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Balint, M. (1949). Sándor Ferenczi, Obit 1933. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 30:215-219.

(1949). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 30:215-219

Sándor Ferenczi, Obit 1933

Michael Balint

The early history of psycho-analysis is full of tragic events and tragic lives. Indeed it was the heroic age of our movement. Perhaps the most tragic, the most moving history of all is that of Sándor Ferenczi.

This is a bold statement. Neither the many friends, won by his radiant lovable personality, nor the inexhaustible wealth of his ideas, nor the unchallengeable successes of his scientific career, seem enough to justify such an opinion. Although he was Freud's junior by twenty-one years, Ferenczi became in an incredibly short time, a matter of only a few months, perhaps the closest friend of the master, and was for many years his inseparable companion on his jealously guarded holiday journeys. Among the quickly growing host of analysts Ferenczi attained—as a matter of course—a special place of respect and he was loved and admired all the world over by everyone. Except for Freud, perhaps no one contributed so many and such fundamentally new ideas to our science; Ferenczi's contributions belong, to-day more than ever, to the classical works of psycho-analysis.

All this is true, and yet, somehow, something always went wrong for him. Let us follow Freud's example who compared Ferenczi with Abraham in his obituary note on the latter. With Abraham nothing ever went wrong. His career was a steady rising curve, an unbroken line of successes. He was a born president,

[From time to time it is a wholesome exercise of the imagination to study the life work of the pioneers of science, and to see how and if possible why the ideas they developed are different from those current among us to-day.

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