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70 years ago:
Sigmund Freud's Journey into Exile

"The Jews (...) have seized upon my person from all sides and all places with enthusiasm, as though I were a God-fearing great rabbi. I have nothing against it, after I have clarified my position toward faith unequivocally."

Sigmund Freud to Arthur Schnitzler, May 24, 1926[1]

"What progress we are making. (...) In the Middle Ages they would have burnt me; nowadays they are content with burning my books."

Sigmund Freud, 1933[2]

Foto: © Archive S. Fischer Verlag

by Roland Kaufhold / Hans-Jürgen Wirth


Sigmund Freud was born 150 years ago, on May 6, 1856, in Moravia. He went to school in Vienna, and in Vienna he developed psychoanalysis, as a collaborative effort with numerous colleagues, almost all of them Jews. Freud was a thoroughly sceptical man, not a philanthropist, and occasionally he used the term "riffraff" when thinking of people in his environment, who were mostly hostile towards him. He did not have any illusions about the destructiveness inherent in human beings. He was always aware of the possibility of human self-destruction. Filled with apprehension, Freud wrote on the eve of the National Socialist "seizure of power", at the end of his great work Civilization and Its Discontents:

"The fateful question for the human species seems to me to be whether and to what extent their cultural development will succeed in mastering the disturbance of their communal life by the human instinct of aggression and self-destruction. (...) Men have gained control over the forces of nature to such an extent that with their help they would have no difficulty in exterminating one another to the last man. They know this, and hence comes a large part of their current unrest, their unhappiness and their mood of anxiety."[3]

It was with the greatest reluctance that at the age of 82 Freud started his journey into exile. Between 1932 and 1938, almost all Viennese psychoanalysts went into exile or were forced to do so, except Freud. The cancer-stricken old man, being too optimistic, misjudged the danger and longevity of National Socialism, as did many intellectuals in those days. Moreover, the seriously ill man may be justified in assuming that it would be possible for him "to die undisturbed and in peace" in his hometown.[4]

What follows is a description of Sigmund Freud's journey into exile in Great Britain, where he died 15 months later at the age of 83, on September 23, 1939.

A "godless Jew"

In 1918, towards the end of World War I, Freud described himself as a "godless Jew" in a letter to the Swiss pastor and psychoanalyst Oskar Pfister. Ten years before he had written to the very same pastor: "Quite by the way, why did none of the devout create psychoanalysis? Why did one have to wait for a completely godless Jew?"

As a determined atheist, Freud did not believe in the existence of a god as a source of comfort for our spiritual life. He viewed the latter as an illusion. He had a passionate cognitive interest in truths that could be unpleasant for us, the truth of the abysmal depths of human inner life, including our capacity for the most extreme destructiveness.[5]

Early on Freud was aware of his identity as a Jew – it was forced upon him by his predominantly Catholic environment. In his letters he spoke again and again of his Jewish belongingness – an identity that increasingly turned to an attitude of proud defiance.

Vienna had become a place of refuge for Jews in the second half of the nineteenth century. In 1880 – Freud had just published his first medical writings, 15 years prior to his first great psychoanalytic work Studies on Hysteria ten per cent of all Viennese inhabitants were Jews. "By the 1880s, at least half of all Viennese journalists, physicians, and lawyers were Jews", wrote Peter Gay in his monumental Freud biography.[6] When Freud attended the Gymnasium (secondary school) from 1865 to1873 in Vienna, the number of his Jewish fellow pupils rose from 44 to 73 per cent.

Early on he felt that his disturbing, pioneering discoveries were opposed by society both out of unconscious and anti-Semitic motives. During a walk, his father told the ten or twelve year-old boy of an anti-Semitic episode where a Christian had knocked his cap off his head while shouting: „Jew, off the sidewalk!", and his father had obviously tolerated this attack without resisting. Young Sigmund was shocked and outraged that his father had chosen to withdraw. His father's submissiveness "did not seem heroic"[7] to him, as he wrote in his Interpretation of Dreams (1900). His father's retreat triggered revengeful fantasies in the young boy who rather identified himself with the fearless, combative Semite Hannibal.

As of the year 1895, Sigmund Freud attached in his writings fundamental importance to human sexuality which was tabooed in those days. This provoked fierce counter-reactions in his thoroughly Catholic hometown Vienna. In 1896, as an answer to Freud's study on hysteria, which had just been published, the psychiatrist Rieger wrote for example, that Freud's views were so absurd that no mad-doctor could read them without really feeling horrified.[8] Freud had the feeling of being socially ostracized.

A Jew who wanted to secure an academic career in Vienna only succeeded when he was able to overcome obstinate obstacles. Yet, his realistic assessment did not have the effect that Freud would have tried to assimilate or to deny his Jewish roots. In 1897, at the age of 41, he instead joined the Viennese Lodge B'nai B'rith and held lectures there. With a personal warmth that was quite unusual for him, Freud expressed the feeling of belongingness to this Jewish association several times.

In his well-known autobiographical writing, An Autobiographical Study, published in 1914, Freud already marked his viewpoint with absolute, perhaps somewhat stylized clarity: "My parents were Jews." And Freud added: "I, too, have remained a Jew".[9] "Because I was a Jew, I found myself free from many prejudices which limited others in the employment of their intellects, and as a Jew I was prepared to go into opposition",[10] and to waive the agreement of the compact majority.

On May 8, 1926, B'nai B'rith celebrated Freud's seventieth birthday in the form of a festive meeting and honoured its prominent member with a special edition of its "Newsletter".

In his address to the B'nai B'rith – which had to be read by a fellow member because Freud was ill – Freud recalled the circumstances under which he had joined this Jewish association 30 years ago, stating that this was "my first audience". In the years following 1895, two strong impressions seemed to have the same impact on him. On the one hand, he gained first insights into the depths of the human drives, saw quite a few things which could have had a sobering effect, at first even be horrifying; on the other hand, the announcement of his unpleasant discoveries had the success that he had lost most of his previous interpersonal relationships; he felt "as though ostracized", as shunned by everybody. In this state of isolation, he recalled, the longing for a "select circle" of highly spirited men arose in him, a group that would welcome him "regardless of my audacity".[11] And he was told that this association was a place where such men could be found.

"That you are Jews could only be welcome to me, for I was a Jew myself, and it had always seemed to me not only undignified, but quite nonsensical, to deny it"[12]

Foto: © Archive S. Fischer Verlag

To avoid that his new science of psychoanalysis be perceived by the mostly non-Jewish public as a "Jewish" cognitive and treatment method, Freud consciously made some concessions in his society-specific politics when establishing his Psychoanalytic Society: He tried to make sure that the psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung – the "Aryan" – who had contacted him in 1906, would be given a leading position within his Viennese Psychoanalytic Society. For several years, Freud even considered Jung as his "crown prince", referring to him occasionally even as "his son". In letters to his Jewish colleague Karl Abraham, Freud explained in 1908 that it would psychologically be so much harder for Jung "as a Christian and the son of a pastor"[13] than for his Jewish colleagues to overcome inner resistances against psychoanalysis. Referring to Jung, he added: Hence, "his adherence is all the more valuable. I almost said that only his appearance has saved psychoanalysis from the danger of becoming a Jewish national concern."[14] In the same year, he wrote to Abraham: "Be assured, if my name were Oberhuber, my innovations would have found, despite it all, far less resistance."[15] And: "Our Aryan comrades are, after all, quite indispensable to us; otherwise psychoanalysis would fall victim to anti-Semitism. (…) We must, as Jews, if we want to join in anywhere, develop a bit of masochism," even be prepared to hold still for a measure of injustice.[16] When Jung want his separate way a few years later, this was a trauma in the history of psychoanalysis. It must be added that as of the year 1933, C. G. Jung did not even refrain from introducing a clear distinction between the "Jewish and the Aryan Unconscious" in his psychological writings.[17]

In the mid-1920s – Freud had published a large part of his writings, had won an impressive group of supporters and had gained international recognition by then – the signs of anti-Semitism became more obvious. In 1927, the liberal Freud called for the backing of the Socialist Party. He emphasized his belongingness to the Jewish people, to his Jewish roots now more and more emphatically.

In an interview in 1926, the 70 year-old Freud said: "My language is German. My culture, my attainments are German. I considered myself German intellectually, until I noticed the growth of anti-Semitic prejudice in Germany and German Austria."[18] And in 1935, Freud wrote in a letter, "that I have always held faithfully to our people, and never pretended to be anything but what I am: a Jew from Moravia whose parents come from Austrian Galicia".[19]

In 1932, the first Viennese analysts fled into exile – a process which reached its sad peak in the years 1937 and 1938. Freud's deeply ambivalent assessment of the threat which his very existence was exposed to, was reflected in his vivid correspondence in the 1930s. In March 1933, he wrote to Marie Bonaparte – who would support his emigration to London five years later – that one should not overlook that the persecution of Jews and the restrictions on intellectual freedom were the only items of Hitler's programme which were feasible. Anything else would be nothing but phrase and utopia. He added that the world was a big jail and Germany the worst cell. And in Germany, Freud anticipated a paradoxical surprise. There they started with a deadly hostility against Bolshevism, he wrote, and they would end with something which would ultimately not be distinguishable from it. Except perhaps for one thing, he added, namely that Bolshevism had adopted still revolutionary ideals, but Hitlerism only medieval-reactionary ones.[20]

And when his books were publicly burned in May 1933, he quipped sarcastically: "What progress we are making. (...) In the Middle Ages they would have burnt me; nowadays they are content with burning my books."[21]

In the 1930s: Freud's correspondence with Arnold Zweig in Palestine

All his life, Freud was a productive and reliable letter writer. He had an extensive correspondence with colleagues, with authors and artists.

Freud also continued his lively correspondence during this phase that was characterized by the increasing threat of National Socialism. One of his preferred correspondents was the Jewish author Arnold Zweig (1897-1968), whose writings he used to read with interest. Zweig emigrated to Palestine in 1933. A close associate of Freud, Max Eitingon, had also sought refuge there when he fled from Berlin. Numerous psychoanalysts and psychoanalytic pedagogues followed him to Palestine and built up the Palestine Psychoanalytic Society as early as 1934 (as of 1948: Israel Psychoanalytic Society). The official language at that time was still – German. [22] In Palestine, these emigrants held on to their European commitment and engagement and were mainly interested in reforming the Jewish education and health care system that was just being established. Some decades later, many of them would play a prominent part in Israel and in the United States when they were involved in psychoanalytic efforts aiming at helping Shoah victims on the basis of well-founded psychoanalytical efforts to be able to deal with their traumatic experiences more easily.[23] In Vienna and Berlin, many of them had been shaped by Siegfried Bernfeld, a young psychoanalyst, pedagogue, socialist, and Zionist (1892-1953) who had given the young psychoanalytic-pedagogic reform movement decisive impetuses. His Viennese Baumgarten Nursing Home, founded in 1919 – a pedagogic pilot project where 240 Jewish war orphans were cared for – was a microcosm of a modern Jewish education whose basic thoughts were now taken up and realised in numerous Kibbuzim.[24]

Arnold Zweig was a friend of Eitingon in Palestine and described Eitingon's apartment opposite that of Freud as "the most delightful ménage in Jerusalem"; and he added: "and it is wonderful to have people so close who are so intimate with you and who carry out your work so faithfully."

Like Bernfeld, Zweig identified himself passionately with Zionism throughout his youth. In 1924, he joined the editorial staff of the newspaper Jüdische Rundschau, and in 1925, he published his work "Das neue Kanaan" (the new Kanaan) in which he expressed his identification with Zionism. In 1929, he published the essay "Freud und der Mensch" (Freud and the human being) in the magazine Die Psychoanalytische Bewegung.

The profound correspondence between the two intellectuals began in March 1927; it ended twelve years later with Freud's death. In spite of the geographical distance, "Father Freud" – as Zweig often called him respectfully in his letters – remained an amicable and affectionate advisor and companion of Arnold Zweig during all those years.[25]

In April 1932, Arnold Zweig took the risk of returning to Germany after a journey to Palestine. On May 1, 1932, Zweig wrote to Freud: "What a mistake to try to come back here! What remains intact at this moment of the Europe I love and of Germany to which I in large part belong, the original source of my strength and of my work? Why did I not stay over there in the heroic scenery of Galilee or by the sea at Tel Aviv or at the Dead Sea."[26]

And on May 29, 1932, Zweig added: "You touched on two difficult points which I have thought about a great deal. My relationship to Germany and to my Germanness, and my relationship to the Jews, to the Jewishness in me and in the world, and to Palestine. This land of religions can, after all, be seen from other points of view than just as a land of delusions and desires."[27]

On August 18, 1932, Freud answered him. He had heard of the National Socialist threats against Zweig and encouraged his friend to go on with their mutual correspondence and their regular exchange of manuscripts: "So perhaps the Nazis are playing into my hands for once. When you tell me about your thoughts, I can relieve you of the illusion that one has to be a German. Should we not leave this God-forsaken nation to themselves? I am going to conclude now so that this letter may reach you more quickly and I send both of you my sincere greetings."[28]

In 1933, the 46 yearl-old Arnold Zweig did something that Freud, 31 years older, did not seriously take into consideration: He emigrated to Palestine – or rather stayed in the Promised Land after a journey to Palestine. Friends had advised him to do so.

Zweig settled in Haifa. Since he did not know any Hebrew, by and large at least, and since he was additionally handicapped to learn the language because he was partially sighted, the original euphoria quickly gave way to a sobering disillusionment: He felt too little appreciated as a writer in Eretz Israel, suffered under the depressing economic living conditions, was unable to assimilate himself socially, and refused to identify himself completely with Zionism. On January 21, 1934, only one month after his arrival in Palestine, he wrote to Freud, obviously discouraged: "At one moment the central heating did not function, at another the oil stove was smelling (…) We are not prepared to give up our standard of living and this country is not yet prepared to satisfy it (…) I don't care anymore about ‘the land of my fathers'. I don't have any more Zionistic illusions either. I view the necessity of living here among Jews without enthusiasm, without any false hopes and even without the desire to scoff."[29]

Seven days later, on January 28, 1934, Freud replied: "I have long waited eagerly for your letter (...) I am eager to read it, now that I know you are cured of your unhappy love for your so-called Fatherland. Such a passion is not for the likes of us."[30]

And on February 25, 1934, Freud added, referring to his own difficult situation in Vienna: "You are quite right in your expectation that we intend to stick it out here resignedly. For where should I go in my state of dependence and physical helplessness? And everywhere abroad is so inhospitable. Only if there really were a satrap of Hitler's ruling in Vienna I would no doubt have to go, no matter where."[31]

Two months later, Zweig, in his need, sought help by way of a psychoanalytic treatment. On April 23, 1934, he wrote to Freud: "Dear Father Freud, I am taking up my analysis again. I just cannot shake off the whole Hitler business. My affect has shifted to someone who looked after our affairs for us in 1933 under difficulties. But this affect of mine is an obsession. I don't live in the present, but am absent.[32]

During the phase when he was threatened himself, Freud's greatest concern was the survival of his family and of his analytic colleagues. Obviously, he saw their emigration as a necessity – and yet had occasionally the deceptive illusion that his psychoanalysis, his psychoanalytic magazines, and his publishing house in Vienna would have a chance to survive. During this phase, Freud was occupied with his "work produced in his later years": his critical study in respect of religion and culture "Moses and Monotheism".[33] This book written by the almost 80 year-old cancer-stricken man was the endeavour to understand the "never-ending anti-Semitism" and the murderous hatred for "the Jews" within the framework of a historical dimension.[34] The more Freud himself was threatened by anti-Semitism, the more he identified himself with his Jewish roots. The first two chapters of his study of Moses were published in "Imago" in 1937, but only after Freud's emigration to London was it completely published by a Dutch publishing house.

In a letter dated September 30, 1934 to Arnold Zweig, Freud outlined his thematic and methodical approach: "The starting point of my work is familiar to you – it was the same as that of your Bilanz.[35] Faced with the new persecutions, one asks oneself again how the Jews have come to be what they are and why they have attracted this undying hatred. I soon discovered the formula: Moses created the Jews. So I gave my work the title: The Man Moses, a historical novel."[36]

On September 9, 1935, Freud thanked Zweig for having sent him his novel Erziehung vor Verdun (instruction before Verdun). Freud was taken with this work of his friend: "My daughter Anna is now reading Erziehung vor Verdun and she keeps coming to me and telling me her impressions. We then exchange views. You know that I imagine it was my warning which restrained you from returning to Berlin, and I am still proud of this achievement, and now it is more certain than ever that you should never go near the German frontier again. You are too good for that. It is like a long-hoped-for liberation. At last the truth, the grim ultimate truth, which is nevertheless essential. You cannot understand the Germany of today if you know nothing of Verdun and what it stands for."[37]

Occasionally, there are some hints appearing now and then in Freud's letters suggesting that he was no longer able to push aside that his very own existence was threatened by the National Socialists. On October 14, 1935, he wrote to Zweig: "An anxious premonition tells us that we, oh the poor Austrian Jews, will have to pay a part of the bill. It is sad (...) that we even judge world events from the Jewish point of view, but how could we do it any other way!"[38]

In the meantime, Arnold Zweig complained now more frequently about his life in Palestine. On February 15, 1936, he wrote to Freud: "I struggle against my whole existence here in Palestine. I feel I am in the wrong place (...) What do you say? You and no one else restrained me from the folly of returning to Eichkamp in May 1933, i.e. to the concentration camp and death. Apart from you, of all my friends it was only Feuchtwanger who saw so clearly. But what do you advise me to do?"[39]

Freud was moved by Zweig's misery. Only six days later, on February 21, 1936, he replied: "Your letter moved me very much, It is not the first time that I have heard of the difficulties the cultured man finds in adapting himself to Palestine. History has never given the Jewish people cause to develop their faculty for creating a state or society (…) You feel ill at ease, but I did not know you found isolation so hard to bear. Firmly based in your profession as artist as you are, you ought to be able to be alone for a while. In Palestine at any rate you have personal safety and your human rights. And where would you think of going? You would find America, I would say from all my impressions, far more unbearable. Everywhere else you would be a scarcely tolerated alien. In America you would also have to shed your own language; not an article of clothing, but your own skin. I really think that for the moment you should remain where you are. The prospect of having access to Germany again in a few years really does exist (…) It is true even that after the Nazis, Germany will not be what it was (…) But one will be able to participate in the clearing-up process."[40]

The increasingly escalating deprivation of rights and persecution in Austria led Freud to an increasingly more pessimistic – i.e. realistic – but also to a fatalistic view of his possibility of existence in Vienna. On June 22, 1936, he wrote to Zweig: "Austria seems bent on becoming National Socialist. Fate seems to be conspiring with that gang. With ever less regret do I wait for the curtain to fall for me."[41]

And towards the end of the year 1937, his resignation seemed to have prevailed: "In your interest I can scarcely regret that you have not chosen Vienna as your new home. The Government here is different but the people in their worship of anti-Semitism are entirely at one with their brothers in the Reich. The noose round our neck is being tightened all the time even if we are not actually throttled. Palestine is still British Empire at any rate; that is not to be underestimated."[42]

The emigration of the Viennese psychoanalysts and pedagogues into exile

The expulsion of the intellectual elites from Vienna and Austria in the 1930s was the most drastic turning point in the history of science in Austria. Psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic pedagogy – vigorously enhanced by Freud – were completely destroyed in their own country of origin and forced to emigrate – mostly to the United States.[43] As for the cultural and biographic damage suffered by the psychoanalytic-pedagogic movement, its historic-biographical uprooting, it was not able to recover from this setback for several decades.[44] Since the 1930s, the psychoanalytic movement as such can only be described as an emigration movement. Most analysts succeeded in fleeing into liberating exile; more than 20 of them, however, were murdered but up to the 1980s, hardly anybody was interested in their fate. The emigration of many psychoanalysts had mainly been possible because they had various contacts abroad, contrary to most other Jewish professional groups. The possibility of emigrating to the United States depended, for example, mostly on the fact that the emigrant had to find an American citizen who was prepared to make an official statement that he was ready to financially support the emigrant in case of emergency. In addition, there were many who were interested in psychoanalysis and who had come to Vienna in the 1920s and 1930s – primarily from the United States – in order to learn psychoanalysis at first hand at its place of birth. Some of them had founded therapeutic schools and nursery schools in Vienna, had translated Freud's writings, and had taught English lessons for some analysts. Some of these American analysts – who were not directly threatened in the 1930s due to their American citizenship – used their position and contacts to help Viennese analysts to flee the country. Some were even engaged illegally underground, procuring affidavits, false passports, and money, and hiding analysts from the Nazis. The American psychoanalyst Muriel Gardiner was said to be the boldest helper. In particular, the courageous behaviour of the renowned psychoanalyst Richard Sterba deserves to be mentioned who – although he was not personally threatened as a Catholic – emigrated to the United States with his colleagues out of solidarity.

Several analysts – Edith Jacobson, Edith Buxbaum[45], Rudolf Ekstein, Marie Langer, Ernst Federn, Muriel Gardiner, and T. Erdheim-Genner are to be mentioned inter alia – had intensively been engaged in the "illegal" resistance against the National Socialists and had been detained for some time by the Gestapo. Bruno Bettelheim[46] and Ernst Federn[47] survived the concentration camps of Dachau and Buchenwald where they had been detained for one year and for seven years respectively, and after their liberation and release from the camps they became the founders of a psychology of terror.

Wilhelm Reich, a combative antifascist who had published numerous pioneering studies on the Psychology of Fascism in the 1920s and 1930s, suffered an especially tragic fate. In 1933/34, he was excluded both from the International Psychoanalytic Association as well as from the Communist Party, probably due to his political engagement against the Nazis; his fate has been the object of continued controversies up to this date.[48]

Some figures are to be mentioned: Out of the 149 members of the Viennese Psychoanalytic Society – almost all of them were Jews – 146 emigrated up to the year 1939. Almost all psychoanalytic pedagogues emigrated, most of them to the United States. Despite the "Medicocentrism" (Paul Parin) prevailing in the United States at that time, most of them succeeded in standing their ground in their new homeland and in integrating parts of their professional identity into the new culture of their homeland. Yet, the socially enlightening atmosphere of departure that probably could only emerge in such a way as it did in Vienna, had been extinguished. In the United States, there was hardly any possibility of picking up the thread on a cultural level in this respect. On the other hand, many of the young psychoanalytic pedagogues who had been shaped by Sigmund Freud and Siegfried Bernfeld succeeded in doing pioneering work in the psychoanalytic-pedagogic field. For example, Anny Angel-Katan, Bruno Bettelheim, Siegfried Bernfeld, Peter Blos, Berta and Stefanie Bornstein, Edith Buxbaum, Kurt Eissler, Rudolf Ekstein, Erik Erikson, Ernst Federn, Anna Freud, Judith S. Kestenberg, Else Pappenheim, Lili Peller, Emma Plank, Fritz Redl, Emmy Sylvester, Richard and Editha Sterba are to be mentioned inter alia.

Freud's emigration – death in exile

As of 1936, the situation became more and more critical in Vienna. The failed uprising of February 1934 had triggered a process of disillusionment on the part of the left and led to another increase in the emigration wave. Strong signs of fatalism were creeping in Freud's letters: "Superfluous to say anything about the general situation of the world", he wrote to his Hungarian colleague Ferenczi in April 1932.[49] The idea of emigrating himself, what friends fearing for his life had advised him to do, appears now and then, but just to be rejected immediately again. "Flight would be justified, I believe, only if there were a direct danger to life", he wrote to Ferenczi in April 1933.[50] Freud wanted to hold out in Vienna as long as possible by any means. The role of a refugee running away from the Nazis did not seem to be an acceptable perspective of life for the almost 80 year-old cancer-stricken man. After the failed uprising of February 1934 , he wrote to his son Ernst Freud on February 20, 1934: "Either an Austrian fascism or the swastika. In the latter case, we should have to go."[51] The birthday celebrations around May 6, 1936 on occasion of Freud's eightieth birthday which received international attention, were a possibility of providing a short diversion once again. Thomas Mann personally read out his congratulation text at Freud's house in Berggasse no. 19: "Freud and the future". He was elected a corresponding member of the internationally renowned "Royal Society" in London; among international press reports, in particular, the one written by the Swedish author Selma Lagerlöf attracted attention.

Foto: © Archive S. Fischer Verlag

At the same time, however, Freud was increasingly suffering from pain due to his cancerous disease and had thoughts of dying. His letters, including those to Arnold Zweig, were becoming more gloomy. His dependency on his most beloved daughter Anna who had cared for him for years, was increasing more and more. In letters she vividly described the panic among Viennese Jews by which she did not, however, want to be infected. On March 11, 1938, following an ultimatum delivered by Hitler, Freud recorded in his short memorandum "Finis Austriae", on March 14, "Hitler in Vienna".[52] The Board of the Viennese Psychoanalytic Society recommended its members who were still in Vienna to emigrate. The synagogues were burning, Jews were abused in the streets. On March 15, 1938, Freud's apartment and his publishing house Internationaler Psychoanalytischer Verlag were searched; one week later Anna Freud was eventually arrested by the Gestapo and summoned for interrogation – a shock for Freud. Events followed in quick succession: Now he could no longer ignore the asylum offers made by several governments, among others by that of Palestine. William Bullitt, American Ambassador in France, Cordell Hull, American Secretary of State, the American Consul General in Vienna, and Freud's longstanding friend Princess Marie Bonaparte empathically used their contacts and intervened to get permission for Freud to leave Vienna. On June 4, 1938, all the formalities were completed: Freud emigrated with a part of his family via France to London. The press spread the photograph showing Anna and Sigmund Freud in a train compartment throughout the world. His last short letter dated June 4, 1938, still written in Vienna, was addressed to Arnold Zweig: "Leaving today for 39, Elsworthy Road, London N. W. 3. Affect, greetings Freud." Zweig answered him on June 18, 1938: "You are now in safety, no longer exposed to years of vindictive persecution (...) your archives, your books, your collections have been saved."[53]

Freud's power of observation and his art of formulating were unbroken. Immediately upon his arrival in London, on June 6, 1938, he wrote a long, personal letter to Eitingon in Jerusalem: "The emotional situation is hard to grasp, barely describable. (...) We have become popular all of a sudden."[54]

And an almost reconciliatory tone became noticeable when he noted shortly after his arrival in London: "for one had still very much loved the prison from which one has been released."[55]

In London, too, the 82 year-old Freud went on with his scientific writing. He completed his "Moses", and in July 1938, he began with his dense work "An Outline of Psychoanalysis".

Freud was now increasingly overwhelmed by his cancerous disease from which he had been suffering since the year 1923. In September 1938, he underwent a last surgery, from which he would not recover. One year later, in September 1939, he could no longer stand the pain. On September 21 and 22, his physician administered to him several doses of morphine, and in the early morning hours of September 23, 1939, the wise old man died during his exile in London.

Of the horror that was to follow, Freud did not see anything. Four of his sisters were murdered in Theresienstadt and Auschwitz.


The Authors:
Kaufhold, born 1961, Dr. phil, Dipl. Päd., is a teacher for handicapted children and a writer and publisher in Cologne, Germany. Author of the books: (Ed.): Annäherung an Bruno Bettelheim, Mainz 1994; (Ed.): Ernst Federn: Versuche zur Psychologie des Terrors, Gießen 1999 (Psychosozial Verlag); Kaufhold/Lieberz-Groß (Ed.): Deutsch-israelische Begegnungen, psychosozial Heft 83 (1/2001); Bettelheim, Ekstein, Federn: Impulse für die psychoanalytisch-pädagogische Bewegung, Gießen 2001 (Psychosozial Verlag).
Coauthor in: David James Fisher (2003): Psychoanalytische Kulturkritik und die Seele des Menschen. Essays über Bruno Bettelheim, Gießen; (Ed.) (2003): "So können sie nicht leben" - Bruno Bettelheim (1903 - 1990), Zeitschrift für Politische Psychologie Nr. 1-3/2003.
One of his studies is published in english on the Website dedicated to Edith Buxbaum (1902-1982), the editor is Esther Helfgott, Seattle. The translator is Prof. Hamida Bosmajian (Seattle). Internet:

Hans-Jürgen Wirth, Prof. Dr., is a psychoanalyst and analytic family therapist, practicing in own office. Member of the German Psychoanalytical Association (DPV) and the International Psychanalytic Association (IPA). Professor of „Psychoanalysis with Special Emphasis of Prevention, Psychotherapy and Psychoanalytic Socialpsychology“ at the Department of Human and Health Sciences at the University of Bremen. University lecturer of psychoanalysis, depth psychologically founded psychotherapy and psychoanalytically oriented family and social therapy at the "Institut for Psychoanalyis und Psychotherapy Giessen e. V.", an Institute of the German Psychoanalytical Association (DPV).
Owner and leader of the Publishing company Psychosozial-Verlag. Editor of the German book series "Bibliothek der Psychoanalyse" (Psychosozial-Verlag), editor in chief of the journal "psychosozial", author of numerous articles and various books on the applications of psychoanalysis. English books: "9/11 as a Collective Trauma and other Essays on Psychoanalysis ans Society" and 
"Narcissism and Power. Psychoanalysis of Mental Disorders in Politics". Critics have called the book Narcissism and Power (2002), written by Hans-Jürgen Wirth a 'masterpiece of political psychology'. In 9/11 as a Collective Trauma he presents a collection of his interesting essays about the psyche and politics. He reflects on the psychic structure of suicidebombers, and analyzes the psycho-political causes and the cosequencesof the Iraq war. The other essays focus on xenophobia and violence, the story of Jewish psychoanalysts who emigrated to the United States from Nazi-Germany and the human image of psychoanalysis. Internet:

[1] Peter Gay (1988): Freud. A Life for Our Time. New York/London (W. W. Norton & Company), p. 599.
[2] ibid., p. 592-593.
[3] Sigmund Freud (1961): Civilization and Its Discontents. With a biographical introduction by Peter Gay. New York/London, p. 111-112.
[4] Ernst Federn (1988): Die Emigration von Sigmund und Anna Freud. Eine Fallstudie. In: F. Stadler (Hg.): Vertriebene Vernunft II. Emigration und Exil österreichischer Wissenschaft 1930-1940. Munich, Vienna 1988, p. 248.
[5] See also Bernd Nitzschke (1996): Wir und der Tod. Essays über Sigmund Freuds Leben und Werk. Göttingen (Sammlung Vandenhoeck); Peter Schneider (1999): Sigmund Freud. Munich (dtv).
[6] Gay (1988), p. 19.
[7] ibid., p. 12.
[8] Ernest Jones (1984): Sigmund Freud. Leben und Werk, Munich (dtv), Vol. 2, p. 139.
[9] Gay (1988), p. 6
[10] ibid., p. 603
[11] ibid., p. 140
[12] Freud (1926), in: Nitzschke (1996), p. 118; see also Gay (1988), p. 597
[13] Gay (1988), p. 204
[14] ibid.
[15] Gay (1988), p. 205. For more details see: Susann Heenen-Wolff (1987): "Wenn ich Oberhuber hieße ..." Die Freudsche Psychoanalyse zwischen Assimilation und Antisemitismus. Frankfurt am Main (Nexus).
[16] Gay (1988), p. 205
[17] Ludger M. Hermanns (1982): John F. Rittmeister und C. G. Jung. In: H.-M. Lohmann (ed.) (1985): Psychoanalyse und Nationalsozialismus. Beiträge zur Bearbeitung eines unbewältigten Traumas. Frankfurt/M. (Fischer TB), 137-145. See also the impressive statements of Thomas Mann (1935) and Ernst Bloch regarding Jung which are contained therein; the latter described Jung literally as a "psychoanalytic fascist".
[18] Gay, (1988), p. 448
[19] ibid, p. 597
[20] Nitzschke (1996), p. 50
[21] Gay, (1988), p. 592-593
[22] Ruth Kloocke (2002): Mosche Wulff. Zur Geschichte der Psychoanalyse in Rußland und Israel, Tübingen (edition diskord).
[23] Without claiming completeness we would like to mention: Maria and Martin Bergmann, Bruno Bettelheim, Yael Danieli, Nathan Durst, Ernst Federn, M. Jucovy, Hans Keilson, Judith S. Kestenberg, Hillel Klein, R. Moses, Yehuda Nir, Martin Wangh, and Zvi Lothane. As literature we would like to mention: M. S. Bergman; Jucovy, M. E.; Kestenberg, J. S. (ed.) (1982): Kinder der Opfer, Kinder der Täter. Psychoanalyse und Holocaust. Frankfurt M. (Fischer). To Hans Keilson we would like to mention: Roland Kaufhold (2008): "Das Leben geht weiter". Hans Keilson, ein jüdischer Psychoanalytiker, Schriftsteller, Pädagoge und Musiker, in: Zeitschrift für psychoanalytische Theorie und Praxis (ZPTP), Heft 1/2-2008, S. 142-167.
[24] Roland Kaufhold (2008): Siegfried Bernfeld - Psychoanalytiker, Zionist, Pädagoge. Vor 55 Jahren starb Siegfried Bernfeld, in: TRIBÜNE, Nr.  185 (H. 1/2008), p.178-188.
[25] See previous footnote and: Manuel Wiznitzer: Arnold Zweig: Das Leben eines deutsch-jüdischen Schriftstellers, Frankfurt/M.; Wilhelm von Sternburg (1998): Um Deutschland geht es uns. Arnold Zweig. Die Biographie, Berlin (Aufbau).
[26] Freud, Ernst (ed.) (1970): The Letters of Sigmund Freud and Arnold Zweig. London (The Hogarth Press), p. 37.
[27] E. Freud (1970), p. 43
[28] ibid., p. 45
[29] ibid., p. 55-57
[30] ibid., p. 59
[31] ibid., p. 65-66
[32] ibid., p. 73
[33] Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, vol. 23, p. 1-137.
[34] See also: Bernd Nitzschke (1996): "Freud, der Mann Moses und der Antisemitismus" and "Judenhaß als Modernitätshaß. Über Freuds Studie 'Der Mann Moses und die monotheistische Religion' (1937/39)", both in: Nitzschke (1996), p. 40-53, p. 149-183.
[35] Zweig 1934
[36] E. Freud (1970), p. 91
[37] ibid., p. 110
[38] Gay (1988), p. 610
[39] E. Freud (1970), p. 120-121
[40] E. Freud (1970), p. 122
[41] ibid., p. 133-134
[42] ibid., p. 154
[43] See Roland Kaufhold (2001): Bettelheim, Ekstein, Federn: Impulse für die psychoanalytisch-pädagogische Bewegung. Gießen (Psychosozial-Verlag) ; the same author (2003): Spurensuche zur Geschichte der die USA emigrierten Wiener Psychoanalytischen Pädagogen, in: Luzifer-Amor: Geschichte der Wiener Psychoanalytischen Vereinigung (ed. Thomas Aichhorn), 16:31 (1/2003), p. 37-69;  Hans-Jürgen Wirth (2002): Narcissism and Power. Psychoanalysis of Mental Disorders in Politics, Gießen (Psychosozial-Verlag); the same author (2005): 9/11 as a Collective Trauma and other Essays on Psychoanalysis ans Society, Gießen (Psychosozial-Verlag); Hans-Jürgen Wirth/Trin Haland-Wirth (2003): Emigration, Biographie und Psychoanalyse. Emigrierte PsychoanalytikerInnen in Amerika. In: Kaufhold et. al. (ed.) (2003), "So können sie nicht leben" - Bruno Bettelheim (1903-1990), Zeitschrift für politische Psychologie 1-3/2003, p. 91-120, David James Fisher (2003): Psychoanalytische Kulturkritik und die Seele des Menschen. Essays über Bruno Bettelheim unter Mitarbeit von Roland Kaufhold et. al. Gießen (Psychosozial-Verlag).; the same author: (2008): Bettelheim: Living and Dying: Contemporary Psychoanalytic Studies Series (Amsterdam/New York: Rodopi)
[44] cf. Kaufhold (2001)
[45] cf. the website
[46] cf. also Kaufhold (2001)
[47] Roland Kaufhold (ed.) (1999): Ernst Federn - Versuche zur Psychologie des Terrors. Gießen (Psychosozial-Verlag).
[48] Karl Fallend; Bernd Nitzschke (ed.) (2002): Der "Fall" Wilhelm Reich. Beiträge zum Verhältnis von Psychoanalyse und Politik, Gießen (Psychosozial-Verlag).
[49] Gay (1988), p. 588
[50] ibid., p. 593
[51] ibid., p. 594-595
[52] ibid., p. 618
[53] E. Freud (1970), p. 160-161
[54] Gay (1988), p. 630-631
[55] Gay (1988), p. 629 26-11-2008

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