chapter  10
25 Pages

Husband and Two Fathers

WithHelen Walker Puner, Erich Fromm, Paul Roazen, S. P. Puner

Freud had a circumscribed and Victorian view of women’s role in life: he was convinced that women should submerge their identities and individualities in the services of their husbands and children. In Martha Bernays, who never for an instant dreamed of meeting her husband on an equal plane, he found just that. Most of Freud’s friends and co-workers were impressed by his great love for all children and by his charming naturalness and amiability with them. Like his father, Freud expected his children to look up to him reverently. Like the filial injunctions implicitly laid down by his father, Freud expected his children to honour and obey him unquestioningly. Freud’s children were raised as Jews at the same time as their father published article after book after monograph enlarging upon and documenting his thesis that at best all religion is an illusion, at worst a universally practiced form of obsessional neurosis.