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Hitschmann, Eduard (1871-1957)


Austrian physician and psychoanalyst Eduard Hitschmann was born in Vienna on July 28, 1871, and died in the United States on July 31, 1957. He was one of Freud's early disciples and remained loyal to him throughout a long career.

Raised in Vienna, Hitschmann was the son of a banker and the grandson of a physician. He attended the University of Vienna Medical School, received his degree in 1895, and initially practiced internal medicine. In 1905 Paul Federn brought him into the Wednesday Psychological Society. By then a well-known physician, he served for a time as the Freud family doctor.

In April 1909, Hitschmann read before the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society a paper entitled "A General Presentation of Freud's Theories" (Nunberg and Federn, 1962) in which he proposed to write a brief exegesis of psychoanalytic ideas. Freud cautioned Hitschmann not to present psychoanalysis as a closed system and insisted on openly acknowledging that there are domains in which psychoanalysis could lay no clear claim to knowledge. "Furthermore, this work would require that the writer refrain from expressing any of his own ideas" (Nunberg and Federn, 1962, p. 210). Hitschmann went on to write the first concise presentation of psychoanalysis, Freuds Neuosenlehre: Nach ihrem gegenwärtigen Stande zusammenfassend dargestellt (1911), which was translated into English as Freud's Theories of Neurosis.

He also wrote numerous biographical studies, including those of Franz Schubert, William James, and Emanuel Swedenborg; these studies were published in Great Men: Psychoanalytic Studies (1956).

Hitschmann's many psychoanalytic publications did not always receive a friendly appraisal by Freud, who maintained a certain intellectual distance in spite of their friendship. He viewed Hitschmann as "quite orthodox" (Freud 1974, p. 400), as he remarked to Jung. However, Freud entrusted Hitchsmann to direct the psychoanalytic outpatient clinic, or "Ambulatorium," when it was established in Vienna in 1922. Hitschmann fled the Nazis in 1938 and sought refuge in London; in 1944 he emigrated to Boston where he worked as a training analyst until his death.

Harold Leupold-LÖwenthal

See also: Internationale Zeitschrift fur Psychoanalyse; Lehrinstitut der Wiener Psychoanalystischen Vereinigung; Psychoanalystiche Bewegung; Wiener psychoanalystiche Vereinigung.


Becker, Philip L. (1966). Edward Hitschmann, 1871-1957, Psychoanalysis of great men. In Franz Alexander, Samuel Eisenstein and Martin Grotjahn (Eds.), Psychoanalytic Pioneers. New York: Basic Books Inc.

Freud, Sigmund. (1974a). The Freud/Jung letters: The correspondence between Sigmund Freud and C.G.Jung. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Hitschmann, Eduard. (1911). Freud's theories of the neuroses, by Dr. Eduard Hitschmann. Authorized translation by Dr. C.R. Payne, with an introduction by Ernest Jones. New York, Moffat, Yard and company, 1917. 257 p.

. (1956). Great men: psychoanalytic studies. New York: International Universities Press.

Nunberg, Hermann; and Federn, Ernst. (1962). The Minutes of the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society. Vol. I, 1906-1908. New York: International. Universities Press.

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