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MC 578

Deutsch, Helene, 1884-1982. Papers of Helene Deutsch, 1922-1992: A Finding Aid

Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America


Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Cambridge, Mass.
November 2008

© 2008 President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: MC 578
Repository: Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
Creator: Helene Deutsch, 1884-1982
Title: Papers of Helene Deutsch, 1922-1992
Quantity: 2.09 linear feet (5 file boxes) plus 1 photograph folder
Language of materials: Materials in English, German, Polish.
Abstract: Correspondence, writings, drafts of manuscripts and photographs of Helene Deutsch, activist in the Polish socialist movement before World War I, student of Sigmund Freud, medical doctor and psychoanalyst in Europe and the United States.

Processing Information:

Processed: November 2008
By: Christof Strauß

Acquisition Information:

Accession numbers: 91-M199, 2001-M186, 2002-M141
These papers of Helene Deutsch were given to the Schlesinger Library by her son and daughter-in-law, Martin Deutsch and Suzanne Deutsch, between 1991 and 2002.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Unrestricted.

Use Restrictions:

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Helene Deutsch is held by the President and Fellows of Harvard College for the Schlesinger Library. Copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.
Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.

Preferred citation for publication:

Helene Deutsch Papers, 1922-1992; item description, dates. MC 578, folder #. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.

Related Material:

There is related material at the Schlesinger Library; see Helene Deutsch Papers, 1900-1983 (82-M143--85-M247).


Helene (Rosenbach) Deutsch, psychoanalyst, teacher, and writer, was born on October 9, 1884, in Przemysl, Galicia (Austria-Hungary), the youngest daughter of Regina and Wilhelm Rosenbach; her father was a prominent lawyer. At age sixteen, Helene Deutsch fell in love with Herman Lieberman, a lawyer and leader of the Polish Social Democratic Party, and became an ardent political activist, organizing strikes and campaigning for the rights of women to education and employment. In 1907 she followed Herman Lieberman to Vienna where he was elected to parliament, and enrolled in the Medical School of the University of Vienna. She was soon absorbed in the study of medicine. In 1912, shortly before her graduation, she married Dr. Felix Deutsch, an internist. Their son Martin was born in 1917. During World War I, Helene Deutsch gained clinical experience in psychiatry at the Wagner-Jauregg Clinic in Vienna. She was the first of Sigmund Freud's women students to undergo analysis with him, and she became a member of his circle of friends and colleagues. In 1923, afflicted by depression, she left her husband in Austria and went to Berlin to be analyzed by Karl Abraham. A respected teacher and diagnostician, she founded the Vienna Psychoanalytic Institute in 1924, and was its director for nine years. With the rise of Hitler, the Deutschs left Austria in 1934 and came to Boston, where Helene Deutsch resumed private practice and was an active member of the Boston Psychoanalytic Society. Helene Deutsch was the author of The Psychology of Women, a two-volume study (1944, 1945); Neuroses and Character Types: Clinical Psychoanalytic Studies (1965); Selected Problems of Adolescence (1967); and Confrontations With Myself (1973), an autobiography. She died in Cambridge on March 29, 1982. For a detailed account of her life, see Helene Deutsch, A Psychoanalyst's Life, by Paul Roazen (Garden City, N.Y.: Anchor Press/Doubleday, 1985).


The collection is arranged in five series:


These papers include personal and professional correspondence; notes and drafts for publications and lectures by Helene Deutsch, foremost for her own biography but also on various scientific topics; personal documents; publications by other scholars on Helene Deutsch and on psychoanalytic topics in general; and photographs. The bulk of the correspondence is either letters of condolence to Helene Deutsch's son Martin and her daughter-in-law Suzanne after Helene Deutsch's death or concern publications about Helene Deutsch. The folder headings were supplied by the processor.
Series I, BIOGRAPHICAL AND PERSONAL, 1964-1982, n.d. (#1.1-2.2), contains some personal documents, nursing reports on Helene Deutsch's physical condition during the last weeks of her life, telephone and address books, a few documents regarding her financial resources, bills for nursing and medical treatment, and a number of handwritten poems, probably by her husband Felix.
Series II, LETTERS, POSTCARDS AND TELEGRAMS, 1922-1989, n.d. (#2.3-2.11), contains professional and personal correspondence of Helene Deutsch, including one telegram from her husband and one letter from one of her grandsons, a letter from Karl Abraham and a photocopy of a letter from Anna Freud; also letters of condolence and other letters to her son Martin and her daughter-in-law Suzanne.
Series III, SCIENTIFIC WORK AND PUBLICATIONS, 1944-1976, n.d. (#2.12-5.12), includes mostly handwritten notes in German, English and sometimes in Polish or shorthand for her autobiography, very often in several versions; typed drafts for her autobiography, ordered by chapters and in several versions in German and English; typed versions of the autobiography with corrections and supplements in German and English; typed and handwritten lectures and notes for other publications or lectures; and reviews of Helene Deutsch's books.
Series IV, PUBLICATIONS AND SPEECHES ON HELENE DEUTSCH, HERMAN LIEBERMAN AND ON PSYCHOANALYTIC TOPICS, 1930-1990, n.d. (#5.13-5.18), contains articles on and tributes to Helene Deutsch; correspondence with her, Martin and Suzanne Deutsch regarding publications about her life and her scientific work; publications on various topics many with personal dedications; and reviews of Paul Roazen's Deutsch biography.
Series V, BOOKS, BROCHURES, MISCELLANEOUS, PHOTOGRAPHS, 1930-1992, n.d. (#5.19-5.20, PD.1), contains a book with caricatures of psychoanalysts, a brochure, family photographs and miscellaneous material, including a photocopy of a typed transcription of a letter from Sigmund Freud to Wilhelm Fliess.


Additional catalog entries

The following catalog entries represent persons, organizations, and topics documented in this collection. An entry for each appears in the Harvard On Line Library Information System (HOLLIS) and other automated bibliographic databases. THIS IS NOT AN INDEX.
Abraham, Karl, 1877-1925
Deutsch, Felix, 1884-1964
Deutsch, Helene, 1884-1982
Deutsch, Martin
Deutsch, Suzanne Z.
Eissler, K. R. (Kurt Robert), 1908-1999
Fliess, Wilhelm, 1858-1928
Freud, Anna, 1895-1982
Freud, Sigmund, 1856-1939
Jewish women--United States
Lieberman, Herman, 1870-1941
Roazen, Paul, 1936-2005
Salinger, J. D. (Jerome David), 1919-2010
Women psychiatrists
Women psychoanalysts
Women socialists--Poland