chapter  2
11 Pages

The New Home

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

Vienna, the “Queen of German Cities,” to which Sigmund Freud moved as a child of four, was enough of a melting-pot then to absorb a few more Jews. Most Viennese chose to ignore the wide gap between apparent democracy and genuine autocracy, for the gap was symptomatic of the cleavage between form and content which pervaded the whole of Viennese life. Even physically, Vienna was a musical comedy hodgepodge with the scene shifting rapidly from the noble prince’s palace to the humble heroine’s simple slum. Vienna, by the end of the nineteenth century, had acquired a physical aspect which aptly expressed its preference for decoration and ornament over function. Growing up in the midst of this old world riddled piercingly and suddenly by the new, a boy like Sigmund Freud could not fail to be influenced by the striking duality of the forces that shaped the life about him.