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Woolf, M. (1946). Joseph K. Friedjung. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 27:71-72.

(1946). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 27:71-72

Joseph K. Friedjung

M. Woolf

Dr. Joseph K. Friedjung, formerly Lecturer on Pædiatrics at the University of Vienna, died at Haifa in Palestine on February 20, 1946, at the age of 75. At 8 o'clock that evening he had ended a session with a psycho-analytic patient; a few minutes later he had an attack of angina pectoris (his first) and died within twenty minutes. Thus ended a life full of activity and incident. Friedjung was by character a fighter in the sphere of culture and philanthropy, but he was a helper too. His life's work was devoted to three great interests: Social Work, Medicine (in particular, pædiatrics) and Psycho-Analysis.

He was born on May 6, 1871, at Nachwieditz in Czechoslovakia, third of a family of eight children. His father, Alois, was a merchant and inn-keeper. Joseph Friedjung spent his early years in the country and attended a Czech primary school. When he was ten he went to a secondary school in Vienna. At the same time he attended the Vienna Conservatoire to develop his musical gifts, which were so considerable that he thought at one time of taking up music professionally. When, however, he had completed his course at the secondary school, in 1888, he decided definitely for a scientific career and became a medical student at Vienna University. After 1896 he devoted himself specially to pædiatrics, which he studied both in Berlin and Vienna.

His social-political activity began in 1900, when he became a member of the Social-Democratic Party. Ten years later, at the suggestion of Dr. Hitschmann, he joined Freud's circle and soon became an active champion of psycho-analysis, especially in its application to pædiatrics. In 1920 he was appointed Lecturer on Pædiatrics at the University of Vienna.

His political career was somewhat eventful as well as successful. He was called up for military service in October, 1917, became involved in revolutionary activities and took an active part in the revolution in Austria after the first World War. In 1919 he was elected to the Austrian Diet and remained a member until 1922. He continued to be actively concerned in Viennese municipal politics and especially in the sphere of education.

After the February rising in 1934 Friedjung was arrested on suspicion of being head of the medical service of the republican defence organization and was kept in prison for ten weeks.

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