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Holland, N.H. (1990). Heinz Lichtenstein (1904–1990). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 71:527-529.

(1990). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 71:527-529

Heinz Lichtenstein (1904–1990)

Norman H. Holland

On 14 January, 1990, Heinz Lichtenstein, one of the pre-eminent psychoanalytic theorists of identity, died after a long and debilitating illness. He was born 17 October 1904, in Königsberg, Prussia, a city where the memory of Immanuel Kant was still vivid. His father, Max Lichtenstein, was a lawyer, an amateur Kant scholar, and president of the important Kant Society. The father's philosophical avocation became the son's in all his psychoanalytic writings to come.

After completing gymnasium at the Friedrichskolleg in 1924, Lichtenstein entered the University of Marburg, where Hans Loewald was a fellow-student. There and at Freiburg he studied philosophy (under Martin Heidegger) and, for his livelihood, medicine, the profession of a beloved uncle. He continued his medical studies at the University of Heidelberg, receiving his degree in 1930.

There, he had been intern and resident in neurology. He continued as assistant and senior assistant physician in neuropsychiatry at the Hufeland Hospital in Berlin from 1930–33, and it was there that he met and married Ursula Drawerk. Nazi laws refused payment from the national health insurance to Jewish doctors, and Lichtenstein found it impossible to continue in Berlin. The young couple moved to Königsberg, where family and friends created better opportunities. In 1934, he travelled to Switzerland to study the use of shock treatment for schizophrenia, but found, after some months, that he could not return to Germany because the Gestapo had found 'subversive' literature on his father's shelves.

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