Rudolph Loewenstein (psychoanalyst)

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Rudolph Maurice Loewenstein (January 17, 1898 – April 14, 1976) was a Polish-Jewish psychoanalyst who practiced in Germany, France, and the United States.

Rudolph Loewenstein (psychoanalyst)
Rudolph Loewenstein


Loewenstein was born in Łódź, Poland (then in the Russian Empire), to a Jewish family from the province of Galicia.

After studying medicine in Poland, he moved to Zurich, apparently to flee antisemitism, and began new medical studies, specializing in neurology and studying under Eugen Bleuler. At this time he became acquainted with psychoanalysis. He then moved to Berlin where he was certified as a psychoanalyst after undergoing a training analysis with Hanns Sachs. He became a member of the German Psychoanalytic Society (DPG)[1] in 1925.[2][3][4]

At the request of Sigmund Freud, Loewenstein moved to Paris, France in 1925 in order to train new analysts. He was the second licensed psychoanalyst, after Eugenie Sokolnicka, to practice there. He trained most of the first two generations of French analysts, including, notably, Jacques Lacan (between 1933 and 1939). He was a founding member and also secretary of the first French psychoanalytic society, the Société psychanalytique de Paris (SPP). (Some of the other founding members included René Laforgue, Marie Bonaparte, Raymond de Saussure, and Angelo Hesnard.) In 1927, he participated in the creation of the SPP's journal, the Revue française de psychanalyse [fr]; and in 1928 he and Marie Bonaparte translated Freud's case-study of Dora into French.[5]

In 1930, he became a French citizen and obtained his medical license anew - defending his thesis for a doctorate in medicine in 1935. In 1939, he was mobilized as a doctor in the French army. After the Armistice, he fled to the south of France, and in 1942 left there for the United States, where he settled in New York.[6] There he pursued a distinguished institutional career with the International Psychoanalytic Association (IPA), becoming its vice president from 1965 to 1967.

He died in 1976 in New York City.

Loewenstein is known, along with Ernst Kris and Heinz Hartmann, as one of the foremost figures of what has been called Ego psychology.[7]

Literary works[edit]

  • Origine du masochisme et la théorie des pulsions, 1938
  • The vital or somatic drives, 1940
  • Psychanalyse de l'Antisemitisme, 1952
  • (ed. with Heinz Hartmann and Ernst Kris), Notes on the theory of aggressions, 1949

See also[edit]


  1. ^ i.e. the Deutsche Psychoanalytische Gesellschaft.
  2. ^ Peter Gay, Freud (1989) p. 461
  3. ^ Elisabeth Roudinesco, Histoire de la Psychanalyse en France / Jacques Lacan, Ed. du Livre de Poche, 2010, p. 458.
  4. ^ Elisabeth Roudinesco, Dictionnaire de la psychanalyse, Paris: Fayard, 2011 (originally published 1997), p. 936-937.
  5. ^ Roudinesco, op. cit., p. 447, 458 ff., 462.
  6. ^ Roudinesco, op. cit. p. 463
  7. ^ Janet Malcolm, Psychoanalysis: The Impossible Profession (1988) p. 4

External links[edit]

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