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Собственно вот текст. Это письмо одного немецкого психолога Курта Левина другому немецкому психологу Вольфгангу Кёлеру, написанное в 1933 году, но никогда не отправленное, потому что его отправка была опасна для жизни обоих.
Сделать более-менее литературный перевод.
Many thanks for your article. Now, as I read through it quietly, its meaning and its nature have emerged much more clearly than the quick perusal on the trip. It is difﬁcult to thank you adequately for this article, even face to face. But perhaps I should say how proud I am to be allowed to count among my friends one of those rare people who have demonstrated such conviction and have dared to do such a deed. Hopefully, even without words, it has become clear to you how deeply Gerti [Gertrud Weiss Lewin] and I appreciate what you and your dear wife have done. I’ve been here a few days now. But I must admit that up to now nothing has happened to change my attitude. I was a little afraid that my attitude might appear exaggerated, or a little incomprehensible, or even somewhat ungrateful. This, and my wish that clarity should prevail, at least between us, almost obligates me to speak to you, although with some reluctance, about matters intimately connected to my personal future. Probably the fate of an individual Jew has never been only a personal fate. Surely it has been torn out of the sphere of the personal in our times... 4
If I now believe there is no other choice for me but to emigrate, you will understand that this thought certainly does not come easily to me. Considerations are involved that are far removed from feeling personally hurt or a temporarily wounded pride, be such feelings ever so justiﬁed. These considerations pertain to the simplest, most elementary necessities of life. I have said it before and would like to repeat it now: When I think of leaving my parents and relatives, of giving up the house that we built, of going out into an uncertain future, of leaving a scientiﬁc structure that would take years to rebuild, at best, then surely at the root of such a decision is not a loathing of vulgarities of the fear of personal unpleasantness, but only an overwhelmingly decisive social reality. I think it is practically impossible for a non-Jew to gauge what being a Jew has meant for a person, even in the liberal era of the last 40 years. There have probably been very few Jewish children of any generation who have not been singled out from the natural group of their peers between their 6th and 13th year. Quite suddenly and without any kind of predictable cause, they have been beaten up and treated with contempt. Whether instigated by teachers, by students, or simply by people on the street, these recurring experiences pull the ground out from under the feet of the young child, and cut off all possibility of objective discussion or unbiased evaluation. They throw the child totally back upon its own resources. They make all natural supports appear entirely deceptive and force the young person to exist in a conﬂicting world of appearance and reality right from the start. Very few children are capable of surviving such disrupting experiences without suffering serious damage to their natural growth. After all, these experiences are not just casual irritations, but instead involve the very foundations of life itself on which all important decisions are based. Thus the effects are ever present. At the same time, people have demanded absolute patriotism from Jewish children quite as a matter of course. One always had to reckon with the fact that evaluations of one’s own achievements would be biased to an unpredictable degree. As a result, exaggerated personal qualities, whether aggressiveness or excessive softness, were scarcely avoidable... The issue of German anti-Semitism is indeed a long chapter that would require an interpretation of the history of the Jews as well as of the Germans. I am quite aware that the foreign political pressures of the last 15 years have allowed primitive atavisms to surface in Germany as well as in every other people. The need for a scapegoat has become so strong that the battle cry “Kill the Jew,” which we have been hearing daily for a decade, has led quite literally to a war of hundreds against one, the kind of war that used to be found only in Poland or Hungary. This is understandable, I think, only through the ancient and very deeply rooted anti-Semitic tradition in Germany, together with the political morality that Bismarck described as a lack of civil courage. That it is a basic characteristic of the German lifestyle – decidedly different from the political morality of, for example, the American or the Englishman – is something I myself learned to recognize only this year, although you have been telling me about it for a long time... I cannot imagine how a Jew is supposed to live a life in Germany at the present time that does justice to even the most primitive demands of truthfulness. While I was in Tokyo at a dinner that the Japanese-German Cultural Institute gave for me, a speech was addressed to me as the representative of German science. I, in turn, answered as a representative of German science. I was able to respond to the Japanese with a good conscience. But two minutes later I got the terrible feeling that I had just done something impossible. I knew that here I was speaking in the name of German science and here I was recognized by the German embassy, while in Germany at the very moment they were knocking my feet out from under me. Am I supposed to speak as a representative of Germany again on my next trip abroad and “to counter the reports of atrocities,” as is tacitly expected of every Jew? Or as who am I supposed to step forward? As a person deprived of the basic rights of a citizen, and who nevertheless continues, for a salary, to provide the children of this people with knowledge and with preparation for positions from which his own children are excluded? Perhaps, like many other Jews, a cruel destiny will not spare me this fate. Certainly I have no reason to voluntarily relinquish any rights and thereby to enlarge the enormous spiritual and material damage committed against us daily. But even though it will tear my life apart, I hope you will understand and approve of my attempt to ﬁnd a place for me and my children where we can live an honorable life
In the fall of 1933 Lewin, his wife, and their children emigrated to the United States, where Lewin held a two-year position at Cornell University. Lewin’s mother and sister, who ﬂed to Holland, were captured by the Nazis and sent to the death camps, where they died. The following letter was written by Kohler when he was out of Germany on a brief trip to Norway. The Nazis were exerting greater and greater control over the activities of the universities, and Kohler was ﬁnding it increasingly difﬁcult to remain in such an environment. But he continued to hold out for the sake of his student assistants and his concern for the welfare of Gestalt psychology and the course of Germany.