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Gero, G. (1987). Streifzüge Durch Das Leben Von Anna O./bertha Pappenheim. Ein Fall Für Die Psychiatrie—Ein Leben Für Die Philanthropie. (An Examination of the Life of Anna O./bertha Pappenheim. A Case for Psychiatry—A Life for Philanthropy.): By Ellen M. Jensen. Frankfurt/Main: ZTV-Verlag, 1984. 257 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 56:357-364.
(1987). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 56:357-364
Streifzüge Durch Das Leben Von Anna O./bertha Pappenheim. Ein Fall Für Die Psychiatrie—Ein Leben Für Die Philanthropie. (An Examination of the Life of Anna O./bertha Pappenheim. A Case for Psychiatry—A Life for Philanthropy.): By Ellen M. Jensen. Frankfurt/Main: ZTV-Verlag, 1984. 257 pp.
Review by: George Gero
Ellen M. Jensen, in this book, calls Bertha Pappenheim the mother of psychoanalysis, Breuer the father, and Freud the stepfather. One may disagree with this, but one cannot dismiss the value of the book as a contribution to the study of the development of psychoanalysis.
Who, exactly, was Anna O.? Bertha Pappenheim was the daughter of a well-to-do Jewish family in Vienna. Her father was a businessman, and her mother, Recha Goldschmidt, was from a wealthy Frankfurt family.
Not much is known of Bertha's early life in Vienna. Apparently, her daily routine did not differ much from that of other "höhere Tochter." It was expected that they be well dressed, frequent the theater and concerts, and be able to dance and play the piano. Bertha wrote that girls from wealthy families were shielded from learning about the seedier aspects of life. Poverty, disease, and crime were forbidden subjects of discussion.
Bertha Pappenheim and other daughters of well-to-do Jewish families in Vienna were educated in Catholic girls' schools. They were not accepted into the Gymnasium, the European equivalent of high school, and because of that restriction, their academic training was severely limited. Bertha often complained about her inadequate education, in fact.
The first signs of Bertha's emotional disturbance emerged during her father's illness. Conflicted in her feelings about having to take care of him, Bertha manifested ambivalence in her physical symptoms. Her family was not immediately aware of the severity of her illness. Her mother, however, soon became alarmed over Bertha's chronic coughing spells. Fearing tuberculosis, the family consulted Josef Breuer.
Breuer, thirty-eight years old at the time, was physician to many upper middle-class Viennese families.
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