why he could form his own press in 1932 and why his books reached print drums of tens of thousands of copies.

As Wilhelm Reich and Annie Reich had moved to Berlin in 1930 Wilhelm Reich joined the German communist party the same year as part of a sell in the Berlin Wilmersdorf District Roter Block which counted members like Gustav Regler and Arthur Koestler they were according to Kessler selling the world revolution like vacuum cleaners and in this year in 1933 Reich publishes his most famous political work the "Mass Psychology of Fascism". Now how could psychoanalysis and the theory of sexuality be relevant for study of politics? By calling his book Mass psychology of Fascism Reich hooked on to a tradition from the Gustave Le Bon and Freud who had both written about how being a part of a group may and often will reduce or blot out the critical faculties in favor of group spirit. Freud showed how groups reducing individuality in favor of conformism and collective action could easily be prodded by negative transferences demonizing the competing group while elevating the in-group in heroic language. In September 1933 obviously at the height of his creative powers because he published 2 books this year "Character Analysis" and "Mass Psychology of Fascism", Reich published his second book in September. This was a first Freudian contribution to the understanding of fascism and Reich took as his studying point the political land slide of the Nazi party NSDAP after the financial crisis of 1929 because then the NSDAP jumped from 800 thousand voters in 1928 to 6.4 million in 1930 two years later and again increasing from 6.4 million in 1930 to 30 million in 1932 and 70 million voters in 1933. As the strong voter base of the Nazi party was in the lower middle class, Reich pointed out that analysis of the family structure in this social layer showed a markedly more of authoritarian attitude. Employing Freudian insights Reich claimed that the lower middle class suffered from peculiar ambivalence to authority often experienced in therapy. They reacted to authority with a mix of rebellion and submission while often boasting a rebel attitude in reality they consistently reacted to authority with servility. Reich pointed to how the lower middle class as a social group and the child rearing put a strong emphasis on obedience to authority. He showed how this specific nature of fascism seemed to appeal to specific traits he had found in patients from the middle class stratum especially males. These would often have anal sadistic traits being drown to cleanliness, strictness and frugality while unconsciously having forbidden sexual thoughts. Ideologically Reich argued that fascism was systematically self-contradictory but gained strength from being perceived as among the masses as a liberating political force fitting both the yearning for rebellion and there deeply ingrained submissiveness. Nazi ideology worked at an unconscious level sealing the bound between the masses and the leaders while at the same time giving outlets for their frustrations and their hatred coming across as a revolutionary ideology. The Nazi’s exploited sexual emotions in the masses during their rally’s while at the same time attacking the opponents as immoral. Reich pointed to anal sadistic level of the Nazi ideology connected to cleanliness and dirt of their opponents as well as stirring up unconscious images both of masochistic submissiveness towards the leader and permitted violence against the enemy. The rhetoric was full of moralistic and puritan notions the purity of Aryan race the filthy Jews etc.. and at the same time gave free reign irrational and sexual emotions on a subconscious level. Reich mentions the Nazi youth organizations which on the slogans of Aryan purity and chasteness in reality encourage sexual relations and thereby attracted thousands of young people lacking other opportunities for coupling. I’ve chosen this poster from the Nazi propaganda in the 30’s it is not used by Reich but I think it illustrates many of his major points.

Let’s have a look at this. I think we have a lot of stuff going on here. This is a very pure and chased and clean and beautiful German Nazi girl and if we have a look at some of the very common and kind of subliminal reading of propaganda to find sort of hidden sexual imagery. A common theme is like items that could be read as phallic in structure, reaching towards areas that could be subliminally read as genital female area. The Nazi button here looks like a nipple. If you look at this scarf you could see that this actually looks like a Jewish face the kind of racist stereotype of a Jewish face and this was something Reich was very concerned with how it was always a question of blonde white women and the filthiness of the Jews or blacks. He compared the Nazi rhetoric the anti-Semitic rhetoric with typical southern stereotypes in the United States against blacks. The black dirty filthy against the white pure beautiful young girl. Also she is holding this black pole, holding a black pole is also kind of stereotype. This poster illustrates many of Reich’s points in mass psychology of fascism. Reich even gives an original analysis of the swastika as an archeic sexual symbol fertility symbol and argues that it depicts a couple in a
sexual act

The Nazi’s does actively employ sexuality as a political force in propaganda and in recruitment. The communist youth orginazations on the other hand express liberal sexual views but it not attracts many members due to the tedious discussions about economy and similar topics. I interviewed a man called Norbet Argst who had been a young communist in the 1930’s in Germany and he told me that he had escaped from Germany in the 1934 and became one of Reich’s assistant in Oslo. He stated that he and liked minded members of the communist party saw Reich and Trotsky as two of the few communists daring to criticize Stalin so he smuggled Reich’s books into German after 1933 with false jacket covers after they had been banned. One of these false covered versions have now been found the cover bears the title of "Mystical Elevation" a book for young men by Pastor Friedrich Tray and the first page of the book most probably written by Reich is a glowing text about the need for Christian submission to the strong leadership of the Fuhrer and the joy that will follow from this submission until on the next page its abruptly passed to Mass Psychology of Fascism. Consider the dangerous and important book it went into 3 print runs in the first year and was secretly distributed in Germany. In his memoirs the late staunch anticommunist Arthur Koestler who had belonged into the same communist cell as Wilhelm Reich in Berlin. He noted approvingly that Reich saw the dictatorial tendencies in the Soviet Union long before he himself did. Reich was always concerned with sexuality as a yard stick of the society’s reactionary liberal or revolutionary state of beings. He cited with the early Freud in claiming that all neurosis had a sexual component and that the wide spread mental problems were related to a sexually repressive society. All society’s in history have aimed at keeping sexuality under control in various forms and to various degrees Reich claimed but nothing is as sure a sign of authoritarian society then rigid sexual reparation. The link between sexuality and left wing politics was basically nothing new especially the British romantic revolutionaries combined political heroism with the libertine ethos as seen in the writing so for instance Lord Byron or Shelly. Being close to the events in Germany and seeing how the communist party had not succeeded in preventing the rise of Hitler. Reich did not accept decrees from Moscow in many cases without much knowledge about the local problems stating that Hitler’s victory was only a temporary setback for the communist party. In the opening paragraph mass psychology of fascism Reich stated that the communist had suffered a great defeat but then reactions came quite quickly and he was soon expelled from the party in Germany. After the power struggle between Stalin and Trotsky arose in the Soviet Union many western European communists saw Stalin as a symbol of a reactionary setback in the communist state while Trotsky was an intellectual force from the old Soviet vanguard now living abroad who might give a rise to a new international revolutionary movement. Those disagreeing with that view saw Stalin as the one who had to secure the revolution and Trotsky as a possible 5th columnist stirring up trouble for the Soviet Union abroad. For Reich a change of society away from the patriarchal family tradition was a very important factor in measuring society’s level of saneness and the Soviet Union had indeed aimed at changing society’s family structure in a more social direction in sexual matters. Soviet Union put the ban on prostitution, legalized abortion and discarded the ban on homosexuality. To Reich as to many others in his generation these were expressions of a more rational and just society in one of the most important spheres of life. According to Reich traditional family structures bread neurosis on a mass scale. While the Soviet Union seemed to do away with traditional patriarchy just as it had done way with feudal aristocracy. As Stalin entered the scene however the Soviet Union changed back to more traditional family structures as well as commencing on a mass worship of the leader that to Reich uncannily resembled the Hitler cult in Germany he had described in mass psychology of fascism. Trotsky was at the time vehemently attacking Stalin in articles and books describing him with a combination of disgust and contempt as an enemy of the people and dictator. Trotsky had lost the power struggle with Stalin in Russia and was expelled from the Soviet Union and living abroad. Stalin for his part orchestrated furious accusations against Trotsky claiming he was an enemy of the revolution and of the Russian father land and that he was collaborating with other nations conspiring against Russia. Being a supporter of Trotsky would soon become very dangerous but in October 1933 Reich wrote a long letter to Trotsky informing him of his sexual political work in Germany. I am a psychoanalyst he wrote, medical doctor and a pupil of Freud and have organized communist sexual political movement in Germany since 1931. Reich’s letter caught Trotsky’s interest already in the 1920’s Trotsky had expressed interest in psychoanalysis and had defended Freud over against the Russian psychologist Pavlov. In his book "Fragen Des Lebens" from 1923. In a public lecture in Copenhagen 1932 which would prove to be his last public lecture Trotsky had in passing praised Freud and psychoanalysis for having opened the lid of what poetically is called Soul of Man. Reich informed Trotsky of a sexual political project and his views of how this may give insight to the reactionary tendencies in the Soviet Union. Reich pointed out in a sex political work for the party the everyday problems of youth mostly sexual, were employed in the political recruitment process. He further informed Trotsky that the leaders of the communist party were skeptical of his sex politics and that he feared expulsion from the party. Following the activities of the Trotskiet left opposition closely, Reich now requested support and possible collaboration in case a new party would be formed in Germany. Trotsky replied in a letter where he admitted to being largely ignorant about the questions Reich raised, but he had received mass psychology of fascism and wrote "the general importance of sexual problems for education of working class youth I’m obviously unfamiliar with and I would very much like to be further informed about your view, experience and plans in this field, I need not say that your proposed close contact seems highly desirable to me and I do hope that it will not only remain on a personal level". In a letter to Trotsky dated the 28th of March 1934, Reich informed him that the group of expelled Marxist sex politicians had met with members of Trotsky’s organizations in Paris for it turned out to be a fruitful exchange. Reich moved to Norway in October 1934, his common law wife Elsa Lindenberg who was a dancer said "Everywhere Reich went there would be politics. I was part of a small group where they stage the cabaret and before I invited Reich he had to promise me that he’ll just sit and watch the show not to try to agitate or whatever. "Yes of course" he said and on the premier he came with a cup of coffee and sat quietly in his chair and watched for a while. But then we did a number on Italian fascism. He rose from his chair came running towards the stage and leapt like a lion onto it. It was an impressive leap the stage was high and he joined in the show parading and did a marvelous Mussolini impersonation". In 1935 Trotsky too arrived in Norway having been granted political asylum there and Reich bring you the contact. He was clearly aware that the meeting with Trotsky would have to be a matter of utmost secrecy as it could potentially be extremely dangerous. Elsa Lindenberg recalls he was away for days and I was instructed by him never to mention Trotsky’s name ever, not in conversations or discussions. Never mention his name. I had a feeling it was Trotsky he met on those occasions. Trotsky was at this point working on the book called "The Revolution Betrayed" about Stalin while Reich had written a manuscript along the same lines called "The Masses and The State". A better evaluation of the recent development in the Soviet Union under Stalin. Eventually Reich and Trotsky did meet on several occasions between March and April 1936. A Berlin based psychiatrist connected to Trotsky’s group called Erwin Ackerknecht had a great respect for Reich and had recommended him to Trotsky. During his visit Reich and Trotsky discussed the situation in the Soviet Union the future of communism as well as the possibility of changing the authoritarian line and Stalin. Reich informed Trotsky about how his experiences with psychoanalytic therapy and sexual theory had made him alert to sign of authoritarianism that always went hand in hand with sexual repression. Trotsky pointed out that Reich’s mass psychological explanation of Soviet family and sexual policies was insufficient. The low production rates and assuming social misery in the Soviet Union in the immediate years after revolution was an important background to the family policies of the Soviet communist party. However Trotsky’s respect for Freud in psychoanalysis and Reich clear proficiency both as pupil of Freud and writer in his own right, after all no other psychoanalyst had written an analysis of fascism, all probably contributed to make Trotsky regard Reich as an important ally. Several of Reich’s ideas at least partly made their way into Trotsky’s book "The Revolution Betrayed". Trotsky posted the manuscript of the book to the publisher in July 1936, Stalin had through his agent’s already secured copies of the manuscript and the book sent Stalin into a rage. The forces that were soon to be unleashed were of a kind the world had not witnessed before. On 14th of August 1936 Tusk news that is Soviet news agency Tusk news reported that 16 people were charged with high treason and the murder of Sergey Kirov amongst them Leon Trotsky and his son Lev Sedov in Absentia. On 19th of August the Moscow trials began. These trails were a catastrophe for all socialists and communists to have believed naively in a possible democratic development of the Soviet state. When the excursion plutons soon were put to work in Soviet Russia the gravity of the situation downed on everyone. On the 30th of August 1936 the Russian ambassador in Oslo, Maxim Litvinov, handed over an extradition request to Norwegian government for having Trotsky released to Russian authorities. Stalin put further pressure on Norway by raising import tariffs on Norwegian fish hence Norwegian export to Russia fell markedly during Trotsky’s stay. Quick measures had to be taken as a labor government had to solve Trotsky’s issue before the general election in October. Trotsky was sent to Mexico where he was later killed by one of Stalin’s agents. At this time among communists and Soviet sympathizes being a Trotskyites was soon synonymous with being an enemy of the revolution and of the Soviet Union, also it implied being a collaborator with the Nazi’s in fact affectively it could be worse than being a Nazi. Wilhelm Reich was quickly put in this category also on official levels. On the 2nd September 1936 a memorandum marked top secret was dispatched from the NKVD to Giorgi Dimitrov leader of the comintern aki bureau containing a list of Trotskyites and other hostile elements in the refugee community of the German communist party. In this document Wilhelm Reich is identified as a well know Trotskyites.. The document was short but spread in all countries where these Germans stayed so from then on Reich was put in a dangerous position. The second wave, the second of the Moscow trials started in January 1937 and showed that Stalin had by now installed a true reign of arbitrary power and terror. The executions first ran up to 20 to 30 people then ran into the hundreds, thousand then hundreds of thousands in all it is estimated that nearly a million people were executed during Stalin’s great terror of 1936 to 1938. Supporters of Stalin claimed that at the time he only killed a 5th column of the collaborator and traitors trying to betray Russia to Germany, others were disgusted and vaccinated against communism for good. Wilhelm Reich was one of the many belonging to the latter category, after 11 years of souls and committed support for the cause. In the years that followed Stalin’s rage and willingness to execute Troutskiets not only at home but also abroad was apparent to anyone with knowledge about Trotsky’s circuits. He also sent professional execution squads to Western Europe to liquidate former party members, agents if they had connections with Trotsky or sympathies for him and friends of Trotsky. Irvin Wolf one of those who had recommended Reich to Trotsky had been one of Trotsky’s secretary’s was killed in Barcelona by Stalin’s agents on 3rd of September 1937. Trotsky’s son Lev Sedov was killed in a hospital in France in February 1938. The corpse of the German Trotskyite Rudolf Clement probably the one that Reich had met in Paris was thrown decapitated and without legs into the seine in Paris. He had been killed by the NKVD on 13th of July 1938 and Trotsky himself was killed by an NKVD agent in Mexico in 1940. Heins Aiper who been present at Reich’s meeting with Trotsky’s secretary, went to Sweden with his Norwegian wife Synnove Rosendahl-Jenson and their little son Iva Du-La Aiper was 5 years old. Synnove’s father had managed to escape to United States by the Soviet Union in 1941 having obtained Norwegian citizenship and the visa to the U.S. Heins Aiper believed that he could take the same route. But the 3 of them were arrested as soon as they entered Soviet Union. Aiper’s role as assistant to Trotsky evidently carried enough weight to make his arrest and interrogation of matter of highest importance and Mighty Berria himself questioned him. Aiper’s wife Synnove tried in vain to try to get in touch with him and the authorities having their little son to take care of but eventually she was arrested too along with their son. All 3 of them died in prison. In the forward to the English version of Reich’s autobiography "People in Trouble" written first in Norway at this point in 1937 Reich writes "Of course one cannot defend oneself from a shot in the back but perhaps politicians will be contempt to refrain from murder if we assure them that we do not intent to compete with them for power and that we shall seek to them the field of demagoguery completely limiting ourselves to work with helpless, victims. I hope I’ve made myself perfectly clear:. From 1937 Wilhelm Reich lived with fear for his own life. So if we now look into interjectory I’ve fallowed you through, you’ll see that I’ve tried to put Wilhelm Reich into a political context of his generation taking place around him in Vienna and Berlin which included a number of secret networks. In this case we’ve shown direct personal and professional contact between Reich and at least 2 probably 3 of the most legendary and mythical intelligence officers of the comintern and the KGB. We have shown how Wilhelm Reich fits into a pattern of shared background traits and specific of the most famous Western KGM intelligence operators at the time being Galician Jews born around the turn of the century, university educated and trained in secret intelligence work. Joined to communism of Trotsky against that of Stalin. This network was basically wiped out in the years between 1934 and 1938. The survivors were all fiercely against communism from then on and this background is what made Reich called communism and Stalin red fascism. Wilhelm Reich had a complicated life but he went through some of the 20th centuries worst conflicts at a closer range then most people are aware. I hope this is contributed to your understanding of Wilhelm Reich and his political engagement in the inter war years.

Thank you for your attention and for inviting me.

 

Havard Friis Nilsen, Ph.D

Havard Friis Nilsen, PHD. He is an associate professor at the Norwegian University in Oslo area. He has a PHD in political science history and also is a visiting fellow at the University of Cambridge for several years.

 

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