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Reider, N. (1954). Siegfried Bernfeld—1892-1953. Bul. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 10:378-379.

(1954). Bulletin of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 10:378-379

Siegfried Bernfeld—1892-1953

Norman Reider, M.D.

Siegfried Bernfeld was born in Lvov on May 7, 1892. He studied at the University of Vienna and the University of Freiberg and received his doctorate in 1915 at Vienna in biology and psychology. His association with the psychoanalytic movement began in his university days; he became a corresponding member of the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society in 1913 and an Active Member in 1915. From 1922 to 1925 Bernfeld practiced psychoanalysis in Vienna, where he was a member of the Committee which helped found the Institute. From 1925 to 1932 he practiced and taught in Berlin. After a return to Vienna for two years, he lived in Menton, France until 1936. Then a brief sojourn in London preceded his coming to San Francisco, where he continued his scientific work until his death on April 2, 1953. He lived his last four years, which were disturbed by serious illnesses and several major surgical operations, with the same unpretentious and quiet dignity which had always characterized him.

Beginning in 1912, Bernfeld contributed to the scientific literature 108 books, papers and reviews, covering a wide range in psychoanalytic theory, psychology, pedagogy and biography. As a leader in the Austrian and German youth movements, he gave to these the practical applications derived from his psychoanalytic knowledge, and wrote voluminously on pedagogy and problems of infantile development. These interests culminated in the publication, in 1925, of his famous Psychologie des Säugling. Bernfeld's major theoretical writings were on the intricate implications of the economic aspects of the libido theory, which to him always remained the central great idea in Freud's teachings.

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