Alexander, Franz

(1891-1964)
   psychoanalyst; best known for his work on psychosomatic disorders. Born to a philosophy professor in Budapest, he studied medicine at Gottingen with Max Verworn. Having completed medical studies, he was serving his compulsory year as a physician in an Austrian mil-itary hospital when war was declared. He spent the next four years as a medical officer.
   The turmoil surrounding Bela Kun's short-lived Soviet regime in 1919 con-vinced Alexander to leave Hungary. Resuming recently initiated psychiatric studies, he became Karl Abraham's* first student at Berlin's* new Psychoana-lytic Institute. In 1921 he received Sigmund Freud's prize for the best clinical essay of the year, published later as Analysis ofthe Total Personality. He fol-lowed with an analytical study of "the criminal, the judge, and the public," coauthored with Hugo Staub. In 1932, after visiting the United States, he settled permanently in Chicago and founded the Institute for Psychoanalysis.
   Alexander had a proclivity for philosophy, stemming, perhaps, from the in-fluence of his father or from attending Edmund Husserl's* lectures at Gottingen. He argued that the well-adjusted individual was not the goal of human devel-opment; instead, a good life was one in which an unadjusted individual used his creativity to change his environment to meet his needs. His work on psy-chosomatic disorders was highly influential.
   REFERENCES:Alexander, Western Mind; IEPPPN.

A Historical dictionary of Germany's Weimar Republic, 1918-1933. .

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