Minutes of the meeting of the International Psychoanalytical Association : 30th July 1953 : Dr Heinz Hartmann (IPA President & Chairman of the Meeting)

by Julia Evans on July 30, 1953

Business Meeting following the meeting during the XVIIIth Congress of the International Psycho-Analytical Association in Amsterdam.


International Journal of Psycho-Analysis : Vol XXXV : 1954 p272-278

Available www.LacanianWorksExchange.net  /lacan, or authors a-z

An edited version appears in p71 to 74 of ‘Jacques Lacan, Television & A challenge to the Psychoanalytic Establishment’ edited by Joan Copjec : W. W. Norton & Company : 1991.: See here : Most of the documents in this collection were previously published, along with others, as supplements to Ornicar?, the journal of the Champ freudien: La scission de 1953 appeared in October 1976 as supplement to no. 7 and ‘L’excommunication’ in January 1977 as supplement to no 8.

Comment by Julia Evans:

It seems there are a number of underlying themes:

The function of splitting to allow development of practice

Unity of a movement so difference is not allowed.

How Dr Rudolph Loewenstein, Jacque Lacan’s analyst, tries to find a way through supported by Dr Paula Heimann & others

The definition of science as used by Dr Gregory Zilboorg & others.

How Miss Anna Freud & Dr Sacha Nacht, supported by Dr Ernest Jones & Princess Marie Bonaparte, attack.

See end for further details of how Jacques Lacan continues to engage with these underlying themes, the protagonists and the parallel inaugural meeting of the Société Française de Psychanalyse.

Additional Comment

Also see Pxxiv ‘Anna Freud castigates the rebels’ of Prefatory Note, the historical background of ‘The Function of Language in Psychoanalysis’ (1953) by Jacques Lacan : 1968 : Anthony Wilden or here

References by Jacques Lacan

Jacques Lacan comments on this process in Seminar X: 23rdJanuary 1963:  pIX 85 of Cormac Gallagher’s translation : …. and evokes a memory for me: it was at the time about ten years ago when we had already received a visit from some investigators. : See Seminar X: The Anxiety (or Dread): 1962-1963: begins 14th November 1962: Jacques Lacan: Text in English & References  or here

See also Minute : The Study Group SFP [Société Français de Psychoanalyse) : 2nd August 1963 : The International Psychoanalytical Association  or here

& Seminar XI : 15thJanuary 1964 : Excommunication : Available  Seminar XI: The Four Fundamental Concepts: 1963-1964 : beginning 15th January 1964 : Jacques Lacanor here

The Minutes

The following gives the order of those speaking, and where relevant to the split in France, the minute is given:

Business Meeting

Thursday 30th July, 9.30am, Chairman : Dr Heinz Hartmann, New York

Dr Heinz Hartman, President of the IPA & Chairman of the meeting : Quote from the President’s Report : … In France, the Paris Psycho-Analytical Society, owing to the intense energy of some of its members, has made an important step forward in re-establishing, after an interval of many years, an Institute in 1953. As to its organization, this Institute is partly
independent of the Society. We wish to congratulate our French colleagues on their achievement.
Unfortunately I have to inform you that even more recently a division has come about in this Society. A few weeks ago five members resigned. This event will be discussed later. …

Mrs Melanie Klein

Dr Adelheid Koch

Dr Danilo Perestrello

Dr Paula Heimann

Dr Gregory Zilboorg : Quote : … points to the importance of this
whole discussion as the suggestion has been made
to make provision for a ‘split’ in principle even before a split has occurred. He introduces a motion that the International Psycho-Analytical Association, regardless of the individual decisions made in the past, or to be made in the future, considers the Psycho-Analytic movement a united one and does not go on record in advance that splits are of the very essence of scientific freedom.

Dr Leo Bartemeier

Dr Heinz Hartman

Dr Gregory Zilboorg : Quote : The 18th International Congress of Psycho-Analysis, having heard various arguments in favour of or against the organization of various groups, considers the International Psycho-Analytical Association an organization of unity and does not in any way recognise, particularly not in advance, the formation of any kind of split, as if splits produced scientific freedom.

Dr Heinz Hartman

Dr Rudolph Loewenstein [JE: Loewenstein was Jacques Lacan’s training analyst from 1932 to 1938. Born in Poland, Loewenstein would emigrate to New York during the War, where he would be a principal proponent of ego psychology.] suggests putting into the motion the word ‘automatic’. If the Association does not ‘automatically’ accept future spits, he would agree with that motion, which otherwise would imply an implicit condemnation of necessary or desirable splits which might occur.

Dr Gregory Zilboorg would prefer to omit the word ‘automatically’ and merely to recognize the fact that splits are to be considered when they occur and not in advance.

Dr Heinz Hartmann (continuing) : I would suggest that if Dr Zilboorg and Dr Loewenstein agree, we postpone discussion, because the central Executive has a suggestion on the question of splits and the present discussion would fit in very well at that point. You will hear it in a few minutes.

Dr Ernest Jones suggests that the wording be left to a small committee.

Miss Anna Freud points out that the International Psycho-Analytical Association was organized on a national basis according to countries, and what Mrs Klein has suggested really amounts to revising the organization according to scientific points of view. That would be an alternative principle, but we would have to agree on it in principle. If we do so, there is no doubt that in a very short time we would have two or more International Associations. Therefore, the present question should be considered in that light.

Dr Paula Heimann is in full agreement with Dr Loewenstein’s idea, which he conveyed by introducing the word ‘automatic’, but she would have no objection to another formulation provided it becomes clear that the International Psycho-Analytical Association feels strong enough to incorporate the principle for which this country stands so firmly, that unity is possible on the basis of agreeing to disagree.

Dr Robert Waelder states that, living in the United States, he has a great deal of experience with splits, and that the opinion regarding splits was very largely determined by which side splits was very largely determined by which side split off; i.e. at a time when an unorthodox group split off in New York, the Freudian analysts felt there should not be two Institutes in one place; and in another place where non-Freudians had majority, the Freudians felt exactly the opposite. He thinks that those who wish to preserve the International Psycho-Analytical Association must be in favour of elasticity; the more elasticity the International or any other organization grants to its members, the longer it will live. The more it insists on forcing unity, the earlier it will break.

Dr Edward Glover

Dr Heinz Hartmann

Dr Gregory Zilboorg

Dr Heinz Hartmann

(From the audience)

Dr Rudolph Loewenstein

Dr Heinz Hartmann (continues) : As this question is settled, I will come back to the suggestion of the central Executive. I will read again the suggestion which we wanted to express on the spilt of societies: ‘No succession from a recognized Society or Association should be effected prior to consultations with the central Executive of the International Psycho-Analytical Association, and before the Central executive has had the possibility of fully investigating the reasons for dissension.’

Miss Anna Freud states that it seems distressing under present circumstances of splitting that members of the International Association, by leaving a recognized component Society, lose their membership in the International association without any possibility of knowing beforehand whether they will regain it; e.g., whether the secession will be recognized by the next Congress or by some other means. Before a Society splits, they should notify the International Psycho-Analytical Association of their intentions, so that it will be possible to inform both sides fully of their future standing with the International. It also gives splitting Societies a few weeks or months to consider the whole matter. This is the spirit in which the suggestion was made.

Dr Ernest Jones supports Miss Freud’s resolution, but wishes to add a comment on Dr Waelder’s proposition that the Freudian Association, if it is to survive, must be elastic. We all agree we should not be meeting in Congress if everyone were of the same opinion and there was nothing to discuss. However, there are limits to elasticity. If a group, e.g. states that everything hitherto published on psycho-analysis is wrong, in his opinion no strenuous effort should be made to retain them in the Association. This Congress has gone on record as regretting splits unless they are absolutely essential. There is room within the Association for very considerable divergencies of opinion so long as certain principles remain in common, and they should be tolerated and allowed, as they have been.

Dr Karl Menninger …

Dr Gregory Zilboorg Declares himself in favour of the motion proposed by the central executive, but inquires whether it will affect the Paris situation.

Dr Heinz Hartmann: No, that is for the future. …

Dr Hartmann (continuing) : I will bring up a question connected with what we just discussed, namely, the procedure concerning new Study Groups. ….

Miss H. Schwarz [JE: It has not been possible to trace this name] asks for a definition of ‘Study Group’.

Dr Hartmann: Usually a group of analysts who have had some training elsewhere and who decide to practise in a new city or country and want to have the backing of a Component Society of the International Association. We have so far no regulation to set down procedure, so we feel the best thing is to canalize it through the International.

Miss Anna Freud points to a frequent misunderstanding regarding a Study Group and its relation to the Sponsoring Society. Not all members of the Study Group need to be members of the sponsoring group. Usually a Study Group has one, two, or three full members of the Sponsoring Society and can then add members to the Study Group who will in time present membership papers to the Sponsoring Society and become full members there.

Dr Gregory Zilboorg

Dr Heinz Hartmann

Dr Rudolph Lowenstein

Dr Richard Sterba

Dr Clifford Scott

Dr Ernest Jones

Dr Robert Waelder

Dr William Gillespie

Dr Heinz Hartmann

Dr William Gillespie

Dr Heinz Hartmann

Dr Leo Bartemeier

Dr Heinz Hartmann

Dr Rudolph Lowenstein

Dr Heinz Hartmann

(From the audience)

Dr Adelheid Koch inquires whether groups having only one training analyst could be recognized as a study group.

Dr Heinz Hartmann : We do not favour the development of a group out of such a situation. …

Mrs Melanie Klein asks for a clearer definition of Study Group in respect to the number of training analysts. Was Dr Hartmann’s statement concerning the undesirability of training by only one training analyst a ruling or a recommendation?

Dr Heinz Hartmann: The Central executive can only recommend; we have no possibility of enforcing regulations. ….

(From the audience):

Dr Rudolph Lowenstein withdraws his motion.

Dr Gregory Zilboorg moves that the proposed ruling remain for further consideration by the Executive council until the next Congress.

Dr Samuel Atkin

Miss Anna Freud suggests that before voting the fact should be considered that the International Congress is held in Europe and that therefore the Americans are usually at a disadvantage. For this reason it would be only fair to postpone decision on sponsorship until the central Executive could discuss this problem with the American association.

Dr Heinz Hartmann [puts the vote]

Dr Heinz Hartmann (continuing) May I come back to the applications we have had. Denmark. …

Dr Gregory Zilboorg

Dr Heinz Hartmann:

Dr Heinz Hartmann (continuing) : In Copenhagen there is also the Society called ‘Selskabet for Dynamisk Psykoanalyse’ which has again asked to be accepted as a Component Society. …. The Central Executive therefore cannot recommend recognition.

I mentioned before that in France five former members of the Paris Society resigned a few weeks ago. By this act they have also lost membership in the International Association. They are: Drs Lagache, Lacan, Dolto, Favez-Boutonnier, and Reverchon-Jouve. This question haws been widely discussed. The resignations occurred after a meeting of the Paris Society at which Dr Lacan, then president, had received a vote of non-confidence in the Society. The doubts concerned serious deviations of training practices counter to the experiences and convictions of the majority. On the one hand, the members who resigned have now formed a new group and asked for recognition. They claim that it was incompatibilities of character that caused the difficulties and induced them to move. The central executive feels that before any decision can be reached the situation ought to be more thoroughly clarified than could be done at the Congress and it has nominated a committee to ascertain the facts and to report them. The committee consists of Dr Kurt R Kissler, Dr Phyllis Greenacre, Mrs Hedwig Hoffer, Dr Jeanne Lampl-de-Groot, Dr Donald Winnicott.

Dr Rudolph Lowenstein stresses the fact that, according to information received by him, the majority of students followed the split-off group. He points to the dangers inherent in such a split to students and patients, comparing it with the divorce of parents. He pleads for tolerance on both sides and for the safeguarding of the training of students and the analyses of their patients irrespective of the side to which the students adhere.

Dr Hartmann: Thank you, Dr Loewenstein, a very important suggestion.

Mme (Princess) Marie Bonaparte is in favour of studying the situation carefully. She affirms that the split occurred because of divergence in technique. She considers the question of technique a fundamental one in analysis in general, and in the training of analysts in particular. Therefore, she thinks that a careful examination of the new group is required, particularly in view of the fact that one of these members two years ago promised to change his technique, but did not keep his promise. [JE: A direct attack on Jacques Lacan]

Dr Sacha Nacht corrects Dr Loewenstein as to the number of students who left the Institute. Fifty per cent of students are in analysis with members of the Paris Psycho-Analytical society. In answer to Dr Loewenstein’s plea for tolerance towards students and their patients, he reads the following letter sent to Dr Lagache on 18th June 1953: “… The Members of the Council, seeing that your collaboration should no longer be accepted, has to find someone else for the classes and courses you were going to direct, and in order to avoid hardship for both trainees and patients, the members of the Council asked that an arrangement might be arrived at by which full freedom will be left to the trainee and that no pressure will be exercised on him from whatever side it may be …’

Dr Rudolph Loewenstein expresses his pleasure about this letter, but states that he heard from two students that their supervision had been cancelled the day after they left the Institute. He hopes that this was only an isolated incident and appreciates Dr Nacht’s and the Educational Committee’s decision not to let students and patients suffer from the split among the ‘parents’.

Miss Anna Freud states that as a child analyst she has often been asked by parents to save children from the consequences of divorce, and has never been able to do so. The second point concerns what Dr Nacht said about the gesture extended toward students of the other side being made in the right spirit. It is a well-known fact that it is nearly impossible to supervise the work of a candidate whose training analysis for some reason or another is incomplete, insufficient, or carried on on different grounds. There has to be some form of harmony between the work of training analyst and supervisor. It is exactly the complexity of these questions which has determined the Central Executive’s recommendation that this matter should not be thrashed out here which would not give insight into all points, but to entrust it to a committee which consists of purely objective people well versed in the matters of psycho-analytical training.

Dr Gregory Zilboorg refers to the splits of the New York society where neither group lost membership in the International Association because they were members of the American Association and the American Association is a Component Society of the International Association and advocates that the members who resigned from the Paris Society should retain membership in the International Association during the period of investigation.

Dr Heinz Hartmann: In the case of the split of the New York Society, those who left remained members of the International Association because they were members of the American Association and the American Association is a Component Society of the International. When Dr Lagache and the others left the Paris Society, they did not retain their membership their membership in the International Association, because the Paris Society is the only Component Society of the International in France.

Dr. Ernest Jones reminds Dr. Zilboorg that the Rado group was recognized by the American Association and therefore retained membership in the International Association. He also points out that the Central Executive is the proper body to deal with applications for membership of people outside the Society and that it is proper that they should investigate this new Society coming from outside before accepting it.

Dr Samuel Atkin emphasizes the importance of the resolutions just adopted by Congress, namely, that matters of groups splitting off should be very carefully studied by the Executive Council of the International Psycho-Analytical Association, and secondly, the resolution of principle against the too ready fragmentation of various groups in the International. He states that in conversations with some of the members and students who resigned, the problem concerning training had not been mentioned at all, but the split had been explained by in- compatibilities of personalities. He professes himself against splits for such reasons, although a number of members of the International Psycho-Analytical Association seemed to find it justified to split off because of personal disagreements. The function of the International Association should be to propound and maintain policy and even to exercise authority in such matters. The French group should be asked to reconsider and to postpone any action until after the investigation of the Committee. If a split is unavoidable, it should be under- taken in the course of several years so that, in accordance with Dr. Loewenstein’s suggestion, it will not be too traumatic for students and patients.

Miss Anna Freud thinks that the Congress should be informed that an unfortunate step has already been taken by the leaving members of the French group. They have informed the non-analytic professional environment of their step in a circular which carries the quarrel, without giving reasons for it, into the outer world. Therefore, pacifying comes too late.

Dr Raymond de Saussure expresses his pleasure at the adoption of the resolution concerning splits and thinks that this measure could have prevented the present situation in Paris. Since he used to be a member of the Paris Society, he feels most sympathetic with their recent troubles and hopes that, if no spirit of revenge prevails, a unity can be restored without sacrifice of standards. The objective Committee that has been appointed might be of help in unifying the two groups.

Dr Rudolph Loewenstein appeals again to the French colleagues to reduce damage as much as possible.

Dr Hartmann: I am in favour of limiting this discussion because it involves a question that without intimate knowledge of facts cannot be decided and the Committee was appointed for that purpose.

Dr Clifford Scott suggests provisional membership for the split-off group, since he assumes that they were not aware of the consequences of their action.

Dr Maurice Bénassy repudiates this assumption by referring to the public statement, which Miss Freud mentioned, in which they state that they do not see why the International should not recognize them; this means that when they resigned they knew that by that fact they were resigning from the International Association. He believes that the students might suffer from internal dissensions as much as or more than from a definite split.

Dr Michael Balint suggests several different procedures for keeping the members of the split-off group in the International Association; e.g., membership at large; provisional recognition of the whole group; or individual membership in other Component Societies.

Mme. (Princess) Marie Bonaparte comes back to the problem of deviation in technique used by the dissenting members and emphasizes the necessity of the Committee’s investigation of these problems, since the question of standards is of great importance for the development of psycho-analysis in France.

Dr Heinz Hartmann: I am in favor of closing the discussion. I want your opinion. (All were in favour of closing the discussion.)

Dr Rudolph Loewenstein points to the fact that the members of the split-off group could not participate in this discussion, because they had lost membership in the International Association, which he considers as anomalous and unfair.

Dr Heinz Hartmann: I feel we should leave all these questions to the Committee; its investigation will not take place until the next Congress. We shall ask this Committee to interview both sides and to report as soon as possible to the Central Executive. (A motion was proposed and seconded to leave the discussion to an impartial Committee; they should hear both sides and report back to the Central Executive as soon as possible.)

(From the audience): What is the status of the French colleagues pending investigation?

Miss Anna Freud: The status is the one they created themselves by resignation. (Motion passed; two against.)

Dr Heinz Hartmann (continuing) : We come to the next point. A group of psycho-analysts in Norway has asked to be accepted as a Component Society. …

Further texts

which show that Jacques Lacan does not cease from engaging with these protagonists:

Dr Heinz Hartmann : here

Dr Melanie Klein : here

Dr Paula Heimann & Jacques Lacan : See http://nosubject.com/index.php?title=Countertransference for their differences on countertransference.

Dr Rudolph Loewenstein [JE: Loewenstein was Jacques Lacan’s training analyst from 1932 to 1938. Born in Poland, Loewenstein would emigrate to New York during the War, where he would be a principal proponent of ego psychology.] : here

Ernest Jones : here

Anna Freud : here

Edward Glover : here

Richard Sterba & Jacques Lacan : Seminar VII : 20th January 1960 : p111 of Dennis Porter’s translation quote: To those who know German I suggest you read a little article by Richard Sterba that appeared in Internationale Zeitschrift in 1930, “Zur Problematik der Sublierungslehre” [“On the Problematic of the doctrine of Sublimation”] &

Seminar VII : 9th March 1960 : p157 of Dennis Porter’s translation quote : The only important thing to remember is the little sentence … which concludes the whole paragraph on reaction formation and sublimation. It makes a distinction that hasn’t been further developed, as Bernfeld [see here] quite properly notes: “There may be sublimations by means of other, simpler mechanisms.” …That’s where the problem lies … And Sterba, too, in an article that appeared the previous year came against the same problem. [JE: This may not be the article referenced above]

See Seminar VII: The ethics of psychoanalysis: 1959-1960: Jacques Lacan or here for further information.

Phyllis Greenacre : here

Donald Winnicott : here

Sacha Nacht & Jacques Lacan :

From Wikipedia : Société Française de Psychanalyse : Despite wishing himself to avoid a split, Lacan was drawn into the dissident movement led by Daniel Lagache, as a result of his own separate dispute with the president Sacha Nacht over his practice of “short sessions”.

La psychanalyse d’aujourd’hui : 1956 : under the direction of Sacha Nacht is criticised by Jacques Lacan in Seminar IV : 21st November 1956 & also The Direction of the Treatment and the Principles of its Power:10th-13th July 1958 : Jacques Lacan. See The Direction of the Treatment and the Principles of its Power:10th-13th July 1958 : Jacques Lacan or here & Seminar IV : Relation to an Object 1956-1957 : from 21st November 1956 : Jacques Lacan or here for further information.

Ernst Kris : here


Jacques Lacan : here

Some Lacanian history : here

Conference Report, SIR : Inaugural meeting of SFP, Paris : 8th July 1953 : Jacques Lacan or here


Note : If any texts’ links do not work, check www.LacanianWorksExchange.net. If a particular text or book remains absent, contact Julia Evans.


Julia Evans

Practicing Lacanian Psychoanalyst, Sandwich in Kent & London


Other texts

Of the clinic : here

Use of power here

Topology : here

Lacanian Transmission : here

Some Lacanian history : here

By Heinz Hartmann here

By Sigmund Freud here

Notes on texts by Sigmund Freud : here

By Jacques Lacan here

Notes on texts by Jacques Lacan here

By Julia Evans here