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Niederland, W.G. (1956). Four Unpublished Letters of Freud. Psychoanal Q., 25:147-154.

(1956). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 25:147-154

Four Unpublished Letters of Freud Related Papers

William G. Niederland


During the summer of 1955 I was fortunate to make the acquaintance of the recipient of two letters written to him by Sigmund Freud in 1923 and 1936 respectively.

The recipient of these letters, Mr. Erich Leyens of Forest Hills, New York, kindly consented to have the contents of these letters made public through me. He also supplied me with a short background of his correspondence with Freud. Mr. Leyens is a veteran of the First World War, in which he fought on the German side. A former member of the German Youth Movement, he became alarmed during the twenties about the growing nationalistic and anti-Semitic developments in Germany. He was then living in the small Rhenish city of Wesel, near Düsseldorf. He wrote in his distress directly to Freud in Vienna, referring especially to one of the outstanding leaders of the German Youth Movement, Hans Blüher, who had quoted Freud in support of his opinions. Since the first and longer of Freud's replies expresses Freud's views on Hans Blüher, a name largely unknown in this country, an explanatory comment is necessary. Blüher, a widely read pseudo philosopher and propagandist in Germany during the years preceding and following World War I, played a leading role in directing German youth toward ultranationalism and, later, Nazism. In his writings, in which he glorified homosexuality and its role in the 'Deutsche Männerbünde', he repeatedly mentioned Freud and even posed at times as an adherent of psychoanalysis.


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