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Rajka, T. (1976). Alice Hermann 1895–1975. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 57:355-356.

(1976). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 57:355-356

Alice Hermann 1895–1975

Tibor Rajka

Not long ago someone (rather ill-mannered, I must say) to whom I was talking about my plans for the following year, broke into loud laughter. To have plans at seventy? Of course, the pen can drop from one's hand at any moment. There is nothing the matter with that, there will be people to pick it up. I am not very much afraid of the interruption (however, I should very much like the end of my ability to work to coincide with the end of life). All in all, I can look back with good feelings. Not that I have done much, but that saying about 'one brick added to the building' comes from the very bottom of my heart. I am aware of my limits: what is expressed by the concise English saying, 'to do one's best', has given me the moral foundation to avoid tormenting myself too much with the charge of 'not being sufficiently up to the mark'.

This is what Alice Hermann wrote in Pedagógiai Szemle (Paedagogical Review) in 1964, looking back on her life and activity. Her wish about the ending of her life was granted: her ability to work was brought to a close by death. On 16 August 1975 the inexhaustible life gave place to death almost without transition.

On 29 May the Hungarian Paedagogical Association warmly celebrated Alice Hermann's 80th birthday. Alice Hermann enjoyed what is given to a few people only: to see the results and the aims of her activity come to life. She was devoted to a task that demanded bravery, self-sacrifice and persistence: she wanted to transplant into institutions, and more than that—to extend to an institutional level and on a social scale all that she had mastered as a research psychologist, as a theoretically trained, and for a time practising, psychoanalyst: the idea and the internal call of education into humane adulthood.

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