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Bergler, E. (1954). Ludwig Jekels, M.D—1867-1954. Bul. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 10:831-832.
(1954). Bulletin of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 10:831-832
Ludwig Jekels, M.D—1867-1954
Edmund Bergler, M.D.
Whoever came in contact with Ludwig Jekels gathered the identical impression. He was a gentleman of the old school, a man for whom the terms "dignity" and "integrity" had real meaning. He was a scientist of absolute incorruptibility and intellectual honesty.
Recently his works were collected in a volume, entitled Selected Papers. This is a small book, containing but nine studies, the first of which appeared in 1914. Each of these papers is basic. His studies on applied psychoanalysis—on Napoleon, Macbeth, on the problem of duplicated expression of psychic themes, and on comedy—are classic. His theoretical-clinical studies on pity, the sense of guilt, transference and love, and instinct dualism in dreams, published in the early thirties, deal with the application and enlargement of Freud's life- and death-instinct theory. They reveal a seldom encountered phenomenon in science—an older man with amazing mental elasticity and originality, capable of keeping pace with the latest scientific discoveries and of contributing substantially to newer discoveries.
All this was based on his unwavering adherence to Freud which lasted for half a century. Psychoanalysis was Jekels' greatest emotional experience. In his own words:
Although I had studied with the leading medical authorities of the time, the world that was opened to me in Freud's lectures was totally unknown to me. An enthusiasm I had never experienced before made me go to Vienna year after year.
Jekels' enthusiasm for psychoanalysis was never marred by his participation in factional struggles. He went so far in his reticence, that when offered the acting vice-presidency of the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society he asked to be excused.
A scientist who reaches old age has but one fear; that invalidism and illness might prevent him from working. In this respect Jekels was fortunate.
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