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Sachs, H. (1943). Max Eitingon—1880–1943. Psychoanal Q., 12:453-456.

(1943). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 12:453-456

Max Eitingon—1880–1943

Hanns Sachs

Max Eitingon played an outstanding, unforgettable part in the history of psychoanalysis although his name is not connected with the development of any special part of psychoanalytic theory. This is due to a personality in which two elements were predominant: an intense sensitivity and the urge to give his help to all those who needed it.

His sensitivity which was heightened by a slight speech-defect made him withdraw from all publicity except on very rare and special occasions. His knowledge and experience, his profound understanding of psychoanalysis, and his unusual intellectual powers would have enabled him to make many valuable contributions to the psychoanalytic literature, as everyone knows who had the opportunity to work with or under him. It was because of his severe self-criticism, fostered by this extreme sensitivity, that almost none of his contributions penetrated beyond his immediate surroundings. On the other hand his sensitive mind did provide him with an unusual degree of intuition. His place was not in the lecture hall and still less as a participant in passionate and noisy disputes. In small circles or, best of all, in conversations 'under four eyes', his great ability manifested itself. Although it became generally known how much the psychoanalytic movement owed to his able management from behind the scenes, only a few could appreciate his activity. Always conciliatory in his tone, untiring in his attention to the smallest detail, tactful, and persistent, Eitingon made himself indispensable whenever a conflict threatened or a difficult problem of organization had to be solved.

It need not be emphasized that his gift for intuitive understanding gave him a great advantage in his analytic work, especially when he had to deal with sensitive persons.

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