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Abraham, H.C. (1974). Karl Abraham: An Unfinished Biography. Int. R. Psycho-Anal., 1:17-72.

(1974). International Review of Psycho-Analysis, 1:17-72

Karl Abraham: An Unfinished Biography

Hilda C. Abraham

Introductory note

The biography of Karl Abraham was the task in which Hilda Abraham was engaged at the time of her death, and was the last demonstration of her filial devotion. After Abraham's untimely death on Christmas Day 1925, his daughter continued to follow the professional interests that her father had inspired in her. She continued her medical studies and began a training analysis in Berlin, both of which were interrupted by the Nazi persecutions. She completed her studies in England and practised as a training analyst of the British Psycho-Analytical Society until her death on 3 October 1971.

The biography was begun while Abraham's widow was still alive, and mother and daughter were able to reconstruct the story of the early days in Berlin when Hilda was a child. Hilda also had the benefit of her mother's help in relating the story of her parents' marriage and the first years at the Burghölzli Hospital in Zurich. Mrs Abraham-Allan died at the age of 91 and Hilda was unable to resume writing until some time had elapsed. When she began again it was obvious that her health was failing, and the last chapters were completed with the help of her analyst and friend, Dr Hilde Maas.

Thus the biography remains incomplete. It has been edited by Tom and Marion Burgner and myself.


Family, childhood and adolescence, 1887–1895

For a number of years friends have suggested that I should write about my father. In considering ways and means, I was hampered by many uncertainties and gaps in my knowledge and in my memory, which make my father's personality appear very close and yet in many ways so far removed.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

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