A Committee for the Case of Absolute Emergency

On March 13, 1938, – only one day after the »Anschluss« – the American Psychoanalytic Association (APsaA) established an »Emergency Committee on Relief and Immigration,« chaired by Lawrence S. Kubie, a psychoanalyst practicing in New York, and psychiatrist Bettina Warburg. Aiming to provide far-reaching support for European psychoanalysts trying to emigrate to the United States and to develop guidelines for their professional integration, the Emergency Committee regularly communicated with Ernest Jones and his London colleague Edward Glover. While Kubie mostly dealt with international affairs, maintained relations with embassies, and obtained visas, Warburg made herself available to new arrivals as a contact for all sorts of concerns and attended to procuring job offers. A foundation directed by Bertram D. Lewin supported individual immigrants with grants, loans, or stipends.

A memorandum for the European psychoanalysts describes the living and working conditions in the United States as well as in individual states: the »Bulletin of Information to Be Supplied Only to Psychoanalysts Who Desire to Emigrate to the U.S.A.« A key issue here emphasized the medical license as a precondition for practicing psychoanalysis.

Letter from Heinz Hartmann to Ernst Kris, dated August 10, 1940, in which he asks about the requirements and necessary documents for entering the United States via Canada: “All this is desperately urgent for me.”

Papers of Ernst Kris, Library of Congress, Washington D.C.

Heinz Hartmann

Heinz Hartmann was born in Vienna on November 4, 1894, without a religious denomination; he studied medicine in Vienna. Subsequently, he worked as a junior doctor at Julius Wagner-Jauregg’s Neurologic-Psychiatric University Clinic. In 1925, he became an associate member of the WPV, and in 1927 a full member.

His wife Dora, who would later complete her psychoanalytic training in the United States, was Jewish, which is why the Hartmanns’ decision was clear: »I wouldn’t have lived in a country where she and the children would be looked down upon,« Hartmann said in an interview in 1963. At the invitation of Marie Bonaparte, both were able to leave for Paris on May 19, 1938, where Hartmann became a member and teaching analyst at the Société psychanalytique de Paris. Building on his work in Vienna, Hartmann published the essay »Ego Psychology and the Problem of Adaptation« in 1939 – today Hartmann, with Ernst Kris and Rudolph M. Loewenstein, with whom he would later collaborate closely in New York, is considered one of the founders of ego psychology. Until the 1960s, when so-called self psychology began to become accepted, ego psychology dominated psychoanalysis across the world.

Given the increasing deterioration of the situation in France, Hartmann, who held a Swiss passport by birth, left for Geneva and Lausanne in September 1939 with his family. They applied for entry visas for the USA, where they arrived on board the SS Excalibur on January 14, 1941. In New York, they reunited with many of their colleagues who had arrived in the States from Great Britain in the meantime. The Emergency Committee established the »Hartmann Scholarship Fund« as a remuneration for Hartmann’s teaching at the Bank Street School.

Hartmann established himself in New York as a teaching analyst for the New York Psychoanalytic Society, where he – as well as in the International Psychoanalytic Association (IPA) – held leading positions. With Anna Freud in London and Ernst Kris in New York, he was one of the managing editors of the journal The Psychoanalytic Study of the Child. Together with Willi Hoffer, this group – in spite of their physical separation – was to succeed in continuing and asserting Freudian strategies.

Heinz Hartmann died in New York on May 17, 1970.


The Ellis Island Passenger Manifests

Each manifest consists of two pages with a total of 37 fields for various data. The left page contains central data such as name, age, gender, marital status (fields 1-6), or place of birth (field 11) and last place of residence (field 15), but also information about reading, language, and writing skills (field 8). The right-hand side contains more in-depth information about the passenger: In addition to the planned length of stay (field 24) and destination, the next of kin or friend in the country of origin had to be indicated (fields 17-18), as well as who paid for the passage and whether the person entering the country had $50 or less (fields 20-21). Attitudes toward anarchy and polygamy were also inquired and any plans to overthrow the government also had to be indicated (fields 26-28). Height, weight, color of skin and hair, and physical and mental health were also recorded (fields 32-36). Source: The Statue of Liberty – Ellis Island Foundation