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Ferenczi, S. (1920). Letter from Sándor Ferenczi to Sigmund Freud, January 27, 1920. The Correspondence of Sigmund Freud and Sándor Ferenczi Volume 3, 1920-1933, 5.

Ferenczi, S. (1920). Letter from Sándor Ferenczi to Sigmund Freud, January 27, 1920. The Correspondence of Sigmund Freud and Sándor Ferenczi Volume 3, 1920-1933, 5

Letter from Sándor Ferenczi to Sigmund Freud, January 27, 1920 Book Information Previous Up Next

Sándor Ferenczi

Budapest, January 27, 1920

Dear Professor, By way of Lajos I received your letter of the 21st. From its mood, as well as from the communications of (happily arrived) Elma, I gather what, incidentally, I could imagine even without this, how gripped you are by the death of our friend Toni. From a distance such events take on more and more of a shadowy quality. I still can't imagine Toni any differently than seemingly healthy, intellectually alert, the way I last saw him in the sanatorium, and I have again and again forcibly to make myself aware that he is lost forever. Our friendship solidified more and more in the last few months—it was looking as though I had succeeded—(a rarity at my age)—in gaining a friend in the most beautiful sense of the word. Now, this hope also disappeared, just like all the beautiful dreams connected with his ability.—

January 30, 1920

Frau Kata1 and Lajos did not inform me of the death of your dear Sophie.2 You can imagine my consternation when the terrible news was read to me from the Neue Freie Presse. Two days have already passed since I know this, and I still seem to myself to be dumb and paralyzed when I am supposed to write down even a word of consolation or sympathy. I treasured and loved your Sophie, often had an almost paternal affection for her, and was pleased about the always similar—sounding news about her courage and ability. One can't bear to think that you must also be experiencing that.

Please, if you are at all able, at least reassure me about the fact that your strength of spirit is also a match for this misfortune.

Yours,

Ferenczi

Notes to "Letter from Sándor Ferenczi to Sigmund Freud, January 27, 1920"

1 Kata Lévy had been in Vienna since the end of 1919 and just prior to that had returned to Budapest (Freud to Kata Lévy, November 15, 1919; Freud to Kata and Lajos Lévy, February 4, 1920, Library of Congress).

2 Freud's daughter Sophie had died on January 25 at the age of twenty-six from the effects of the “Spanish influenza,” which was rampant at the time, when she was pregnant with a third child. Over 20 million people died in this influenza pandemic of 1918-1919.

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