Eric Chaim Kline, Bookseller

Eric Chaim Kline, Bookseller
Freud Letter to Fritz Wittels, 1929. [SIGNED HANDWRITTEN LETTER]. Sigmund Freud.
Freud Letter to Fritz Wittels, 1929. [SIGNED HANDWRITTEN LETTER]

Freud Letter to Fritz Wittels, 1929. [SIGNED HANDWRITTEN LETTER]

Vienna: NP, 1929. Original document. Loose leaf. Octavo (9 x 5 5/8). Two page handwritten letter from Sigmund Freud to Fritz Wittels, dated June 24, 1929, on printed Freud letterhead.*

Dr. Fritz Wittels, an Austrian-born American psychoanalyst, was a friend and a biographer of Sigmund Freud. He published the biography of Freud "Sigmund Freud; der Mann, die Lehre, die Schule" in 1924. It was translated by Cedar and Eden Paul as "Sigmund Freud, his personality, his teaching, & his school" and published in the same year by G. Allen & Unwin in London. In 1931, the Horace Liveright Inc. pubished Wittles' "Freud and his time: the influence of the master psychologist on the emotional problems in our lives." Wittels' memoires were published posthumously in 1995 as "Freud and the child woman: the memoirs of Fritz Wittels."

Deeply upset by Wittels' depiction in the 1924 biography the discord between the two letd to Wittel' resignation from the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society in the same year. This was the second time Freud and Wittels had a fallout after their controversy over Wittels' intention to publish his book "Ezechiel der Zugereiste in 1910. Eventually Wittels made some corrections to his Freud biography , the two reconciled and Wittles was readmitted to the Society as a member in 1927. A year later in 1928, Wittels was invited to teach at the New York School for Social Research and permanently moved to America in 1932. In his memoirs Wittels features Freud playing a crucial role in the story about the erotic triangle between Kraus, Wittels and Irma Karczewska which is said to have impinged directly on the activities of the society.

The references "Feigenbaum u. Lehrmann" in Freud's letter relate to Dorian Feigenbaum who founded "The Psychoanalytic Quarterly" in 1932. It describes itself as "the oldest freestanding psychoanalytical journal in America." Philip R. Lehrman, a medical doctor, had joined the New York Psychoanalytic Society in 1921 and was the secretary of the Society from 1935–1944. He and his family had travel to Vienna for one year of analytic work with Freud in 1928. During his stays he produced numerous films of Freud and his colleagues with his Bell and Howell camera. These films are considered of inestimable value for the history of psychoanalysis.

In the letter Freud shows himself agreeable to the founding of a "Zentralblatt" in America but is skeptical about the necessary audience for such a publication (The publication becoming the "The Psychoanalytical Quarterly"). He writes that he is glad to hear about Wittels' success in America but lets him know that the fact that Wittles is posing as Freud's emissary on one hand and at the same time spreading indiscreet personal matters about Freud disturbs him. He ends the letter ominously: "I think you should know, what I heard about you."

Lieber Herr Doktor!

Ich meine gegen den Plan
eines solchen Zentralblattes
(offenbar englisch) lässt sich
nichts prinzipielles ein-
wenden. Feigenbaum u.
Lehrmann sind gute Leute.
Aber Sie müssen auch in
Betracht ziehen, daß Sie
für das neue Organ
kein neues Publikum
finden werden und
daß die Aufnahmsfähig-
keit der analytisch
interessierten Kreise auch
drüben bald erreicht
sein dürfte.
Ich höre gerne, daß Sie
in Amerika guten
Erfolg gehabt haben, viel
geleistet haben und
verstehe, daß Sie wieder-
kommen.... Aller-
dings habe ich auch manch
herbe Kritik, aber

page -2-

gewiße (!) Züge Ihres Auftretens
dort gehört vermuten, daß
Sie sich einerseits als
meinen Abgesandten
hinstellen andrerseits
recht indiskrete Dinge
über mich erzählten (!). Ich
meine Sie sollen wissen,
was ich über Sie gehört
habe.

Mit besten Wünschen
Freud


Dear Doctor!

I mean in priciple
there are no objections
against the plan
of such a Zentralblatt
(apparently English).
Feigenbaum u.
Lehrmann are good people.
But you have to
consider that you
wont' find a new
audience for the new
publication and
that the receptiveness
of the analytically
interested circles
will reach its limits soon.
I like to hear that
you have had success
in America, that you
accomplished a lot and
understand that you
will return ... never-
theless I also have some
hrsh criticism, since


page -2-

certain (!) actions
of yours I've
heard of make me
assume that, on one
hand, you pose as
my emissary, on
the other you spread
quite indiscreet things
about me (!). I
mean you should know
what I have heard
about you.

With best wishes
Freud. Fine condition. Item #46416

* From the collection of Drs. Kato van Leeuwen and S. L. Pomer. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the archives of the New Center for Psychoanalysis.

Price: $8,750.00

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