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He was born in Polzela (German: Heilenstein), near Celje, Slovenia, then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, into a family of assimilated Jews. He studied medicine in Zagreb, Graz and Zürich. In Zürich, he met Goldy Matthèy-Guenet who became his wife. At the end of World War II, the two travelled to the liberated zone in south-east Slovenia, where they volunteered as physicians in the units of the partisan resistance. After the War, the two moved back to Zürich, where Parin founded a psychoanalytic seminar. In the 1950s, he travelled to Africa with his wife and Fritz Morgenthaler. Together with George Devereux, Parin became the co-founder of the ethnopsychoanalysis.
In 1992, he received the prestigious Erich Fried Prize for his literary achievements.
He died in Zürich, aged 92.