Friday, March 23, 2012


Renowned psychologist, author, and filmmaker David Cohen returns next week with the release of The Escape of Sigmund Freud, a new book exploring Freud's final years in Vienna and his flight from the Nazi rise.

As Hitler seized power in Germany throughout the early 1930s, the Nazis passed a series of decrees intended to limit the personal and financial freedom of Jews throughout the country. Agents of the regime appointed trustees to every Jewish owned business, responsible for ensuring that "improperly" acquired Jewish assets were confiscated. After Germany annexed Austria in 1938, thousands such Kommisars were dispatched and appointed to businesses in Vienna to oversee these transactions, including one young Nazi official named Anton Sauerwald, assigned to investigate the assets of Sigmund Freud's psychoanalytic practice and publishing company. What Sauerwald discovered included records of illegal deposits to international bank accounts, which qualified as evidence enough to confiscate Freud's saving. Rather than turn him in, however, Sauerwald instead assisted Freud and his family as they used these funds to flee Vienna for London.

Featuring never-before-seen material including personal correspondence between Freud's extended family and previously undisclosed financial records, this revelatory biography of Freud's final years recounts in vivid detail how Sauerwald improbably risked his own life to help one family escape a genocide. Drawing on a treasure trove of new research shedding fresh light on Freud's twilight years, Cohen explores the famed professor's late life and work, looking at his Jewish identity, the agony of his advancing cancer, and his often overlooked works in exile.

Advance Praise for The Escape of Sigmund Freud

"An illuminating look at the end of the life of a giant of psychology." - Kirkus Reviews

"Fascinating ... Cohen's book is informative, entertaining, and sometimes gripping." - Publishers Weekly

"A tantalizing exploration of Freud's escape from Vienna ... [Cohen's] writing is passionate, sometimes wry, and always gripping." - The Independent

"Offers an excellent introduction to Freud's life and work and is full of fascinating insights and anecdotes." - Daily Mail

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