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Freud, S. (1956). Memorandum on the Electrical Treatment of War Neurotics (1920). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 37:16-18.

(1956). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 37:16-18

Memorandum on the Electrical Treatment of War Neurotics (1920)

Sigmund Freud

Editorial Introduction

At the end of the first World War, after the break-up of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, many reports became current in Vienna that men suffering from war neuroses had been brutally treated by the army doctors. An enquiry into the matter was therefore instituted by the Austrian War Ministry, in the course of which Freud was called upon to give an expert opinion. He accordingly submitted a memorandum to the commission responsible for the enquiry, and subsequently appeared before them for oral examination. His memorandum was traced in the Archives of the War Ministry by Professor Josef Gicklhorn, of the University of Vienna, who has most generously put a photostat at our disposal. We are further indebted to Dr. K. R. Eissler, of New York (Secretary of the Sigmund Freud Archives), for having first drawn our attention to the document. The original MS occupies five and a half of the large foolscap sheets used habitually by Freud. The document is headed, in his handwriting: 'Gutachten über die elektrische Behandlung der Kriegsneurotiker von Prof. Dr. Sigm. Freud', and is dated by him: 'Wien, 23.2.20'. An official stamp at the top of the first page records that the memorandum was received by the 'Kommission zur Erhebung militärischer Pflichtverletzungen' (Commission for Enquiry into Violations of Military Duty) on 25 February, 1920. Each page also bears the official stamp of the State Archives.—The original German has not yet (1955) been published.

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