Karl Gustav Jung, the grandfather (2021)

by Federico Soldani – 8th June 2021

In a 2011 paper in the journal of the Society for Analytical Psychology, the grandson of Swiss psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung (emphasis added) “architect and historian, resident in the Küsnacht house, offers perspectives on the role of the grandfather.”

“C.G. had a difficult relationship with his father but felt a strong rapport with his grandfather Karl Gustav Jung, even though he died before C.G.’s birth.”

The author of the paper – grandson of the psychiatrist Carl Gustav, abstract available on PubMed.gov of the U.S. National Library of Medicine – “notes that there were many parallels in the lives of the two men; C.G.’s memories and the touching personal diary left behind by Karl Gustav will be discussed. Many of Jung’s other ancestors will be described from his own personal angle. The paper also encompasses C.G.’s spiritual forerunners and finally the dead, our common nameless ancestors.”


Karl Gustav (1795 – 1864) was a doctor and a professor of medicine, also active in politics, who spent time in prison. Karl was a friend of Alexander von Humboldt, who was in turn involved in his academic career.

Karl became the Rector of the University of Basel, the oldest university in Switzerland, and contributed to founding the local psychiatric clinic as well as a home for retarded children (photo below, taken from the linked online source).

His grandson, the psychiatrist Carl, born Karl – ‘Karl Gustav II’ (1875-1961), usually referred to with C instead of K as this change to his name was made later in life – became the founder of analytic psychology, a psychoanalytic method.

Carl entertained the idea which is also contained in his correspondence with Sigmund Freud that his grandfather Karl might have been the illegitimate biological son of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

We have previously briefly encountered one of Goethe’s friends on PsyPolitics, the doctor who coined the word ‘psychiatry’ in 1808, Johann Christian Reil.


For more about Carl as well as Karl Gustav Jung biographies, here are a few links from Wikipedia (accessed 7th June 2021), the New York Times, and other related bibliographic references, for the interested reader.


[In the photo at the beginning of the article, Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung, circa 1935]

Cite this article as: Federico Soldani, "Karl Gustav Jung, the grandfather (2021)," in PsyPolitics, June 8, 2021, https://psypolitics.org/2021/06/08/karl-gustav-jung-the-grandfather-2021/.

Last Updated on June 17, 2021 by Federico Soldani

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