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Ticho, E.A., Ticho, G.R. (1972). Freud and the Viennese. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 53:301-306.

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(1972). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 53:301-306

Freud and the Viennese

Ernst A. Ticho and Gertrude R. Ticho

'Every outstanding personality brought up in the peculiar intellectual atmosphere of Vienna lived ever after in a dialectical syncretism of love and hatred for that city which offered splendid potentialities for the highest accomplishments, as well as the most stubborn resistance to their realization.' Thus Bruno Walter (1941) in his biography of Gustav Mahler summarizes the predicament of the creative Viennese.

This syncretism is hard to grasp and it led to quite contradictory opinions about Freud's relationship to Vienna. For example, Sachs (1945) writes: 'The allegation that Vienna has put her stamp of origin on Freud's work is a hollow pretence', but other historians feel that psychoanalysis could only have been discovered in Vienna and that the cultural and intellectual atmosphere of the city provided a fertile ground for psychoanalysis. Sachs went on to say: 'It is obvious that Freud's personality, his way of thinking, as well as living, represent the diametrical opposite of everything that has been described as typical Vienna.' Others (Ellenberger, 1970) say that he was 'Viennese to his fingertips'. We hear on the one hand that Freud's university career was obstructed by anti-Semitism, while others (Gickelhorn & Gickelhorn, 1960) thought there was no anti-Semitism involved in Freud's difficulties at the University of Vienna.


Let us first look at the Vienna of Freud's youth and its impact on his development. Freud grew up in the early part of the 'liberal

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