Hugo Klein, a Yugoslav psychoanalyst

Hugo Klajn was born in Vukovar on September 30, 1894 in a Jewish family in Croatia. He finished elementary and high school in Vukovar, and then he studied medicine in Vienna. He attended the lectures of Sigmund Freud and graduated in 1919. After graduation, he moved to Belgrade, where he married. In marriage with his wife, Stanko Djuric had a son, Ivan Klajn, an academician and a linguist. Between two world wars, Klajn worked as a doctor in Belgrade, translated and wrote texts from the field of psychoanalysis.

In 1949 he became the permanent director of the National Theater in Belgrade. In 1959, he directed the TV drama “Anne Frank’s diary“. Since 1949, he has been engaged in pedagogical work at the Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Belgrade as a theater directing professor, and from 1949 to 1952 he taught psychology. With his twenty-year practice of the director-analyst, he transferred the knowledge it to his students and turned his work into “Basic problems of directing”. Dr Hugo Klajn began the journey to many generations who still follow his works.

He was a theater director, a doctor and a psychoanalyst. Klein gave a special contribution to the study of war anxiety disorders with his study “Yugoslav War Neurosis”. By the 1950s, it was removed from the public eye. Later this study was reissued. In World War II it was a frequent phenomenon that the Partisans fell into “trans” and acted as fighting and heroic behavior. War neurosis was a frequent phenomenon in the war, and it is characterized by the fact that a person avoids being exposed to war and serves a person to get out of danger. Unlike this behavior, something opposite was happening by these partisans, they showed that their equalization with the good actors occurred. Hugo Klajn found a psychoanalytic explanation for this phenomenon. He discovered that this form of behavior appeared when the ranks and other awards were given for the success of the battle. He came to the conclusion that these phenomena came to those people who did not receive ranks or were otherwise rewarded for participating in the battle. The unconscious phenomenon served these people to show that he was as good as those who received ranks. This phenomenon spread, the Partisans saw it from each other. The basic message was “I am a good fighter and I like to fight.” The Partisan Army was an army in which the value system was very pronounced. The whole process of the emergence of war neurosis is completely unconscious. Most of these soldiers did not know at the conscious level why this was happening to them.

In psychoanalysis, two important notions are distinguished: primary profit and secondary profit. The primary benefit is resolving the conflict of the neurotic symptom. The fighters had a hidden mental battle and resolved this conflict in the symptom of this behavior. But for such behavior, these began to receive some kind of reward. Most often this award was seen in the treatment and in a good attitude of the environment. This different behavior of the environment to the patient was secondary gain.

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