Otto Fenichel in Europe published several papers in which he was advocating a meeting between Marxism and psychoanalysis. Using Marxist concepts, he founded psychoanalysis on rationality and science, and wanted to use psychoanalysis in order to explain the subjective aspects of historical phenomena. On the theoretical level, both Fenichel and Wilhelm Reich were suggesting ideas that had been already proposed by Russian psychologists and psychoanalysts, particularly by Lev S. Vygotskij and especially Alexandr R. Lurija. Fenichel was fearing the influence of irrationalist and anti-Elightenment ideas on psychoanalysis, ideas that persist today. He criticized Melanie Klein, Karen Horney, Erich Fromm, and ego psychology. When Fenichel moved to the USA, similarly to other émigrés of the same ideological background he was not well accepted by the American psychoanalytic community. While he maintained his cultural interests, in his critical dialogue with ego psychologists and other American colleagues he became known mostly for his clinical and technical contributions.
Keywords: Psychoanalysis; Marxism; Psychoanalysis in Russia; Ego psychology; Erich Fromm