Sigmund Freud Speaks: Hear the Only Known Recording of His Voice, 1938

On Decem­ber 7, 1938, a BBC radio crew vis­it­ed Sig­mund Freud at his new home at Hamp­stead, North Lon­don. Freud had moved to Eng­land only a few months ear­li­er to escape the Nazi annex­a­tion of Aus­tria. He was 81 years old and suf­fer­ing from incur­able jaw can­cer. Every word was an agony to speak.

Less than a year lat­er, when the pain became unbear­able, Freud asked his doc­tor to admin­is­ter a lethal dose of mor­phine. The BBC record­ing is the only known audio record­ing of Freud, the founder of psy­cho­analy­sis and one of the tow­er­ing intel­lec­tu­al fig­ures of the 20th cen­tu­ry. (Find works by Freud in our col­lec­tion of 800 Free eBooks.) In heav­i­ly accent­ed Eng­lish, he says:

I start­ed my pro­fes­sion­al activ­i­ty as a neu­rol­o­gist try­ing to bring relief to my neu­rot­ic patients. Under the influ­ence of an old­er friend and by my own efforts, I dis­cov­ered some impor­tant new facts about the uncon­scious in psy­chic life, the role of instinc­tu­al urges, and so on. Out of these find­ings grew a new sci­ence, psy­cho­analy­sis, a part of psy­chol­o­gy, and a new method of treat­ment of the neu­roses. I had to pay heav­i­ly for this bit of good luck. Peo­ple did not believe in my facts and thought my the­o­ries unsa­vory. Resis­tance was strong and unre­lent­ing. In the end I suc­ceed­ed in acquir­ing pupils and build­ing up an Inter­na­tion­al Psy­cho­an­a­lyt­ic Asso­ci­a­tion. But the strug­gle is not yet over.  –Sig­mund Freud.

Note: An ear­li­er ver­sion of this post appeared on our site back in May, 2012.

via The Library of Con­gress

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Sig­mund Freud, Father of Psy­cho­analy­sis, Intro­duced in a Mon­ty Python-Style Ani­ma­tion

The Famous Break Up of Sig­mund Freud & Carl Jung Explained in a New Ani­mat­ed Video

Sig­mund Freud’s Psy­cho­an­a­lyt­ic Draw­ings Show How He First Visu­al­ized the Ego, Super­ego, Id & More

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