chapter  3
10 Pages

A Boy in Vienna

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

The Glockengasse section into which Jacob and Amalia Freud moved with their two children when first they came to Vienna was neither picturesque nor charming. The most that could be said for it was that it was not quite a slum. As a boy of six, one of the first lessons Sigmund's mother taught him was that human beings are made of dust, and must therefore return to dust. During his teens, Sigmund rarely joined the family at meals, but took them alone in his room where he pored endlessly over his books. The friends he began to make when he entered the gymnasium were less boys to play with than boys with whom to study and exchange ideas. Although Sigmund had chosen Alexander the Great as the patron saint of his brother, his own personal hero throughout the years of his adolescence was not Alexander but another general—Hannibal, the great Carthaginian leader.