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Sigmund Freud (1856-1939)

The Austrian Father of Pyschoanalysis

Freudian Facts

“Die Anatomie ist das Schicksal.”
“Anatomy is destiny.”
   - Sigmund Freud

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Introduction - Biography
The Austrian founder of psychoanalysis was born Sigismund Schlomo Freud in the town of Freiberg (today's Pribor) in the Austro-Hungarian region of Moravia (Mähren, now in the Czech Republic) on May 6, 1856. Following religious tradition, his Jewish parents, Jacob and Amalia Freud, gave him the Yiddish middle name Schlomo. When he turned 21 Freud simplified his first name to Sigmund. Although he later became an atheist, Freud always acknowledged the influence of Judaism in his life.

Sigmund Freud in 1921
Sigmund Freud around 1921.
Photo: A. Max Halberstadt
More Freud Photos

Although he had been born in Moravia, when he was only four years old Freud's family moved to Vienna, where he grew up, was educated, and spent most of his life. Already as a young man Freud began to travel within Europe. He was particularly fond of Italy and he later also visited England (age 18) and the United States (in 1909), a nation which he viewed as “a big mistake.”

From the very beginning Freud's theories and practices have been subject to criticism and debate. That is still true today, but there can be no doubt concerning the tremendous influences of all things “Freudian” on the world and the field of psychiatry.

Publications by Sigmund Freud
A selected list of Freud’s more significant works:

  • “On Coca” (Über Coca, study), 1887
  • Über den psychischen Mechanismus hysterischer Phänomene, 1893
  • Studies on Hysteria (Studien über Hysterie, with J. Breuer), 1895
  • The Interpretation of Dreams (Die Traumdeutung), 1899/1900
  • The Psychopathology of Everyday Life (Zur Psychopathologie des Alltagslebens), 1901
  • Totem and Taboo (Totem und Tabu), 1913
  • Beyond the Pleasure Principle (Jenseits des Lustprinzips), 1920
  • The Ego and the Id (Das Ich und das Es), 1923
  • Civilization and Its Discontents (Das Unbehagen in der Kultur), 1929
  • Moses and Monotheism (Der Mann Moses und die monotheistische Religion), 1939

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Biographical Chronology
Here are some key events in the life of Sigmund Freud:

  • 1856 On May 6 Sigismund Freud is born in Austro-Hungarian Moravia, now in the Czech Republic. His Jewish parents are 41-year-old Kallamon Jacob Freud and his 21-year-old wife Amalia Nathanson. Jacob already has two children by his first wife, but Sigismund is Amalia's first child.
  • 1859-1860 Financial difficulties force the Freud family to move to Leipzig, Germany, and soon thereafter to the Austrian capital, settling in Vienna's Leopoldstadt Jewish district in 1860.
  • 1865 Freud enters the Gymnasium (secondary school) in Leopoldstadt where he becomes an outstanding student. He graduates with the Matura diploma in 1873.

NEXT > Sigmund Freud - Part 2 (Chronology)

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