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Nacht, S. (1963). Marie Bonaparte—1882–1962. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 44:516-517.

(1963). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 44:516-517

Marie Bonaparte—1882–1962

S. Nacht

Marie Bonaparte was Princess of Greece and Denmark but, more still, was a lady of great scholarship and of great heart.

All aspects of human wisdom awoke in her a passionate curiosity; anything which could attack or wound men's hearts found an immediate and generous echo in her own heart. She could not accept any injustice sustained or inflicted.

She considered it her bounden duty to save Freud from the Nazi régime in Vienna in 1938—she was conscious of all she owed to him, of all that all of us, with her, owed to him. But it was less the sense of an overriding duty than a natural impulse which made her fly to the help of this great man caught in the mesh of a colossal and monstrous injustice. It is therefore thanks to her, helped by Jones, that Freud, already so ill, left the Nazi hell, and it was she again who supervised his settling in England with filial devotion, thus showing the gratitude typical of generous people.

If the tenacity that she brought to the saving of Freud is perfectly understandable in view of her recognition and admiration of him, how can we explain the numerous other cases in which the cruel fate of some unfortunate person aroused in her a fighting compassion which drove her to throw herself immediately into the endless struggle in which some people are engaged against the eternal injustice of the world?

We become accustomed to injustice: it lulls us, it fascinates us, it reduces us to immobility like some slow poison. Marie Bonaparte never became accustomed to it: she did not close her eyes to it, nor yield to it.

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