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Niederland, W.G. (1960). Schreber's Father. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 8:492-499.

(1960). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 8:492-499

Schreber's Father

William G. Niederland, M.D.

Senatspräsident Daniel Paul Schreber, who has aptly been called "the most frequently quoted patient in psychiatry" (3), was the second son of Dr. Daniel Gottlieb Moritz Schreber (1808-1861). The latter, a prominent physician and orthopedist, was also a prolific writer, lecturer, educator, and inventor of some sort. Freud, in his classic study on the son's Memoirs of My Nervous Illness(2), speaks of Dr. Schreber's "great reputation as the founder of therapeutic gymnastics in Germany, " mentions in some detail his multifold activities in the field of physical culture, and also points to the wide circulation of one of his books, Ärztliche Zimmergymnastik (Medical Indoor Gymnastics) (12), which at the time of Freud's publication had passed through twenty-six editions.

Freud also calls attention to Dr. Schreber's "lasting influence upon his contemporaries, " a point which acquires additional meaning when we learn that, according to my latest information (1958) from Germany, there are today over two million members in the so-called Schreber Vereine, associations dedicated to the propagation of physical culture, calisthenics, gardening, fresh-air activities, and the like.

It is apparent, then, that the man who as God became the central figure in the son's delusional system, was a person of unusual character and propensities.

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