A few weeks ago I posted an article about letters we've got from the important poet Rachel, who died in 1931 (Hebrew). Today I'd like to point you to letters by Sigmund Freud, who died in 1939 and never set foot in the land of Israel.
The reason we've got these letters is that one of Freud's students and colleagues, Max Eitingon, came to Mandatory Palestine in 1933, fleeing from the Nazis. (We don't know if his professional training had anything to do with his early ability to foresee the Nazi danger.) He was a colorful fellow, and at one point was suspected of being a Soviet spy, but his importance for our story is that he hoped to teach psychoanalysis at the Hebrew University. HU, however, didn't have a slot for that, apparently not considering it a worthy academic topic - an interesting position given the centrality of Jews in psychoanalysis. So Eitingon founded the Psychoanalytic Association of Palestine in 1934, and eventually it became the Israel Psychoanalytic Society, which is still active to this day.
|Eitingon is 2nd from the right, and Freud - well, you know who he is.|
In 2002, the Society donated much of its historical documentation to the ISA, assuming that the public would be better served by its being in an archive than in the basement of an organization which does psychoanalysis. And indeed, the collection, Rg 72.52, contains a variety of fascinating letters, publications and reports about psychoanalysts facing Nazi Germany in the 1930s, among other things. Some of the letters are to and from Sigmund Freud himself.