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Schmidl, F. (1959). Sigmund Freud and Ludwig Binswanger. Psychoanal Q., 28:40-58.

(1959). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 28:40-58

Sigmund Freud and Ludwig Binswanger

Fritz Schmidl

Ludwig Binswanger, a Swiss psychiatrist, was influenced by psychoanalysis early in his career. As a medical student he attended Eugen Bleuler's clinical lectures, and in 1906-1907 he worked as a medical assistant at the famous Burghölzli Clinic under the supervision of C. G. Jung. In 1908 he joined the staff of a psychiatric sanatorium, Bellevue, in Kreuzlingen, Switzerland, which had been founded by Binswanger's grandfather. Binswanger's interests include not only psychiatry and psychoanalysis but also philosophy and literature. Alexander Grinstein's Index of Psychoanalytic Writings lists Binswanger as the author of seventy-one books and articles (20).

Binswanger met Freud in February 1907, when he accompanied Jung and his wife on their first trip to Vienna. A friendship between Freud and Binswanger developed which lasted until Freud's death. Ernest Jones, in his second volume of Freud's Life and Work, refers several times to this relationship. He records that 'When the storm of opposition broke over psychoanalysis in the years before the first World War the only gentiles who survived it were Binswanger, Oberholzer, Pfister, and myself [Jones]' (23, P. 398).

In 1956 Binswanger published a small book on his friendship with Freud, Erinnerungen an Freud, which has been published in an English translation with the title, Sigmund Freud: Reminiscences of a Friendship (10). It contains a number of unpublished letters, and is a contribution to our knowledge of Freud, and to the understanding of the development of psychoanalysis.

The day after Jung and Binswanger arrived in Vienna, Freud asked them to tell him their dreams.

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