Red Vienna and the Golden Age of Psychology, 1918-1938

Red Vienna and the Golden Age of Psychology, 1918-1938

Red Vienna and the Golden Age of Psychology, 1918-1938

Red Vienna and the Golden Age of Psychology, 1918-1938

Synopsis

A few years after Austria's disastrous defeat in the First World War, Vienna, a city hardly known for intellectual fervor or serious discourse, suddenly emerged as a mecca for psychology. This is the first book to present that history within the context of the political and social events of the time. Sigmund Freud, Alfred Adler, Otto Rank, Karl Buhler, Erik Erikson, and Helene Deutsch were among the hundreds of famous psychologists who lived and established training centers in Vienna. Momentous historical events forced the emigration of the majority of Vienna's leading psychologists, who, largely Socialist and Jewish, emigrated when Austria was "annexed" by Germany, abruptly ending the Golden Age.

Excerpt

As I find myself reading this book on Red Vienna and the Golden Age of Psychology, 1918-1938, I live myself back into that time, re-living an important, the most important part of my own years in Vienna. in 1918 when I was starting elementary school, I hardly recognized my father when he returned from the war in the uniform of the defeated army of the emperor. the emperor was defeated and the Social Democrats were to rule the country. Children could go and eat at soup kitchens funded by neutral nations. My first school uniform was made from my father's military winter coat. in 1938, those of us who could, escaped the takeover by the Nazis, the Second World War soon to begin. in spite of the violent ups and downs in social events, I feel, like the authors, that that time was not only the Golden Age of Psychology but also the Golden Age of a wonderful experiment in building homes for the homeless, giving the workers of that period new hope.

The authors have made a full and reliable study of that period, and history is made alive once more. I almost thought it was my autobiography. I lived in the ninth district, some fifteen minutes walk to the university. On the way to the university, I would pass the birthplace of Schubert and the house where Beethoven died. and not far away from that house was Berggasse 19 where Freud lived. Not far from the place where I heard my first psychoanalytic lectures and seminars was the location where Alfred Adler taught before he left. Also, just a few minutes from there were the headquarters of the socialist students. and nearby, of course, was the university. Sometimes we tried to defend . . .

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