Sigmund Freud’s Contemporary

Ludwig Andreas Feuerbach 1804–1872

The German philosopher Feuerbach was a follower and later a critic of Hegel, and leader of a materialist, social school of thought highly critical of religion that was joined subsequently by Marx, Engels and Bakunin.


Johann Friedrich Herbart 1776–1841

A German philosopher and pupil of Johann Gottlieb Fichte, Herbart developed a pedagogical philosophy that defined the profile of the educator and pedagogical thinker on a certain idea of instruction and on psychology grounded in experience, metaphysics and mathematics. Herbart sought to comprehend the real through concepts, an approach that influenced Freud’s work of metapsychological theorization.


Franz Brentano 1838–1917

German and subsequently Austrian philosopher and psychologist, a specialist in ontology, ethics and the philosophy of language, he was particularly interested in the Aristotelian scholastic concept of causality. He was Freud’s teacher in Vienna. His work had an influence on the psychoanalytical mindset.


Carl Friedrich Wilhelm Claus 1835–1899

German zoologist specializing in crustaceans. He taught in Vienna.


Ernst Wilhelm von Brücke 1819–1892

A brilliant man famous for his work in physiology, where he sought to represent the psyche through physico-chemical laws. Ernst von Brücke directed the laboratory of the Institute of Physiology where Freud would intensify his research into the nervous system of fish. A mentor to Freud, von Brücke was also appreciative of Freud, making him Senior Lecturer and introducing him to Josef Breuer, with whom Freud would deepen his knowledge of hysteria, veering off toward the creation of psychoanalysis.


Martha Bernays 1861–1951

Wife to Sigmund Freud and granddaughter of the great Rabbi of Hamburg, Isaac Bernays (a man of great culture and a fine Talmudist), Martha was noble and moral, and religiously orthodox. She was a strong, upright woman, whom Freud would fall back on in times of trouble. She did not become embroiled in her husband’s revolutionary scientific adventure, but concerned herself with the responsibility of their six children. She was, however, the first to believe in the virtues of the man who was her husband, Sigmund Freud. According to her biographers, she was a stable, unassuming, level-headed kind of woman.


Theodor Hermann Meynert 1833–1892

Meynert was one of the greatest European neuroanatomists and psychiatrists of his day. He advocated an interconnected functional-area model of the brain. He also published a classification of psychiatric disorders. His trainee, Freud, distanced himself from Meynert’s anatomist conception of the connections between the brain and thought.


Joseph Breuer 1842–1925

Fourteen years older than Freud, Breuer was a physician doing research work at the Institute of Physiology directed by Ernst von Brücke. An amiable man, he helped Freud’s young household financially. However, the Anna O. case marked a theoretical rupture between the two men, with Breuer remaining committed to hypnosis and Freud committing himself to the path of psychoanalysis. Their liking for each, however, remained unaffected.


Jean-Martin Charcot 1825–1893

Charcot, the celebrated physician of the Salpêtrière Hospital, left his mark on modern neurology and psychiatry. He applied to hysteria a method of observation and methodical description borrowed from neurology. He used hypnosis to induce bouts of hysteria and set his trainee, Freud, on the path to psychoanalysis by confiding to him that there was a bedroom (sexual) secret at the root of hysteria. The four-month course Freud took with Charcot left a long-lasting impression on him, and the desire to perfect Charcot’s techniques.


Bertha Pappenheim (aka Anna O.)

This patient, an acquaintance of Martha Bernays, was studied by Josef Breuer. She displayed serious hysterical symptoms, which Breuer succeeded in making disappear through the revelation of traumata recovered under hypnosis. Her treatment suffered a setback when Breuer fell in love with his patient. Without ever seeing Anna O. in consultation, Freud drew conclusions from the case about the importance of recollecting events kept out of the conscious.

Due to her militant feminism, the patient also gained a great reputation under her real name of Bertha Pappenheim. She directed an orphanage, founded the League of Jewish Women, did research into prostitution, published sociological studies and short stories, and become a central figure in Germany’s social struggles at the turn of the twentieth century. A commemorative stamp was later issued of her in Germany.


Isaac Bernays 1792–1849

A disciple of the famous Talmudist, Rabbi Abraham Bing, and private tutor to Herr von Hirsch, “Chacham” Isaac Bernays lived from teaching in Mainz. He was elected Grand Rabbi of the German community in Hamburg in 1821. He was a strict orthodox Jew with a modern education. He directly controlled the religious and educational institutions and made radical reforms in them. He introduced a sermon in German into the liturgy and imposed the teaching of German, natural sciences, geography and history on the community’s schools with the aim of helping pupils deal with the realities of life. He was the official government spokesperson for his community. Bernays left behind a reputation as an excellent orator and subtle commentator of the Bible, the Midrash and the Talmud. He left behind no writings, however. Bernays was the grandfather of Freud’s wife, Martha Bernays. Little is known about his son, Martha’s father, who went bankrupt and was jailed.


Max Kassowitz 1862–1913

Max Kassowitz was director of the Public Institute for Sick Children in Vienna. For ten years Freud was in charge of the neurological department under Kassowitz’s leadership. Some of his neurological writings from this period have been published.


Anna Freud 1895–1982

Anna was the youngest of Freud’s six children. She joined the social movement in the 1920s and helped organize crèches, community leaders and clinics. She became a member of the coordination committee of the International Psychoanalytical Association in 1925 and published An Introduction to the Technique of Child Analysis in 1927. She adapted her father’s methods to tackle the problems of childhood; Melanie Klein was devising her own method at the same time. Escaping the Nazi regime thanks to the providential intervention of her friend Marie Bonaparte, Anna Freud emigrated with her father to London in 1938. She founded the Hampstead War Nursery, where she practiced child therapy. She subsequently shouldered the grave responsibility of defending Freudian orthodoxy in response to tensions within the International Psychoanalytical Association.


Augustus Ambroise Liebault 1823–1904

A physician and a contemporary of Charcot, Liebault founded the Nancy School in opposition to the Paris School. He is considered the founder of modern hypnosis and hypnotherapy by suggestion. Liebault held that, far from being a magical, magnetic or hysterical phenomenon, hypnosis was a normal psychic phenomenon occurring when the conditions were right. His assistants included the physicians Hippolyte Bernheim and Emile Coué. Freud trained under them and was heavily influenced by the Nancy School.


Hippolyte Bernheim 1840–1919

Hippolyte Bernheim was an intern under the physician Augustus Ambroise Liebeault, who introduced him to hypnosis. He eventually became leader of the Nancy School, which opposed the prestigious Paris School directed by Jean-Martin Charcot. Bernheim displayed great medical rigour and influenced Freud on a course of several weeks at Nancy in 1889. It was thanks to Bernheim that Freud distanced himself from Charcot, who was inducing hypnosis by morbid and artificial means in hysterical subjects particularly predisposed to it. Radically opposed to such practices, Bernheim demonstrated to Freud that a state of suggestibility could be induced in anyone, later leading Freud to develop the notion of transference. Favourably impressed, Freud translated two works by Bernheim into German.


Wilhelm Fleiss 1858–1928

On the advice of Joseph Breuer, the ear, nose and throat specialist Wilhelm Fleiss met Feud in Vienna in 1887. They very quickly struck up a correspondence about their respective work from 1887 to 1902, which came down to us via Marie Bonaparte. On the scientific level, Fleiss brought little to Freud. On the literary level, however, their correspondence made Freud think in a fully-fledged scientific way. Though their views rarely coincided, Fleiss played a real role as a catalyst in the development of psychoanalytic theory.


Marie Bonaparte 1882–1962

A Greek and Danish princess married to George I of Greece, Marie Bonaparte lived a particularly eventful life. She subsequently met and underwent a course of analysis with Freud. On her return to Paris she was the only one of the French founding group of the Paris Psychoanalytic Society to have been trained by Freud. She became friends with Anna Freud and would later have a major influence in upholding orthodoxy in the International Psychoanalytical Association.

Marie Bonaparte published a considerable body of work, of which there remains little in terms of theory. She is also famous for her autobiography and her notes on childhood, but she has gained particular recognition from the scientific community for two exceptional rescues: in 1938 she bought Freud’s complete correspondence with Wilhelm Fleiss from a dealer; then, thanks to her fortune, her nobility and the assistance of the American ambassador in Vienna, she pulled Freud, his wife and his daughter, Anna, out of the hands of the Nazis, who had annexed Austria, and offered them asylum in London, just in time to save them from inevitable extermination.


Richard von Krafft-Ebing 1840–1902

Baron von Krafft-Ebing was an Austro-Hungarian psychiatrist and author of a famous study on sexual perversion, where the notions of sadism and masochism appear. He was also an expert in forensic medicine and lectured on the power of hypnosis. However, von Krafft-Ebing considered perversions to be due to degeneracy in contrast to psychoanalytic theory, which viewed such perversions as incomplete phases of onto-phylogenetic development.


Alfred Adler 1870–1937

The young Viennese physician Alfred Adler was one of the first to join the fledgling Psychological Wednesday Society. An ambitious man, he took offence at the appointment of Carl Gustav Jung to the head of the International Psychoanalytical Association while he was appointed head of the Viennese Psychoanalytic Society. With Wilhelm Stekel he was founder and co-editor of the journal Zentralblatt für Psychoanalysis. He broke with Freud fairly early on, as he believed that the dominant/dominated relationship was primary in the theory of psychosexuality. In 1911 he set up his own movement, inspired by philosophers Marx, Nietzsche and Leibnitz, and achieved great medical fame. The Society of Individual Psychology directed by Adler worked mainly in pedagogy but disappeared with him after his death.


Wilhelm Stekel 1868–1940

As a young physician, Stekel went to see Freud for a short course of analysis, then joined the fledgling Psychological Wednesday Society. Polish in origin, he went on to found the journal Zentralblatt für Psychoanalysis with Alfred Adler and co-edited it until World War I put an end to its circulation. After falling out with Freud, Stekel practiced a method of brief analysis involving more active involvement from the therapist, a practice that disappeared with him after his death in London.


Ida Bauer (aka “Dora”)

In 1901 Freud published the case of Ida Bauer using the pseudonym, “Dora”. Her story bears the print of the hypocrisy of turn-of-the-century Viennese society regarding sexuality and adultery. Dora seemed to be suffering from a serious psychosis. However, in light of various symptoms, Freud diagnosed hysteria. Through her accounts of her dreams Freud succeeded in reconstructing the girl’s repressed history in eleven weeks of consultations. This famous case would come to form part of the five cases related in the work Fragments of an Analysis of a Case of Hysteria.


Paul Federn 1870–1950

The Viennese physician Paul Federn joined the Psychological Wednesday Society in 1903. He was, however, one of the rare analysts who did not undergo personal analysis by Freud, a fact that did not prevent Freud from appreciating him as one of the most gifted and reliable of analysts. Federn was made responsible for following Freud’s clientele when Freud asked him to succeed him as President of the Viennese Psychoanalytic Society in 1924, a post he was to hold until 1938. Following the annexation of Austria by Nazi Germany, he chose exile in New York, where he settled and played an important part in training the first American analysts. His works are particularly concerned with psychosis and the psychology of the ego.


Eduard Hitschmann 1871–1957

Recognized for his faithful devotion to Freud, Viennese physician Hitschmann was introduced by Paul Federn to the Psychological Wednesday Society. He became director of the Vienna Psychiatric Clinic and, fleeing the annexation of Austria by Nazi Germany, he settled in the United States after a spell in London. His wide-ranging cultural knowledge led him to take an interest in psychoanalysis applied to the works and personalities of the major philosophers.


Sándor Ferenczi 1871–1933

Ferenczi was a Budapest-based Hungarian neurologist and later psychiatrist to the royal court. He met Freud in 1908 and subsequently joined the group of pioneering psychoanalysts. He was interested in the most serious cases and in the extremes of psychosis. He published a sometimes daring body of theoretical work that opened up hitherto unexplored avenues of research. He collaborated with Otto Rank, then with Georg Groddeck to perfect a warmer, more active technique in which the analyst sometimes debates freely with the analysed. He left behind a body of short texts, The Confusion of Tongues between Adults and Children being the best-known. Despite theoretical divergences, Sándor Ferenczi was the most intimate of Freud’s colleagues, whom he sometimes embarrassed with his demands for affection.


Karl Abraham 1877–1925

Abraham was a German physician who began studying psychoanalysis with Carl Gustav Jung, whom he associated with at the Burghölzli Psychiatric Hospital in Switzerland, where he practised. He met Freud in 1907 and became a faithful colleague and friend. He founded the Berlin Psychoanalytic Society in 1910. He was at the origin of several currents such as Kleinism, the theory of the relationship to the object or the psychology of the ego. His particular interest in the various stages of psychosexual development elaborated by Freud paved the way for Anglo-American clinical psychoanalysis.


Max Eitingon 1881–1943

A Russian physician educated in Zurich, Eitingon practised at the Burghölzli Psychiatric Hospital in Switzerland, where he collaborated with Carl Gustav Jung. He met Freud in 1907 and trained with him in psychoanalysis. A reliable and faithful pupil, he joined the secret committee following the dissidence of Carl Gustav Jung. He rejoined Karl Abraham in Berlin, where he developed German psychoanalysis, and succeeded him as the head of the International Psychoanalytic Association. He participated regularly as a silent partner in the development of the psychoanalytic movement. He was ruined first by the stock market crash of 1929 and later by the rise of the anti-Freudian and anti-Semitic Nazi movement. He then emigrated to Palestine and settled in Jerusalem, where he collaborated in the creation of a Psychoanalytical Society.


Ernest Jones 1879–1958

The English physician Ernest Jones specialized in neurology, which led him to the works of Freud in 1903. He attended the first psychoanalytic convention in Salzburg in 1908, where he finally met Freud. He then emigrated to Canada and settled in Toronto. He left the New World to undergo analysis with Freud and pursued this with Sándor Ferenczi. He eventually settled permanently in London, where he ran the British Psychoanalytical Society and became involved in the International Journal of psychoanalysis. In addition to his personal works, he wrote one of the best biographies of Freud. He opened his arms to Freud at the time of his exile in London and, after Freud’s death, kept a devoted eye on his works and their translation and over the International Psychoanalytical Association.


Ludwig Jekels 1867–1954

A Polish physician, he ran a clinic in Silesia before meeting Freud and taking him as an analyst. He later joined the Psychological Wednesday Society. To pursue his career he settled in Vienna, where he became a familiar of Freud’s. He went into exile in 1935 and settled in New York.


Abraham Arden Brill 1974–1948

A Hungarian emigrant, Brill studied medicine in the United States, then specialized in psychiatry at the Burghölzli Psychiatric Hospital in Switzerland, where he associated with Carl Gustav Jung. He later became friends with Freud, with whom he corresponded. Freud entrusted Brill with the translation of certain works. Brill founded the New York Psychoanalytic Society in 1911, and was looked upon as Freud’s American representative.


Carl Gustav Jung 1875–1961

The son of a Swiss pastor and a trained physician, he specialized in psychiatry at the celebrated Burghölzli Psychiatric Hospital in Zurich, then directed by Eugen Bleuler. There he associated with a number of young medical specialists whom he gathered around his exceptional personality. He met Freud in 1907 and an intense bond was forged between the two. Freud came to see Jung as a spiritual son who could take up the reins of the psychoanalytic movement. Jung soon became editor of the Jarbüch Der psychoanalysis in 1908, participated in the trip to the United States in 1909 and became the first president of the International Psychoanalytical Association in 1910.

However, Jung’s swift rise to prominence masked theoretical differences over the role of psychosexuality that led him to clash with Freud. From 1912 on, Freud distanced himself from Jung’s publications and isolated him by creating a secret committee until eventually releasing Jung of all his responsibilities in 1914.

Jung took with him many of Freud’s followers to form his own movement, which centred more on spirituality. Following the Nazi persecutions and subsequent exile of the pioneers of psychoanalysis, who where in the main of Jewish origin or persuasion, Jung took the helm of the German association in 1940, leaving behind him a considerable body of literature. His independent movement is still going strong.


Otto Rank (born Rosenfeld) 1884–1939

After a difficult relationship with his father, Otto Rosenfeld became Otto Rank in 1903. A brilliant, determined and highly cultured physician, he won a place in Freud’s affections and became his private secretary. He later became a member of the secret committee assigned to keep an eye on the orthodoxy of the young psychoanalytic movement.

Paradoxically, during the 1930s he left the movement he had been appointed to supervise to set up his own dissident movement when he published his book, The Trauma of Birth. He travelled around a great deal, settling first in Paris, then the United States. His movement died out with his death.


Hans Sachs 1881–1947

Exceptionally among the pioneers of psychoanalysis Sachs was not a physician. Greatly appreciated by Freud, he was present at the Wednesday meetings of the Viennese Psychoanalytic Society and later became a member of the secret committee set up to watch over the theoretical orthodoxy of the young psychoanalytic movement. He was appointed co-editor of the journal Imago, then on Freud’s advice settled in Berlin as a self-taught psychoanalyst, where he was recognized as one of the most active members in the European association. Fleeing Nazi persecution, he went into exile in Boston, where he was president of the Boston Psychoanalytic Society


Anton von Freund

A Hungarian businessman, von Freund was a wealthy client of Freud’s often turned to for press funding for the young movement. He was ruined by the economic crisis following World War I.


Lou Andreas-Salomé (Louise von Salomé) 1861–1937

A German of Russian extraction, Salomé was a brilliant writer with a penchant for romance. She was known for seducing the greatest European literary names of the day without ever losing her heart to them. She became the femme fatale of Paul Rée and Freidrich Nietzsche, had a celibate marriage with Friedrich Carl Andreas, and seduced and became a muse to Rainer Maria Rilke. She published novels and essays, and left behind a major body of correspondence.

She met, underwent treatment with and was subsequently trained by Freud in 1911. She became friends with his daughter, Anna Freud, and joined the adventure of the psychoanalytic movement. Gifted with a quick critical mind, she participated in the theoretical development of the second schema and left behind a plentiful body of correspondence with Freud, alongside her own works on psychoanalysis.


Roman Rolland 1886–1944

Rolland was a French writer with strong humanist, non-violent ideals and received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1915. He corresponded with Freud from 1909 until the two men finally met in Vienna in 1924. He collaborated in perfecting the notion of “oceanic feeling” in 1923.


Albert Einstein 1879–1955

Einstein was a German-born Swiss physicist of Jewish origin, and author of the Theory of General Relativity in 1916. A renowned pacifist and board member of the French League for Human Rights from 1928, Einstein became world-famous as early as the 1920s. He was being hounded by the Nazis when he met Freud. His house in Berlin was ransacked in 1933 and he spent the rest of his life in exile in Princeton, New Jersey.


Thomas Mann 1875–1955

The celebrated German writer and 1929 Nobel Prize winner for Literature, Thomas Mann fled from Nazi persecution to Switzerland in 1933 and was stripped of German nationality in 1936. Acquainted with the works of Freud, he famously said of Hitler: “How the man must hate analysis!” He went into exile in the United States in 1938 and returned to Switzerland in 1952. He was nominated as a presidential candidate for the Federal Republic of Germany.


Hilda Doolittle 1886–1961

American poetess, feminist and novelist, Doolittle set out for Austria in 1933, where she became a patient of Freud’s. She published her memoirs of this experience in Writing on the Wall (1944), the diary of her analysis, reissued in 1956 under the title, Tribute to Freud. Her extremely perceptive account is a valuable testimony to the warmth of Freud’s relationship with his patients. She subsequently underwent a course of psychotherapy with the daughter of Mélanie Klein, Melitta Schmidberger.


Lucien Lévy-Bruhl 1857–1939

The French sociologist and anthropologist Lévy-Bruhl was a colleague of Emile Durkheim. Even today, his work How Natives Think is a landmark in ethnology, sociology and psychology. In it he describes the workings of primitive thought and what fundamentally differentiates it from civilized thought.



Abbreviation for “Geheime Staatspolizei”, German for “Secret State Police”. The Gestapo was the political police force of Germany from 1933 to 1945. It was condemned as a criminal organization at the Nuremberg trials.


SA (Sturmabteilung, or “Storm Division”)

The SA was founded in 1920 by Ernst Röhm. It was a paramilitary service formed to protect the meetings of Hitler’s Nazi Party and to disrupt Communist and Socialist meetings. An offshoot of the Baltic Free Corps, SA members were called “brown shirts” after their uniform. It was with the SA that Hitler attempted his putsch in Munich in November 1923. It subsequently recruited from the unemployed and even the criminal classes. By the start of 1933, when Hitler came to power, the SA was some 400,000 strong. It imposed a veritable reign of terror throughout Germany, intimidating militants of the German left and unions. Anti-Semitic by ideology, the SA was used in the first violent persecution of the Jews in 1933.


Maresfield Gardens

Freud moved into Maresfield Gardens on 27 September 1938 and remained there until his death at the age of 83 on 23 September 1939. Despite age and exile, he nevertheless went on working: Moses and Monotheism was finished there, as was his final Outline of psychoanalysis. Freud also received several patients in analysis there. His daughter, Anna Freud, lived in the house until her death in 1982. Two years before this she sold the house to the Sigmund Freud Archives for it to be run as a museum after her death.


Salvador Dali (Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dalí Domènech) 1904–1989

Spanish surrealist painter and sculptor, Dalí became interested in the surrealists’ accounts of dreams and automatic writing. He created the notion of the inanimate object with symbolic function, like soft watches representing the distortion of time. He was also fascinated by science, especially Albert Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity, which he represented in his way in The Persistence of Memory.

The Austrian writer and biographer Stefan Zweig introduced the surrealist artist to Freud on 19 July 1938 when he was living at 39 Elsworthy Road, London. Unbeknownst to Freud, Dali made a sketch at their meeting and later made a pen-and-ink drawing of him. Neither the sketch nor the drawing were shown to Freud, as Stefan Zweig believed they depicted his imminent death.


Jarbüch Der Psychoanalysis 1909–1914

German psychoanalysis periodical, 6 volumes.

Zentralblatt für Psychoanalysis

Austrian periodical and mouthpiece of the Viennese Psychoanalytic Society founded by Alfred Adler and Wilhelm Steckel.


Internationale Zeitschrift für Psychoanalysis 1913–1937

German psychoanalysis periodical, 23 volumes, ransacked and destroyed by the Nazis.


Imago 1912–1937

German psychoanalysis periodical specializing in the human sciences, 23 volumes, ransacked and destroyed by the Nazis.


Internationaler Psychoanalytischer Verlag 1926–1938

Austrian psychoanalysis periodical, 13 volumes, premises ransacked and destroyed by the Nazis.


Imago Publishing Company (IPC) 1939–1962

Freud founded the IPC in exile in London in 1939 following the destruction of the psychoanalytic movement’s press organs by the Nazis. He entrusted it to John Rodker, with Barbara Low and Martin Freud as co-directors. The publishing house undertook the delicate task of translating Freud’s entire œuvre into English. The eighteen volumes proved to be a runaway success.


Max Schur 1897–1969

The Viennese physician Schur became interested in lectures on psychoanalysis and took Ruth Mack Brunswick as his analyst. He joined the Viennese Psychoanalytic Society and became Freud’s personal physician. He joined Freud in exile in London, but left after Freud’s death to settle in the United States.