ALS in German, signed “Freud,” one page, 6 x 9, personal letterhead, February 27, 1927. Letter to Mrs. Wolff. In full (translated): “I am happy to do everything I can for your daughter. For this purpose I am enclosing my recommendation to a leading physician at the Berlin Poliklinik, which I am certain he will accept. This particular facility is known for its reliability and thoroughness of treatment methods. Compensation for services is left to one’s own judgment of effectiveness and availability of funds. Interference with a person’s career activities should not be an issue, as treatment times are generally scheduled with the patient in advance. I sincerely hope and wish your daughter will be a candidate for this type of therapy, for psychoanalyses certainly is not a cure-all.” In very good to fine condition, with some light creases and wrinkles, a few small spots of soiling, and some inoffensive spotting to the ink, not affecting readability.
Two months before the Armistice in 1918, Freud began a movement at the Fifth International Congress of Psychoanalysis in Budapest when he remarked, ‘The conscience of society will awake and remind it that the poorest man should have just as much right to assistance for his mind as he now has to life-saving help offered by surgery.’ Emphasizing the damaging effects of mental illness on society (as destructive as tuberculosis, according to Freud), he encouraged his followers to create free outpatient clinics and institutions, which would hopefully gain state funding eventually. The response to his call was wildly enthusiastic, with talk of new clinics beginning almost immediately. The Berlin Poliklinik, funded by psychoanalyst Max Eitingon, was the first to come to fruition in 1920; during the interwar years, nearly a dozen more were opened around the world. In this letter, Freud recommends the Poliklinik for the recipient’s daughter, making use of the institution that he helped conceive. A remarkable piece highlighting one of Freud’s greatest achievements, his frequently overlooked contribution to public health reform. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.