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Falzeder, E. Dupont, J. (2000). Sándor Ferenczi: President of the International Psychoanalytical Association (1918-1920) and founder of the International Journal of Psychoanalysis. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 81(4):805-805.

(2000). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 81(4):805-805

Sándor Ferenczi: President of the International Psychoanalytical Association (1918-1920) and founder of the International Journal of Psychoanalysis

Ernst Falzeder and Judith Dupont

Dear Sir,

In his obituary of Karl Abraham, Ernest Jones wrote: ‘Blows of another sort have several times affected the psycho-analytical movement, one of which even brought with it the loss, by another way than death, of a President of the International Psycho-Analytical Association’ (1926, p. 155). As a matter of fact, before Abraham's death the IPA had ‘lost’ not one, but two presidents, so that we are left speculating about whom Jones was talking here. The wording, the context and subsequent events, however, leave little doubt that Jones was referring to Carl Gustav Jung, and that the Totschweigen of Sándor Ferenczi was already in full force.

In 1918, Ferenczi had been elected President of the IPA at the Fifth International Psychoanalytical Association Congress in Budapest. Due to the post-war upheaval and turmoil in Hungary, which made international contacts practically impossible, he had to ask someone else to act for him as President until the following congress, but he did not resign. The mere fact of his presidency has been all but forgotten, and it was only in 1996 that the former President of the IPA, Horacio Etchegoyen, noticed ‘a glaring omission in the portrait gallery of Presidents [in Broomhills]—Sándor Ferenczi’ (Bonomi, 1999p. 507).

This is not the place to go into the reasons for the repression of the fact that the very founder of the International Psychoanalytical Association had also been its third President.

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