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Balkányi, C. (1962). Lajos Lévy—1875–1961. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 43:81-82.

(1962). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 43:81-82

Lajos Lévy—1875–1961

Charlotte Balkányi

On 7 April, 1961 there died in London, in his 86th year, Dr Lajos Lévy, member of the British Psycho-Analytical Society, and one of the five men who in 1913 founded the Hungarian Psycho-Analytical Society under the leadership of Ferenczi.

Dr Lévy was already a 25-year-old physician when The Interpretation of Dreams was published. He remembered how, before that time, in 1898, he had become aware of the writings of a medical man in Vienna who had a quite new theory on neurotic illness, and in his youthful excitement had discussed these with Ferenczi, two years his senior. These writings had to be taken seriously because, not so long before, their author, Freud, had written that marvellous essay on aphasia. Ferenczi should go to Vienna!

Dr Lévy was a great physician. For many years he was superintendent of one of the largest hospitals in Budapest. Though he did not himself practise psycho-analysis, he lived in close contact with analysts from 1900 onwards. He knew many interesting details of the early psycho-analytic movement, some of which he imparted to me. Here I would prefer, however, to say a few words about what psycho-analysis meant to him, and I will outline one chapter of his sixty years' connection with it.

Neither those who met him here for the first time, nor those who saw him again after an interval of many years, could visualize in this happily smiling, jovial old gentleman the man he had been up to his seventieth year in Budapest. There he was looked upon as 'Jupiter Tonans', thundering Jove.

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