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Loewenstein, R.M. (1970). Heinz Hartmann. Psychoanal. St. Child, 25:12-15.

(1970). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 25:12-15

Heinz Hartmann

Rudolph M. Loewenstein

On June 9 of this year, only a few weeks after Heinz Hartmann's death, I read a tribute to him at a meeting of the New York Psychoanalytic Society. So close to his death, it would have been very difficult for me to speak of him in a relatively detached way. I could honor him at that time mainly as a friend, and less as a psychoanalyst or scientist. I was not alone in this. Those who spoke of him at the funeral service stressed predominantly his charm, his many talents, his character and personality: all that endeared him to so many. But even then it was impossible not to mention some of the characteristics which revealed themselves in Hartmann's mode of thinking and working.

In his earlier years his interest already was decidedly in psychoanalytic theory. His book Die Grundlagen der Psychoanalyse (1927) was and has remained a unique systematic statement of psychoanalytic theory and methodology valid at that time.

My closer personal contact with Hartmann in the scientific field started in August, 1939. It so happened that we and our families spent the summer holidays, the last before the outbreak of the War, in the same place in Brittany. As Editor of the Internationale Zeitschrift für Psychoanalyse, he wanted to publish the German translation of a paper of mine dealing with the theory of the aggressive drive. In my first draft I had used the term "instinct of self-preservation." He cogently criticized this term, so that I was able to add the necessary remarks which clarified what I had intended to convey, namely, the various instinctual forces entering into the behavior which leads to self-preservation. He was satisfied with the text, and the paper was published in the Zeitschrift as well as in the International Journal for Psycho-Analysis.

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