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Spitz, R.A. (1953). Geza Róheim—1891-1953. Psychoanal Q., 22:324-327.

(1953). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 22:324-327

Geza Róheim—1891-1953

René A. Spitz

With the death of Géza Róheim we have lost a great scholar, a distinguished scientist, but above all a warm and lovable friend.

Science lost in him the man who was the first to implement Freud's discoveries in the field of anthropology. The insights which Freud had achieved for the individual and had applied to prehistory Dr. Róheim set out to extend to wider and wider fields, to folklore, to anthropology, to social sciences, to mythology, to prehistory, and many more. For Géza Róheim possessed a truly encyclopedic knowledge such as is rare in our day of specialization.

While still a high school student, he wrote an article on Hungarian folklore and delivered a lecture on moon mythology to the Hungarian Ethnological Society. He published his first scientific article as a young man of twenty. From that time to the end of his life he contributed lavishly to psychoanalysis and to the social sciences original and seminal ideas.

His probing, avid spirit had already acquainted him in 1911 with psychoanalysis. He recognized it as the key to the random data accumulated up to that time by anthropologists. He was analyzed in 1915 and 1916 by Sandor Ferenczi, whose close friend he became. Soon thereafter he published several articles, foremost among them, Das Selbst, and Spiegelzauber, which contributed so fundamentally to opening new horizons to psychoanalysts that in 1921 he was awarded the Sigmund Freud Prize. By this time academic science also had recognized Dr. Róheim's great contributions. He became a member of the staff of the Hungarian National Museum and later was made Professor of Anthropology at the University of Budapest.

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