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Fromm-Reichmann, F. (1940). Gertrud Jacob—1893-1940. Psychoanal Q., 9:546-548.

(1940). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 9:546-548

Gertrud Jacob—1893-1940

Frieda Fromm-Reichmann

A great person, a sympathetic, resolute therapist endowed with keen psychological and psychiatric understanding, a sensitive and gifted artist, Gertrud Jacob's brilliant and intuitive mind was passionately set both for truth and beauty. Throughout life she searched inexorably and devotedly for scientific insight, and for artistic expression of what she sensed to be the truth about the human mind in its individual and social aspects.

Those who knew Gertrud Jacob but superficially could not surmise the depth and intensity of her intellectual and emotional life. She hid behind a screen of aloofness. Those who were not close to her admired her self-contained and independent personality and the workings of her brilliant mind. They were impressed by dignified reserve and pride charmingly mixed with disarming naïveté and friendliness.

Few knew of the blissful elation that she experienced upon gaining new scientific insight or upon finding an artistic expression for what she wanted to convey; or the sorrow when insight or expression eluded her. She was intense. Her ardent and uncompromising heart and mind burnt with indignation upon meeting with meanness or mendacity, were it in people or in causes. Hers was a great devotion to people and to causes that were dear to her.

She was born on January 16, 1893, at Kiel, Germany, the eldest of five daughters of a well-known German Jewish physician.

When she was twelve years old, her paintings were shown to an artist who advised her parents to have her study art. After graduating from high school with honor, she studied art in Kiel and Berlin with Burmeester and Corinth specializing in portraits.


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