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Esman, A.H. (1997). Obituary: PETER BLOS (1903-1997). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 78:813-814.

(1997). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 78:813-814

Obituary: PETER BLOS (1903-1997)

Aaron H. Esman

Peter Blos died in his 94th year on 12 June 1997 at his home in Holderness, New Hampshire. He is survived by his wife, Betsy Thomas Blos, his son, Peter Blos, Jr, M.D., his daughter, Lillemor Beenhouwer, four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

The customary biographical data—his birth in Karlsruhe, Germany; his teaching diploma from the University of Heidelberg; his Ph.D. in biology from Vienna; his emigration to the United States in 1934; his years of teaching and guidance work in New Orleans and New York—evoke some of the flavour of his restless, enquiring mind and his devotion to education and psychological service to the young. But the heart of his professional life and the organising core of his work derived from those years in Vienna when he became a part of the psychoanalytic circle, began his psychoanalytic studies, and served as director of the now legendary Experimental School, in collaboration with Anna Freud, August Aichhorn, Dorothy Burlingham and his childhood friend Erik Erikson. Out of this experience grew his commitment to the welfare of the young, a commitment from which he never wavered and to which he brought the full measure of his creative energy.

My first encounter with him occurred at the Jewish Board of Guardians in New York, where, as a newly appointed junior psychiatric consultant, I was given the privilege of attending his staff training seminars on adolescence. It was there that he developed and refined his ideas about assessment and adolescent development that were elaborated in his now classic book, On Adolescence (1962).

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