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VIRTUAL BOOK TALK: Saving Freud: The Rescuers Who Brought Him to Freedom
Andrew Nagorski in conversation with Bernice Lerner
In March 1938, German soldiers crossed the border into Austria and Hitler absorbed the country into the Third Reich. Anticipating these events, many Jews had fled Austria, but the most famous Austrian Jew remained in Vienna, where he had lived since early childhood. Sigmund Freud was eighty-one years old, ill with cancer, and still unconvinced that his life was in danger.
But several prominent people close to Freud thought otherwise, and they began a coordinated effort to persuade Freud to leave his beloved Vienna and emigrate to England. The group included a Welsh physician, Napoleon’s great-grandniece, an American ambassador, Freud’s devoted youngest daughter Anna, and his personal doctor.
Saving Freud is the story of how this remarkable collection of people finally succeeded in coaxing Freud, a man who seemingly knew the human mind better than anyone else, to emerge from his deep state of denial about the looming catastrophe, allowing them to extricate him and his family from Austria so that they could settle in London. There Freud would live out the remaining sixteen months of his life in freedom.
This book is both an incisive new biography of Freud and a group biography of the extraordinary friends who saved Freud’s life.
Andrew Nagorski is a senior editor at Newsweek International. He was Berlin bureau chief from 1996 to 1999 and Bonn bureau chief from 1985 to 1988. The winner of two Overseas Press Club awards, he has also reported from Moscow, Warsaw, Rome, and Hong Kong. He is the author of several books, including the bestseller Last Stop Vienna, Reluctant Farewell, and The Birth of Freedom. He lives in Pelham Manor, New York.
Bernice Lerner, the daughter of Rachel Genuth, is a senior scholar at Boston University's Center for Character and Social Responsibility. She is the author of The Triumph of Wounded Souls: Seven Holocaust Survivors' Lives and coeditor of Happiness and Virtue beyond East and West: Toward a New Global Responsibility.
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