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Freud, S. (1926). Letter from Sigmund Freud to Members of The B'nai B'rith Lodge, May 6, 1926. Letters of Sigmund Freud 1873-1939, 366-367.

Freud, S. (1926). Letter from Sigmund Freud to Members of The B'nai B'rith Lodge, May 6, 1926. Letters of Sigmund Freud 1873-1939, 366-367

Letter from Sigmund Freud to Members of The B'nai B'rith Lodge, May 6, 1926 Book Information Previous Up Next

Sigmund Freud

May 6, 1926

Right reverend Grand Master, reverend Master, dear Brothers!

I thank you for the honor shown to me today. You know why I cannot reply with the sound of my own voice. You have just heard one of my friends1 and pupils talk about my scientific work, but to pass judgment on these things is difficult and perhaps for some time to come will not be possible with any degree of certainty. Permit me to add something to the speech of my predecessor, who happens to be my friend and painstaking physician. I would like to tell you briefly how I became a B.B. and what I sought with you.

It happened that in the years after 1895 two strong impressions coincided to produce the same effect on me. On the one hand I had gained the first insight into the depths of human instinct, had seen many things which were sobering, at first even frightening; on the other hand the disclosure of my unpopular discoveries led to my losing most of my personal relationships at that time; I felt as though outlawed, shunned by all. This isolation aroused in me the longing for a circle of excellent men with high ideals who would accept me in friendship despite my temerity. Your Lodge was described to me as the place where I could find such men.

That you are Jews could only be welcome to me, for I was myself a Jew, and it has always appeared to me not only undignified, but outright foolish to deny it. What tied me to Jewry was-I have to admit it-not the faith, not even the national pride, for I was always an unbeliever, have been brought up without religion, but not without respect for the so-called “ethical” demands of human civilization.

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