Sigmund Freud (1856-1939)
Fin-de-siècle in Vienna must have been an extraordinary time: Not only did a unique art movement (‘Jugendstil’, art noveau) evolve, but also a revolutionary field of science. It was in Vienna, that Sigmund Freud developed his ideas on id, ego and super-ego. The impact was tremendous. Freud’s theories and writings made him the best known psychiatrist of all times and laid the foundation for a highly influential field of studies: psycho-analysis.
Sigmund Freud was born in Moravia. At the age of 5 years his family moved to Vienna. Freud was an excellent student and always ahead of his class. Therefore, he had no problem to enrol to medical school. He got involved with psychology,when he got to know Professor Ernst Brücke under who's direction he started doing research. At those times it was hard to get accepted to neurological training facilities, however, Brücke helped Freud to get a grant to study in Paris and Nancy.
After Sigmund Freud returned to Vienna, he set up a practice in neuropsychiatry. He started to work in psychological fields concerning the conscious mind and earned recognition with his revolutionary theories of the id, the ego and the superego and his work with psychoanalysis. In 1938, after Austria was affiliated by Nazi Germany, Sigmund Freud, being a famous Jewish scientist had no choice, but to immigrate to the United Kingdom. He stayed there until he died of cancer in 1939.
Freud's work was revolutionary at his times and especially adopted in the United States, where they are still basis to most modern psychological treatments. Nowadays, his theories are somewhat challenged as being too focused on sexual processes. His importance as the father of psychoanalysis can't be denied. Furthermore, his publications on hysteria, the working of jokes, Oedipus complex or the interpretation of dreams are written in elegant and precise German, they are a good read!
Visit the Sigmund Freud Museum in Vienna!