Ferenc Erős (1946-2020)

February 12, 2020

It is with great sadness that the Institute learned about the sudden death of Emeritus Professor Ferenc Erős, the distinguished scholar and former Fellow of the Institute.

We were proud to be able to host Professor Erős during the Academic Year 2018/19. Along the course of his productive career, he held several distinguished invitations as fellow, among others at Collegium Budapest, NIAS, the Israeli Academy of Science, the Wiesenthal Institute, Vienna, and the EHESS, Paris. At our Institute, he resumed his work on the Hungarian psychoanalyst Sándor Ferenczi, for long the centre of his academic interests. During the months he spent at IAS, he collected, revised and extended his earlier contributions on Sándor Ferenczi to produce a social and cultural history of psychoanalysis in Central and Eastern Europe, an enterprise that had the promise to become a seminal monograph, built on his rich studies and publications. Although his main focus was on Ferenczi’s life and work, his impact on and place in the history of Hungarian psychoanalysis, Professor Erős’ approach was fundamentally contextual and comparative. He stressed the deep embeddedness of psychoanalysis in Hungarian culture, and related this as international parallels and comparable developments in the Central and Eastern European region. His academic interests covered the vast field of the social and cultural history of psychoanalysis in Central Europe, psychoanalytic theory and its application to social issues, the issue of trauma and cultural memory which he applied in particular to the history of the region, and the social psychology of prejudice and identity. He held positions at the Institute of Cognitive Neurosciences and Psychology of the Center for Natural Sciences, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and was involved in several research projects until the end.

 It was only last November that Ferenc launched at his latest publication, a volume co-edited by him on Psychology and Politics. Intersections of Science and Ideology in the History of Psy-Sciences (2019), at our Institute. The humanist drive that marks his entire work, found reflection in his sincere interest in other colleagues’ work and fields. His genial presence and openness made him a perfect fellow. He will be remembered by the entire staff of the Institute, and by former fellows and colleagues as a critical and engaged colleague, as a committed and thoughtful thinker, and as a wonderful and generous interlocutor.

Ferenc Erős will be missed by former fellows, colleagues and the entire team of the Institute. We wish to express our deep condolences to his family and friends.