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Sigmund Freud's biography
- 1856 Sigmund Freud was born on May 6, 1856 in Freiberg
(Pribor), a rural town near Ostrau in northeastern Moravia. His
father Jakob Freud (1815-1896) was a Jewish wool merchant from
Galicia. Freud's mother Amalie Nathanson (1835-1930) was also
Galician and Jakob Freud's second wife. Sigmund was the eldest
son of eight children. There were two half-brothers of his father's
first marriage, too.
1859 In October 1859 the Freud family moved to Vienna's
"Leopoldstadt", or second district, where Sigmund Freud
lived until June 1938.
1865 Sigmund Freud attended high school at "Leopoldstädter
Communal-Real- und Obergymnasium" and took his "Matura"
leaving exam in July 1873 (Vienna's second district, Taborstrasse
1873 Registration at the Faculty of Medicine of the University
1878 He changed his first name "Sigismund" to
1881 In March 1881 Sigmund Freud obtained his doctorate
in medicine. As early as from 1876 to 1882 he worked
as a research assistant at the Institute of Physiology under Ernst
Brücke, with neurology as his main focus.
From 1882 onwards he did his clinical practical at the
"Allgemeines Krankenhaus" and became acquainted with
clinical neurology. At the department of Dr. Scholz Freud intensified
his knowledge in the fields of clinical neurology and neurological
1885 Habilitation for neuropathology
1885/86 One-year scholarship with Charcot at the "Salpetriere"
1886 On April 25 Freud opened up his first neurologist's
office in Vienna, Rathausstrasse 7
1886 In September 1886 Freud married Hamburg-born Martha
Bernays (1861-1951). The marriage was extremely happy and produced
1887 Birth of his elder daughter Mathilde (1887-1978)
1889 Birth of his son Martin (1889-1967)
1889 Scholarship in Nancy, with Liébault and Bernheim:
Freud studied neurotic and psychotic behavior not evidently caused
by organic disorders.
Up to 1891 the Freud family lived in the so-called "Sühnhaus"
in Vienna, Maria Theresienstrasse 8. Emperor Franz had this house
built on the grounds of the former "Ringtheater" destroyed
by fire on December 8, 1881. In the course of this tragic event
386 people had been killed.
1891 Birth of Freud's son Oliver (1892-1970)
The Freud family moved to the house Berggasse 19 in the 9th Viennese
District where they lived until 1938. Earlier Dr. Viktor Adler,
the founder of Austria's Social Democracy, had lived in this flat.
1892 Birth of Freud's son Ernst (1892-1970)
1893 Birth of his daughter Sophie (1893-1920)
1895 Birth of Freud's daughter Anna, the sixth and last
1895 Publication of his studies on hysteria together with
1895-1898 Five journeys to Italy
1896 Freud called his new therapeutical treatment psychoanalysis.
He worked on this treatment's theory for forty years. For some
time Freud was also the head of the neurological department of
the "Erstes öffentliches Kinderkrankeninstitut"
("First public childrens' hospital") under Prof. Kassowitz.
In his book "Zur Auffassung der Aphasien" he criticized
the localisation theory of contemporary neuropsychiatry. His psychogenic
standpoint in psychoanalytical theory was mentioned for the first
1900 Publication of the book "Traumdeutung"/"The
Interpretation of Dreams" establishing Freud's fame
1901 Publication of "Psychopathologie des Alltagslebens"/"Psychopathology
of Everyday Life" in which Freud studied the meaning of certain
disorders. Journey to Rome.
1902 Freud is appointed associate professor of the Faculty
of Medicine of the University of Vienna. However, his psychotherapeutic
ideas were developed outside the university only. Freud dedicated
his work extremely much time, held therapeutic sessions with patients
(on his famous couch) up to 12 hours daily and wrote down his
findings until three in the morning. Numerous lectures in Germany
and Italy, participation in numerous psychoanalytical congresses
in Budapest, The Hague and London.
1905 Publication of "Der Witz und seine Beziehung
zum Unbewußten" und "Drei Abhandlungen zur Sexualtheorie".
1908 Founding of the "Viennese Association of Psychoanalysis"
that had developed from regular meetings with his followers. "First
Congress of Freudian Psychology" in Salzburg.
1909 Guest lectures in the United States, University in
1910 Founding of the "International Association of
From 1912 onwards publication of the "Yearbook of
From 1913 onwards publication of the "International
Magazine for Psychoanalysis"
1917 Freud comes out with "Lectures introducing psychoanalysis"
1919 Publication of "The International Journal of
1920 Sigmund Freud is finally appointed Professor of the
University of Vienna. Publication of "Jenseits des Lustprinzips"/"Beyond
the Pleasure Principle".
1923 Freud falls ill with palatine cancer
1923 Publication of "Das Ich und das Es"/"The
Ego and the Id"
1924 Freud is appointed "Citizen of Vienna" by
the City of Vienna
1930 Sigmund Freud is awarded the Goethe Prize for Literature
honoring his "clear and impeccable style". Publication
of "Das Unbehagen in der Kultur"/"Civilization
and its Discontents".
1938 On March 12 Austria is annexed by Germany. On March
13 the last meeting of the "Viennese Association of Psychoanalysis"
takes place. On March 22 Freud's daughter Anna is arrested by
the Gestapo and held in custody for a day. Friends of Freud can
finally convince the 80-year-old to leave Nazi-occupied Vienna.
He emigrates to London, 20 Maresfield Gardens on June 4 with his
wife, his youngest daughter Anna, his housekeeper Paula Fichtl
and his nurse Josefine Stross.
He sold the largest part of his library to a bookseller who sold
it on to the New York Psychiatric Institute.
September 23, 1939 Freud dies of cancer in London
- 1971 Opening of the "Sigmund Freud Museum" in
Vienna, Berggasse 19.
Copyright Austrian National Tourist Office
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