A brief history of the European analysts who settled in Boston during the first decade of the re-organized Boston Psychoanalytic Society/Institute, as part of the great intellectual migration fleeing from Hitler Germany and Austria. The term émigré was chosen as more inclusive, since not all were refugees forced to emigrate. The sequence of each analyst’s arrival is traced and their reason for choosing Boston are identified, whenever possible.
As one of many young Americans who sought psychoanalytic training after the Second World War, I had the good fortune to know most of the European analysts described in this paper. Some were known intimately, as analysts, supervisors and teachers, some as colleagues and friends and others were interviewed and tape-recorded, in collecting historical data about the early years of our Institute. Over the years we often wondered why or European forebears had chosen Boston, rather than any other American community, when they joined, many as refugee analysts, the vast intellectual migration from Nazi Germany and Austria. This broad stream of writers, academicians and scientists transformed our cultural life in a decade, changing our tastes in music, architecture and other fields of science, including psychoanalysis. Called the “illustrious immigrants” by Laura Fermi (1), her book was the best of many books that followed: Fleming & Bailyn (2), Hughes (3), Jackman & Borden (4) and Heilbut (5). As our eminent European exiles, who played such an important part in our development are succeeded by younger generations, our local history raises some interesting questions.
There is no mystery about why so many refugees settled in New York as a universal intellectual center, or in Los Angeles, which attracted many writers, playwrights and movie directors. But thee choice of other American cities is less obvious, and each had its own particular character. In Boston, for example, there seemed to be a high proportion of analysts, nuclear physicists, art-historians and Bauhaus architects. And here the pattern of settlement by psychoanalysts is easy to trace, because the vast majority came from Vienna, begun their training and welcomed their former teachers. A brief history of this analytic immigration will bring out some features of the local scene.
The beginnings date from the late 1920s, when local analytical societies were beginning to reorganize as training institutes, and to seek the indispensable Europeans as training-analysts. The Boston Psychoanalytic Society was founded in 1914 by James Jackson Putnam and re-established in 1928 by Isador Coriat. Among other analytic communities, our loosely-organized Society underwent an unusually stormy reformation in 1930-33, before the Boston Society/Institute was accepted by the American Psychoanalytic Association. This was partly because or American analysts, very few of them native Bostonians, formed a cheerful mixture of Freudians and Jungians, followers of Otto Rank and analysands of Paul Schilder. “Indeed,” according to Ives Hendrick, our first historian (6), “they got along much better together than Freudians got along with Freudians!” A majority were MDs, but the early Society was tolerant of psychologists, as well as a few anthropologists and one clergyman. The Society was presided over first by Isador Coriat, a founding father who had never been analyzed, and then by Martin Peck, a Rankian who was always referred to as “the gentle Peck” for his peace-keeping role. All this changed in 1930, when three energetic young reformers, Ives Hendrick, M. Ralph Kaufman and John Murray, returned from their analytic training in Europe, determined to recreate a new institute, with a constitution and by-laws.
The leader of this triumvirate, or “troika” as they later called themselves (omitting Leolia Dalrymple, a woman analyst who had also been trained in Berlin), was Ives Hendrick, who had been analyzed by Franz Alexander in Berlin in 1928-30. His influence led to acquiring Alexander as our first training-analyst in 1930-1, and a constitution based on Hendrick’s version of the Berlin Institute, but with far stricter rules than Berlin itself. Alexander had avoided these constitutional conflicts, busying himself with the re-analysis of our many Rankian followers. His tenure, however, was a temporary arrangement, a year between Alexander’s first year at the University of Chicago and his return to found the Chicago Psychoanalytic Institute in 1933.
The next training analyst was Hanns Sachs, a Viennese and a member of Freud’s earliest circle. He had become the Berlin Institute’s first training-analyst in 1920, and his first analysand had been Franz Alexander! He had been chosen by Dr Irmarita Putnam, the wife of a prominent neurologist, Tracy Putnam. She had been analyzed first by Jung and then by Freud, who had strongly recommended Sachs. This choice created problems, however, because Sachs was not a physician, which was unacceptable under the new constitution. He also rejected Hendrick’s cherished “faculty principle”, that candidates for analytic training must be approved by a committee, not by the individual analyst, as Sachs had been accustomed to doing. Despite some conflicts over training, however, Sachs continued the process of “regularizing” our members, a phrase George Wilbur, an early Rankian, had derived from ads for correcting faulty bowel-habits. Sachs taught many seminars, and was admired as a teacher for his wit and erudition, his command of Freudian theory and his interest in applied psychoanalysis.
The next European to arrive during 1933 was Erik Eriksson, who had been an artist in Denmark and not originally a Viennese. He became a teacher in a small private school for the children of analysts and was analyzed by Anna Freud. Though Erikson was also not a physician, he was warmly welcomed in Boston by Sachs, whom he had met by chance the summer before at a café in a Viennese suburb of Grinzing. Sachs had told him then that he was emigrating to Boston, which may have influenced Erikson’s decision to settle here. Erikson shared an office with Martin Peck, then president of the Boston Psychoanalytic Society, and was given a Harvard appointment by Prof. Stanley Cobb, chief of the nee psychiatric department at Massachusetts General Hospital. He was also welcomed by Prof Henry A. Murray, chief of the psychology lab at Harvard, and Erikson taught the first child analysis seminar at our new Institute. Murray soon resigned as chairman of the Institute’s Education Committee, when the “atmosphere (became) too charged with humourless hostility” (personal communication). Though well-accepted in Boston, it was difficult for non-MDs to earn a living, and in 1935 Erikson accepted an invitation from the Child Study Group at Yale.
Helene Deutsch and her son Martin arrived in September 1935, just in time for him to enrol at MIT, and her husband Felix followed in January 1936. She said (personal communication 1964-5) that they had been urged to emigrate by Robert Waelder because of the Nazi threat, at a time when most of the Viennese analysts, including Freud, were denying that Hitler posed any danger to Austria. This was later confirmed by Jenny Waelder (personal communication 1974-5), who admitted that she and her husband had failed to follow their own advice. The Deutsches’ choice of Boston, however, was determined by Stanley Cobb’s offering Felix an appointment at Massachusetts General Hospital, to collaborate with him on psychosomatic research. And this invitation, in turn, followed Felix’ meeting with Cobb a few years earlier, when Felix was on US lecture-tour. Another link to Boston and to Stanley Cobb was Cobb’s close friend Marian Putnam, who had been Helene Deutsch’s analysand in Vienna.
Mrs Beata Rank emigrated to Boston with her daughter, Helene, in the fall of 1936. She probably chose Boston because of her friendship with Helene Deutsch, who vouched for her acceptance at the BPSI, although Tola, as she was called, had no formal analytic training. She was the wife of Otto Rank, who had been stationed in Poland during the First World War and he married her when she was 18. In Vienna she quickly became part of Freud’s inner circle, working in the Verlag with her husband. She translated Freud’s Ueber Träume into Polish and presented a paper on the dreams of a 6-year-old girl, for her admission on the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society. Once very close to Freud, Otto Rank had begun to break away in the early 1920s, and moved closer to Ferenczi in his “active therapy”. In 1926 the Rank family had moved to Paris, but Tola remained loyal to Freud, and especially close to Anna Freud. There was a virtual dissolution of the Rank’s marriage in 1934, when Otto emigrated to the US. Tola remained in Paris, to allow her daughter to graduate from the lycée, and they emigrated in 1936 under Otto’s vis (7). In Boston, through the Deutsch’s influence, Tola became a leader in child analysis, on the staff of the Judge Baker Guidance Center and a co-director, with Marian Putnam, of the James Jackson Putnam Children’s Center, named in honor of her father, who founded our first Society in 1914.
Jenny and Robert Waelder arrived in June 1938, after the Nazi occupation of Austria in March. Jenny admitted (personal communication 1974-5) that “we were gradually fooling ourselves” by lingering so long in Vienna. She confirmed the fact that Robert had urged immigration: “the Bibrings could have come at the same time (1938) , they had affidavits and everything, but they preferred to go to England.” Waelder also emphasized that they had chosen Boston because of the Deutsches, even though Lawrence Kubie had offered her a prominent position in New York, and Sidney Biddle had met them at the boat, to persuade them to choose Philadelphia. Jenny considered herself lucky in having brought two patients with her, and she quickly became a prominent child analyst. Her husband Robert had a more difficult time, because of prejudice against lay-analysis. After an amicable divorce, Robert moved to Philadelphia and in 1943 Jenny settled in Washington DC, where her second husband, Duncal Hall, was engaged in historical research.
The Waelders played an important role in enabling the Bibrings to emigrate from England in 1940, because Jenny maintained that she was equally friendly with both the Deutsches and with Edward and Grete Bibring. By that time, after the war had begun, “no immigration visas were given any more and they could not come (except) as invited professor.” The Waelders looked for a suitable post for Edwards, but meanwhile Helene Deutsch had become alarmed at the number of refugee analysts in Boston. She confided in Jenny “a premonition that Hitler would conquer England” and even the US. According to Jenny, Helene was “concerned, that
(American) colleagues … who were very important to her (would be) terrified that Helene was going to bring all Vienna here,” first the Waelders, now the Bibrings. Then Jenny described how Helene came up with an idea that was “economically, in her mind, a solution (but) psychologically very very naïve: that Edward should work and Grete shall be a good housewife.” And, of course, give the kind of parties she had been famous for in Vienna.
This implicitly depreciatory proposal of Helene Deutsch’s deeply offended Grete Bibring, and opened a rift between the two couples that continued for decades. Candidates in training were protected from knowledge of this antagonism, but it was widely recognized by other analysts, who tended to align themselves in one camp or the other, like the Montagues and the Capulets. Jenny’s position between the two was difficult, and she denied any malice on Helene’s part, “only supreme naiveté.” Jenny noted that several analysts had left Boston at that time, because there were few patients: Edgerton Howard to Austen Riggs in Stockbridge, and Niels Anthonisen to White River Junction, New Hampshire. The conflict over the Bibring’s emigration was resolved by the Waelders’ turning to Moe Kaufman, “who had what we call a good Jewish heart,” and to Joseph Michaels, who had been analyzed in Vienna. The latter approached Prof Abraham Meyerson, chief of psychiatry at Tufts Medical School, who created a part-time professorship at Tufts for Edward Bibring. Although the older Myerson was critical of psychoanalysis, he firmly believed, according to his son David (D. Myerson, personal communication 2001), that if Boston was to become a training-center for analysts, “we should have the very best teachers.”
Both Bibrings were among our foremost teachers, Edward in his seminars on metapsychology, and Grete as chief pf psychiatry at the Beth Israel Hospital, a Harvard teaching-hospital. Its chief of medicine, Herman Blumgart, the brother of a New York analyst, was most hospitable to all refugees. His chiefs of radiology and dermatology were both Viennese, and his medical service was considered the most humane and patient-oriented of all Boston hospitals. Grete Bibring became the second woman professor at Harvard Medical School, which has been unusually slow in admitting women students. She and her department nourished generations of young analysts in general hospital psychiatry and psychosomatic medicine. Both the Deutsches also became prominent teachers, each in their own way: Helene for her pioneer studies in the psychology of women and Felix for his psychosomatic research. In demonstrating his method, called: the “associative anamnesis,” Felix was a dramatic, spell-binding lecturer, interviewing patients before sizeable audiences and eliciting amazing unconscious data. The rift, between these two important analytic couples, who had once been close friends in Vienna, may represent a casualty of the emigration experience, as a conflict among émigrés themselves.
In tracing the links between the Deutsches, Waelders and Bibrings in their paths to Boston, we have overlooked Lucie Jessner (personal communication 1973), our only major émigré analyst who was not a Viennese. She arrived in 1938 from Switzerland, where she had been analysed by Max Müller. She had joined “the wrong side” in an institutional split over lay-analysis, which necessitated Lucie’s completing her analytic training here. Born in Frankfurt, née Ney, she studied in Königsberg, where she married Fritz Jessner, a theatre-director and teacher. He was a cousin of the more famous Leonard Jessner, and avant-garde theatre- and movie-director, best known for his dramatic use of stairways in the great German silent films of the 1920s. Lucie herself had a dramatic flair, and always looked young for her age. She graduated from the BPSI in 1940, and a year later joined Cobb’s department at the MGH as their chief child analyst. Whatever drew her to Boston, she said “I was more or less adopted by Helene Deutsch and Tola … the first person I met who was my protector.” At MGH, Jessner and her associate, Gaston Blom, became known for their psychosomatic studies on juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and the emotional sequelae of tonsil-lectomy. In the 1956 she accepted an invitation to the university at Chapel Hill NC, with its new and vigorous department under George Hamm, and still later she moved to Washington DC.
Our last Viennese analyst, Edward, Hitschmann, was also the oldest, born in 1871 and a generation older than the Bibrings and closer in age to Iador Coriat, our founder. Hitschmann had practiced internal medicine for some years, before joining Freud’s earliest “Wednesday evenings” in 1905. Known for his wit and his scholarship, he wrote the first textbook on psychoanalytic theory in 1909, and shortly after, his paper on “Swedenborg’s Paranoia” (8). This reflected his lifelong interest in the lives of great men, a pioneer in the field of psychobiography. At the age of 42 he married Hedwig, a beautiful young concert singer whom he had fallen in love with 12 years earlier. He had treated her for stage-fright, but she became an eminent speech therapist, after studying with Fröschels, the expert on stammering. She said she had been asked by Anna Freud to teach her singing, in contrast to her father’s unmusical traditions (personal communication 1970). Like the Bibrings, the Hitschmann’s had first emigrated to England, and then to Boston in 1940, perhaps following the Bibrings example. Edward was a training analyst, a courtly, cultivated man, who had been very kind to Jessner, until some critical remark about Helene Deutsch put an end to their friendship (personal communication). His wife Hedwig was an energetic, highly sociable woman, as well as a superb cook, who was prominent in the refugee community of Cambridge. This was centered around a restaurant and bakery called the “The Window Shop”, created by the wives of eminent Harvard physicians to help refugees to find employment. The Hitschmann’s daughter Gretl became an analyst and met her husband, Sidney Margulin, as a resident at Worcester State Hospital. He was also an analyst and a pioneer in psychosomatic research at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, where he collaborated with Moe Kaufman of the Boston “troika”. The Margulins eventually settled in Denver. Edward Hitschmann had died in 1957, after 52 years as a practising analyst.
This brings to an end the sequence of major analysts who settled in Boston during the critical decade of 1930-1940, when Hitler’s cruelties to his own people where enriching the cultural life of the United States. There were a few young refugees who came later, when the war had closed the usual avenues of escape from Europe. One of these was Veronica Tisza, who fled Hungary with her husband, Lászlo, and reached Boston in 1941, after a sojourn in Paris and a hazardous escape-route through Spain and Nord Africa. She was a pediatrician, who obtained most of her analytic training in Pittsburgh, returning here to become an influential child-analyst and teacher. Her husband was a physicist, which linked them to the local community of refugee physicists and nuclear scientists, like Viktor Weisskopf, who recently died at 93. Another couple was Henry and Olga Wermer; he was Viennese and she was from Poland. They met at the university of Vienna, and escaped by a circuitous route through Latin America. Both became analysts, Henry as a child-analyst who died very young, while Olga became interested in the interface between psychiatry and gynecology. Malvina Stock was also polish and had escaped still later, after a lengthy stay in Latin America. As chair of the Education Committee she represented adherence to traditional analytic concepts, and she joined the institutional split in the Mid -1970s that resulted in the formation of PINE. Our last émigré couple were Doris (Menzer) and Tully Benaron, both Canadians and hence not refugees in the sense of being forced to flee their native country. But Doris was Swiss, with a strong German accent, brilliant red hair and a powerful personality. She was considered an exceptionally intuitive therapist, who collaborated with Somers Sturgis, chief of gynecology at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, in creating a specialized department for research on women’s problems. A last émigré who was not refugee was Eleanor Pavenstedt. She was born in New York City, but her German parents moved back to Germany during the First World War. She was educated in Switzerland and emigrated to Boston in the Mid-1940s. She was a child-analyst who played an important part at Putnams Children Center. She carried out research on early child development and created a major psychiatric unit in the public housing-project, treating children from families with extreme social pathology. Her book, The Drifters (9), is a landmark in psychosocial studies.
To sum up the changes in our Institute during the decade of the great migration, we can compare the membership-lists for 1933 and 1943, when emigration was closed. In 1933, there were ten founding members that qualified in the BPSI for membership in the American Psychoanalytic Association. All ten were American or Canadian, and seven of them had received their analytic training in Europe. There were about ten additional unqualified members in the Society, who were required to resign and to be readmitted, after an orthodox re-analysis. But a few, like Stanley Cobb, immersed in the administrative duties of his new department, never rejoined the new Institute. Ten years later, there were 37 members of the BPSI, 13 of whom were American or Canadian and 14 were European (10). But these numbers fail to do justice to our “Europeanization,” because so many of our greatest teachers were refugees, arriving in the prime of their scientific life. These numbers also represent our Institute before the war had ended, when a wave of still younger Americans applied for analytic training, many from military service, where they had encountered rates of psychiatric casualties and psychoanalytic concepts of treatment. Grinka and Spiegels monograph (11), for example, was widely distributed to all armed forces, proposing a modified version of Freud’s “cathartic cure”. We should also remind ourselves that our fledgling society had 37 members, before its phenomenal postwar growth, when the venerable Vienna Psychoanalytic Society had 47 members at its maximum.
Although the rising postwar popularity of Analysis affected both the Europeans and the Americans, some of the essential features of the refugee’s new milieu had already existed for many years. After our “reformation”, the newcomers were confronted with the American mania for committees, constitutions and by-laws, and Robert’s Rules of Order. In contrast, the Minutes of the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society were scientific meetings, were papers were presented and discussed. In Boston, however, the monthly Society Business Meeting became a miniature debating club, were rules, promotions and changes in administrative policy were subjected to endless argument. There was, of course, a Scientific Meeting besides, but there were also many other meetings each weak: the Education Committee, Admissions, Students, Faculty and many more. Among the debates concerning the acceptance of candidates, an eminent psychiatrist was approved for graduation by Hanns Sachs, but rejected by the Education Committee. Another debatable issue was the war time outpatient clinic, organized at the BPSI by Felix Deutsch, to help returning veterans & their families. This well-intentioned organization was denounced by both Hendrick and the Bibring fraction, who often disagreed because it offered short-term psychotherapy instead of analysis, like the clinic at the Burlin Psychoanalytic Institute. Another argument concerned Hendrick’s proposal that psychoanalysis become a medical specialty, with exams like other specialty-boards of the American Psychiatric Association. This represented one facet of an American trend to “medicalize” analysis, in line with our traditional opposition to lay-analysis, advocated by A. A. Brill since the early 1920s and rejected by Freud and most European analysts. In Boston, Hendrick’s proposal to make analysis an medical specialty was opposed by all the refugees and soundly defeated. Sachs was not the only European who complained about the rigidity of our committees and the rules, which the Viennese were unaccustomed to. But they quickly adapted and became agile parliamentarians themselves. They also began to discover more positive features in native American traditions: hospital departments of psychiatry, outpatient clinics and residential “homes” for the “underprivileged”, and treatment centers for children. The Judge Baker Guidance Center was a familiar example, established in 1917 and later directed by William Healy and Augusta Bronner. They had spent a summer in Vienna for special instruction in psychoanalysis by Helene Deutsch, who gave them just enough interpretations of dreams, free-association and the transference to understand the psychoanalytic process (H. Deutsch, personal communication 1965-6). They returned to Boston enthusiastic about analysis, wrote a book about their experiences, and offered Franz Alexander a staff-appointment for his year in Boston.
Other American cities had similar institutions, like the Institute for Juvenile Research in Chicago, but Boston had an amazing number, many created in the late 19th century by the New England “gentile tradition”. The founders were the same progressive, often upper-class women that established settlement houses and free clinics for the poor, like the Boston Dispensary. Among them were the Children’s Aid Society, the Children’s Mission to Children, the Habit Clinic, and the New England Home for Little Wanderers, founded in 1865. Called “friendly visitors” in general hospitals, or Grey Ladies, they were the forerunners of medical social work, which Ida Cannon, at MGH in 1907l, transformed into a profession (12). The émigré child analysts, like Tola Rank and Lucie Jessner, found welcome positions in these clinics and hospital departments. Marian Putnam’s Children’s Center added a new clinic to the traditional ones, specializing in pre-school children and autism, which Mrs. Rank called “atypical development”. This proliferation of facilities for the treatment of children, and the leadership of analysts in directing these clinics, made Boston a center for the training of aspiring child therapists. Similar training flourished in other cities, but it became a specialty of Boston.
Academic psychiatry in Boston also provided favourable conditions for refugee analysts, of which Cobb’s department at MGH was the best known. Founded in 1935, it was financially supported by the Rockefeller Foundation, whose director, Allen Gregg, had been the dissecting partner of Cobb and Carl Binger, founder of the Journal Psychosomatic Medicine. As we have seen, Cobb welcomed all refugee analysts, both professionally at his weekly conferences and socially in his hospitable Milton home. His appointment of Felix Deutsch was limited to one year, because of differences about scientific method, but Cobb soon succeeded in staffing his independent psychiatry department in a general hospital entirely with analysts. He also obtained a Harvard Medical School appointment for Hanns Sachs, as a lecturer in psychoanalysis, although he was not a physician.
Boston Psychopathic Hospital, founded in 1911, and later called MASS. Mental Health Center, had ancient links with psychoanalysis, beginning in the 1920s. Its director, C. MacFie Campbell, despite his later scepticism about analysis, gave its residence Commonwealth Fellowships for analytic training abroad. Martin Peck had a staff position at “Psycho”, teaching psychiatric residents, and Hendrick the tradition, by including Harvard medical students for 2-month rotating tutorials. Gradually Psycho acquired many analysts on its staff, and analysts became the chiefs of psychiatry at each of the ten Harvard teaching-hospitals. There was a slower conversion to psychoanalysis at Children’s Hospital. This culminated in its incorporation with the Judge Baker Guidance Center and its residential Manual School, carried out by George Gardner. Psychoanalysts were also teaching and supervising at schools of social work, at Simmons and Boston University, locally, and for its annual summer sessions at Smith’s, originally established by James Jackson Putnam.
These academic and institutional activities formed a pattern of part-time psychoanalytic practice that was characteristic of Boston, but less frequent in New York, where analysts preferred full-time psychoanalysis. Levin and Michaels (13) were surprised to discover that two-thirds of all Boston analysts held part-time academic posts. This trend toward part time practice also had an ancient history, dating from the turn of the century, when Putnam, our first Boston analyst, was also a professor of psychiatry at Harvard, and Morton Prince, a leader of the pre-analytic psychotherapy movement, was a professor at Tufts.
This pattern may have been facilitated by the fact that most early analysts in Boston were academic neurologists with part-time office practices, while the first New York analysts came from Manhattan State to embrace full-time analysis. This pattern also paved the way for the kind of mixed practice that was common in Boston, with some analytic patients, some psychotherapy patients, and various administrative and teaching activities. While a few New York analysts followed this pattern, it was rare until recent years, when diminishing analytic patients made it more acceptable.
The émigrés in Boston initially resisted part-time analytic practice, and the early arrivals were in such demand for training-analyses that their schedules quickly filled with candidates. But the Europeans who followed the academic path became leaders in Boston psychiatry as well as psychoanalysis. Grete Bibring, as we have seen, was the most prominent example, with her Harvard professorship and impressive department at Beth Israel. Erich Lindemann, who succeeded Cobb at MGH, explored a wider range of extra-analytic activities, from his studies of normal grief after the Coconut Grove fire to his pioneer community mental health clinic in Wellesley. His was brutally attacked by Hendrick for the deviations from “pure” psychoanalysis, and the community mental health movement was denounced as “a cross between a chicken and a snake” (Dawes, personal communication 1973), just as Felix Deutsch had been attacked for his clinic.
Deutsch brings us to another Boston “specialty”: research in psychosomatic medicine. This was the basis for Deutsch’s invitation from Cobb, to join the new department at MGH. The field had its American roots in the work of Smith Ely Jeliffe, in Cobb’s own lab, and in the investigations of John Romano and George Engel. The last two men began their work in Boston in 1930, and Romano was one of the “Freud Fellows”, who received a free training-analysis from Helene Deutsch. Felix Deutsch’s interest in mind-body interrelations dated from the early 1920s in Vienna, and he was the first to use the term “psychosomatic” in 1924. These interests emerged from his practice of internal medicine, and though he published widely, he was still regarded primary as an internist by many of his Viennese colleagues. In Boston, however, he found the favourable soil that enabled him to make psychosomatic medicine a successful career. Though Deutsch’s collaboration with Cobb was brief, he found a long-term position at the Boston VA Hospital. There he was free to perfect his “associative anamnesis” on a variety of patients, tape-recording the kind of interviews for which he was famous. He and his followers, William Murphy, Cecil Mushatt and Charles Pinderhughes, among others, published many books and papers, including the two-volume The Clinical Interview (14).
The career of Felix Deutsch, like those of Grete Bibring and the child analysts Tola Rank and Lucie Jessner, illustrates a general phenomenon about the analytic migration, not limited to Boston. These were the careers of European analysts whose professional development was greatly enhanced by native American institutions, who found a congenial culture-medium for the special interests in traditional child-guidance clinics and general hospitals. These mutual interactions led to successes that would have been unlikely in their European surroundings. In Vienna, for example, there was little interest in psychosomatic medicine, and Felix Deutsch would probably have remained a well-liked but peripheral figure. The career of Franz Alexander is even more striking, because in Berlin, as far as we know, he had no special interest in psychosomatic problems. But during his one year in Boston, he wrote a remarkable book (15), that outlined many areas for future psychosomatic research, and anticipated the incorporation of psychoanalytic education into medical schools. And, as we know, Alexander’s innovations made the Chicago Psychoanalytic Institute a major center for psychosomatic research.
Besides these mutual influences between European émigrés and the native American institutions that transformed the development of analysis in this country, there were some social interactions as well. As we have seen, many Bostonians had obtained their analytic training in Vienna and Berlin and they warmly welcomed their former teachers. They enjoyed recalling their sojourns abroad as “the best years of their lives”, despite the political tragedies and personal dangers that followed the Nazi take-over. Irmarita Putnam, for example, helped Helene Deutsch find a place to live, but also introduced her, ironically, to “gentile Boston anti-Semitism”, when the Deutsches were rejected as prospective tenants by a traditional Brookline apartment house (H. Deutsch, personal communication 1965-6). Cobb, Peck, Marian Putnam and other Americans were very hospital, and once settled the European reciprocated with dinner-parties and receptions. The most prominent of these were the Sunday gatherings given by Tola Rank, which began as a means of bringing together the child analysts and therapists who were scattered all over the city. Gradually these gatherings came to include most of the analytic community, Bibrings and Deutsches, analysts and social workers. Thus Tola created a unique European type of salon, where a variety of colleagues could meet. Her sumptuous repasts also introduced us to elegant Viennese cuisine, which gradually altered our native eating habits.
In conclusion, it can be said that the intermingling of European culture and American traditions had beneficial effects on both, and on the development of psychoanalysis in Boston. The glaring exception was the persistent American prejudice against lay-analysis, which the newly arrived analysts did not protest at first, and soon special dispensations were found to admit the most eminent non-physicians, like Erikson, Tola Rank and Robert Waelder. In this respect, Boston was no different from New York, where Ernst Kris, Edith Buxbaum and other non-MDs notables where accepted in their local societies. We may have been slightly more tolerant than San Francisco, where Siegfried Bernfeld, perhaps the most brilliant teacher, encountered such opposition to his wives candidacy that he eventually resigned as training-analyst. Finally, many decades later and against stubborn resistance, the ancient battles were laid to rest by the capitulation of the American Psychoanalytic Association. As the more tolerant European attitudes have prevailed, non-physicians make up an increasing proportion of our membership.
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