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Witenberg, E.G. (1975). On Erich Fromm's 75th Year. Contemp. Psychoanal., 11:389-389.

(1975). Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 11:389-389

On Erich Fromm's 75th Year

Earl G. Witenberg, M.D.

A SEVENTY-FIFTH ANNIVERSARY is a genial affair for all—celebrants and the honored. The William Alanson White Institute is privileged to acknowledge, in his 75th year, the unique contributions of Erich Fromm to its founding, its spirit, and its future. His contributions to our field of psychoanalysis are universally known; his relationship to the White Institute is delineated.

In 1943 Erich Fromm and Frieda Fromm-Reichmann, David M. Rioch, Janet M. Rioch, Harry Stack Sullivan, and Clara Thompson founded what is now the William Alanson White Institute. Of the founders, Dr. Fromm was the only non-psychiatrist, the only person trained in the social sciences and psychoanalysis. He brought to the fledgling institute a rare social perceptiveness, forged in the intellectual ambience of Heidelberg, Munich, and Frankfurt, which was wedded to a special clinical acumen and grounded in training at the Berlin Psychoanalytic Institute. As teacher and training and supervising analyst he was much sought after. No one was untouched by his dynamic approach to the patient. His theory of the social aspects of psychoanalytic practice left indelible imprints on all. Since his move to Mexico in 1950, he has spent less time at the Institute, yet during these years he has continued to give seminars and offer supervision. At times our members and students sought his counsel in Mexico.

Dr. Fromm couples the insights of the psychoanalyst with those of the social scientist, in the tradition of dissent. He has communicated a trenchant humanistic view of man that daily influences, directly and indirectly, the work and attitude of every member of the White Institute. We are thus enriched by him.


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