Sigmund Freud

Sigmund Freud

Sigmund Freud, the son of Jacob Freud and Amalia Nathansohn Freud, was born in Freiberg, Austria, on 6th May, 1856. Both his parents were Jewish. His father's family originally came from Cologne but had "fled east from an anti-Semitic persecution, and that in the course of the nineteenth century they retraced their steps from Lithuania through Galicia to German Austria". (1)

Jacob Freud was 40 years old when Sigmund was born and had been married twice before and already had two sons, Emmanuel and Philipp. He married Amalia when she was 20 years old, and she was younger than Emmanuel who was already married with a son. "The little Sigmund, therefore, was born an uncle, one of the many paradoxes his young mind had to grapple with." (2)

Sigmund was Amalia's first child and although she had seven more children he "remained her favourite and most favoured child". He later wrote: "A man who has been the indisputable favourite of his mother keeps for life the feeling of a conqueror, that confidence of success that often induces real success." It has been argued by Beverley Clack that "Freud was viewed as something of a child prodigy by his doting mother, who did everything she could to cultivate a sense of her beloved boy as a fledgling intellectual". (3)

Freud's father was less indulgent than his mother. At the age of two he would still wet the bed and he remembers being told off about this by his father and not his mother. "It was from such experiences that was born his conviction that typically it was the father who represented to his son the principles of denial, restraint, restriction, and authority; the father stood for the reality principle, the mother for the pleasure principle." (4)

Freud later described the jealously he felt when a younger brother Julius was born when he was eighteen months old. He disliked the idea of sharing his mother with another child and admitted that he greeted his brother's birth "with adverse wishes and genuine childhood jealously". When Julius died seven months later, Freud was left with a "deeply implanted sense of guilt". (5)

Sigmund Freud and Vienna

Jacob Freud had been wool merchant in Freiberg for twenty years. However, after the new Northern Railway by-passed the town, his business was directly affected. The family was forced to move and in 1860 they arrived in Vienna. Sigmund found moving house very distressing and it is claimed that for the rest of his life train journeys made him anxious. During the journey he saw his mother naked. Freud told the story to his friend, Wilhelm Fliess, forty years later, in a letter written in Latin. (6)

After the death of Julius, Amalia Freud gave birth to Rosa (1860), Marie (1861), Adolfine (1862), Paula (1864) and Alexander (1866). At the age of seven Freud urinated in his parents' bed. His father was furious and exclaimed: "That boy will never amount to anything." Freud believed this incident had a dramatic impact on him: "This must have been a terrible affront to my ambition, for allusions to this scene occur again and again in my dreams, and are constantly coupled with enumerations of my accomplishments and successes." Later he had a great desire to say to his father: "You see, I have amounted to something after all." (7)

As a boy Freud took a keen interest in Greek and Roman history. He also experienced anti-Semitism and he compensated by fantasizing himself as Hannibal, the Semitic Carthaginian general whose father had made him swear to "take vengeance on the Romans". As one of his biographers, Frederick Crews, has pointed out: "Such daydreaming became chronic as Sigmund, with dawning consciousness of the family's humble state, identified not just with Hannibal but also with the world-shaking Alexander, Caesar, and Napoleon, among others." (8)

In 1868 Jacob Freud came home and told a disturbing and dispiriting story. Out walking, Jacob was confronted by a man who knocked his hat from his head and yelled at him to get off the pavement because he was a Jew. Sigmund asked his father what he did about it. He replied that he picked up his hat. (9) "Jacob's lack of heroism may have been pragmatic but it had a lasting effect on Freud's sense of his father." (10)

In his autobiography Freud tells us he was a very successful student at school. "At the Gymnasium I was top of my class for seven years." (11) He read widely outside the official syllabus and mastered Latin, Greek, French, English and Italian. According to one of his biographers: "In adolescence he was a typical overbearing big brother. He helped his sisters with their studies, but attempted to censor their reading matter, forbidding Balzac and Dumas, issued pompous homilies on their behaviour and complained about the noise from their piano practice. The piano was of course removed." (12)

Freud grew up without any belief in a God or immortality. However, he was proud of his Jewish heritage. His close friend, Ernest Jones, claimed: "He (Freud) felt himself to be Jewish to the core, and it evidently meant a great deal to him. He had the common Jewish sensitiveness to the slightest hint of anti-Semitism and he made very few friends who were not Jews." (13)

Sigmund Freud and his mother in 1872
Sigmund Freud and his mother in 1872

At the age of sixteen he revisited his birthplace for the only time in his life. He stayed there were the Fluss family who were friends of his parents and who were in the same textile business as his father. He fell madly in love with their thirteen year old daughter, Gisela Fluss. However, he was so shy he could not communicate his feelings or even to address a single word to her. For the next few years he often phantasized about returning to Freiberg and marrying Gisela. (14)

It seems that as a young man Sigmund Freud did not show a great deal of interest in women, considering them to be inferior beings. At the age of seventeen he wrote to his friend, Emil Fluss, the brother of his first love: "How wise are our elders to burden the fair sex with but little knowledge of natural science! I see we are all agreed that women are both for something better than to acquire wisdom." (15)

Medical Faculty of Vienna University

In September 1873 Freud entered the Medical Faculty of University of Vienna. In addition to the study of anatomy and physiology, he attended optional courses in philosophy. He also did extra courses in physics and zoology, making the study of marine animals his special interest. In his second year he concentrated on anatomical dissection. In March 1876, he began his first research project by spending time an an experimental marine biology station in Trieste in search of the gonads of the mature eel. Freud dissected over 400 specimens but his research was not successful." (16)

On his return he was accepted as a research student working under Ernst Wilhelm von Brücke, who was involved in the study of the "transformation and interplay of physical forces in the living organism". Freud commented: "Ernst Brücke's physiological laboratory, I found rest and full satisfaction - and men, too, whom I could respect and take as my models: the great Brücke himself and his assistants, Sigmund Exner and Ernst Fleischl Von Marxow." (17)

Freud later admitted: "Neither at that time, nor indeed in my later life, did I feel any particular predilection for a career as a doctor." On another occasion Freud reflected on why he was not attracted to the world of medicine: "My infantile curiosity evidently chose other paths. In my youth I felt an overpowering need to understand something of the riddles of the world in which we live and perhaps even to contribute something to their solution... Thus I passed from the histology of the nervous system to neuropathology and then, promoted by fresh influences, I began to be concerned with the neuroses." (18)

In the autumn of 1879 Freud was called up for his year's military service. Medical students were treated very well and the main problem was to deal with all the free time they were given. Freud dealt with the boredom by devoting himself to translating a book by John Stuart Mill, entitled The Subjection of Women, from English to German. Freud disagreed with Mill's views on the rights of women. He wrote at the time: "John Stuart Mill... finds an analogy for the oppression of women in that of the Negro. Any girl, even without a vote and legal rights, whose hand is kissed by a man willing to risk everything for her love could have put him right about this." (19)

On 30th March 1881, Freud passed his final medical examinations with the grade "excellent". This result, according to Freud, was due only to the photographic memory that he had enjoyed all through his childhood and adolescence. "I gave the examiners apparently automatic answers which proved to be exact reproductions of the textbook which I had skimmed through but once, and then in greatest haste". After graduation he continued to work at the Brücke Institute. (20)

As a young man Sigmund Freud told his friends that it was advisable to avoid female company. He criticised Eduard Silberstein for his flirtations, and warned of women's ready susceptibility to seduction, thanks to their lack of any "inherent ethical standard" and to their educationally programmed "ineptitude for life serious tasks". He went on to suggest he should abstain from offering flattery to creatures "who are unstable, incapable of grasping their own unimportance, and whom nature has... inclined to be vain." (21)

In April 1882 Freud met Martha Bernays, the granddaughter of Isaac Bernays, the chief rabbi of Hamburg. However, her father had died and the family were in poor financial circumstances. Freud immediately fell in love with this 21 year-old women, who was "slim, pale, and rather petite... well educated and intelligent". The couple became engaged on 17th June 1882. However, Freud was deeply in debt and was not in a position to marry her and over the next four years he sent her over 900 lengthy letters (between four and twenty-two pages long). His friend and biographer, Ernest Jones, has pointed out that "it was their custom to write daily, and an occasional gap of two or three days was a distressing event that needed a great deal of explanation... on the other hand, there were very many occasions when two or even three letters had to be composed on the same day." (22)

Martha Bernays (1882)
Martha Bernays (1882)

Freud could no longer afford to carry out his research under Ernst Wilhelm von Brücke and after meeting Martha he decided to change the direction of his career: He pointed out in his Autobiography (1923): "The turning-point came in 1882 when my teacher, for whom I had the highest possible esteem, corrected my father's generous improvidence by strongly advising me, in view of my bad financial position, to abandon my theoretical career. I followed his advice, left the physiology laboratory and entered the General Hospital". (23)

Advocacy of Cocaine

However, during his three years' residence in a hospital as a doctor, where he gained experience in midwifery and surgery, he also carried out research. Freud was constantly occupied with the endeavour to make a name for himself by discovering something important. Freud eventually settled on experimenting with a recently discovered new drug, cocaine. "I have been reading about cocaine, the essential constituent of coca leaves which some Indian tribes chew to enable them to resist privations and hardships. A German (Theodor Aschbrandt) has been employing it with soldiers and has in fact reported that it increases their energy and capacity to endure." (24)

Freud used the drug on himself. He immediately tried the effect of a twentieth of a gramme and he recorded that it turned the bad mood he was in into cheerfulness and gave him the feeling of that "there is nothing at all one need bother about". He also gave some of the drug to a friend, Ernst von Fleischl-Marxow, who contracted an infection while carrying out research in pathological anatomy. An amputation of the right thumb was carried out but his life became an unending torture of pain and of slowly approaching death. Eventually "his pain became intolerable and he had recourse to morphia and became addicted to it". Freud proposed that he substitute cocaine for morphia. Within a few days he was taking it continually. (25)

Freud considered it a "magical substance" and gave it to several of his friends as well as his sisters. He also sent some to Martha Bernays telling her that it would make you strong and "give your cheeks a red colour". He claimed that cocaine had made him feel fantastic: "Woe to you my Princess, when I come. I will kiss you quite red and feed you till you are plump. And if you are forward you shall see who is the stronger, a gentle little girl who doesn't eat enough or a big wild man who has cocaine in his body. In my last severe depression I took coca again and a small dose lifted me to the heights in a wonderful fashion." (26)

In July, 1884, Freud published an article for the journal of the Society of Physicians on the merits of cocaine. He wrote about the "exhilaration and lasting euphoria, which in no way differs from the normal euphoria of the healthy person... You perceive an increase of self-control and possess more vitality and capacity for work... In other words, you are simply normal, and it is soon hard to believe that you are under the influence of any drug... Long intensive mental or physical work is performed without any fatigue... This result is enjoyed without any of the unpleasant after-effects that follow exhilaration brought about by alcohol... Absolutely no craving for the further use of cocaine appears after the first, or even repeated, taking of the drug." (27)

Fleischl-Marxow quickly became addicted to cocaine and began taking doses a hundred times larger than Freud used to do. "He suffered toxic confusional states in which he became agitated, experiencing severe anxiety and visual hallucinations. Yet Freud continued to advocate the use of cocaine in morphinism, presumably on the basis that it was beneficial in selected cases.... Critics have seized upon this episode as a flaw in Freud's integrity and used it to discredit his later ideas." (28)

Although he advised Martha to stop taking cocaine he continued to promote the idea to doctors. As article, On the General Effect of Cocaine, written in the spring of 1885, was published in August and later appeared in the Lancet Journal. By the following year, however, cases of cocaine addiction and intoxication were being reported from all over the world. Freud came under severe criticism for his advocacy of the drug. Ernest Jones commented that Freud was "accused of unleashing evil on the world" while others "regarded him as a man of reckless judgement". (29)

Josef Breuer and Anna O

Josef Breuer became a general practitioner in Vienna who specialised in treating patients who suffered from hysteria. In December, 1880, Bertha Pappenheim, aged 21, became Breuer's patient. She had been very close to her father who had become seriously ill. Breuer used the pseudonym, Anna O, for his patient who was suffering from a series of health problems. This included paralysis of three limbs, severe and complicated disturbances of sight and speech, inability to take food, and a distressing nervous cough. "More interesting, however, was the presence of two distinct states of consciousness: one a fairly normal one, the other that of a naughty and troublesome child. It was a case of double personality." (30)

Josef Breuer came to the conclusion that her illness was linked to her "strong intellect" that was not being used to its maximum capacity. He wrote in his case-notes that Anna was "physically healthy... intelligence considerable, excellent memory, astonishingly acute gift for combinations and keen intuition". He added that her "strong intellect" could "digest solid nourishment" but she had not received this since she left school. Anna was therefore condemned to a dull existence amidst her strait-laced Jewish family. Anna had "a very monotonous life, wholly restricted to her family". She had a "passionate love for her father, who spoils her" and this had resulted in her being "sexually undeveloped". (31)

Anna‘s father died on 5th April 1881. As a result, she did not eat for days. Her symptoms continued to get worse and on 7th June she was admitted to a sanatorium, where she remained until November. After returning she continued to be treated by Breuer. He discovered that if he could persuade Anna to talk about her most innermost feelings, she felt better. Breuer likened the process to "chimney-sweeping". Breuer used the technique of "free-associating" to "clean out the mind". This involved "saying whatever came into one's mind, however ridiculous, apparently meaningless or shameful". By analysing the connections made by the patient it became possible to trace the symptoms from which they are suffering back to the source of the problem. (32)

Josef Breuer told Sigmund Freud about the case for the first time in November, 1883. Freud was fascinated by the case and had several long conversations with Breuer about this young woman of "exceptional cultivation and talents". Freud was especially interested in the methods he had used to help Anna. Breuer rightly claimed a quarter century later that his treatment of Anna contained "the germ cell of the whole of psychoanalysis." (33)

Marriage to Martha Bernays

Sigmund Freud was extremely jealous of Martha's friendship with other men. He also thought she was too close to her brother, Eli Bernays. He was furious when he discovered that Martha had given some of her savings to her brother for investment in a business. Freud became convinced that Eli had embezzled Martha's money. Freud told her to convey a threat to Eli, that he was prepared to inform his superiors at work about the embezzlement. (34)

The author of The Life and Work of Sigmund Freud (1961) has argued: "He (Freud) was beyond doubt someone whose instincts were far more powerful than those of the average man, but whose repressions were even more potent. The combination brought about an inner intensity of a degree that is perhaps the essential feature of any great genius... when such emotions centred on a woman - that the volcano within was near to erupting with destructive force." (35)

Freud also believed that Martha was too close to her mother. He felt she was making decisions based on what was right for her mother. He wrote a letter to Martha that she was thinking first of her mother, not of him. "If that is so, you are my enemy: if we don't get over this obstacle we shall founder... If you can't be fond enough of me to renounce for my sake your family, then you must lose me, wreck my life, and not get much yourself out of your family." (36)

Sigmund and Martha Freud (1885)
Sigmund and Martha Freud (1885)

The author of The Life and Work of Sigmund Freud (1961) has argued: "He (Freud) was beyond doubt someone whose instincts were far more powerful than those of the average man, but whose repressions were even more potent. The combination brought about an inner intensity of a degree that is perhaps the essential feature of any great genius... when such emotions centred on a woman - that the volcano within was near to erupting with destructive force." (37)

In April 1886, Freud rented rooms at 7 Rathausstrasse. He paid eighty gulden (£6) a month for it. It had a hall and two large rooms. One of them was divided by a curtain, so that the far half could be used as a bedroom. The flat was elegantly furnished, and all he had to buy was a medical couch. His friend, Josef Breuer, promised he would send him some of his patients. He also advised to "take low fees, treat a good many people gratis, and count on earning only five gulden a day for the first two years". (38)

Sigmund Freud married Martha Bernays on 13th September 1886. They had a civil ceremony in the Town Hall of Wandsbeck, followed a day later by a religious one in Hamburg. Freud was 30 years old and his bride was five years younger. Frederick Crews, the author of Freud: The Making of An Illusion (2017) argues that "Martha must have realised that her husband would require continual humoring and was never going to be her friend. Driven frantic and rendered ill by his rages, she had begged him only for 'a little respect'; but she would never receive it." (39)

Martha gave birth to Mathilde on 16th October 1887. Jean Martin, who was named after Jean Martin Charcot, the French neurologist and professor of anatomical pathology, was born on 6th December 1889. The third child, born on 19th February, 1891, was named after Freud's great hero, Oliver Cromwell. They now needed a larger home and rooms were rented at 19 Berggasse. As well as living and bedrooms, Freud now had a study, waiting and consulting rooms. Three more children were born over the next few years: Ernst (6th April, 1892), Sophie (12th April, 1893) and Anna (3rd December, 1895).

Studies of Hysteria (1895)

Freud had very few patients during the first few years of his married life. His first patient was suffering from depression and Freud prescribed electrical treatment. He also gave lectures to young doctors on a wide variety of topics, including clinical neurology and medical uses of electricity. Freud took a close interest in Charcot's "latest investigations upon hysteria... He had proved, for instance, the genuineness of hysterical phenomena and their conformity to laws... the frequent occurrence of hysteria in men, the production of hysterical paralyses and constructures by hypnotic suggestion." (40)

Freud discussed these issues with Josef Breuer. Both men began to use hypnotic suggestion to treat patients suffering from hysteria. This was a term used at the time that meant "ungovernable emotional excess" in women. This included anxiety, nervous coughs, shortness of breath, migranes, contorted facial muscles, paralyzed limbs, tics, muteness, fainting, insomnia, irritability and promiscuity. Charcot believed hysteria to be a disturbance of the nervous system and claimed both men and women could suffer from hysteria. (41)

Hypnosis is a state of human consciousness involving focused attention and reduced peripheral awareness and an enhanced capacity to respond to suggestion. Charcot's idea was you could use hypnosis not only to replicate the hysterical attack but to introduce suggestions to the hysteric that might enable a cure. Freud initially hypnotised patients by pressing his hand on their foreheads. However, Freud found, however, that he was not always able to induce hypnosis, either at all or deeply enough for his needs. (42)

In the autumn of 1892 Ilona Weiss became one of Freud's patients. To protect her identity, Freud always referred to her as "Elisabeth von R". The twenty-four year old daughter of a wealthy Hungarian family was suffering from pains in the legs and had difficulty in walking. Her doctor had examined her and could not find anything physically wrong with her legs and decided she was suffering from hysteria and she was sent to Freud. He decided to use a different method to treat her. Freud asked Elisabeth to lie down on his couch and close her eyes. Applying pressure to her forehead, he asked her to report faithfully whatever came into her mind. (43)

Elisabeth admitted that she was in love with her brother-in-law. However, she was able to suppress these feelings but did seek out his company and enjoyed long walks together. Her troubles began when her sister died and she developed the idea that he could become her husband. This "unacceptable thought" challenged everything that she believes about herself as a moral and loyal person. She resisted it and tried to force it out of her consciousness. It was because of these feelings that caused the pain in her legs. Freud believed the symptom can be traced back to the very walks that she had enjoyed with her brother-in-law before the death of her sister. Freud argues that far from being the degenerate fiends of popular myth, invariably the hysteric is too moral, punishing herself for her unacceptable desires. Elisabeth's treatment involved recovering her guilty thoughts from her unconscious and accepting it. This resulted in a full cure and in the spring of 1894 he attended "a private ball" where he saw "my former patient whirl past me in a lively dance". (44)

Sigmund Freud continued to experiment with encouraging patients to talk freely, without censorship or inhibition, about whatever ideas or memories occurred to them. Freud then used these comments to help discover the link with other events and feelings. During this process it was for the doctor to "decide what is and is not relevant: the patient must shape the discourse". This approach, "if it is to be effective, has to be understood as a partnership". (45)

In 1895 Freud and Josef Breuer published their book, Studies on Hysteria. It consists first of a reprint of the joint paper they had written, then five case histories, a theoretical essay by Breuer, and a concluding chapter on psychotherapy by Freud. The first case history, by Breuer, is that of Anna (Bertha Pappenheim). Freud contributed the other four cases, including Ilona Weiss (Elisabeth) and Fanny Moser (Emmy).

The book received mainly hostile reviews. The best one appeared in the Neue Freie Presse, the leading daily newspaper of Vienna, by Alfred von Bergner, Professor of the History of Literature in the University of Vienna. He said he read the case histories with admiration and understanding, and then added the significant prediction: "We dimly conceive the idea that it may one day became possible to approach the innermost secret of human personality... The theory itself is in fact nothing but the kind of psychology used by poets." (46)

Havelock Ellis, a doctor working in London, and a founder member of the Fabian Society, also praised the book, and agreed with Freud's views about the sexual cause of hysteria. However, most people were shocked by the idea and it took over thirteen years to sell 626 copies of the book. It was not a very profitable exercise and the authors only received 425 gulden between them (£18 each). During the writing of the book the two men disagreed about the role that sexual impulses played in hysteria. (47)

David Stafford-Clark has pointed out: "Despite the comparative success of their joint publication, Breuer and Freud never collaborated in any further published material.... This in fact heralded not only the break with Breuer but the beginning of the independent emergence of Freud's own concept of psychoanalysis. The basic difference of opinion between the two authors, upon which Freud was later to lay considerable emphasis, concerning the part played by sexual impulses in the causation of hysteria." (48)

Karl Lueger and Anti-Semitism

In 1897 Karl Lueger became Mayor of Vienna by appealing to the hatred of Jews. In a speech Lueger claimed that Jews were exercising a "terrorism, worse than which cannot be imagined" over the masses through the control of capital and the press. It was a matter for him, he continued, "of liberating the Christian people from the domination of Jewry". On other occasions he described the Jews as "beasts of prey in human form". Lueger added that anti-semitism would "perish when the last Jew perished". (49)

Konrad Heiden, a young Jewish journalist later commented that Lueger had an impact on the thinking of a young Adolf Hitler: "A much greater development was that of a second anti-Semitic movement embracing the mass of the German petty-bourgeoisie and parts of the working class, but also having many supporters among the numerous Czech population of Vienna: this was the Christian Social Party, led by an intellectual who had arisen from modest circumstances: Doctor Karl Lueger. A strong personality, a powerful tribune of the people, a party despot who made himself the all-powerful mayor of Vienna. Young Hitler admired him greatly, handed out leaflets for the Christian Social Party, stood on street corners and made speeches. Lueger had the young sons of his supporters parade through the streets with music, banners, and the beginnings of a uniform." (50)

Ian Kershaw, the author of Hitler 1889-1936 (1998) has agrees: "The rise of Lueger's Christian Social Party made a deep impression on Hitler... he came increasingly to admire Lueger.... With a heady brew of populist rhetoric and accomplished rabble-rousing. Lueger soldered together an appeal to Catholic piety and the economic self-interest of the German-speaking lower-middle classes who felt threatened by the forces of international capitalism, Marxist Social Democracy, and Slav nationalism... The vehicle used to whip up the support of the disparate targets of his agitation was anti-semitism, sharply on the rise among artisanal groups suffering economic downturns and only too ready to vent their resentment both on Jewish financiers and on the growing number of Galician back-street hawkers and pedlars." (51)

Sigmund Freud believed that the arrival of Karl Leuger on the political scene damaged his career. Lueger was a zealous Catholic, and wished to “capture" the University of Vienna for the Church. "The culture of equal opportunity rapidly declined, making preferment even more difficult for the unbaptised." Freud believed that his nomination in 1897 for the title of Professor of Extraordinarius was rejected by the Ministry of Education because of Leuger. (52)

Self- Analysis and Wilhelm Fliess

After the loss of Josef Breuer, Sigmund Freud formed a close relationship with Wilhelm Fliess, an ear, nose, and throat specialist. Breuer considered Fliess to be "one of the richest intellects" he had ever met. Fliess was very interested in new ideas and was very knowledgeable in the fields of the arts, mathematics and biology. Fliess acted as a sounding board for Freud's developing ideas. (53)

Their friendship grew through their frequent letters and regular meetings in Vienna and Berlin, but most of all liked to arrange two or three-day trips away from home (they called these special meetings "Congresses"). They not only exchanged their unorthodox scientific ideas but Freud provided intimate details of his own life (which he withheld from Martha). In fact, it has been claimed that Freud used these letters as "self-analysis". (54) Freud became infatuated with Fliess: "Only someone who knows he is in possession of the truth writes as you do." (55)

During this period Freud's moods swung wildly from elation to depression: "Sometimes he convinced himself of the value of his discoveries; at other times he was plagued with self-doubt. In addition he was troubled with anxiety symptoms: fear of travelling by rail, dread of dying, shortness of breath and cardiac arhythmias, headaches and recurrent sinusitis... Yet out of this turmoil... some of Freud's most profound insights arose." (56)

Sigmund Freud and Wilhelm Fliess
Sigmund Freud and Wilhelm Fliess

Sigmund Freud reported in October, 1895: "I am almost certain that I have solved the riddles of hysteria and obsessional neurosis with the formulas of infantile sexual shock and sexual pleasure, and I am equally certain that both neuroses are, in general, curable - not just individual symptoms but the neurotic disposition itself. This gives me a kind of faint joy - for having lived some forty years not quite in vain - and yet no genuine satisfaction because the psychological gap in the new knowledge claims my entire interest." (57)

It was only after the death of his father in 1896, that Freud could begin to open up about how his own early sexual life had influenced his personality. "The chief patient I am preoccupied with is myself. My little hysteria, though greatly accentuated by my work, has resolved itself a bit further. The rest is still at a standstill. That is what my mood primarily depends on. The analysis is more difficult than any other. It is, in fact, what paralyzes my psychic strength for describing and communicating what I have won so far. Still, I believe it must be done and is a necessary intermediate stage in my work." (58)

Freud became convinced that most cases of neurosis can be traced back to incidents in early childhood but did not have full access to those memories that had been repressed into the unconscious. "I have not succeeded in gaining a theoretical understanding of repression and its interplay of forces. It seems once again arguable that only later experiences give the impetus to fantasies, which then hark back to childhood, and with this the factor of a hereditary disposition regains a sphere of influence from which I had made it my task to dislodge it - in the interest of illuminating neurosis." (59)

In a letter written on 15th October, 1897, Freud begins to explore what later became known as the Oedipus complex. "My self-analysis is in fact the most essential thing I have at present and promises to become of the greatest value to me if it reaches its end... Being totally honest with oneself is a good exercise. A single idea of general value dawned on me. I have found, in my own case, too, the phenomenon of being in love with my mother and jealous of my father, and now I consider it an universal event in early childhood... If this is so, we can understand the gripping power of Opedius Rex... the Greek legend seizes upon a compulsion which everyone recognizes because he senses its existence within himself. Everyone in the audience was once a budding Oedipus in fantasy and each recoils in horror from the dream fulfillment here transplanted into reality, with the full quantity of repression which separates his infantile state from his present one." (60)

Freud is referring to Oedipus Rex, an Ancient Greek drama written by Sophocles in about 429 BC. Oedipus is the son of Laius and Jocasta, the king and queen of Thebes. When his son is born, the king consults an Oracle as to his fortune. To his horror, the oracle reveals that Laius "is doomed to perish by the hand of his own son". Laius orders Jocasta to kill him. Unable to kill her own son, she gives him to a servant to carry out the task. He abandons Oedipus on a mountain top but he is rescued by a local shepherd. He presents him to the childless king Polybus, who raises Oedipus as his own son.

As he grows to manhood, Oedipus hears a rumour that he is not truly the son of Polybus. He asks an oracle who his parents really are. The Oracle seems to ignore this question, telling him instead that he is destined to "mate with his own mother, and kill his own father ". Desperate to avoid this terrible fate, Oedipus, decides to leave Corinth. On the road to Thebes, Oedipus encounters Laius and the two men quarrel over whose chariot has the right of way. The king attempts to strike Oedipus with his sceptre, but during the struggle Laius is killed.

Before arriving at Thebes, Oedipus encounters the Sphinx, a legendary beast with the head and breast of a woman, the body of a lioness, and the wings of an eagle. The Sphinx was sent to the road approaching Thebes as a punishment from the gods, and would kill any traveler who failed to answer a certain riddle:"what is the creature that walks on four legs in the morning, two legs at noon, and three in the evening?" Oedipus correctly guesses, "man", who crawls on all fours as an infant, walks upright in maturity, and leans on a stick in old age. The Sphinx throws herself from a cliff, thereby ending the curse. Oedipus' reward for freeing Thebes from the Sphinx is its kingship, and the hand of the now widowed queen, Jocasta. The couple have two daughters, Antigone and Ismene.

Many years later another oracle discloses the truth of how Oedipus has killed his own father and married his mother. Oedipus decides to cut out his mother's womb. However, before he can do this, she hangs herself. Oedipus takes her down and removes the long gold pins that held her dress together, before plunging them into his own eyes in despair. A blind Oedipus now leaves the palace and the chorus repeat the Greek maxim, that no man should be considered fortunate until he is dead.

Sigmund Freud argues that rather than see Oedipus' fate as a horrifying and individual event, he sees it as expressing "the long-forgotten desires of childhood that accompany and shape every individual's sexual development" and "between the ages of three and five, every child must struggle with what comes to be called the Oedipus complex, when, like the Greek king, they long to be rid of the parent of the same sex in order to take possession of the parent of the opposite sex". (61)

Freud later destroyed all of Wilhelm Fliess' letters, but it becomes clear that he advocated the theory that all adults were bisexual and that these repressed desires were the cause of some cases of hysteria. On 25th March, 1898, Freud wrote to Fliess: "I do not in the least underestimate bisexuality.... I expect it to provide all further enlightenment." (62) A year later he said: "Bisexuality! You are certainly right about it. I am accustoming myself to regarding every sexual act as a process which four individuals are involved." (63)

Freud told Fliess that he always needed a very close male friend and that he was disappointed by the end of his relationship with Josef Breuer: "In my life, as you know, woman has never replaced the comrade, the friend. If Breuer's male inclination were not so odd, so timid, so contradictory - like everything else in his mental and emotional makeup - it would provide a nice example of the accomplishments into which the androphilic current in men can be sublimated." (64)

Freud admitted to Fliess that the theories emerging from his self-analysis was not really science. His attempts at analysing his personality was more the work of an artist: "I am actually not at all a man of science, not an observer, not an experimenter, not a thinker. I am by temperament nothing but a conquistador - an adventurer, if you want it translated - with all the curiosity, daring, and tenacity characteristic of a man of this sort." (65)

The Interpretation of Dreams (1899)

In January 1899, Freud wrote to Fliess declaring he had made a break-through in understanding the human personality: "I want to reveal to you that the dream schema is capable of the most general application, that the key to hysteria as well really lies in dreams... If I wait a little longer, I shall be able to present the psychic process in dreams in such a way that it also includes the process in the formation of hysterical symptoms. So let us wait." (66)

The following month he wrote: "My last generalization has held good and seems inclined to grow to an unpredictable extent. Not only dreams are wish fulfillments, so are hysterical attacks. This is true of hysterical symptoms, but probably applies to every product of neurosis, for I recognized it long ago in acute delusional insanity. Reality - wish fulfillment - it is from these opposites that our mental life springs. I believe I now know what determines the distinction between symptoms that make their way into waking life and dreams. It is enough for the dream to be the wish fulfillment of the repressed thought, for dreams are kept at a distance from reality. But the symptom, set in the midst of life, must be something else besides: it must also be the wish fulfillment of the repressing thought." (67)

During this period Freud gradually abandoned the use of hypnotism, finding it difficult to induce and being uncertain in its effects. He now asked his patient to relax on a couch and they were asked to try and recall anything that seemed relevant to a particular symptom. At first he would press the patient's forehead with his hand and insist that some thoughts would occur. However, by 1899 he adopted a "less interventionist approach, realising that he would learn more by allowing the patient's thoughts to evolve freely." (68)

The first edition of The Interpretation of Dreams was published in November 1899 but it did not become available to the following year. The publisher printed 600 copies. In the six weeks following publication 123 copies were sold, but only a further 228 were purchased over the next two years. According to David Stafford-Clark: "This book is now universally regarded as Freud's theory of dreams, and a confirmation of his earlier theories of unconscious mental mechanism, brilliantly exemplified. Freud himself never doubted the importance of the book and of his discoveries therein recorded, which had changed his own life." (69)

Sigmund Freud told his friend, Ernest Jones, it was his favourite book: "It seems to be my fate to discover only the obvious: that children have sexual feelings, which every nursemaid knows; and that night dreams are just as much a wish fulfillment as day dreams." However, it did not make him very much money as he only received 522.40 gulden (£41 16s.) from the publisher. (70)

Freud later wrote: "This book, with the new contribution to psychology which surprised the world when it was published in 1900, remains essentially unaltered. It contains, even according to my present-day judgment, the most valuable of all the discoveries which it has been my good fortune to make. Insight such as this falls to one's lot but once in a lifetime." (71)

The book is Freud's most original work. "Freud believed that in his opinion, he had done what no person before him had been able to do: break the code of dreams. He knew this was an important achievement in its own right; in addition, he was convinced that it unlocked the key to understanding and treating neurosis. If a therapist did not interpret dreams, Freud had come to believe, he or she was not doing psychoanalysis." (72)

Freud argued that "If you inspect the dreams of very young children, from eighteen months upwards, you will find them perfectly simple and easy to explain. Small children always dream of the fulfillment of wishes that were aroused in them the day before but not satisfied." The dreams of adults are more difficult to explain. "Certainly the most satisfactory solution of the riddle of dreams would be to find that adults' dreams too were like those of children-fulfilments of wishful impulses that had come to them on the dream-day. And such in fact is the case. The difficulties in the way of this solution can be overcome step by step if dreams are analysed more closely."

Freud admitted that in most cases adult dreams could not look more unlike the fulfillment of a wish. "And here is the answer. Such dreams have been subjected to distortion; the psychical process under lying them might originally have been expressed in words quite differently. You must distinguish the manifest content of the dream, as you vaguely recollect it in the morning and laboriously (and, as it seems, arbitrarily) clothe it in words, and the latent dream thoughts, which you must suppose were present in the unconscious. This distortion in dreams is the same process that you have already come to know in investigating the formation of hysterical symptoms. It indicates, too, that the same interplay of mental forces is at work in the formation of dreams as in that of symptoms. The manifest content of the dream is the distorted substitute for the unconscious dream-thoughts and this distortion is the work of the ego's forces of defence - of resistances." (73)

Sigmund Freud gives the example of a woman patient who had a dream that she was strangling a little white dog. The doctor asked her if she had a particular grudge against anyone. She said yes she had, and added that it was against her sister-in-law. She went on, "She is trying to come between my husband and myself". She was encouraged to talk more about this conflict and after a while she remembered that in a recent argument she described her as "a dog that bites". She also pointed out that her sister-in-law had a remarkably pale complexion. The patient now realised the meaning of the dream. (74)

Freud argued that a woman who dreams that she wants to give a supper but cannot find the food in the shops, is satisfying her wish to refrain from inviting a friend of whom her husband is fond and she is jealous. In another case a woman dreams that her fifteen-year old daughter is lying dead in a box is satisfying her earlier wish for an abortion when pregnant. Freud argued that in these dreams the experience of anxiety is the distorted satisfaction of a sexual desire. He then went on to say that the accuracy of this statement "has been demonstrated with ever increasing certainty". (75)

It has been claimed by Stephen Wilson that: "Freud's fundamental vision highlighted the plasticity of mental functioning, our capacity to retreat from painful realities and salvage a sense of subjective well-being. This was the 'pleasure principle', which dominated unconscious mental activity, and drove the dream machine... Dreams, therefore, were regressive states tending towards the primary process... but at the same time they did take account of standards and values, hence the compromise and the disguise." (76)

As Freud later explained: "The interpretation of dreams is in fact the royal road to a knowledge of the unconsciousness; it is the securest foundation of psychoanalysis and the field in which every worker must acquire his convictions and seek his training. If I am asked how one can become a psycho-analyst, I reply: 'By studying one's own dreams.' Every opponent of psychoanalysis hitherto has, with a nice discrimination, either evaded any consideration of The Interpretation of Dreams or has sought to skirt over it with the most superficial objections." (77)

In The Interpretation of Dreams Freud explained the now famous Oedipus complex. "Being in love with the one parent and hating the other are among the essential constituents of the stock of psychical impulses which is formed in childhood and which in children destined to grow up neurotic is of such importance in determining their symptoms. The discovery is confirmed by a legend that has come down to us from classical antiquity... What I have in mind is the legend of King Oedipus and Sophocles' drama which bears his name." (78)

Freud defended his theory in his Autobiography (1923): "In my search for the pathogenic situations in which the repressions of sexuality had set in and in which the symptoms, as substitutes for what was repressed, had had their origin, I was carried further and further back into the patient's life and ended by reaching the first years of his childhood. What poets and students of human nature had always asserted turned out to be true: the impressions of that early period of life, though they were for the most part buried in amnesia, left ineradicable traces upon the individual's growth and in particular laid down the disposition to any nervous disorder that was to follow. But since these experiences of childhood were always concerned with sexual excitations and the reaction against them, I found myself faced by the fact of infantile sexuality - once again a novelty and a contradiction of one of the strongest of human prejudices. Childhood was looked upon as 'innocent' and free from the lusts of sex, and the fight with the demon of 'sensuality' was not thought to begin until the troubled age of puberty." (79)

Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality (1905)

The scientific journals did not bother to review The Interpretation of Dreams. A couple of newspapers did report on the book and one academic, Professor Raimann, claimed that Freud had constructed a theory "so that he can fill his pockets adequately". Another academic made a more valid point when he argued that the "imaginative thoughts of an artist had triumphed over the scientific investigator." (80)

His feeling of isolation was increased by a dispute with Wilhelm Fliess. In a letter written in August 1901, Freud admitted that Fliess had played an important role in the development of its ideas. "You remember my telling you years ago, when you were still a nose specialist and surgeon, that the solution lay in sexuality. Several years later you corrected me, saying that it lay in bisexuality - and I see that you are right. So perhaps I must borrow even more from you; perhaps my sense of honesty will force me to ask you to co-author the work with me; thereby the anatomical-biological part would gain in scope, the part which, if I did it alone, would be meager. I would concentrate on the psychic aspect of bisexuality and the explanation of the neurotic. That, then, is the next project for the immediate future, which I hope will quite properly unite us again in scientific matters as well." (81)

However, Freud appeared to drop the idea and Fliess became worried that he was steal his ideas and use them in his own book on the subject. After Fliess complained about this Freud stopped writing to him. He also destroyed all the letters Fliess had sent him. Fliess claimed that at their last meeting, Freud was extremely hostile to him and expressed the desire to kill him. (82)

In a footnote that appeared in a later book, Freud pointed out that in the summer of 1901 he did have a "lively exchange of scientific ideas" with an unnamed friend. He explained how later his friend accused him of stealing his ideas. Freud rejected this view but added that "since then I have grown a little more tolerant when, in reading medical literature, I came across one of the few ideas with which my name can be associated, and find that my name has not been mentioned." (83)

At the turn of the century Freud believed that "forgotten sexual awakening existed in every case of hysteria and obsessional neurosis". Freud was shocked by the large number of female patients who indicated that had been victims of sexual abuse. He found this difficult to believe and eventually concluded that "sexual seduction in childhood was not ubiquitous, childhood sexual fantasy was." (84) Freud explained that it was the fate of all of us "to direct our first sexual impulses towards our mother and our first hatred and our first murderous wish against our father" and it is "our dreams convince us that this is so." (85)

In 1905 Freud published Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality. In the book Freud put together, from what he had learned by analyses of patients and other sources, all he knew about the development of the sexual instinct from its earliest beginnings in childhood. Freud provided "the foundation for his theory of neuroses, the explanation of the need for repression and the source of emotional energy underlying conscious and unconscious drives and behaviour which he named libido." (86)

Ernest Jones claimed that Freud considered it to be the second most important book after The Interpretation of Dreams. "The book certainly brought down on him more odium than any other of his writings. The Interpretation of Dreams had been hailed as fantastic and ridiculous, but the Three Essays were shockingly wicked. Freud was a man with an evil and obscene mind. Naturally the main opprobrium fell on his assertion that children are born with sexual urges, which undergo a complicated development before they attain the familiar adult form, and that their first sexual objects are their parents. This assault on the pristine innocence of childhood was unforgivable." (87)

International Psychoanalytical Association

Although he came under attack for the ideas expressed in his books, Freud had a small loyal group of followers. They used to meet on Wednesday evenings and became known as the "Wednesday Psychological Society". Wilhelm Stekel claimed that it was his idea to form this group: "Gradually I became known as a collaborator of Freud. I gave him the suggestion of founding a little discussion group; he accepted the idea, and every Wednesday evening after supper we met in Freud's home... These first evenings were inspiring." (88)

Each week someone would present a paper and, after a short break for black coffee and cakes, a discussion would be held. Over the years to group included Alfred Adler, Otto Rank, Max Eitingon, Wilhelm Stekel, Karl Abraham, Hanns Sachs, Fritz Wittels and Sandor Ferenczi. It was clear that Freud was the dominant character in the group that were mostly Jews. Hanns Sachs said he was "the apostle of Freud who was my Christ". Another member said "there was an atmosphere of the foundation of a religion in that room. Freud himself was its new prophet... Freud's pupils - all inspired and convinced - were his apostles." Another member remarked that the original group was "a small and daring group, persecuted now but bound to conquer the world". (89)

Fritz Wittels argued that Freud did not like members of his group to be too intelligent: "It did not matter if the intelligences were mediocre. Indeed, he had little desire that these associates should be persons of strong individuality, that they should be critical and ambitious collaborators. The realm of psychoanalysis was his idea and his will, and he welcomed anyone who accepted his views. What he wanted was to look into a kaleidoscope lined with mirrors that would multiply the images he introduced into it." (90)

The Wednesday meetings sometimes ended in conflict. However, Freud was very good at controlling the situation: "His diplomatic skill in modifying both his own demands and those of rivals was married to a determined effort to remain scientifically detached. Time and again his cool voice and calming influence broke into heated discussions and a volcanic situation was checked before it erupted. Considerable wisdom and tolerance marked many of his utterances and occasionally there was a tremendous sense of a figure, Olympian beside the pigmies around him, who quietened the waters with the wand of reason. Unfortunately, this side of Freud's character was heavily qualified by another. When someone put forward a proposition which seriously disturbed his own views, he first found it hard to accept and then became uneasy at this threat to the scientific temple he had so painfully built with his own hands." (91)

Freud originally found Wilhelm Stekel's ideas concerning dream symbolism interesting. He was also intuitive and indefatigable and entertaining company. However, he alienated members of the group with his boastfulness and his unscrupulousness in the use of scientific evidence. (92) Ernest Jones, who was present at some of these meetings claimed that Stekel had a "serious flaw in his character that rendered him unsuitable for work in an academic field: he had no scientific conscience at all." (93) On one occasion Stekel commented that a dwarf on the shoulder of a giant could see further than the giant himself. Freud replied: "That may be true, but a louse on the head of an astronomer does not." (94)

Standing, left to right, Otto Rank, Karl Abraham, Max Eitingon and Ernest Jones. Seated, left to right, Sigmund Freud, Sandor Ferenczi and Hanns Sachs.
Standing, left to right, Otto Rank, Karl Abraham, Max Eitingon and Ernest Jones.
Seated, left to right, Sigmund Freud, Sandor Ferenczi and Hanns Sachs.

Sigmund Freud also clashed with Alfred Adler who openly questioned Freud's fundamental thesis that early sexual development is decisive for the making of character. Adler forcefully evolved a distinctive family of ideas. According to Peter Gay, the author of Freud: A Life for Our Time (1989), "Adler... secured an ascendancy among his colleagues second only to Freud." However, Freud disliked his socialist approach to the subject, "as a Socialist and social activist interested in the amelioration of humanity's lot through education and social work." (95) Freud once told Karl Abraham that "politics spoils the character". (96)

In his autobiography Freud claims that it was during this period his theories of childhood became more entrenched: "My surprising discoveries as to the sexuality of children were made in the first instance through the analysis of adults. But later (from about 1908 onwards) it became possible to confirm them fully and in every detail by direct observations upon children. Indeed, it is so easy to convince oneself of the regular sexual activities of children that one cannot help asking in astonishment how the human race can have succeeded in overlooking the facts and in maintaining for so long the wishful legend of the asexuality of childhood. This surprising circumstance must be connected with the amnesia which, with the majority of adults, hides their own infancy." (97)

Alfred Adler

As early as 1904, Alfred Adler told Freud in writing that he did not intend to participate any longer in the Wednesday discussions. Freud then wrote a long letter to Adler, in which he asked him to change his mind and also flattered him by saying that he considered him the "sharpest head" in the entire circle. "In a conversation that then materialized from his suggestion, Freud was able to sway Adler to revoke his decision." (98)

Adler developed a new theory in 1906 based on his work as a general practitioner near Vienna's famous amusement park. According to Carl Furtmüller: "Artists and acrobats of the shows. All of these people, who owned their living by exhibiting their extraordinary bodily strength and skills, showed to Adler their physical weaknesses and ailments. It was partly the observation of such patients as these that led to his conception of over-compensation." (99)

Adler gives the example of Demosthenes who in boyhood had a speech defect: "The stammering boy Demosthenes became Greece's greatest orator." Peter Hofstätter disagreed with this example: "Demosthenes, who once stammered, is the classic paradigm of overcompensation. But the facts in this case, too, are not so easily determined, because first of all, stammering is not dependent on an inferior organ, but is really already itself a failed overcompensation - the act of speaking becomes problematic by the excess of attention directed to it." (100)

Adler believed the effort of compensation always conditioned an increase in brain capacity: "Organ inferiority is counterbalanced by a higher achievement of the brain." A sense of inferiority is the bases of neuroses and psychoses. Adler wrote: "From the attempt to compensate, or to overcome a physical defect or lack - that is, an organ inferiority - functional supervalence, even genius, can follow; but a mental illness, namely neurosis, is just as likely." (101)

During the first presentation of his idea, Adler used the example of the deafness of Ludwig van Beethoven of how a person can turn a defect into greatness. At first Freud agreed with Adler's theory as it could be linked to the sexual instinct that he believed was so dominant. During the meeting he suggested that the individual's egotism or excessive ambition might be connected to a sense of inferiority. (102)

Carl Jung was present at a meeting of the Wednesday Psychological Society where Adler came under attack for his "inferiority complex" theory: "The criticism directed at the doctrine of organ inferiority seemed too harsh to him (Jung). In his opinion, it was a brilliant idea, which we (the participants) are not justified in criticizing because we lack sufficient experience." (103)

In 1908 Adler presented the paper, The Aggressive Instinct in Life and in Neurosis, where he took a look at the concepts of sadism and masochism. "Until now, every examination of sadism and masochism has taken as its starting point those sexual manifestations in which traits of cruelty are added. The driving force, however, apparently derives in healthy people... apparently from two originally separate instincts which merge later on. From this it follows that a resulting sadomasochism corresponds to simultaneous instincts: the sexual instinct and the aggressive instinct." (104)

Adler began to argue that the "aggressive instinct" flowed into other areas such as the "striving for power" or "striving for superiority". Freud rejected this idea: "I cannot bring myself to assume the existence of a special aggressive drive alongside of the familiar instincts of self-preservation and of sex, and on an equal footing with them. It appears to me that Adler has mistakenly promoted into a special and self-subsisting instinct what is in reality a universal and indispensable attribute of all instincts what is in reality a universal and indispensable attribute of all instincts." (105)

On 11th March, 1908, Fritz Wittels gave a presentation on "The Natural Position of Women". In the paper Wittels attempted to define the "natural" position of women. He condemned "our accursed present-day culture in which women bemoan the fact that they did not come into the world as men; they try however to become men. People do not appreciate the perversity and senselessness of these strivings; nor do the women themselves." (106)

Sigmund Freud gave his support to Wittels but Alfred Adler dismissed his views as reactionary: "Whereas it is generally assumed that the framework of present relationships between men and women is constant, Socialists assume that the framework of the family is already shaky today and will increasingly become so in the future. Women will not allow motherhood to prevent her from taking up a profession... Under the sway of private ownership, everything becomes private property, so does woman. First she is the father's possession, then the husband's. That determines her fate. Therefore, first of all, the idea of owning a woman must be abandoned." (107)

In 1908 the Wednesday Psychological Society was disbanded and reconstructed as the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society. Adler still remained a member but from Freud's point of view, he was moving steadily away from the central tenet of psychoanalytic theory - the unconscious repression of libido as a cause for neurosis. Adler instead placed an emphasis on the individual's striving to overcome feelings of inferiority. Freud believed that his theory was a "fact" whereas Adler's theory was "uncorroborated speculation". (108) Freud continued to work with Adler who he thought was "a decent fellow" who was suffering from "paranoid delusions of persecution". (109)

Freud's most important supporter was Carl Jung, a lecturer in the medical faculty of University of Zurich. In 1908, Freud appointed Jung as editor of the newly founded Yearbook for Psychoanalytical and Psychopathological Research. It has been claimed: "Freud needed Jung's huge energy, intellect and gift for publicity to push forward the expansion of what was rapidly becoming a psychoanalytical movement. It was also no hindrance that Jung was a non-Jew and a non-Austrian. Psychoanalysis could no longer be dismissed, in anti-Semitic terms, as a strange, probably decadent mishmash of psychology and sexuality dreamt up by a coterie of Viennese Jews." (110)

Ernest Jones suggested that Freud's followers should hold an international conference. The meeting took place in Salzburg on 27th April, 1908. Jung named it the "First Congress for Freudian Psychology". The following year the group formed the International Psychoanalytical Congress at Nuremberg in March 1910. Its first President was Carl Jung. "To begin with, Jung with his commanding presence and soldierly bearing looked the part of the leader. With his psychiatric training and position, his excellent intellect and his evident devotion to the work, he seemed far better qualified for the post than anyone else." (111)

Alfred Adler
Alfred Adler

In 1910 Adler published The Psychological Hermaphroditism in Life and in the Neurosis where he explained the inferiority complex in great detail. "The feeling of inferiority whips up... the instinctual life, excessively intensifies wishes, gives rise to over sensitivity, and produces a craving for satisfaction that will not tolerate compromise... In this hypertrophied craving, in this addiction to success, in this wildly behaving masculine protest lie the seeds of failure - though also the predestination for genial and artistic achievements." (112)

Freud wrote to Carl Jung about how he was worried about the development of Adler's theories. "It is getting really bad with Adler. You see a resemblance to Bleuler; in me he awakens the memory of Fliess; but an octave lower... The crux of the matter - and that is what really alarms me - is that he minimizes the sexual drive and our opponents will soon be able to speak of an experienced psychoanalyst whose conclusions are radically different from ours. Naturally in my attitude toward him I am torn between my conviction that all this is lopsided and harmful and my fear of being regarded as an intolerant old man who holds the young men down, and this makes me feel most uncomfortable." (113)

Adler argued that the child feels weak and insignificant in his relationship to adults. He disagreed with Freud's view on the pre-eminence of the sex instinct. Adler believed that it was more important to consider how the individual reacted to feelings of inferiority. Freud found the idea interesting but believed that his theory was a "fact" whereas Adler's theory was "uncorroborated speculation". (114) Freud continued to work with Adler who he thought was "a decent fellow" who was suffering from "paranoid delusions of persecution". (115) He told Ludwig Binswanger that: "It is necessary to be wary of Adler's writings. The danger with him is all the greater considering how intelligent he is." (116)

In an attempt to keep Alfred Adler within the group, Freud arranged for him to replace him as President of the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society. Another rebellious member of the group, Wilhelm Stekel, was appointed as Vice-President. Freud also established a new monthly periodical, Central Journal for Psychoanalysis, that was jointly edited by Adler and Stekel. This move did not work and after another dispute in February 1911, both Adler and Stekel resigned their posts. (117)

Adler complained that he had been treated unfairly as "the best heads and the people of honest independence" were on his side. (118) In August 1911, Freud told Ernest Jones that Adler's behaviour was the "revolt of an abnormal individual driven mad by ambition, his influence upon others depending on his strong terrorism and sadismus". (119) As Peter Gay has pointed out that this was "denunciation as diagnosis" and that Freud was "using psychological diagnosis as a form of aggression." (120)

In his autobiography, Freud explained his break with Adler in 1911: "He (Adler) entirely repudiated the importance of sexuality, traced back the formation both of character and of the neuroses solely to men's desire for power and to their need to compensate for their constitutional inferiorities, and threw all the psychological discoveries of psychoanalysis to the winds. But what he had rejected forced its way back into his closed system under other names; his 'masculine protest' is nothing else than repression unjustifiably sexualized. The criticism with which the two heretics were met was a mild one; I only insisted that both Adler and Jung should cease to describe their theories as 'psychoanalysis'. After a lapse of ten years it can be asserted that both of these attempts against psychoanalysis have blown over without doing any harm." (121)

Visit to North America

Granville Stanley Hall, the President of Clark University, in Worcester, Massachusetts, had done much to popularize psychology, especially child psychology, in in the United States, and was the author of Adolescence: Its Psychology and Its Relations to Physiology, Anthropology, Sociology, Sex, Crime, Religion and Education (1904). Hall was a great supporter of Freud and in December, 1908, he invited him to deliver a series of lectures at the university. (122)

In August 1909, Freud, Carl Jung and Sandor Ferenczi sailed to America. Ernest Jones travelled from Toronto, where he was working, to join them. The following month Freud gave five lectures in German. He later recalled: "At that time I was only fifty-three. I felt young and healthy, and my short visit to the new world encouraged my self-respect in every way. In Europe I felt as though I were despised; but over there I found myself received by the foremost men as an equal." (123)

Back row, left to right: Abraham Brill, Ernest Jones and Sandor Ferenczi. Front row, Sigmund Freud, Granville Stanley Hall and Carl Jung (September 1909)
Back row, left to right: Abraham Brill, Ernest Jones and Sandor Ferenczi.
Front row, Sigmund Freud, Granville Stanley Hall and Carl Jung (September 1909)

Freud admitted that he had not expected the reception he received. "We found to our great surprise that the unprejudiced men in that small but reputable university knew all the psychoanalytic literature... In prudish America one could, at least in academic circles, freely discuss and scientifically treat everything that is regarded as improper in ordinary life.... Psychoanalysis was not a delusion any longer; it had become a valuable part of reality." (124)

While in America he had a meeting with William James, the country's most celebrated philosopher. "Another event of this time which made a lasting impression on me was a meeting with William James the philosopher. I shall never forget one little scene that occurred as we were on a walk together. He stopped suddenly, handed me a bag he was carrying and asked me to walk on, saying that he would catch me up as soon as he had got through an attack of angina pectoris which was just coming on. He died of that disease a year later; and I have always wished that I might be as fearless as he was in the face of approaching death." (125)

Dispute with Carl Jung

In the early stages of their relationship Sigmund Freud played the role of mentor and Carl Jung as his pupil. In response to this, Freud "to the irritation of others in the psychoanalytic movement, was quick to award Jung the role of heir apparent". It was not long before differences in their respective approaches to sexuality became clear. "Jung refused to accept Freud's all-pervasive account, seeking to understand the main force in human life as a more generalized energy. He was also open to a more mystical and religious approach to life: attitudes that Freud would dismiss as mere illusion." (126)

During the boat trip to the United States the two men spent a lot of time discussing Freud's theories. Ernest Jones reported the two men began to argue about the importance of the Oedipus complex. Freud and Jung were also involved in the study of religion: "The revival of his interest in religion was to a considerable extent connected with Jung's extensive excursion into mythology and mysticism. They brought back opposite conclusions from their studies." (127)

Freud found this very disturbing as he treated Jung as his favourite son. He told him in a letter that "I am very fond of you" but he added "I have learned to subordinate that element." Freud admitted to Jung that it was his "egotistical intention, which I confess frankly" to "install" Jung as the person who would continue and complete "my work". As a "strong independent personality" he seemed best equipped for the task. (128)

Peter Gay, the author of Freud: A Life for Our Time (1989), explains the three reasons why he chose Jung as the future leader of the movement. "Jung was not Viennese, not old, and, best of all, not Jewish, three negative assets that Freud found irresistible." (129) Over and over, in his letters to his Jewish intimates, he praised Jung for doing "splendid, magnificent" work in editing, theorizing, or attacking the enemies of psychoanalysis. He told Sandor Ferenczi: "Now don't be jealous, and include Jung in your calculations. I am more convinced than ever that he is the man of the future." (130)

In a series of letters Jung questioned Freud's definition of libido. Jung believed that the word should not only stand for the sexual drives, but for a general mental energy. Freud wrote to Ferenzi that things were "storming and raging again" about Jung's "erotic and religious realm". (131) However, two weeks later he said he had "rapidly made it up with him, since, after all, I was not angry but only concerned." (132) Freud did what he could to keep Jung's loyalty. On 6th March, 1910, he wrote that his "dear son" should "rest easy" and told him of the great triumphs he would enjoy. "I leave you more to conquer than I could manage myself, all of psychiatry and the approval of the civilized world, which is accustomed to regard me as a savage." (133)

Jung continued to disagree with Freud and in a plea for autonomy he quoted the words of Friedrich Nietzsche: "One poorly repays a teacher if one remains only the pupil." (134) Freud responded with sadness: "If a third party should read this passage, he would ask me when I had undertaken to suppress you intellectually, and I would have to say: I do not know.... Rest assured of the tenacity of my affective interest, and keep thinking of me in a friendly way, even if you write only rarely." (135)

In May 1912 Freud and Jung became involved in a dispute over the meaning of the incest taboo. Freud now realised that his relationship was at breaking point. Freud now had a meeting with his loyal followers, Ernest Jones, Otto Rank, Karl Abraham, Max Eitingon, Sandor Ferenczi and Hanns Sachs and it was decided to form a "united small body, designed... to guard the kingdom and policy of the master". (136)

The final break came when Jung made a speech at Fordham University where he rejected Freud's theories of childhood sexuality, the Oedipus complex and the role of sexuality in the formation of neurotic illness. In a letter to Freud, he argued that his vision of psychoanalysis had managed to win over many people who had hitherto been put off by "the problem of sexuality in neurosis". He said that he hoped that friendly personal relations with Freud would continue, but in order for that to happen he did not want resentment but objective judgments. "With me this is not a matter of caprice, but of enforcing what I consider to be true." (137)

In late November 1912, Jung and Freud met at a conference in Munich. The reunion was marred by one of Freud's fainting spells. This was a repeat on what happened at their last meeting. "Suddenly, to our consternation, he fell on the floor in a dead faint. The sturdy Jung swiftly carried him to a couch in the lounge, where he soon revived." (138) In letters he sent to friends, Freud claimed that "the principal agent in his fainting was a psychological conflict". However, in a letter to Jung he said the fainting was caused by a migraine. (139)

After receiving a letter from Jung in December, 1912, Freud told Ernest Jones that "he (Jung) seems all out of his wits, he is behaving quite crazy" and the "reconciliation" of November "has left no trace with him". However, he added he wanted no "official separation", for the sake of "our common interest" and advised Jones to take "no more steps to his conciliation". He suggested Jones did not make contact with Jung as he would probably say "I was the neurotic... It is the same mechanism and the identical reaction as in Adler's case." (140)

Freud saw Jung for the last time in September 1913, at the Fourth International Psychoanalytical Congress in Munich. Jung gave a talk on psychological types, the introverted and extraverted type in analytical psychology. This constituted the introduction of some of the key concepts which came to distinguish Jung's work from Freud's in the next few years. Freud later commented: "We parted with no wish to see one another again." (141) Eventually, in 1914, Jung resigned as President of the International Psychoanalytic Association. (142)

First World War

On 28th June, 1914, the world was shocked by the news that the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, had been assassinated in Sarajevo. Ferdinand was due to inherit the position held by Emperor Franz Josef. As Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy were members of the Triple Alliance, some feared the assassination would lead to war. Freud wrote to his close friend, Sandor Ferenczi: "I am writing while still under the impact of the astonishing murder in Sarajevo, the consequences of which cannot be foreseen." (143)

Ernest Jones suggested that one would have expected that a fifty-eight rear old pacifist would have greeted the news of the declaration of war with "simple horror". Jones goes on to explain: "On the contrary, his first response was rather one of youthful enthusiasm, apparently a reawakening of the military ardours of his boyhood. He said that for the first time in thirty years he felt himself to be an Austrian." (144)

He wrote to Karl Abraham that he would support the First World War "with all my heart, if I did not know that England is on the wrong side". (145). He replied that it was strange that their great friend, Ernest Jones, was now an "enemy" as he was English. (146) Freud came to the conclusion that he should remain in contact with his English supporters, although he insisted he would write in German. He told Jones: "It has been generally decided not to regard you as an enemy". (147)

In 1914 all of Freud's children were all grown up. Mathilde had been married for six years to Robert Hollitscher, a business man and Sophie had married Max Halberstadt, a Hamburg photographer the previous year. They already had a four-month-old baby boy, Freud's daughter. Anna Freud, eighteen years old and intending to become a schoolteacher, was stranded on holiday in England. She returned to Vienna accompanied by the Austrian ambassador. (148)

Freud did not want his three sons, Martin, Oliver and Ernst to fight in the war and was pleased when the Austrian authorities had rejected two of them definitely, and exempted the third. (149) However, Martin, the eldest, volunteered early in August. He wrote to his father that "it would have been intolerable for me to remain behind alone when all others are marching off". He added that "serving on the eastern front would be the best opportunity to give blunt expression to my aversion to Russia." (150)

Oliver Freud was rejected for service until 1916 when he was recruited and did engineering work, building things needed by the military. Ernst Freud also volunteered and served on the Italian front. Freud's son-in-law Max Halberstadt, Sophie's husband, saw action in France, and in 1916 was wounded and invalided out. (151) Several nephews joined the armed forces and his favourite sister Rosa, lost her only son, Hermann Graf, who was killed in 1917. (152)

In 1917 Freud published a short paper entitled Mourning and Melancholia. He argued that when people are very important to us we invest a great deal of psychic energy (libido) in them and in our relationships with them. The more important the relationship, the greater the amount of our psychic energy invested. "Whenever any important person is lost, the bereaved typically experience a major loss of interest in the world and in other people. It is difficult for them to conceive of conducting a relationship or forming a new one... As the mourning progresses, the pain diminishes; when it is complete the person once more has his or her energy available to connect with the world, to invest in other relationships." (153)

Freud argues: "Reality-testing has shown that the loved object no longer exists, and it proceeds to demand that all libido shall be withdrawn from its attachments to that object. This demand arouses understandable opposition - it is a matter of general observation that people never willingly abandon a libidinal position, not even, indeed, indeed, when a substitute is already beckoning to them. this opposition, can be so intense that turning away from reality takes place... Normally, respect for reality gains the day. Nevertheless its orders cannot be obeyed at once. They are carried out bit by bit at great expense of time and psychic energy, and in the meantime the existence of the lost object is psychically prolonged." (154)

Freud gives an example of this in his paper: "My client, Scott, was a young father whose wife was tragically killed. As he mourned her in my consulting room, he began to experience intense guilt. At first he couldn't discover what he felt guilty about; he only knew he felt guilty. Then the content of the guilt dawned on him: He felt terribly guilty for abandoning himself to become so immersed in his grief that he had emotionally withdrawn from his son. After some time it began to seem to me that in his account of their life together there is no evidence that he was indeed giving his son inadequate love and attention." Freud claimed that successful mourning means "in part that those enduring images of the lost person do not limit the libido the bereaved has available for forming new relationships." (155)

In Mourning and Melancholia explained how the son of a friend lost his mother soon after he graduated from university: "Almost at once he startled us all by enrolling in a Ph.D. programme in literature and embarking on an intense study of Dickens and Shakespeare. His mother had been passionately fond of literature, particularly those two authors. He apparently made no conscious connection between his mother's death and his sudden new preoccupation." (156)

Beyond the Pleasure Principle (1920)

During the war Freud began to amend aspects of his main theory. Until then his main concern had been with the sexual instincts. He had argued that humans were driven by the desire for maximizing pleasure and minimizing pain. This is what he called the "pleasure principle". He pointed out that we gradually become aware of the need to control our desires. "As we grow into maturity, the excesses of the desire for pleasure have to be held in check by the recognition of reality, particularly the way in which our desires must be curbed if we are to live together in society." (157)

Freud grew increasingly depressed during the First World War. He confessed to Karl Abraham: "I have been working very hard, feel worn out and am beginning to find the world repellently loathsome. The superstition that my life is due to finish in February 1918 often seems to me quite a friendly idea." (158) These thought appeared to influence the writing of his next book. He was helped in this by the fact that in 1917 he had no patients. He wrote to his close friend, Max Eitingon, that he had a burst of energy and "found himself in a productive phase" but warned that when it was published: "Many people will shake their heads over it." Even his followers had doubts about his ideas on what he called the "death instinct". (159)

Some of the patients he had been treating were suffering from war trauma. They continually had dreams relating to their war experiences. Freud wondered why they were punishing themselves in this way. These dreams proved an exception to his general theory of dreams representing a wish fulfillment. Freud speculated that because of his loss of energy, maybe he was looking forward to death.

Sigmund Freud had reached the age of 61 when he began the book. His nephew, Hermann Graf, had just been killed in the war. Several of his friends had died and he himself was suffering from a loss of energy. His great friend and benefactor, who had helped fund Freud's publishing venture, Anton von Freund, was suffering from cancer and he visited him daily: "He bore his hopelessness with heroic clarity, did not disgrace analysis." Freud was devastated when he died aged forty in January, 1920. (160)

Freud's daughter Sophie, pregnant with her third child, died five days after von Freund of influenza complicated by pneumonia. He wrote to Kata Levy that "I do not know whether cheerfulness will ever call on us again". He added that he was glad he had too much work "to mourn my Sophie properly." (161) Martha Freud told Katharine Jones many years later that "all security and all happiness seemed to me lost for ever". This loss was followed by the death of Sophie's four-and-a-half-year-old son, Heinele. (162)

Freud was a committed atheist and could not obtain any consolation from religion and told Sandor Ferenczi: "For years I was prepared for the loss of my sons; now comes that of my daughter. Since I am the deepest of unbelievers, I have no one to accuse and know that there is no place where one can lodge an accusation." (163) He admitted to another friend: "It is a great unhappiness for us all a pain for the parents, but for us there is little to say. After all, we know that death belongs to life, that is unavoidable and comes when it wants. We were not very cheerful even before this loss. Indeed, to outlive a child is not agreeable. Fate does not keep even to this order of precedence." (164)

In 1920 Freud published Beyond the Pleasure Principle. He claimed that as well as Eros, the sexual instinct, there was Thanatos, the death instinct. "The aim of much human activity was to reduce the tension created by instinctual demands and the external reality on the individual. The demands of the sexual instinct provoked activity to reduce the tensions it created. Perhaps the death instinct, which Freud glimpsed at work in repetition-compulsion, aimed to reduce the tensions it provoked by returning the organism to a state of inorganic inactivity i.e. death. In a bizarre way the aim of all life was, finally, death." (165)

Freud wrote near the end of the book: "One might ask me, whether and how far I myself would be that I am neither persuaded myself nor seek to recruit others to have faith in them. More correctly: I do not know how far I believe in them." (166) Ernest Jones claimed that over time he "came to fully accept this theory. He added: "He had often admitted having a speculative or even phantastic side to his nature, one which he had for many years strenuously checked. Now he was surrendering the old control and allowing his thoughts to soar to far distant regions." (167)

Fritz Wittels, Freud's first biographer, suggested that the book had come about because of the loss of his daughter: "What lives, wants to die again. Originating in dust, it wants to be dust again. Not only the life-drive is in them, but the death-drive as well. When Freud made this communication to an attentive world, he was under the impress of the death of a blooming daughter whom he lost after he had had to worry about the life of several of his nearest relatives, who had gone to war." (168)

Freud took exception to this interpretation, pointing out that he began the work in 1917. He asked Max Eitingon to testify that he had read a first draft of the book before Sophie's death. Freud wrote to Wittels that if he been making an analytic study of someone else in these circumstances, he would have made such a connection "between my daughter's death and the train of thought advocated in my Beyond the Pleasure Principle. And yet, it is mistaken. It was written in 1919, when my daughter was still healthy and flourishing." (169)

In August 1922, Sigmund Freud suffered another tragedy when his sister's daughter, Caecilie Graf, pregnant and unmarried, killed herself by taking an overdose of veronal. In a note to her mother, scribbled after she had taken the poison: "I did not know that dying is so easy and makes one so cheerful." Freud claimed that Caecilie was his "best niece" and was "deeply shaken" by the event and only added to his pessimism concerning "the dark prospect of our country". (170)

The Ego and the Id (1923)

Freud's original theory was the mind was composed of three systems: the unconscious, the preconscious and the conscious. It eventually became clear that a complete theory of the mind required a different model. He had always seen the human mind as being in persistent, unremitting conflict, and "it seemed to him that his clinical data could be handled best by a picture of the mind divided not into the original three systems but into three agencies, often struggling with each other." (171)

The three agencies in the mind are the id, the ego, and the superego. The id is the repository of the instinctual drives, sexual and aggressive. It is totally unconscious and totally unsocialized. It always operates on the pleasure principle, demanding satisfaction of the drives completely and without delay. This drive does not care about the consequences of this action or the well-being of others and its main task is of self preservation. (172)

The superego is our conscience. It represents our having taken into our own mind the standards and prohibitions of our parents and of society. Originally we feared losing the love and protection of our parents if we gave way to the impulses of the id. The superego therefore gives us a sense of guilt over our actions. Part of the superego is conscious. We therefore know a lot about what our conscience permits and forbids.

However, a large part of it is unconscious, giving rise to one of our most difficult and destructive problems: unconscious guilt. Man’s superego is neither God-given or a result of strict schooling but a natural product of frustrated infantile love and distorted infantile fantasy. "The boy... thinks that the father knows of his desires for the mother. Fearful, guilty, and ashamed, he represses these desires. This is an important point to reach, for in repressing his desires, the agency for morality - the superego - is formed." (173)

The ego has the task of mediating among the id, the superego, and the outside world. Freud argued that the ego "resembles the rider who is supposed to rein in the superior strength of the horse, with the difference that the rider does this with his own, the ego with borrowed strength... Just as there often remains nothing for the rider, if he does not want to be separated from the horse, but to lead it where it wants to go, so the ego, too, is accustomed to translating the will of the id into action as if that will were its own." (174)

According to Freud, mental health depends in large part on the strength and flexibility of the ego. If it mediates wisely, giving the maximum possible satisfaction to its two internal masters and staying out of trouble with its external one; if it represses no more than necessary; if it has a great deal of its energy available for pleasurable and creative living. In other words, the person has escaped the neurosis that so much of civilized life produces. (175)

The ego is concerned with the consequences of our actions and does its best to delay gratification to avoid trouble or to gain a greater gratification later. The ego therefore is under continual pressure from the id. It is therefore the mind's "repressing agent". As Freud explains: "The ego stands for reason and good sense while the id stands for untamed passions." (176)

The Ego and Id was published in 1923. It has been argued that "with its tripartite division of the mind - id, ego, superego - it offered an analysis of mental structure and functioning far more detailed and and far more illuminating than its predecessors". Peter Gay goes on to argue that "while The Ego and the Id generated some puzzlement among analysts at first, it encountered little resistance and, for the most part, emphatic approval." (177)

Serious Health Problems

In February 1923, Freud discovered "a leukoplastic growth on my jaw and palate." A leukoplastic is a growth associated with heavy smoking, and Freud, fearing that his doctor might order him to give up his addiction, initially kept his discovery a secret from everyone. Eventually he went to see a specialist and he had the growth removed. He told his friend, Ernest Jones, "smoking is accused as the etiology of this tissue-rebellion". (178)

On 7th April, Dr. Felix Deutsch, advised Freud to stop smoking and to have the growth removed. Something went wrong on the operating table and Freud bled heavily both during and after the procedure. Anna Freud was with her father and reported that "he was weak from loss of blood, half-drugged with medicines and in great pain." He eventually recovered and told Lou Andreas-Salomé "that I can speak, chew, and work again; indeed, even smoking is permitted - in a certain moderate, cautious, so-to-speak petty-bourgeois way." (179)

Freud found it impossible to give up his lifelong passion for cigars. He also smoked a pipe. Wilhelm Stekel commented that: "I've rarely seen a man smoke so much. Hardly had he finished the dose in his pipe when he started to pack in another one. Smoking must have been one of the master's complexes." (180)

Freud had to have thirty further operations to fight off the encroaching cancer. This included having the whole of his upper jaw and palate on the right side were removed and a kind of gigantic denture fitted to isolate his mouth from his nasal cavity. "Freud endured all this with the stoic acceptance of life's vicissitudes which was one of his most admirable qualities." (181)

Freud suffered from several health problems. According to his friend Ernest Jones, Freud complained about having "a tired heart, with palpitation and other cardiac symptoms". He wrote to Jones that soon after sixty-fifth birthday, "I quite suddenly took a step into real old age. Since then the thought of death has not left me, and sometimes I have the impression that seven of my internal organs are fighting to have the honour of bringing my life to an end." (182)

The Future of an Illusion (1927)

In May 1927, Lou Andreas-Salomé sent him congratulations on his seventy-fifth birthday. He replied that he was lacking in energy and instead "the grumpiness of old age has moved in, the complete disillusionment comparable to the congealing of the moon, the inner freezing". (183) In another letter to Andreas-Salomé he said that "My slovenliness and indolence are gaining on me." (184) He also told the French psychoanalyst René Laforgue that the "penetrating force has been lost". (185)

Freud had been a militant atheist since his schooldays. Just before his death he wrote "Neither in my private life nor in my writings have I ever made a secret of being an out-and-out unbeliever." (186) As early as 1905 he began writing notes on "religion as obsessive neurosis" and had considered the authoritarian nature of religion in Totem and Taboo: Resemblances Between the Mental Lives of Savages and Neurotics (1913). In October 1927 he told his religious friend, Oskar Pfister, that he was working on a new book that would express "my absolutely negative attitude toward religion, in every form and dilution". (187)

Freud published The Future of an Illusion at the end of 1927. The book presented Freud's ideas on the psychological origins of religion. "Freud's lack of sympathy with religious ideas pervades the book. Religion is compared to neurosis, something to overcome if full maturity is to be achieved. Religious practices have the same psychological roots as the rituals of obsessional neurotics. Belief in gods, and religious ideas generally spring from man's helplessness in the face of nature. Just as the helpless child turns for protection to the father, religious believers turn to father figures that have been created for them by earlier generations in the shape of the gods." (188)

In the book Freud points out that "I have said nothing that other, better men have not said before me far more completely, more vigorously, and more impressively." He refused to mention the names of these "well-known" men, lest someone think he was trying to "place myself in their ranks". His biographer, Peter Gay, claims that the people he was thinking about included Baruch Spinoza, Voltaire, Denis Diderot, Ludwig Feuerbach, Charles Darwin, Max Weber, Havelock Ellis and Émile Durkheim. (189)

Freud argued that: "Religion is a system of wishful illusions together with a disavowal of reality, such as we find nowhere else but in a state of blissful hallucinatory confusion. Religion's eleventh commandment is 'Thou shalt not question.' But man's helplessness remains and along with it his longing for his father, and the gods. The gods retain their threefold task: they must exorcise the terrors of nature, they must reconcile men to the cruelty of Fate, particularly as it is shown in death, and they must compensate them for the sufferings and privations which a civilized life in common has imposed on them." (190)

Beverley Clack points out that it is important to note that Freud used the word "illusion" rather than "delusion". An illusion is something that reflects a human wish. It is not driven by evidence but by desire. However, a delusion is a false belief. While a delusion is always false, an illusion could in theory turn out to be true. Freud suggested that most little girls dream of marrying a prince and when they grow up they discover that this does not happen. However, in the case of Kate Middleton, she did marry a prince. "Freud's point is that illusionary beliefs are not based in evidence but reflect wishes about the world. Just like the dream to marry a prince, religious beliefs are illusions because they are shaped by wishes about reality rather than evidence derived from it." (191)

Freud uses the example of a young girl wishing to become a princesses because our illusions are powerful and long lasting and are rooted in the earliest wishes of infancy. As the child grows, they experience anxiety, becoming aware of the reality of the external world. They realise they need the protection against strange superior powers and "he lends those powers the features belonging to the figure of his father; he creates for himself the gods whom he dreads, whom he seeks to propitiate and whom he nevertheless entrusts with his own protection." (192)

Freud's thesis is based on the dual contention that religion was in fact an illusion, and ought to be abandoned, while at the same time concluding that mankind was not yet ready for the challenge implied by this liberation from superstition. "Indeed, he commented sadly, the worship of God and the belief in an absolute system of values belonging to Him was perhaps a necessary fiction to preserve some semblance of law and order until the human race had advanced sufficiently in wisdom to do do without any of the illusions to which it had hitherto clung." (193)

The response to Freud's book was generally hostile. Emil Abderhalden, a professor at the University of Halle-Wittenberg, deplored the spectacle of "a Jew" venturing, wholly unauthorized as he was "to offer a judgment on the Christian faith". The rabbi Nathan Krass commented: "In this country we have grown accustomed to listening to men and women talk on all topics because they have done something notable in one field... All admire Freud, the psychoanalyst, but that is no reason why we should respect his theology." (194)

Civilization and its Discontents (1929)

Sigmund Freud's next project was a book that was eventually called Civilization and Its Discontents. Freud told Lou Andreas-Salomé in early July, 1929, while staying in the summer resort of Berchtesgaden: "Today I wrote down the last sentence, which complete the work as far as it is possible here... It deals with culture, guilt feeling, happiness and similar exalted things." (195)

A week before Freud sent the manuscript to his publisher, the Wall Street Crash took place. What people later called the Great Depression had begun. The book therefore did not cover these economic events, however, it did deal with the political changes that took place during and after the First World War. This included the Russian Revolution, something that Freud disliked intensely. He also welcomed the defeat of the communist during the German Revolution. In politics he held conservative views and was highly critical of radical utopian ideas. (196)

In the book Freud returned to the ideas first presented in The Ego and Id (1923). He reminded us that the id is the repository of the instinctual drives, sexual and aggressive, whereas the superego is our conscience. The ego has the task of mediating among the id, the superego, and the outside world. Freud believed the same process was taking place in our society: "I recognized ever more clearly that the events of human history, the interactions between human nature, cultural development, and the precipitates of primeval experiences (as whose representatives religion pushes to the fore), are only the reflection of the dynamic conflicts among the ego, id, and superego, which psychoanalysis studies in the individual - the same events repeated on a wider stage." (197)

According to Freud early man discovered that if a number of men placed limits on their own gratifications were stronger than a single man, however strong, who had been accustomed to gratifying his impulses unrestrainedly. "The substitution of the power of a united number for the power of a single man is the decisive step toward civilization. The essence of it lies in the circumstances that the members of the community have restricted their possibilities of gratification, whereas the individual recognized no such restrictions. The first requisite of a culture, therefore, is justice - that is, the assurance that a law once made will not be broken in favour of any individual." (198)

In Civilization and Its Discontents Freud argues that there is a necessary and unavoidable antagonism between the demands of instinct and the restrictions that civilisation put upon them. Freud suggests that civilisation refers to the "sum total of of cultural achievements and social relationships that distinguish us from all other animals". Our basic instincts, if followed through without restriction, would undermine civilisation. "Our libido and our aggression have to be, to some extent, repressed for civilisation to work... The evolution of civilisation is a constant struggle between altruism and egoism, between acquiescence to society's rules and the selfish fulfillment of individual desire. One result of this is that the growth of civilisation is inextricably bound up with an increase in the sense of guilt in the individual, since he or she is aware, both consciously and unconsciously, all those destructive and transgressive desires which exist in us all." (199)

Freud argues that love (the instinctual force that drives human beings to seek sexual partners and in its "aim-inhibited form, nutures friendship" assists in the founding of such fundamental groupings of authority and affection as the family. But love, the parent of civilization, is also its enemy. "Love is exclusive; couples, and close families, resent outsiders as so many uninvited intruders... Civilization... seeks to regulate erotic passions and define legitimate love by setting up strict taboos." (200)

Freud goes on to explain that throughout history, men have tried to evade this irreparable antagonism, largely by denying it. He gives the example of how Christianity states "love our neighbour as yourself". This demand is in Freud's eyes is unrealistic. To love everybody is to love nobody very much. Moreover, one's neighbour is in general not worthy of one's love: "I must honestly confess that he has more claim to my hostility, indeed my hatred". He goes on to say that man is not a gentle, loving, lovable creature, because he can "count among his instinctual endowments a powerful portion of aggressive inclinations." He claims that no one who has read history or observed human nature can deny this truth. (201)

While he is convinced of the progress brought about by science and technology, he is pessimistic about the experience of civilization for those who belong to it. He complained that the development of the railways served to enable our children to move far away. However, the invention of the telephone allows us to hear their voices without seeing their faces. (202)

The improvements in technology also put mankind's very survival at risk: "Men have now gone so far in the mastery of natural forces that with their help they could easily exterminate one another to the last man. They know this, hence a large part of their current unrest, their unhappiness, their mood of anxiety." (203)

Beverley Clack points out in her book, Freud on the Couch: A Critical Introduction to the Father of Psychoanalysis (2013) that in this book "Freud focuses on the cost that living in society exacts on human beings.... We might think about the art, philosophy, and complex systems of government that have accompanied the 'Ascent of Man' ... as our ancestors moved from primitive forms of society to the technological societies we now inhabit" we developed serious psychological problems as we adjusted to this new civilization. (204)

Freud was especially critical of those who thought socialism was the answer to our problems. It in fact suffers from the same delusions as Christianity: "I cannot inquire into whether the abolition of private property is expedient or advantageous. But I am able to recognize that the psychological premises on which the system is based are an untenable illusion. In abolishing private property we deprive the human love of aggression of one of its instruments, certainly a strong one, though certainly not the strongest, but we have not altered the differences in power and influence which are misused by aggressiveness, nor have we altered anything in its nature. Aggressiveness was not created by property. It reigned almost without limit in primitive times, when property was still very scanty, and it already shows itself in the nursery almost before property has given up its primal, anal form; it forms the basis of every relation of affection and love among people (with the single exception, perhaps, of the mother's relations to her male child)." (205)

Civilization has entailed the most drastic interference with the passionate desires of the individual. The "suppression and repression of instinctual needs, which continue to fester in the unconscious and seek explosive utterance". Under the influence of the pleasure principle, we seek "powerful diversions, which let us make light of our misery; substitute gratifications, which diminish it; intoxicating substances, which make us insensitive to it". The most successful or more correctly, the least unsuccessful of these palliative devices is work, especially professional activity freely chosen work. This helped Freud, who was addicted to work, but he realised that "most human beings do not prize work as a path to happiness" as they generally only "work under compulsion". (206)

Freud concludes that "it is impossible to escape the impression that people commonly use false standards of measurement - that they seek power, success and wealth for themselves and admire them in others, and that they underestimate what is of true value in life." This is the need to love and to be loved. Yet, we are never so defenceless against suffering as when we love, never so helplessly unhappy as when we have lost our loved object or its love". Freud suggests that "life as we find it is too hard for us; it entails too much pain, too many disappointments, impossible tasks" and therefore "we cannot do without palliative remedies." (207)

Freud was in very poor health when Civilization and Its Discontents was published. He had to endure another painful operation on his cancerous jaw. He was also suffering from serious heart problems. However, Freud could take comfort from the book's astonishing popularity. Within a year, its first edition of 12,000, was sold out and it had to be republished. He told his friend, Lou Andreas-Salomé about why he wrote the book: "I can't spend the whole day in smoking and playing cards, I can no longer walk far, and the most of what there is to read does not interest me any more. So I wrote, and the time passed that way quite pleasantly. In writing this work I have discovered afresh the most banal truths." (208)

Adolf Hitler

Austria, like the rest of Europe, suffered greatly during the Great Depression. In 1932, almost 470,000 people, nearly 22 per cent of Austria's labour force, were out of work. By the following year unemployment reached an unprecedented peak with 580,000, or 27 per cent. Chancellor Engelbert Dollfuss governed under emergency powers and assumed dictatorial powers. This included banning all political parties and closing down the Austrian parliament.

On 30th January, 1933, Adolf Hitler was appointed Germany's chancellor and over the next few months he banned opposition political parties, free speech, independent cultural organisations and universities and the rule of law. Anti-Semitism became government policy and German Jews, including the psychologists, Erich Fromm, Max Eitingon and Ernst Simmel, left the country. Two of Freud's sons, Oliver and Ernst, who had settled in Germany, also decided they had to move. Freud wrote to his nephew in Manchester that "life in Germany has become impossible." (209)

In February, 1933, socialists and communists in Austria attempted to bring down the Dollfuss dictatorship by calling a general strike. Freud had little sympathy for the strikers as "their success would have been very short-lived and brought about military invasion of the country. Besides they were Bolshevists and I expect no salvation from Communism. So we could not give our sympathy to either side of the combatants." (210) He told his son, "With the dictatorship of the proletariat, which was the goal of the so-called leaders, one cannot live either." (211)

As a Jew, Freud thought he was safe in Austria. In April, 1933 he wrote: "We are passing over to a dictatorship of the Right, which means the suppression of social democracy. That will not be a pretty state of affairs and will not be pleasant for us Jews, but we all think that special laws against Jews are out of the question in Austria because of the clauses in our peace treaty which expressly guarantee the rights of minorities... Legal persecution of the Jews here would lead to immediate action on the part of the League of Nations... In such ways we buoy ourselves up in relative security. I am in any event determined not to move." (212)

On 10th May, 1933, the Nazi Party arranged the burning of thousands of "degenerate literary works" were burnt in German cities. This included books by people such as Sigmund Freud, Rosa Luxemburg, August Bebel, Eduard Bernstein, Heinrich Mann, Bertolt Brecht, Helen Keller, H.G. Wells, Ernest Hemingway, Sinclair Lewis, Otto Dix, Victor Hugo, Lenin, Leon Trotsky, Hans Eisler, Ernst Toller, Albert Einstein, D.H. Lawrence, John Dos Passos, Theodore Dreiser, Karl Kautsky, Thomas Heine, Arnold Zweig, Ludwig Renn, Rainer Maria Rilke, Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, George Grosz, Maxim Gorky and Isaac Babel. (213)

Book Burning in Nazi Germany on 10th May, 1933
Book Burning in Nazi Germany on 10th May, 1933

Oskar Pfister was in Germany at the time and told Freud: "I was briefly in Germany and caught a disgust that I won't get rid of for a long time... Cowardly against others, it takes out its childish rage against defenceless Jews and even plunders libraries." (214) According to Ernest Jones, Freud replied: "What progress we are making. In the Middle Ages they would have burnt me, nowadays they are content with burning my books." (215)

Freud attempted to explain the political situation to his friend, Marie Bonaparte: "The world is turning into an enormous prison. Germany is the worst cell... I predict a paradoxical surprise in Germany. They began with Bolshevism as their deadly enemy, and they will end with something indistinguishable part it - except perhaps that Bolshevism after all adopted revolutionary ideals, whereas those of Hitlerism are purely medieval and reactionary. This world seems to me to have lost its vitality and be doomed to perdition." (216)

In June 1933 the German Society for Psychotherapy (GSP) came under the control of the Nazi Party. It was now led by Matthias Göring, a cousin of Hermann Göring, and a leading member of Hitler's government. Matthias Göring told all members that they were expected to make a thorough study of Mein Kampf, which was to serve as the basis for their work. Ernst Kretschmer, the president of the GSP, promptly resigned and was replaced by Carl Jung. (217)

On 30th December, 1936, Freud received information from Marie Bonaparte that a bookseller from Berlin owned the letters that he had sent to Wilhelm Fliess. (218) Freud was appalled as when Fliess had died in October 1928, he had asked his widow to return the letters. However, she told him that she could not find them. He told Bonaparte that the letters were "the most intimate you can imagine" and that it is important that they were destroyed. "It would be most awkward" to have the letters "fall into the hands of strangers" and "I want none of them to come to the notice of so-called posterity". (219)

Freud attempted to buy the letters but the bookseller refused as he feared that he would destroy them. Marie Bonaparte agreed to buy them but refused to destroy the letters. She promised not to read them, but proposed to deposit the letters in some safe library with the stipulation that they be kept from anyone's eyes "for eighty or a hundred years after your death." She added: "You belong to history of human thought like Plato, let us say, or Goethe... Something would be lost to the history of psychoanalysis, this unique new science, your creation, which is more important than even Plato's ideas." (220)

Freud had always been highly secretive and had been destroying documents for most of his professional life. In one letter to Martha Freud he wrote: "I have destroyed all my notes and letters accumulated for 14 years, all scientific abstracts and manuscripts of my work; only some family letters have been spared. All my old friendships and relations presented themselves again and silently took the deadly blow... I cannot mature and cannot die, worrying about who will lay their hands on my old papers. The biographers should work it out somehow, we don't want to make it too easy for them." (221)

Peter Gay, the author of Freud: A Life for Our Time (1989) argues that Freud at eighty was "still capable of work, love and hate". (222) One of those he loved was Lou Andreas-Salomé, who died in February 1937, at the age of seventy-five. Freud told his friend, Arnold Zweig, that he was "very fond of her". However, he added that "strange to say without a trace of sexual attraction". (223)

The man he hated most of all was Alfred Adler, the first member of the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society to break with Freud. When he received news from Zweig that Adler had died on 28th May, 1937, he welcomed the fact that he had outlived his rival. He pointed out to Zweig that he had hated Adler for over 25-years. (224) Freud had written in Civilization and Its Discontents (1929) that he could not understand the Christian injunction to universal love as many people were hateful. According to Freud, the most hateful were those like Adler who he thought had let him down. (225)

Escape to London

On 12th March, 1938, Adolf Hitler announced Anschluss (the annexation of Austria into Nazi Germany). Freud believed that the powerful Catholic Church would protect the Jewish community. This did not happen and as the German playwright Carl Zuckmayer, pointed out: "The underworld had opened its gates and let loose its lowest, most revolting, most impure spirits. The city was transformed into a nightmare painting by Hieronymus Bosch... and the air filled with an incessant, savage, hysterical screeching from male and female throats... resembling distorted grimaces: some in anxiety, others in deceit, still others in wild, hate-filled triumph." (226)

Journalists from Britain and America were shocked by the immediate persecution of Jews in Austria. "SA men dragged an elderly Jewish worker and his wife through the applauding crowd. Tears rolled down the cheeks of the old woman, and while she stared ahead and virtually looked through her tormentors, I could see how the old man, whose arm she held, tried to stroke her hand." A man who had been living in Berlin "expressed some astonishment at the speed with which anti-Semitism was being introduced here, which he said was going to make the plight of the Vienna Jews far worse than it was in Germany, where the change had come with a certain gradualness". (227)

During the spring of 1938, it was reported that some 500 Austrian Jews chose to kill themselves to avoid humiliation, unbearable anxiety, or deportation to concentration camps. In March the authorities felt compelled to issue a denial of the "rumours of thousands of suicides since the Nazi accession to power." The press release added that "from March 12 to March 22 ninety-six persons committed suicide in Vienna of whom only fifty were directly connected with the change in the political situation in Austria." (228)

Ernest Jones flew to Vienna in an effort to persuade Sigmund Freud to move to England. At first he said he was too old to travel. He also commented that "he could not leave his native land; it would be like a soldier deserting his post". Eventually he agreed and Jones returned to London on 20th March, to have talks with friends in the government, including Sir Samuel Hoare, the home secretary, and Herbrand Sackville, 9th Earl De La Warr, lord privy seal.

On 22nd March, 1938, Anna Freud was told that she had to appear at Gestapo headquarters in Vienna. Max Schur, Freud's personal doctor, was supplied with a sufficient amount of the poison veronal. Schur later recalled: "I stayed with Freud (while she was with the Gestapo)... The hours were endless. It was the only time I ever saw Freud deeply worried. He paced the floor, smoking incessantly. I tried to reassure him as well as I could." During the interrogation, she managed to persuade them the International Psychoanalytic Association was an unpolitical organisation and she was released. (229)

This incident convinced Freud that his family should move to London. One of the conditions for being granted an exit visa was that he sign a document that ran as follows, "I Prof. Freud, hereby confirm that after the Anschluss of Austria to the German Reich I have been treated by the German authorities and particularly the Gestapo with all the respect and consideration due to my scientific reputation, that I could live and work in full freedom, that I could continue to pursue my activities in every way I desired, that I found full support from all concerned in this respect, and that I have not the slightest reason for any complaint." It was later claimed Freud agreed to sign the document but asked if he might be allowed to add a sentence, which was: "I can heartily recommend the Gestapo to anyone". (230)

The Gestapo agreed that he could go to England as long as all his debts were paid. Marie Bonaparte agreed to do this and on 4th June the Freud party left on the Orient Express. On 6th June the Freuds crossed over to England by the night boat. On their arrival, Anna Freud told the Manchester Guardian that "in Vienna we were among the very few Jews who were treated decently. It is not true that we were confined to our home. My father never went out for weeks, but that was on account of his health. The general treatment of the Jews has been abominable, but not so in case of my father. He has been an exception." (231)

In January 1939, Leonard Woolf and Virginia Woolf were invited to tea. In his autobiography Woolf admitted that he had consorted with celebrities all his life and was not easily impressed but claimed that "Freud... was not only a genius, but also, unlike many geniuses, an extraordinarily nice man... Nearly all famous men are disappointing or bores, or both. Freud was neither; he had an aura, not of fame, but of greatness... He was extraordinarily courteous in a formal, old-fashioned way - for instance, almost ceremoniously he presented Virginia with a flower. There was something about him as of a half-extinct volcano, something sombre, suppressed, reserved. He gave me the feeling which only a very few people whom I have met gave me, a feeling of great gentleness, but behind the gentleness, great strength." (232)

Moses and Monotheism (1939)

While living at 20 Maresfield Gardens he finished his final book, Moses and Monotheism. He was advised by friends not to publish the book, as it would upset religious leaders. He told Charles Singer that the book was "an attack on religion only in so far as, after all, every scientific investigation of a religious belief has unbelief as its presupposition". He insisted that he did not enjoy offending religious people. "but what can I do about it? I have occupied my whole long life with standing up for what I considered to be the scientific truth, even when it was uncomfortable and disagreeable to my fellow men. I cannot close it with an act of disavowal." (233)

In the book he accused Christianity of being the most severe kind of illusion, coming close to the madness of delusion: "In some respects... their religion... represented a cultural regression against the older, as is indeed regularly the case with the irruption or admission of new masses of people of a lower level. The Christian religion did not maintain the height of spirituality to which Judaism had risen... Moses conveyed to the Jews the exalted feeling of being a chosen people; a new, valuable portion was added to the secret treasure of the people through the dematerialization of God." (234)

Father Vincent McNabb, writing in The Catholic Herald, attacked Freud for his "sexual obsession" and even raised the idea that some people may object to him living in Britain. "Professor Freud is naturally grateful to 'free, generous England' for the welcome it has given him. But if his frank championship of atheism and incest is widely recognised we wonder how long the welcome will remain in an England that still calls itself Christian." (235) Despite the poor reviews, Moses and Monotheism sold well. (236)

Death of Sigmund Freud

Sigmund Freud's health remained poor. A biopsy performed on 28th February, 1939, showed that the cancer had returned but it was so far back in the mouth an operation was considered to be impossible. In a letter to Arnold Zweig he complained that since his last operation "I have been suffering from pains in the jaw which are growing stronger slowly but steadily, so that I cannot get through my daily chores and my nights without a hot-water bottle and sizable doses of aspirin." (237)

Max Schur, Freud's personal doctor, had been treating him since March 1929. The main source of conflict between the two men was Freud's refusual to give up his beloved, necessary cigars. At their first meeting Freud asked him to "promise... when the time comes, you won't let them torment me unnecessarily." Schur agreed and the two men shook hands on it." (238)

On 21st September, as Schur was sitting by his bedside, Freud took his hand and said to him: "Schur, you remember our contract not to leave me in the lurch when the time had come. Now it is nothing but torture and makes no sense." When he replied that he had not forgotten, he said "I thank you" and added "Talk it over with Anna, and if she thinks it's right, then make an end of it." Anna Freud wanted "to postpone the fatal moment, but Schur insisted that to keep Freud going was pointless". He pointed out that Freud wanted to keep control of his life to the end. (239)

Schur injected Freud with three centigrams of morphine - the normal dose for sedation was two centigrams - and Freud sank into a peaceful sleep. Schur repeated the injection later that day and administered a final one the next day. Freud lapsed into a como from which he did not wake. Sigmund Freud died at three in the morning on 23rd September, 1939. (240)

Primary Sources

(1) Sigmund Freud, Autobiography (1923)

I was born on May 6th, 1856, at Freiberg in Moravia, a small town in what is now Czechoslovakia. My parents were Jews, and I have remained a Jew myself. I have reason to believe that my father's family were settled for a long time on the Rhine (at Cologne), that, as a result of a persecution of the Jews during the fourteenth or fifteenth century, they fled eastwards, and that, in the course of the nineteenth century, they migrated back from Lithuania through Galicia into German Austria. When I was a child of four I came to Vienna, and I went through the whole of my education there. At the 'Gymnasium' I was at the top of my class for seven years; I enjoyed special privileges there, and had scarcely ever to be examined in class. Although we lived in very limited circumstances, my father insisted that, in my choice of a profession, I should follow my own inclinations alone. Neither at that time, nor indeed in my later life, did I feel any particular predilection for the career of a doctor. I was moved, rather, by a sort of curiosity, which was, however, directed more towards human concerns than towards natural objects; nor had I grasped the importance of observation as one of the best means of gratifying it. My deep engrossment in the Bible story (almost as soon as I had learned the art of reading) had, as I recognized much later, an enduring effect upon the direction of my interest. Under the powerful influence of a school friendship with a boy rather my senior who grew up to be a well-known politician, I developed a wish to study law like him and to engage in social activities. At the same time, the theories of Darwin, which were then of topical interest, strongly attracted me, for they held out hopes of an extraordinary advance in our understanding of the world; and it was hearing Goethe's beautiful essay on Nature read aloud at a popular lecture by Professor Carl Bruhl just before I left school that decided me to become a medical student.

(2) Sigmund Freud, Autobiography (1923)

I have already mentioned that my investigation of the precipitating and underlying causes of the neuroses led me more and more frequently to conflicts between the subject's sexual impulses and his resistances to sexuality. In my search for the pathogenic situations in which the repressions of sexuality had set in and in which the symptoms, as substitutes for what was repressed, had had their origin, I was carried further and further back into the patient's life and ended by reaching the first years of his childhood. What poets and students of human nature had always asserted turned out to be true: the impressions of that early period of life, though they were for the most part buried in amnesia, left ineradicable traces upon the individual's growth and in particular laid down the disposition to any nervous disorder that was to follow.

But since these experiences of childhood were always concerned with sexual excitations and the reaction against them, I found myself faced by the fact of infantile sexuality - once again a novelty and a contradiction of one of the strongest of human prejudices. Childhood was looked upon as 'innocent' and free from the lusts of sex, and the fight with the demon of 'sensuality' was not thought to begin until the troubled age of puberty. Such occasional sexual activities as it had been impossible to overlook in children were put down as signs of degeneracy or premature depravity or as a curious freak of nature. Few of the findings of psychoanalysis have met with such universal contradiction or have aroused such an outburst of indignation as the assertion that the sexual function starts at the beginning of life and reveals its presence by important signs even in childhood. And yet no other finding of analysis can be demonstrated so easily and so competely.

(3) Vincent Brome, Freud and the Early Circle: The Struggles for Psycho-Analysis (1967)


His diplomatic skill in modifying both his own demands and those of rivals was married to a determined effort to remain scientifically detached. Time and again his cool voice and calming influence broke into heated discussions and a volcanic situation was checked before it erupted. Considerable wisdom and tolerance marked many of his utterances and occasionally there was a tremendous sense of a figure, Olympian beside the pigmies around him, who quietened the waters with the wand of reason. Unfortunately, this side of Freud's character was heavily qualified by another. When someone put forward a proposition which seriously disturbed his own views, he first found it hard to accept and then became uneasy at this threat to the scientific temple he had so painfully built with his own hands. Thus his tolerance was qualified by insecurity [and] his breadth of vision by a special form of Jewish patriarchy.

(4) Sigmund Freud, The Interpretation of Dreams (1899)

You should bear in mind that the dreams which we produce at night have, on the one hand, the greatest external similarity and internal kinship with the creations of insanity, and are, on the other hand, compatible with complete health in waking life. There is nothing paradoxical in the assertion that no one who regards these 'normal' illusions, delusions and character changes with astonishment, instead of comprehension, has the slightest prospect of understanding the abnormal structures of pathological mental states otherwise than as a layman. You may comfortably count almost all psychiatrists among such laymen.

I invite you now to follow me on a brief excursion through the region of dream-problems. When we are awake we are in the habit of treating dreams with the same contempt with which patients regard the associations that are demanded of them by the psychoanalyst. We dismiss them, too, by forgetting them as a rule, quickly and completely. Our low opinion of them is based on the strange character even of those dreams that are not confused and meaningless, and on the obvious absurdity and nonsensicalness of other dreams. Our dismissal of them is related to the uninhibited shamelessness and immorality of the tendencies openly exhibited in some dreams. It is well known that the ancient world did not share this low opinion of dreams...

In the first place, not all dreams are alien to the dreamer, incomprehensible and confused. If you inspect the dreams of very young children, from eighteen months upwards, you will find them perfectly simple and easy to explain. Small children always dream of the fulfilment of wishes that were aroused in them the day before but not satisfied. You will need no interpretative art in order to find this simple solution; all you need do is to enquire into the child's experiences on the previous day (the 'dream-day'). Certainly the most satisfactory solution of the riddle of dreams would be to find that adults' dreams too were like those of children-fulfilments of wishful impulses that had come to them on the dream-day. And such in fact is the case. The difficulties in the way of this solution can be overcome step by step if dreams are analysed more closely.

The first and most serious objection is that the content of adults' dreams is as a rule unintelligible and could not look more unlike the fulfilment of a wish. And here is the answer. Such dreams have been subjected to distortion; the psychical process under lying them might originally have been expressed in words quite differently. You must distinguish the manifest content of the dream, as you vaguely recollect it in the morning and laboriously (and, as it seems, arbitrarily) clothe it in words, and the latent dream thoughts, which you must suppose were present in the
unconscious. This distortion in dreams is the same process that you have already come to know in investigating the formation of hysterical symptoms. It indicates, too, that the same interplay of mental forces is at work in the formation of dreams as in that of symptoms. The manifest content of the dream is the distorted substitute for the unconscious dream-thoughts and this distortion is the work of the ego's forces of defence - of resistances...

You can convince yourself that there are such things as latent dream-thoughts and that the relation between them and the manifest content of the dream is really as I have described it, if you carry out an analysis of dreams, the technique of which is the same as that of psychoanalysis. You entirely disregard the apparent connections between the elements in the manifest dream and collect the ideas that occur to you in connection with each separate element of the dream by free association according to the psychoanalytic rule of procedure. From this material you arrive at the latent dreamthoughts, just as you arrived at the patient's hidden complexes from his associations to his symptoms and memories. The latent dream-thoughts which have been reached in this way will at once show you how completely justified we have been in tracing back adults' dreams to children's dreams. The true meaning of the dream, which has now taken the place of its manifest content, is always clearly intelligible; it has its startingpoint in experiences of the previous day, and proves to be a fulfilment of unsatisfied wishes. The manifest dream, which you know from your memory when you wake up, can therefore only be described as a disguised fulfilment of repressed wishes...

You will also learn with astonishment from the analysis of dreams (and most convincingly from that of your own) what an unsuspectedly great part is played in human development by impressions and experiences of early childhood. In dream-life the child that is in man pursues its existence, as it were, and retains all its characteristics and wishful impulses, even such as have become unserviceable in later life. There will be brought home to you with irresistible force the many developments, repressions, sublimations and reactionformations, by means of which a child with a quite other innate endowment grows into what we call a normal man, the bearer, and in part the victim, of the civilization that has been so painfully acquired.

(5) Sigmund Freud, letter to Wilhelm Fliess (19th February, 1899)

My last generalization has held good and seems inclined to grow to an unpredictable extent. Not only dreams are wish fulfillments, so are hysterical attacks. This is true of hysterical symptoms, but probably applies to every product of neurosis, for I recognized it long ago in acute delusional insanity. Reality-wish fulfillment - it is from these opposites that our mental life springs. I believe I now know what determines the distinction between symptoms that make their way into waking life and dreams. It is enough for the dream to be the wish fulfillment of the repressed thought, for dreams are kept at a distance from reality. But the symptom, set in the midst of life, must be something else besides: it must also be the wish fulfillment of the repressing thought. A symptom arises where the repressed and the repressing thought can come together in the fulfillment of a wish. The symptom is the wish fulfillment of the repressing thought, for example, in the form of a punishment; self-punishment is the final substitute for self-gratification, which comes from masturbation.

This key opens many doors. Do you know, for instance, why X.Y. suffers from hysterical vomiting? Because in fantasy she is pregnant, because she is so insatiable that she cannot bear being deprived of having a baby by her last fantasy lover as well. But she also allows herselt to vomit, because then she will be starved and emaciated, will lose her beauty and no longer be attractive to anyone. Thus the meaning of the symptom is a contradictory pair of wish fulfillments.

(6) Sigmund Freud, Dream Psychology (1920)

The unconscious is the larger circle which includes within itself the smaller circle of the conscious; everything conscious has its preliminary step in the unconscious, whereas the unconscious may stop with this step and still claim full value as a psychic activity. Properly speaking, the unconscious is the real psychic; its inner nature is just as unknown to us as the reality of the external world, and it is just as imperfectly reported to us through the data of consciousness as is the external world through the indications of our sensory organs.

(7) Sigmund Freud, letter to Martha Freud (28th April, 1885)

I have destroyed all my notes and letters accumulated for 14 years, all scientific abstracts and manuscripts of my work; only some family letters have been spared. All my old friendships and relations presented themselves again and silently took the deadly blow... I cannot mature and cannot die, worrying about who will lay their hands on my old papers. The biographers should work it out somehow, we don't want to make it too easy for them.

(8) Sigmund Freud, Autobiography (1923)

The result of the official anathema against psychoanalysis was that the analysts began to come closer together. At the second Congress, held at Nuremberg in 1910, they formed themselves, on the proposal of Ferenczi, into an 'International Psycho-Analytical Association' divided into a number of local societies but under a common president. The Association survived the Great War and still exists, consisting today of branch societies in Austria, Germany, Hungary, Switzerland, Great Britain, Holland, Russia, and India, as well as two in the United States. I arranged that C. G. Jung should be appointed as the first president, which turned out later to have been a most unfortunate step. At the same time a second journal devoted to psychoanalysis was started, the Zentralblatt fur Psychoanalyse (Central Journal for PsychoAnalysis), edited by Adler and Stekel, and a little later a third, Imago, edited by two nonmedical analysts, H. Sachs and Otto Rank, and intended to deal with the application of analysis to the mental sciences. Soon afterwards Bleuler (1910) published a paper in defense of psychoanalysis. Though it was a relief to find honesty and straightforward logic for once taking part in the dispute, yet I could not feel completely satisfied by Bleuler's essay. He strove too eagerly after an appearance of impartiality; nor is it a matter of chance that it is to him that our science owes the valuable concept of ambivalence. In later papers Bleuler adopted such a critical attitude towards the theoretical structure of analysis and rejected or threw doubts upon such essential parts of it that I could not help asking myself in astonishment what could be left of it for him to admire. Yet not only has he subsequently uttered the strongest pleas in favor of 'depth psychology', but he based his comprehensive study of schizophrenia upon it. Nevertheless, Bleuler did not for long remain a member of the International Psycho-Analytical Association; he resigned from it as a result of misunderstandings with Jung, and the Burgholzli was lost to analysis.

In 1909 G. Stanley Hall invited Jung and me to America to go to Clark University, Worcester, Mass., of which he was President, and to spend a week giving lectures (in German) at the celebration of the twentieth anniversary of that body's foundation. Hall was justly esteemed as a psychologist and educationalist, and had introduced psychoanalysis into his courses several years earlier; there was a touch of the 'king-maker' about him, a pleasure in setting up authorities and in then deposing them. We also met James J. Putnam there, the Harvard neurologist, who in spite of his age was an enthusiastic supporter of psychoanalysis and threw the whole weight of a personality that was universally respected into the defense of the cultural value of analysis and the purity of its aims. He was an estimable man, in whom, as a reaction against a predisposition to obsessional neurosis, an ethical bias predominated; and the only thing in him that was disquieting was his inclination to attach psychoanalysis to a particular philosophical system and to make it the servant of moral aims. Another event of this time which made a lasting impression on me was a meeting with William James the philosopher. I shall never forget one little scene that occurred as we were on a walk together. He stopped suddenly, handed me a bag he was carrying and asked me to walk on, saying that he would catch me up as soon as he had got through an attack of angina pectoris which was just coming on. He died of that disease a year later; and I have always wished that I might be as fearless as he was in the face of approaching death.

At that time I was only fifty-three. I felt young and healthy, and my short visit to the new world encouraged my self-respect in every way. In Europe I felt as though I were despised; but over there I found myself received by the foremost men as an equal. As I stepped on to the platform at Worcester to deliver my Five Lectures on Psycho-Analysis (1910) it seemed like the realization of some incredible day-dream: psychoanalysis was no longer a product of delusion, it had become a valuable part of reality. It has not lost ground in America since our visit; it is extremely popular among the lay public and is recognized by a number of official psychiatrists as an important element in medical training. Unfortunately, however, it has suffered a great deal from being watered down. Moreover, many abuses which have no relation to it find a cover under its name, and there are few opportunities for any thorough training in technique or theory. In America, too, it has come in conflict with Behaviorism, a theory which is naive enough to boast that it has put the whole problem of psychology completely out of court.

In Europe during the years 1911-13 two secessionist movements from psychoanalysis took place, led by men who had previously played a considerable part in the young science, Alfred Adler and C. G. Jung. Both movements seemed most threatening and quickly obtained a large following. But their strength lay, not in their own content, but in the temptation which they offered of being freed from what were felt as the repellent findings of psychoanalysis even though its actual material was no longer rejected. Jung attempted to give to the facts of analysis a fresh interpretation of an abstract, impersonal and non-historical character, and thus hoped to escape the need for recognizing the importance of infantile sexuality and of the Oedipus complex as well as the necessity for any analysis of childhood.

Adler seemed to depart still further from psychoanalysis; he entirely repudiated the importance of sexuality, traced back the formation both of character and of the neuroses solely to men's desire for power and to their need to compensate for their constitutional inferiorities, and threw all the psychological discoveries of psychoanalysis to the winds. But what he had rejected forced its way back into his closed system under other names; his 'masculine protest' is nothing else than repression unjustifiably sexualized. The criticism with which the two heretics were met was a mild one; I only insisted that both Adler and Jung should cease to describe their theories as 'psychoanalysis'. After a lapse of ten years it can be asserted that both of these attempts against psychoanalysis have blown over without doing any harm.

(9) Sigmund Freud, various quotations (1870-1939)

(1) "A man who has been the indisputable favourite of his mother keeps for life the feeling of a conqueror, that confidence of success that often induces real success." Sigmund Freud, letter to Ernest Jones (1917)

(2) "How wise are our elders to burden the fair sex with but little knowledge of natural science! (I see we are all agreed that women are both for something better than to acquire wisdom." Sigmund Freud, letter to Emil Fluss (7th February, 1873)

(3) "Woe to you my Princess, when I come. I will kiss you quite red and feed you till you are plump. And if you are forward you shall see who is the stronger, a gentle little girl who doesn't eat enough or a big wild man who has cocaine in his body. In my last severe depression I took coca again and a small dose lifted me to the heights in a wonderful fashion. I am just now busy collecting the literature for a song of praise in this magical substance." Sigmund Freud, letter to Martha Bernays (2nd June, 1884)

(4) "A man like me cannot live without a hobby-horse, a consuming passion - in Schiller's words a tyrant. I have found my tyrant, and in his service I know no limits. My tyrant is psychology. it has always been my distant, beckoning goal and now since I have hit upon the neuroses, it has come so much the nearer." Sigmund Freud, letter to Wilhelm Fliess (1895)

(5) "I do not doubt that it would be easier for fate to take away your suffering than it would for me. But you will see for yourself that much has been gained if we succeed in turning your hysterical misery into common unhappiness."
Studies on Hysteria (1895)

(6) "I am almost certain that I have solved the riddles of hysteria and obsessional neurosis with the formulas of infantile sexual shock and sexual pleasure, and I am equally certain that both neuroses are, in general, curable - not just individual symptoms but the neurotic disposition itself." Sigmund Freud, letter to Wilhelm Fliess (16th October 1895)

(7) "I have not succeeded in gaining a theoretical understanding of repression and its interplay of forces. It seems once again arguable that only later experiences give the impetus to fantasies, which then hark back to childhood, and with this the factor of a hereditary disposition regains a sphere of influence from which I had made it my task to dislodge it - in the interest of illuminating neurosis." Sigmund Freud, letter to Wilhelm Fliess (21st September, 1897)

(8) "My self-analysis is in fact the most essential thing I have at present and promises to become of the greatest value to me if it reaches its end... Being totally honest with oneself is a good exercise. A single idea of general value dawned on me. I have found, in my own case, too, the phenomenon of being in love with my mother and jealous of my father, and now I consider it an universal event in early childhood... If this is so, we can understand the gripping power of Opedius Rex... the Greek legend seizes upon a compulsion which everyone recognizes because he senses its existence within himself. Everyone in the audience was once a budding Oedipus in fantasy and each recoils in horror from the dream fulfillment here transplanted into reality, with the full quantity of repression which separates his infantile state from his present one." Sigmund Freud, letter to Wilhelm Fliess (15th October, 1897)

(9) "I do not in the least underestimate bisexuality.... I expect it to provide all further enlightenment." Sigmund Freud, letter to Wilhelm Fliess (25th March 1898)

(10) "Bisexuality! You are certainly right about it. I am accustoming myself to regarding every sexual act as a process which four individuals are involved." Sigmund Freud, letter to Wilhelm Fliess (1st August, 1899)

(11) "I am actually not at all a man of science, not an observer, not an experimenter, not a thinker. I am by temperament nothing but a conquistador - an adventurer, if you want it translated - with all the curiosity, daring, and tenacity characteristic of a man of this sort." Sigmund Freud, letter to Wilhelm Fliess (1st February, 1900)

(12) "The interpretation of dreams is the royal road to a knowledge of the unconscious activities of the mind." The Interpretation of Dreams (1900)

(13) "Moreover, the act of birth is the first experience of anxiety, and thus the source and prototype of the affect of anxiety." The Interpretation of Dreams (1900)

(14) "The psychoanalysis of neurotics has taught us to recognize the intimate connection between wetting the bed and the character trait of ambition." The Interpretation of Dreams (1900)

(15) "As everyone knows, the ancients before Aristotle did not consider the dream a product of the dreaming mind, but a divine inspiration, and in ancient times the two antagonistic streams, which one finds throughout in the estimates of dream life, were already noticeable. They distinguished between true and valuable dreams, sent to the dreamer to warn him or to foretell the future, and vain, fraudulent, and empty dreams, the object of which was to misguide or lead him to destruction". The Interpretation of Dreams (1900)

(16) "To be sure, the ancient belief that the dream reveals the future is not entirely devoid of truth. By representing to us a wish as fulfilled the dream certainly leads us into the future; but this future, taken by the dreamer as present, has been formed into the likeness of that past by the indestructible wish." The Interpretation of Dreams (1900)

(15) "And now, the main thing! As far as I can see, my next work will be called Human Bisexuality. It will go to the root of the problem and say the last word it may be granted to say - the last and the most profound." Sigmund Freud, letter to Wilhelm Fliess (7th August 1901)

(16) "The great question that has never been answered, and which I have not yet been able to answer, despite my thirty years of research into the feminine soul, is What does a woman want?" Dora : An Analysis of a Case of Hysteria (1905)

(17) "No one who, like me, conjures up the most evil of those half-tamed demons that inhabit the human beast, and seeks to wrestle with them, can expect to come through the struggle unscathed." Dora : An Analysis of a Case of Hysteria (1905)

(18) "A person who feels pleasure in producing pain in someone else in a sexual relationship is also capable of enjoying as pleasure any pain which he may himself derive from sexual relations. A sadist is always at the same time a masochist." Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality (1905)

(19) "Conscience is the internal perception of the rejection of a particular wish operating within us". Totem and Taboo: Resemblances Between the Mental Lives of Savages and Neurotics (1913)

(20) "At bottom God is nothing more than an exalted father." Totem and Taboo: Resemblances Between the Mental Lives of Savages and Neurotics (1913)

(21) "Psychoanalysis... should find a place among the methods whose aim is to bring about the highest ethical and intellectual development of the individual." Sigmund Freud, letter to James Jackson Putnam (30th March, 1914)

(22) "We are and remain Jews. The others will only exploit us and will never understand and appreciate us." Sigmund Freud, letter to Sabina Spielrein (29th September 1913)

(23) "The common characteristic of all perversions... is that they have abandoned reproduction as their aim. We term sexual activity perverse when it has renounced the aim of reproduction and follows the pursuit of pleasure as an independent goal. And so you realize that the turning point in the development of sexual life lies in its subjugation to the purpose of reproduction. Everything this side of the turning point, everything that has given up this purpose and serves the pursuit of pleasure alone, must carry the term 'perverse' and as such be regarded with contempt." A General Introduction to Psychoanalysis (1920)

(24) "Cruelty and intolerance to those who do not belong to it are natural to every religion." Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego (1921)

(25) "The ego represents what we call reason and sanity, in contrast to the id which contains the passions." The Ego and the Id (1923)

(26) "The sexual wishes in regard to the mother become more intense and the father is perceived as an obstacle to the; this gives rise to the Oedipus complex." The Ego and the Id (1923)

(27) " We obtain our concept of the unconscious, therefore, from the theory of repression … We see, however that we have two kinds of unconscious — that which is latent but capable of becoming conscious, and that which is repressed and not capable of becoming conscious in the ordinary way." The Ego and the Id (1923)

(28) "The poets and philosophers before me discovered the unconscious; what I discovered was the scientific method by which the unconscious can be studied." Sigmund Freud, letter to Lionel Trilling (1926)

(29) "The voice of the intellect is a soft one, but it does not rest until it has gained a hearing. Ultimately, after endlessly repeated rebuffs, it succeeds. This is one of the few points in which it may be optimistic about the future of mankind, but in itself it signifies not a little." The Future of an Illusion (1927)

(30) "Religious ideas have sprung from the same need as all the other achievements of culture: from the necessity for defending itself against the crushing supremacy of nature." The Future of an Illusion (1927)

(31) "Religious doctrines… are all illusions, they do not admit of proof, and no one can be compelled to consider them as true or to believe in them." The Future of an Illusion (1927)

(32) "Immorality, no less than morality, has at all times found support in religion." The Future of an Illusion (1927)

(33) "The true believer is in a high degree protected against the danger of certain neurotic afflictions, by accepting the universal neurosis he is spared the task of forming a personal neurosis." The Future of an Illusion (1927)

(34) "Religion is a system of wishful illusions together with a disavowal of reality, such as we find nowhere else but in a state of blissful hallucinatory confusion. Religion's eleventh commandment is 'Thou shalt not question.' But man's helplessness remains and along with it his longing for his father, and the gods. The gods retain their threefold task: they must exorcise the terrors of nature, they must reconcile men to the cruelty of Fate, particularly as it is shown in death, and they must compensate them for the sufferings and privations which a civilized life in common has imposed on them." The Future of an Illusion (1927)

(35) "It is impossible to escape the impression that people commonly use false standards of measurement — that they seek power, success and wealth for themselves and admire them in others, and that they underestimate what is of true value in life." Civilization and Its Discontents (1929)

(36) "What we call happiness in the strictest sense comes from the (preferably sudden) satisfaction of needs which have been dammed up to a high degree". Civilization and Its Discontents (1929)

(37) "We are never so defenceless against suffering as when we love, never so helplessly unhappy as when we have lost our loved object or its love". Civilization and Its Discontents (1929)

(38) "Life as we find it is too hard for us; it entails too much pain, too many disappointments, impossible tasks. We cannot do without palliative remedies." Civilization and Its Discontents (1929)

(39) "I cannot inquire into whether the abolition of private property is expedient or advantageous. But I am able to recognize that the psychological premises on which the system is based are an untenable illusion. In abolishing private property we deprive the human love of aggression of one of its instruments, certainly a strong one, though certainly not the strongest, but we have not altered the differences in power and influence which are misused by aggressiveness, nor have we altered anything in its nature. Aggressiveness was not created by property. It reigned almost without limit in primitive times, when property was still very scanty, and it already shows itself in the nursery almost before property has given up its primal, anal form; it forms the basis of every relation of affection and love among people (with the single exception, perhaps, of the mother's relations to her male child)." Civilization and Its Discontents (1929)

(40) "Men have now gone so far in the matery of natural forces that with their help they could easily exterminate one another to the last man. They know this, hence a large part of their current unrest, their unhappiness, their mood of anxiety." Civilization and Its Discontents (1929)

(41) "Religion is an illusion and it derives its strength from the fact that it falls in with our instinctual desires." New Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis (1932)

(42) "What progress we are making. In the Middle Ages they would have burned me. Now they are content with burning my books." Sigmund Freud, letter to Ernest Jones (August, 1933)

(43) "Homosexuality is assuredly no advantage, but it is nothing to be ashamed of, no vice, no degradation, it cannot be classified as an illness; we consider it to be a variation of the sexual function produced by a certain arrest of sexual development. Many highly respectable individuals of ancient and modern times have been homosexuals, several of the greatest among them (Plato, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci). It is a great injustice to persecute homosexuality as a crime, and cruelty too." Sigmund Freud, letter to a mother who had been complaining about her son's homosexuality (9th April 1935)

Student Activities

Adolf Hitler's Early Life (Answer Commentary)

The Assassination of Reinhard Heydrich (Answer Commentary)

Heinrich Himmler and the SS (Answer Commentary)

The Last Days of Adolf Hitler (Answer Commentary)

Trade Unions in Nazi Germany (Answer Commentary)

Adolf Hitler v John Heartfield (Answer Commentary)

Hitler's Volkswagen (The People's Car) (Answer Commentary)

Women in Nazi Germany (Answer Commentary)

German League of Girls (Answer Commentary)

Kristallnacht (Answer Commentary)

The Political Development of Sophie Scholl (Answer Commentary)

The White Rose Anti-Nazi Group (Answer Commentary)

The Hitler Youth (Answer Commentary)

Night of the Long Knives (Answer Commentary)

British Newspapers and Adolf Hitler (Answer Commentary)

An Assessment of the Nazi-Soviet Pact (Answer Commentary)

Lord Rothermere, Daily Mail and Adolf Hitler (Answer Commentary)

Adolf Hitler and the Beer Hall Putsch (Answer Commentary)

Adolf Hitler and the First World War (Answer Commentary)

Adolf Hitler and the German Workers' Party (Answer Commentary)

Adolf Hitler the Orator (Answer Commentary)

Sturmabteilung (SA) (Answer Commentary)

Who Set Fire to the Reichstag? (Answer Commentary)

Appeasement (Answer Commentary)

References

(1) Sigmund Freud, Autobiography (1923) page 1

(2) Ernest Jones, The Life and Work of Sigmund Freud (1961) page 32

(3) Beverley Clack, Freud on the Couch: A Critical Introduction to the Father of Psychoanalysis (2013) page 6

(4) Ernest Jones, The Life and Work of Sigmund Freud (1961) page 36

(5) Stephen Wilson, Sigmund Freud (1997) page 15

(6) Sigmund Freud, letter to Wilhelm Fliess (October, 1897)

(7) Sigmund Freud, The Interpretation of Dreams (1900) page 216

(8) Frederick Crews, Freud: The Making of An Illusion (2017) page 11

(9) Sigmund Freud, The Interpretation of Dreams (1900) page 197

(10) Beverley Clack, Freud on the Couch: A Critical Introduction to the Father of Psychoanalysis (2013) page 7

(11) Sigmund Freud, Autobiography (1923) page 1

(12) Stephen Wilson, Sigmund Freud (1997) page 15

(13) Ernest Jones, The Life and Work of Sigmund Freud (1961) page 49

(14) Frederick Crews, Freud: The Making of An Illusion (2017) page 39

(15) Sigmund Freud, letter to Emil Fluss (7th February, 1873)

(16) Stephen Wilson, Sigmund Freud (1997) page 20

(17) Sigmund Freud, Autobiography (1923) page 2

(18) Ernest Jones, The Life and Work of Sigmund Freud (1961) page 54

(19) Frederick Crews, Freud: The Making of An Illusion (2017) page 48

(20) Ernest Jones, The Life and Work of Sigmund Freud (1961) page 72

(21) Frederick Crews, Freud: The Making of An Illusion (2017) page 39

(22) Ernest Jones, The Life and Work of Sigmund Freud (1961) pages 109-111

(23) Sigmund Freud, Autobiography (1923) page 1

(24) Sigmund Freud, letter to Martha Bernays (21st April, 1884)

(25) Ernest Jones, The Life and Work of Sigmund Freud (1961) pages 91-92

(26) Sigmund Freud, letter to Martha Bernays (2nd June, 1884)

(27) Sigmund Freud, Centralblatt für die Gesamte Therapie (July, 1884)

(28) Stephen Wilson, Sigmund Freud (1997) pages 27-28

(29) Ernest Jones, The Life and Work of Sigmund Freud (1961) page 104

(30) Ernest Jones, The Life and Work of Sigmund Freud (1961) page 202

(31) Josef Breuer, report on Bertha Pappenheim (1882)

(32) Beverley Clack, Freud on the Couch: A Critical Introduction to the Father of Psychoanalysis (2013) page 15

(33) Josef Breuer, letter to Auguste Forel (21st November, 1907)

(34) Sigmund Freud, letter to Martha Bernays (18th June, 1886)

(35) Ernest Jones, The Life and Work of Sigmund Freud (1961) page 137

(36) Ana-Maria Rizzuto, Why Did Freud Reject God?: A Psychodynamic Interpretation (1998) page 251

(37) Sigmund Freud, Autobiography (1923) page 1

(38) Ernest Jones, The Life and Work of Sigmund Freud (1961) page 141

(39) Frederick Crews, Freud: The Making of An Illusion (2017) page 54

(40) Sigmund Freud, Autobiography (1923) page 2

(41) Elisabeth Young-Bruehl, Freud on Women (2002) page 1

(42) Ernest Jones, The Life and Work of Sigmund Freud (1961) page 210

(43) Beverley Clack, Freud on the Couch: A Critical Introduction to the Father of Psychoanalysis (2013) page 38

(44) Sigmund Freud and Josef Breuer, Studies on Hysteria (1895) pages 160-161

(45) Beverley Clack, Freud on the Couch: A Critical Introduction to the Father of Psychoanalysis (2013) pages 39-40

(46) Alfred von Bergner, Neue Freie Presse (2nd December 1895)

(47) Ernest Jones, The Life and Work of Sigmund Freud (1961) page 224

(48) David Stafford-Clark, What Freud Really Said (1965) page 39

(49) Rudolf Olden, Hitler the Pawn (1936) page 56

(50) Konrad Heiden, Hitler: A Biography (1936) page 57

(51) Ian Kershaw, Hitler 1889-1936 (1998) page 34

(52) Stephen Wilson, Sigmund Freud (1997) page 62

(53) Laurence Spurling (editor), Sigmund Freud: Critical Assessments (1989) page 305

(54) Stephen Wilson, Sigmund Freud (1997) page 49

(55) Elisabeth Young-Bruehl, Freud on Women (2002) page 50

(56) Sigmund Freud, letter to Wilhelm Fliess (12th December, 1897)

(57) Sigmund Freud, letter to Wilhelm Fliess (16th October, 1895)

(58) Sigmund Freud, letter to Wilhelm Fliess (14th August, 1897)

(59) Sigmund Freud, letter to Wilhelm Fliess (21st September, 1897)

(60) Sigmund Freud, letter to Wilhelm Fliess (15th October, 1897)

(61) Beverley Clack, Freud on the Couch: A Critical Introduction to the Father of Psychoanalysis (2013) page 63

(62) Sigmund Freud, letter to Wilhelm Fliess (25th March 1898)

(63) Sigmund Freud, letter to Wilhelm Fliess (1st August, 1899)

(64) Sigmund Freud, letter to Wilhelm Fliess (1st August, 1899)

(65) Sigmund Freud, letter to Wilhelm Fliess (1st February, 1900)

(66) Sigmund Freud, letter to Wilhelm Fliess (3rd January, 1899)

(67) Sigmund Freud, letter to Wilhelm Fliess (19th February, 1899)

(68) Stephen Wilson, Sigmund Freud (1997) page 50

(69) David Stafford-Clark, What Freud Really Said (1965) page 67

(70) Ernest Jones, The Life and Work of Sigmund Freud (1961) page 299

(71) Sigmund Freud, The Interpretation of Dreams (1932) page xxxii

(72) Michael Kahn, Basic Freud (2002) pages 155-156

(73) Sigmund Freud, Five Lectures on Psychoanalysis (1910) pages 33-37

(74) Sigmund Freud, The Interpretation of Dreams (1900) pages 146-147

(75) Sigmund Freud, The Interpretation of Dreams (1900) page 165

(76) Stephen Wilson, Sigmund Freud (1997) page 59

(77) Sigmund Freud, Five Lectures on Psychoanalysis (1910) page 33

(78) Sigmund Freud, The Interpretation of Dreams (1900) page 261

(79) Sigmund Freud, Autobiography (1923) page 9

(80) Ernest Jones, The Life and Work of Sigmund Freud (1961) page 307

(81) Sigmund Freud, letter to Wilhelm Fliess (7th August, 1901)

(82) Laurence Spurling (editor), Sigmund Freud: Critical Assessments (1989) page 311

(83) Sigmund Freud, The Psychopathology of Everyday Life (1904) page 143-144

(84) Stephen Wilson, Sigmund Freud (1997) pages 51-2

(85) Sigmund Freud, The Interpretation of Dreams (1900) page 262

(86) David Stafford-Clark, What Freud Really Said (1965) page 105

(87) Ernest Jones, The Life and Work of Sigmund Freud (1961) pages 315-316

(88) Bernhard Handlbauer, The Freud-Adler Controversy (1998) page 13

(89) Frederick Crews, Freud: The Making of An Illusion (2017) page 621

(90) Fritz Wittels, Sigmund Freud (1924) page 134

(91) Vincent Brome, Freud and the Early Circle: The Struggles for Psycho-Analysis (1967) page 40

(92) Peter Gay, Freud: A Life for Our Time (1989) page 213

(93) Ernest Jones, The Life and Work of Sigmund Freud (1961) page 403

(94) Stephen Wilson, Sigmund Freud (1997) page 70

(95) Peter Gay, Freud: A Life for Our Time (1989) page 216

(96) Sigmund Freud, letter to Karl Abraham (1st January, 1913)

(97) Sigmund Freud, Autobiography (1923) page 11

(98) Manès Sperber, Alfred Adler (1926) page 18

(99) Carl Furtmüller, Alfred Adler (1965) page 334

(100) Peter Hofstätter, Introduction to Deep Philosophy (1948) page 273

(101) Bernhard Handlbauer, The Freud-Adler Controversy (1998) page 42

(102) Alfred Adler, Wednesday Psychological Society (17th October, 1906)

(103) Carl Jung, Wednesday Psychological Society (6th March, 1907)

(104) Alfred Adler, The Aggressive Instinct in Life and in Neurosis (1908)

(105) Sigmund Freud, Analysis of a Phobia in a Five-Year-Old Boy (1909)

(106) Fritz Wittels, Wednesday Psychological Society (11th March, 1908)

(107) Alfred Adler, Wednesday Psychological Society (11th March, 1908)

(108) Stephen Wilson, Sigmund Freud (1997) page 73

(109) Peter Gay, Freud: A Life for Our Time (1989) page 223

(110) Nick Rennison, Freud and Psychoanalysis (2001) page 17

(111) Ernest Jones, The Life and Work of Sigmund Freud (1961) page 329

(112) Alfred Adler, The Psychological Hermaphroditism in Life and in the Neurosis (1910)

(113) Sigmund Freud, letter to Carl Jung (3rd December 1910)

(114) Stephen Wilson, Sigmund Freud (1997) page 73

(115) Peter Gay, Freud: A Life for Our Time (1989) page 223

(116) Sigmund Freud, letter to Ludwig Binswanger (13th December 1910)

(117) Stephen Wilson, Sigmund Freud (1997) page 74

(118) Alfred Adler, letter to Ernest Jones (7th July, 1911)

(119) Sigmund Freud, letter to Ernest Jones (9th August, 1911)

(120) Peter Gay, Freud: A Life for Our Time (1989) page 223

(121) Sigmund Freud, Autobiography (1923) page 15

(122) Granville Stanley Hall, letter to Sigmund Freud (15th December, 1908)

(123) Sigmund Freud, Autobiography (1923) page 15

(124) Peter Gay, Freud: A Life for Our Time (1989) page 207

(125) Sigmund Freud, Autobiography (1923) page 15

(126) Beverley Clack, Freud on the Couch: A Critical Introduction to the Father of Psychoanalysis (2013) page 21

(127) Ernest Jones, The Life and Work of Sigmund Freud (1961) page 367

(128) Sigmund Freud, letter to Carl Jung (13th August, 1908)

(129) Peter Gay, Freud: A Life for Our Time (1989) page 202

(130) Sigmund Freud, letter to Sandor Ferenczi (29th December, 1910)

(131) Sigmund Freud, letter to Sandor Ferenczi (13th February, 1910)

(132) Sigmund Freud, letter to Sandor Ferenczi (3rd March, 1910)

(133) Sigmund Freud, letter to Carl Jung (6th March, 1910)

(134) Carl Jung, letter to Sigmund Freud (3rd March, 1910)

(135) Sigmund Freud, letter to Carl Jung (5th March, 1912)

(136) Ernest Jones, letter to Sigmund Freud (7th August, 1912)

(137) Carl Jung, letter to Sigmund Freud (11th November, 1912)

(138) Ernest Jones, The Life and Work of Sigmund Freud (1961) page 233

(139) Sigmund Freud, letter to Carl Jung (26th November, 1912)

(140) Sigmund Freud, letter to Ernest Jones (26th December, 1912)

(141) Peter Gay, Freud: A Life for Our Time (1989) page 239

(142) Beverley Clack, Freud on the Couch: A Critical Introduction to the Father of Psychoanalysis (2013) page 22

(143) Sigmund Freud, letter to Sandor Ferenczi (28th June, 1914)

(144) Ernest Jones, The Life and Work of Sigmund Freud (1961) page 425

(145) Sigmund Freud, letter to Karl Abraham (2nd August, 1914)

(146) Karl Abraham, letter to Sigmund Freud (29th August, 1914)

(147) Sigmund Freud, letter to Ernest Jones (22nd October, 1914)

(148) Stephen Wilson, Sigmund Freud (1997) page 79

(149) Sigmund Freud, letter to Karl Abraham (27th July, 1914)

(150) Martin Freud, letter to Sigmund Freud (17th August, 1914)

(151) Peter Gay, Freud: A Life for Our Time (1989) page 352

(152) Ernest Jones, The Life and Work of Sigmund Freud (1961) page 439

(153) Michael Kahn, Basic Freud (2002) page 172

(154) Sigmund Freud, Mourning and Melancholia (1917)

(155) Michael Kahn, Basic Freud (2002) page 175

(156) Sigmund Freud, Mourning and Melancholia (1917)

(157) Beverley Clack, Freud on the Couch: A Critical Introduction to the Father of Psychoanalysis (2013) page 24

(158) Ernest Jones, The Life and Work of Sigmund Freud (1961) page 504

(159) Sigmund Freud, letter to Max Eitingon (21st January, 1920)

(160) Sigmund Freud, letter to Kata Levy (26th February, 1920)

(161) Martha Freud, letter to Katharine Jones (19th March, 1928)

(162) Beverley Clack, Freud on the Couch: A Critical Introduction to the Father of Psychoanalysis (2013) page 25

(163) Sigmund Freud, letter to Sandor Ferenczi (4th February, 1920)

(164) Sigmund Freud, letter to Lajos Levy (4th February, 1920)

(165) Nick Rennison, Freud and Psychoanalysis (2001) pages 51-52

(166) Sigmund Freud, Beyond the Pleasure Principle (1920) page 63

(167) Ernest Jones, The Life and Work of Sigmund Freud (1961) page 504

(168) Fritz Wittels, Sigmund Freud (1924) page 231

(169) Sigmund Freud, letter to Fritz Wittels (December 1923)

(170) Sigmund Freud, letter to Ernest Jones (24th August, 1922)

(171) Michael Kahn, Basic Freud (2002) page 26

(172) David Stafford-Clark, What Freud Really Said (1965) page 134

(173) Beverley Clack, Freud on the Couch: A Critical Introduction to the Father of Psychoanalysis (2013) page 72

(174) Sigmund Freud, Ego and Id (1923) page 25

(175) Michael Kahn, Basic Freud (2002) page 27

(176) Sigmund Freud, Ego and Id (1923) page 25

(177) Peter Gay, Freud: A Life for Our Time (1989) page 407

(178) Sigmund Freud, letter to Ernest Jones (25th April, 1923)

(179) Sigmund Freud, letter to Lou Andreas-Salomé (10th May, 1923)

(180) Wilhelm Stekel, The Autobiography of Wilhelm Stekel (1950) page 542

(181) Nick Rennison, Freud and Psychoanalysis (2001) page 24

(182) Ernest Jones, The Life and Work of Sigmund Freud (1961) page 540

(183) Sigmund Freud, letter to Lou Andreas-Salomé (11th May, 1927)

(184) Sigmund Freud, letter to Lou Andreas-Salomé (11th December, 1927)

(185) Peter Gay, Freud: A Life for Our Time (1989) page 525

(186) Sigmund Freud, letter to Charles Singer (31st October, 1938)

(187) Sigmund Freud, letter to Oskar Pfister (16th October, 1927)

(188) Nick Rennison, Freud and Psychoanalysis (2001) page 52

(189) Peter Gay, Freud: A Life for Our Time (1989) page 528

(190) Sigmund Freud, The Future of an Illusion (1927)

(191) Beverley Clack, Freud on the Couch: A Critical Introduction to the Father of Psychoanalysis (2013) page 131

(192) Sigmund Freud, The Future of an Illusion (1927)

(193) David Stafford-Clark, What Freud Really Said (1965) page 224

(194) Nathan Krass, quoted in the New York Times (23rd January, 1928)

(195) Sigmund Freud, letter to Lou Andreas-Salomé (14th July, 1929)

(196) Peter Gay, Freud: A Life for Our Time (1989) page 547

(197) Sigmund Freud, Civilization and Its Discontents (1929)

(198) Ernest Jones, The Life and Work of Sigmund Freud (1961) page 595

(199) Nick Rennison, Freud and Psychoanalysis (2001) page 53

(200) Peter Gay, Freud: A Life for Our Time (1989) page 547

(201) Sigmund Freud, Civilization and Its Discontents (1929)

(202) Peter Gay, Freud: A Life for Our Time (1989) page 546

(203) Sigmund Freud, Civilization and Its Discontents (1929)

(204) Beverley Clack, Freud on the Couch: A Critical Introduction to the Father of Psychoanalysis (2013) page 127

(205) Sigmund Freud, Civilization and Its Discontents (1929)

(206) Peter Gay, Freud: A Life for Our Time (1989) pages 545-546

(207) Sigmund Freud, Civilization and Its Discontents (1929)

(208) Ernest Jones, The Life and Work of Sigmund Freud (1961) page 594

(209) Sigmund Freud, letter to Samuel Freud (31st July, 1933)

(210) Sigmund Freud, letter to Hilda Doolittle (27th October, 1933)

(211) Sigmund Freud, letter to Ernst Freud (20th February, 1934)

(212) Ernest Jones, The Life and Work of Sigmund Freud (1961) page 617

(213) Peter Hoffmann, The History of German Resistance (1977) page 15

(214) Oskar Pfister, letter to Sigmund Freud (24th May, 1933)

(215) Ernest Jones, The Life and Work of Sigmund Freud (1961) page 618

(216) Sigmund Freud, letter to Marie Bonaparte (10th July, 1933)

(217) Stephen Wilson, Sigmund Freud (1997) page 102

(218) Marie Bonaparte, letter to Sigmund Freud (30th December, 1936)

(219) Sigmund Freud, letter to Marie Bonaparte (3rd January, 1937)

(220) Marie Bonaparte, letter to Sigmund Freud (7th January, 1937)

(221) Sigmund Freud, letter to Martha Freud (28th April, 1885)

(222) Peter Gay, Freud: A Life for Our Time (1989) page 614

(223) Sigmund Freud, letter to Arnold Zweig (10th February, 1937)

(224) Sigmund Freud, letter to Arnold Zweig (22nd June, 1937)

(225) Peter Gay, Freud: A Life for Our Time (1989) page 615

(226) Carl Zuckmayer, Part of Myself: Portrait of an Epoch (1970) page 71

(227) New York Times (16th March, 1938)

(228) New York Times (24th March, 1938)

(229) Max Schur, Freud: Living and Dying (1972) page 498

(230) Ernest Jones, The Life and Work of Sigmund Freud (1961) page 642

(231) The Manchester Guardian (7th June, 1938)

(232) Leonard Woolf, Downhill All the Way (1967) pages 168-169

(233) Sigmund Freud, letter to Charles Singer (31st October, 1938)

(234) Sigmund Freud, Moses and Monotheism (1939)

(235) Father Vincent McNabb, The Catholic Herald (14th July, 1939)

(236) Sigmund Freud, letter to Marie Bonaparte (15th June, 1939)

(237) Sigmund Freud, letter to Arnold Zweig (20th February, 1939)

(238) Max Schur, Freud: Living and Dying (1972) page 408

(239) Peter Gay, Freud: A Life for Our Time (1989) page 651

(240) Max Schur, Freud: Living and Dying (1972) pages 526-529