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Barchilon, J. (1973). Gustav Bychowski (1895-1972). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 54:112-113.

(1973). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 54:112-113

Gustav Bychowski (1895-1972)

Jose Barchilon

Three weeks after Gustav Bychowski died I heard about it and something in me couldn't quite believe it. In spite of his 76 years and a recent illness which he had weathered well, he radiated physical strength and power, was so earthy, that I could only imagine his death as many, many years off. Nor was that feeling purely physical, for he was a most lively man, easily amused, and always ready to empathize with others.

Like many Poles of his generation, he was before anything else a European, a man who belonged to many cultures. He had a weakness for things French but at heart he was as Polish as anyone could be, with a touch of Russian, German, and even Italian. His only son, Richard, died in action for the Polish Air Force in 1944. Gustav came to New York in 1939, became an American and made the transition easily.

We came together in the early days of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine when he volunteered to conduct a research seminar because he was impressed by the curiosity and enthusiasm of our students. They were even more impressed by a chance to work with a man who had been a student of Bleuler at Burghölzli, of Freud in Vienna, and was one of the pioneers in the psychotherapy of the psychoses. They met with Dr Bychowski to explore the effects of LSD on uncovering what he called the 'latent psychosis' in schizoid personalities. Our residents worked up suitable patients whose clinical histories they presented to him. Then an attempt was made at reconstructing the most probable latent psychosis.

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