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Deutsch, H. (1963). From Helene Deutsch. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 11:227-228.

(1963). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 11:227-228

From Helene Deutsch

Helene Deutsch

Dear Grete:

At this moment you are expected to carry out a double function: as President of the American Psychoanalytic Association you are conferring on me the Menninger Award, and as my personal friend you are doing me the favor of accepting it in my behalf.

I am confident that you will find a good solution for this conflict between active and passive.

Particularly I would like you to express my gratitude for the generosity of the Menninger Foundation, as well as to the Committee which has honored me with its choice and to all those who concurred in it.

I must confess, although with some embarrassment, that the honor I have just received has made me very happy. It was a surprise for me, for I had assumed that such awards are made to younger people—to those who are in the midst of their analytic career, who are active participants in new, vital, and currently debated issues. According to my personal image of an award, it is not for those who have achieved something—for achievement is in itself an award—but it is given to those whose work carries a promise for the future.

My observations on old people—especially, if I may permit myself for a moment to be subjective, my observations on myself—have led me to the conviction that age does not change that feeling of the endless continuity of personal existence, uninterrupted by death. We all are endowed with this feeling, in spite of the intellectual knowledge that our life is limited and short. There are certain deep-rooted currents in the psychic life of homo sapiens which are timeless. We carry them with us from early childhood until the day of death, even at a very advanced age.

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