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Rapaport, D. (1959). Leo Berman, M.D—(13 April, 1913–27 December, 1958). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 40:334-338.

(1959). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 40:334-338

Leo Berman, M.D—(13 April, 1913–27 December, 1958)

David Rapaport

Leo Berman was at the time of his death a psycho-analyst engaged in private practice and research; instructor (1950–8) at the Harvard University Medical School; visiting psychiatrist in charge of group work at the Beth Israel Hospital (1952–8); training analyst (1952–8), control analyst (1954–8), Secretary of the Education Committee (1952–7) of the Boston Psychoanalytic Institute; Member of the Editorial Board, American Journal of Orthopsychiatry (1954–8); consultant of the Joint Commission on Mental Illness and Health (1956–8). He obtained his medical training at the University of Basel, Switzerland (M.D., 1937), and his psycho-analytic training at the Boston Psychoanalytic Institute (1941–5).


Leo Berman died young in the middle of unfinished work carried on to the last in spite of wracking pain. He was not yet generally known outside his own geographical community, the Group for Advancement of Psychiatry, and group therapy circles, nor had he written much. Yet his work made a lasting impression on his associates, friends, students, and readers of his papers, and contributes to the development of the mainstream of psycho-analytic thought. I am writing about him here not only to express what many of us felt about him as a friend, but also to give voice to the intents that animated his work and life.

Leo Berman and his work are representative of the problems, trends, and aspirations of his generation of psycho-analysts. While his individuality, fierce integrity, courage, and dedication led to a unique synthesis of these problems, trends, and aspirations, his unassuming ways and the untimely interruption of his life-work tend to obscure his contributions to them.

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