0
Get Alert
Please Wait... Processing your request... Please Wait.
You must sign in to sign-up for alerts.

Please confirm that your email address is correct, so you can successfully receive this alert.

1
Letter to the Editor   |    
Dr. Horton Replies
PAUL C. HORTON, M.D.
Am J Psychiatry 2003;160:1360-1360. doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.160.7.1360

To the Editor: Aaron H. Esman’s angry ad hominem denunciation (1) of my review of Breger’s Freud: Darkness in the Midst of Vision(2) represents a case of shooting the messenger. His argument is with Breger, not with me. Breger contended that Freud, despite not having encountered it personally, used claims of anti-Semitism to his own advantage. This was at a time when

The Rothschild banking empire [was] well known, yet it was but one of several Viennese banks owned by Jews. In industry, there was Karl Wittgenstein…Austria’s largest steel magnate. By the 1880’s,…Jews made up one-third of the student body of the University of Vienna…50 percent in medicine and almost 60% in law. All the liberal daily newspapers were owned by Jews and a large proportion of the journalists were Jewish. As the turn of the century approached, the majority of the liberal, educated, intellectual elite of Vienna was Jewish…by 1900 Jewish doctors held the majority of chairs at the University of Vienna Medical School and most of the directorships of the city’s hospitals. The emperor’s personal physician, the obstetrician to the women in the imperial family, and the surgeon general of the army were all Jewish. Within the university and his chosen field, the fact that Freud came from a Jewish background, far from being a handicap in advancing his career, may well have been an advantage. (3, p. 40–41)

Given these claims and many other statements made by Breger—all of which were cited by page number in my review—about the milieu in which Freud developed his views and about Jewish life, including Jewish life in post–World War I Austria, it is difficult to conclude that anti-Semitism played much of a role, if any, in shaping Freud’s weltanschauung.

Dr. Esman faults me for not acknowledging the rise of anti-Semitism in the late 1930s. However, while Breger had many things to say about the conditions that might have engendered growing anti-Semitism after World War I, this issue was tangential to his main thesis about the "darkness in the midst" of Freud’s vision.

Reprints are not available; however, Letters to the Editor can be downloaded at http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org.

Esman AH: Viennese anti-Semitism (letter). Am J Psychiatry 2003;160:801
 
Horton PC: Book review, L Breger: Freud: Darkness in the Midst of Vision. Am J Psychiatry  2002; 159:511-513
[CrossRef]
 
Breger L: Freud: Darkness in the Midst of Vision. New York, John Wiley & Sons, 2000
 
+

References

Esman AH: Viennese anti-Semitism (letter). Am J Psychiatry 2003;160:801
 
Horton PC: Book review, L Breger: Freud: Darkness in the Midst of Vision. Am J Psychiatry  2002; 159:511-513
[CrossRef]
 
Breger L: Freud: Darkness in the Midst of Vision. New York, John Wiley & Sons, 2000
 
+
+

CME Activity

There is currently no quiz available for this resource. Please click here to go to the CME page to find another.
Submit a Comments
Please read the other comments before you post yours. Contributors must reveal any conflict of interest.
Comments are moderated and will appear on the site at the discertion of APA editorial staff.

* = Required Field
(if multiple authors, separate names by comma)
Example: John Doe



Related Content
Books
The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Psychopharmacology, 4th Edition > Chapter 18.  >
Manual of Clinical Psychopharmacology, 7th Edition > Chapter 12.  >
Manual of Clinical Psychopharmacology, 7th Edition > Chapter 12.  >
Manual of Clinical Psychopharmacology, 7th Edition > Chapter 12.  >
Textbook of Traumatic Brain Injury, 2nd Edition > Chapter 21.  >
Topic Collections
Psychiatric News
PubMed Articles
Sleep in trigeminal autonomic cephalagias: A review. Cephalalgia Published online Jul 8, 2014.;
[Genetics of primary headache syndromes.] Bundesgesundheitsblatt Gesundheitsforschung Gesundheitsschutz Published online Jul 11, 2014.;