Harold P. Blum, MD (1929 – 2024) 

IRED Committee and IRED Contributors deeply mourn the passing of our distinguished senior member of the North American and Inter-Regional Editorial Boards, an esteemed colleague and a dear friend – Harold Blum - a giant among psychoanalysts and among men, a humanist to the core.  We were very fortunate to have him, right from the start, among our most prolific contributors. 

Harold was the Past Vice-President of IPA, Former Executive Director of Freud Archives of the Library of (US) Congress, Past Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association (JAPA), the President of the Psychoanalytic Research and Development Fund of the American Psychoanalytic Association, and Distinguished Fellow of American Psychiatric Association. He authored more than 200 scientific papers, authored or edited more than 10 books, and received many awards and lectureships including the inaugural Sigourney Award, the Mahler, Hartmann and Lorand prizes, the Sigmund Freud lectures in New York, London, Vienna, and Frankfurt; the Anna Freud, Hartmann, Brill, Sperling and Blackman lectures; he gave two Plenary Addresses to the American Psychoanalytic Association, Chaired five symposia on Psychoanalysis and Art in Florence, Italy;  Co-Chaired (with Eva Papiasvili) the historical Post-IPA Congress symposium “Psychological Birth and Infant Development” in Freud’s birthplace, the town of Pribor, Czech Republic; and Co-Chaired (with Sophie de Mijolla) the international Symposium “Parent-Infant Disturbance: Theory and Therapy “in Paris, France. 

He taught students and colleagues across four continents. 

As the Editor-in-Chief of JAPA, he spearheaded the reformulation of Female psychology; as the Executive Director of Freud Archives, he opened many previously restricted documents for public study; as the Vice-President of IPA, he traveled behind the iron curtain and lent his support to the fledging IPA study group in then still communist Prague, which was to later become the Czech Psychoanalytic Society, full member of the IPA. (“Under the cover of the night, behind the curtains, down under the windows, sitting on the carpet, Harold met with us in secrecy…”, the Czech analysts recall. To them, under communism, which forbade psychoanalysis, psychoanalysis stood for freedom from censorship of thought, their meetings symbolically and literally stood for a ‘free association’, and Harold was a brave ambassador of a free thought.) 

In the recent IRED Contributors’ Meeting on February 10, 2024, during APsA National Meeting in New York, Harold, true to his form, incisive and sharp as ever, reflected that IRED stands for plurality and diversity of psychoanalytic thought, and in this respect, it has a built-in guard against dogmatism of any kind. 

We deeply mourn Harold’s passing, but we remain deeply moved, inspired and fortified by his undying legacy of openness to, and standing up for, meritorious free, pluralistic, diverse and undogmatic psychoanalytic thought and practice everywhere. 

Eva D. Papiasvili, for the IRED Committee and Contributors