INSIDE
THIS
ISSUE

The Sigmund Freud Archives and
the Library of Congress: A
Psychoanalytic Tale of Two Cities
Louis Rose and Jennifer Stuart

APsaA's 111th Annual Meeting

The Community Psychoanalysis
Track and Consortium:
An Overview
Rachael Peltz and
Francisco J. González

One APsaA
Psychotherapist's Journey:
Meet Zoe Crawford

A Journey with Orpheus
Alan Pollack

Revising the Standards of
Psychoanalytic Education
Britt-Marie Schiller

Boston Psychoanalytic Society's Collaboration with the Sigmund Freud Museum in Vienna

Olga Umansky

In the summer of 2021, Daniela Finzi, research director at the Sigmund Freud Museum in Vienna, contacted the Boston Psychoanalytic Society & Institute (BPSI) Archives to request copies of Grete Bibring's dinner guestlists as well as photographs from the Edward Bibring photograph collection. These materials are being showcased at the special exhibit Organized Escape – Survival in Exile. Viennese Psychoanalysis 1938 and Beyond that opened in Vienna in November 2021. The exhibit focuses on the expulsion of Jewish psychoanalysts from Vienna after the Anschluss of 1938, an event Austrian new media and postconceptual artist Peter Weibel called the “Expulsion of Reason” in his installation Die Vertreibung der Vernunft. The installation, first realized at the 1993 Venice Biennale, investigates the expulsion of academics, researchers, artists, and intellectuals from Austria between 1933 and 1945. In the current exhibit, the Sigmund Freud Museum in Vienna puts this experience in the context of the history of psychoanalysis, modern day refugee movements, and xenophobia. Despite two challenging years for museums as a result of Covid and a recent lockdown in Austria, the exhibit received positive press coverage. It ran through the end of April 2022. For those who couldn't make the trip to Vienna, a special online portal invites visitors to browse and view up-close historic documents and photos. You can learn more about the exhibit by visiting www.freud-museum.at/en/.

Organized Escape – Survival in Exile tells the stories of Jewish psychoanalysts who managed to escape Vienna after Germany's annexation of Austria. Thirty-eight members and as many as thirty candidates of the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society (WPV) were affected by the anti-Semitic laws imposed by the Third Reich. The materials presented document how the escape of WPV members was methodically planned by the international psychoanalytic community, specifically in England, France, and the United States. The British psychoanalyst Ernest Jones stayed in touch with Anna Freud, orchestrating various rescue operations. Their correspondence reveals an incredible effort to make apartments available as temporary hiding places, to collect funds and organize sponsorships, and to assist members with country-specific professional licenses and visa applications. Jones maintained contacts with embassies of different countries in London as well as with the British Home Office and the Foreign Ministry. By the spring of 1939, all Jewish psychoanalysts and candidates of WPV had left Vienna, most of them for the United States.

Two exhibit documents in particular demonstrate how meticulous and systematic Ernest Jones and Anna Freud's plans were: first, a roster of thirty-eight WPV members; and second, another long list of ninety psychoanalysts and candidates living in Vienna and abroad in 1938, accompanied by their addresses, medical credentials, and financial assets. Several future members of the Boston Psychoanalytic Society appear on these lists: Edward Bibring, Grete Bibring, Felix Deutsch, Helene Deutsch, Eduard Hitschmann, Beata Rank, Robert Waelder, and Jenny Waelder who came and stayed in Boston until 1943. Hanns Sachs emigrated to Boston in 1932. Erik Homburger (better known under the name he created, Erik Erikson) came to Boston in 1933, applied to the training at BPSI, but then moved to New Haven to work at Yale. This master register of psychoanalysts in danger is a testament to the scrupulous organization of a collective escape. Records of everyone's professional status, financial state, location, and visa progress show that Ernest Jones was scrupulous about who could help whom, where medical doctors and lay analysts were likely to find employment, and how the logistics of each individual journey could work.

American psychoanalysts, many of whom had trained in Vienna in the 1920s, were instrumental in this escape plan. Right after the Anschluss, on March 13, 1938, the American Psychoanalytic Association (APsaA) established an Emergency Committee on Relief and Immigration intended to provide support to European psychoanalysts trying to emigrate to the United States. The Emergency Committee, chaired by New York psychoanalysts Lawrence S. Kubie and Bettina Warburg, coordinated efforts with their British colleagues Ernest Jones and Edward Glover, developing useful guidelines for obtaining US visas and procuring jobs. A separate American foundation, directed by Bertram D. Lewin, supported individual immigrants with grants, loans, and stipends. Among the most interesting exhibit documents is The Bulletin of Information to Be Supplied Only to Psychoanalysts Who Desire to Emigrate to the USA, underlining the necessity of a medical license to practice psychoanalysis in the US, listing states where foreigners were allowed to take a medical examination, and advising on visas, affidavits, and CVs. The bulletin warned newcomers of the possibility of isolation and loneliness, “because psychoanalytic practice, like all other medical practice, is affected seriously at present by severe economic depression.”

Right after the Anschluss, on March 13, 1938, the American Psychoanalytic Association (APsaA) established an Emergency Committee on Relief and Immigration intended to provide support to European psychoanalysts trying to emigrate to the United States.

Two interactive museum maps show analyst escape routes, their former addresses in Vienna, and their new destinations. The majority of WPV members settled in four American cities with leading psychoanalytic institutes: New York, Boston, Chicago, and Washington. Not everyone, though, had an easy transition. American psychoanalytic societies had their own complex histories and power dynamics. Many did not accept lay analysts, so those without medical degrees could not practice psychoanalysis. Most of the émigré analysts managed to have successful professional careers despite such challenges. Sanford Gifford noted in a 2017 article in American Imago, “The Influence of Analysts from Vienna and Berlin on Analysis in Boston,” that “in Boston, with its different institutional attitudes, some refugee analysts found a more fertile soil for their enterprises. Felix Deutsch's psychosomatic research had not flourished in Vienna, for example, and Grete Bibring's full-scale academic department of clinical psychiatry could never have developed in her native city.” All of the émigré analysts promoted and disseminated psychoanalytic ideas beyond their small circles. Many helped found new psychoanalytic societies, masterminded institute training reforms, and advocated for more inclusive admission policies.

Grete Bibring, Anna Freud, and Helene Deutsch at the 15th IPA congress, Paris, 1938.

It is not surprising the Sigmund Freud Museum in Vienna became interested in the unique archives left to BPSI by Edward and Grete Bibring. Edward Bibring, a BPSI member from Freud's close circle in Vienna, was the editor of the Internationale Zeitschrift für Psychoanalyse and a passionate photographer. Using his inverted camera, he managed to take personal photographs of his fellow psychoanalysts, often at early psychoanalytic congresses in Europe. These photographs were first discovered in our archives by BPSI librarian and photographer Vivien Goldman. Along with accompanying biographical sketches by Sanford Gifford, these images were published in Edward Bibring Photographs the Psychoanalysts of his Time, 1932-1938 (Psychosozial-Verlag, 2005). Grete Bibring, early BPSI member, revered teacher, and the first female professor at Harvard Medical School, kept notes on her dinner parties for fifty years (1927-1977)—from her youth in Vienna, through her short stay in London after fleeing Nazi-occupied Austria, to Boston where the family settled in 1940. Grete's notes were found in our archives forty years after her death. Many of her menus and guest lists were then published in Grete Bibring: A Culinary Biography (BPSI, 2015). Her notes about whom she invited and what she served indicate her continued sense of order in a life disrupted by war, emigration, change of language, and professional power struggles. Both books are featured in Organized Escape – Survival in Exile. These publications have sparked the interest of many historians. Some of Edward Bibring's photographs offer the only known images of certain analysts. They are republished in various reference sources. Psychoanalytikerinnen. Biografisches Lexikon (www.psychoanalytikerinnen.de), the online dictionary of women psychoanalysts, for example, uses nine photographs from the Bibring collection. Archival researchers keep identifying previously unknown colleagues in the Bibring group photos, adding clarifications and new facts to the early psychoanalysts’ biographies. APSAA

Edward and Grete Bibring on vacation in the 1920s.

Exhibit logo courtesy the Sigmund Freud Museum. Photographs © Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute Archive.


Olga Umansky, MLIS, is digital solutions librarian at Goodwin Procter and former librarian/archivist at the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute.