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Gast, L. (2008). Part Three: Emigration of education and theory to North America. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 89(2):421-422.

(2008). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 89(2):421-422

Part Three: Emigration of education and theory to North America

Reported by:
Lilli Gast

Moderated by:
Daniel Jacobs

Erika Schmidt, from Chicago, opened the panel with her paper, The Berlin Tradition in Chicago, which mainly investigated Franz Alexander's enduring influence on the institutional structure of the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis. Alexander received his basic medical training in his native city of Budapest and trained as an analyst from 1920 to 1930 at the Berlin Psychoanalytic Institute and its Poliklinik. When he set off to the USA in 1930, he took in his suitcase the blueprint of the Berlin Psychoanalytic Institute's organizational structure. The speaker gave a precise and succinct account of how the ‘Berlin model’ fared in the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis, founded in 1932, in which the specific transformation and even intensification of the basic principles also bears the clear hallmark of Franz Alexander (e.g. the strong emphasis on psychoanalytic–psychiatric research).

Franz Alexander is also a key figure in the paper given by Sanford Gifford, the archivist and librarian of the Boston Psychoanalytic Society, concerning the huge importance of emigrant analysts from Berlin and Vienna for the Boston Psychoanalytic Society. If we consider this Institute's (organizational) history, Alexander appears as a ‘grey eminence’ in the background. Even during his Berlin period, he was the training analyst of Ives Hendrick, who after his return developed the rather informal Boston Institute into a tightly organized and strictly regulated training institute that was closely based on the Berlin model.

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