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Kohut, H. (1971). Peace Prize 1969 Laudation. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 19:806-818.

(1971). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 19:806-818

Peace Prize 1969 Laudation

Heinz Kohut, M.D.

MR. PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC, Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen; dear Professor Mitscherlich!

The special edition of the journal Psyche in honor of Alexander Mitscherlich's sixtieth birthday contains a beautiful photograph. It shows him in the garb of the physician and medical researcher, in the white coat of the hospital or laboratory. I do not know who selected this picture—he himself, perhaps, or a colleague; but I believe that it depicts him in the role that is to him the most genuine representation of his personality: the scientific physician, the healing researcher.

The primacy of the role of medical-psychiatric researcher may indeed be the deeply imbedded knot which fastens the threads in the complex weave of his life's activities and of his personality. And it might well be true that his fellow workers see him in the same perspective. For those of his friends, however, who like myself live at some distance from him, his image is not quite so unambiguous. A number of contrasting aspects present themselves which call for separate scrutiny before one can attempt that synthesizing integration of the description of a personality and of a life's work which, difficult though it is to achieve, remains the ultimate goal of the biographer.

There is first of all the professional basis of Mitscherlich's life: the man in the white coat, the research-minded physician.

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