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Spitz, R. (1951). Dr. Fritz Wittels. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 32:325-325.

(1951). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 32:325-325

Dr. Fritz Wittels

René Spitz

The psycho-analytic movement has lost one of its earliest and at the same time one of its most active disciples and propagators, Dr. Fritz Wittels, who died on October 16, 1950. He was a fiery and enthusiastic teacher of psycho-analysis both in Europe and in the United States.

Born in 1880 in Vienna, he took his medical degree in 1904. A year later he came into contact with Freud and was deeply impressed by his genius. In 1906 he joined the earliest psycho-analytical circle, which used to meet in Freud's office for the discussion of psycho-analytic problems. But when personal jealousies broke up this circle of disciples in 1910, Wittels left Freud.

This separation was not a desertion. He could never quite detach himself from the profound impression which Freud the man and Freud the scientist produced on him. He remained Freud's admirer, even during the years in which they were not in contact. This comprehension of the historical role of Freud found its expression in the first biography of Freud which Wittels published in 1924. In a warm personal letter to Wittels, Freud pointed out the errors in this biography, but at the same time freely recognized the merits of the book. Not very much later Wittels rejoined the psycho-analytic movement and became one of the most ardent propagators of Freud's work and thought.

In 1928, at the invitation of Alvin Johnson, he came to the United States and lectured for 10 years at the New School for Social Research, the first to teach Freud's psycho-analysis for the general public in the U.

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