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Arlow, J.A. (1970). Heinz Hartmann—1894-1970. Psychoanal Q., 39:620-621.

(1970). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 39:620-621

Heinz Hartmann—1894-1970

Jacob A. Arlow, M.D.

The passing of Heinz Hartmann on May 17, 1970 brought to a close one of the most influential and significant careers in the history of psychoanalysis. For more than two decades Hartmann was without question the outstanding theoretician of psychoanalysis and its leading intellectual figure. His work centered on ego psychology. He saw it as the integrating element of psychoanalytic theory and practice, as well as the basis for a theory of general psychology. In his own writings and also in the remarkable collaboration with Ernst Kris and Rudolph M. Loewenstein, Hartmann constantly endeavored to clarify psychoanalytic concepts and to bring psychoanalytic propositions into appropriate correlation with each other and with the findings of related disciplines. A vast knowledge of the humanities, the social sciences, psychology, and philosophy lent a sense of broad perspective to his thinking so that even the most minute clinical observation could be viewed as having implications of major theoretical import. Elegance is the quality which perhaps best describes the nature of his work.

Elegance, in fact, epitomized the man and his life. Tall and with proud bearing, Hartmann's manner was at one and the same time aristocratic and affable, shy and good-humored. (He once told me that he regretted that our psychoanalytic journals did not have a humor column!) His hands were large but sensitive and the everpresent cigarette in the long cigarette holder only enlarged the arc of the graceful flourishes his hands made when he spoke in social situations. The strength of his intellect and character clearly predestined him for leadership in his profession.

Hartmann was born in Vienna in 1894. His father was a historian and diplomat, having served as Ambassador to Germany. His mother was a talented artist. After completing his studies in medicine at the University of Vienna, Hartmann decided to specialize in psychiatry and was for fourteen years associated with the Department of Psychiatry of the University. From this experience he published important works on twins and the Korsakoff syndrome.

Psychoanalysis, however, turned out to be the ideal discipline for his wide-ranging intellect. Freud was quick to appreciate the high level of Hartmann's intelligence and held this new disciple in high regard.

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