His mother's undisputed darling

The following document was discovered among a miscellaneous collection of uncatalogued papers in a pile of dusty boxes in a cupboard in the Psychology Department Library of a major English university.

It appears to be a transcript of extracts from a private journal maintained by Amalie (or Amelia) Freud, mother of that Sigmund Freud who was and is still a towering presence in the field of psychology, and psychoanalysis in particular.

The document bears neither source nor attribution and there is no reference to the existence of such a journal anywhere else in the literature relating to the Freud family. If its contents are genuine it is almost certainly a translation for there is no evidence or reason to believe Amalie Freud knew English. The use of Gregorian dating is interesting as it is more likely Amalie would have followed the Jewish calendar but this, of course, is not certain and anyway may be no more than a further translation by the anonymous transcriber.

The document is adeptly typewritten on yellowing, poor-quality paper suggestive of the period 1940 – 1950 and war-time austerity. Forensic examination while likely to provide more specifics is not going to add anything to the essential question as to whether or not it is based on a genuine document. Only the original, if it exists, can do that. I can find nothing within the document which conflicts with what is known of the Freud family in the public realm and so establishes it a fake. What its previously unknown contents purport to reveal of Sigmund Freud's own infant experiences and his relationship with his mother and sisters will of course be of intense interest to scholars in this field but it is obviously for everyone to make up his or her own mind as to whether these revelations fit within their understanding of Freud and his philosophy or are so inimical to them as to render the document patently bogus.

In this connection it must be remembered that in 1938 Sigmund Freud fled the Nazi takeover of Austria and consequent rising anti-Jewish sentiment to settle in England and it is possible this document was a forgery concocted by the Nazis to discredit the famous figure. It is equally possibly no more than the work of a bored student. Unless and until further evidence one way or the other is forthcoming it is for each of us to read it with an open mind and decide for ourselves.

Bracketed comments in italics are my own but to avoid the necessity for extensive interpolation or footnotes the Freud family referred to in the manuscript, with their ages (in brackets) as at January 1876 (the purported time of the events related) are: Sigmund's mother Amalie Malka Freud, nee Nathansohn, b 18.8.1835 (40); his father Kaloman Jakob Freud b. 18.12.1815 (60); his half-brothers by a previous marriage of his father, (Jakob had been married twice previously), Emanuel (b. ? April 1833 (42) and Philipp b. ?.?. 1834 (41) both then resident in Manchester, England; Sigmund Schlomo Freud b. 5.5.1856 (19); his sisters Anna, b 31.12.1858 (17), Regine Deborah (Rosa) b. 21.3.1860 (15), Marie (Mitzi) b. 22 March 1861 (14), Esther Adolphine (Dolfi) b. 23 July 1862 (13) and Pauline Regine (Paula) b. 3 May 1864 (11). Not mentioned is Sigmund's little brother Alexander b. 19.4.1866 (9). A photograph of the Freud family taken at around this time exists and can be seen in the Library of Congress Freud Collection as, "Portrait of the Jakob Freud Family ca. 1876". ( wiki/Freud_family) At the dates this document refers to the Freud family was resident in Vienna where it had lived for many years.

September (ed: 1875?)

….

My golden Sigi is back from his visit to E(manuel) and P(hilipp), wildly enthusiastic about England. I am sure he is correct that the English have the most accommodating attitude to Jews in all of Europe and that their enthusiasm for all things scientific makes the Viennese academic institutions seem positively antique, but then my Sigi always has been so terribly enthusiastic about whatever it was he has last done and remains so until he does something else. We must be careful, though, not to let him visit America, for then I fear we would never see him again.

….

J(akob) did at least listen to Sigi's news of E(manuel) and P(hilipp) in England and all his stories of them but I am sure Sigi quickly became aware of the coldness and lack of interest his father expresses in the doings of his eldest sons. Certainly when Sigi now talks of England in his father's presence he no longer mentions them, yet he does so at length when talking to me. He has made me aware, too, of the warmth and interest in me that they both displayed yet makes no mention to either J(akob) or I of any of the same shown for their father.

Sigi has grown up with this rift in the family and is far too intelligent not to be aware of it. Yet to my knowledge he has never enquired about the cause of it. Of course in all Vienna today only J(akob) and I can possibly know the cause and J(akob) I know, would never reveal it to anyone, even his dear Sigi. I surely cannot imagine either E(manuel) or P(hilipp) revealing it to Sigi even were he to ask and I fear that, forthright and bold young man that he is, it is quite possible that he did. Is it possible that Sigi did gain some awareness of it at the time, infant though he was, and that now he is a young man those babyish recollections make a sense to him that it never could before? My blood runs cold at the thought, yet dear Sigi is as warm and loving towards me as he always has been and I am sure I worry unnecessarily.

….

October.

….

In England it seems Sigi was introduced to the work of a Dr. Braid (ed: James Braid 1796-1860) who had been studying the phenomenon of mesmerism. Mesmer himself and his 'animal magnetism' had been discredited and drummed out of Vienna years before I was born but it seems there was something in it after all, for it now has the respectable Latin (or is it Greek?) name Hypnosis (ed: Greek 'hupnos' - make sleep) and is the subject of serious scientific research in several centres. Sigi himself has begun correspondence with a professor Charcot (ed: Jean-Martin Charcot 1825-1893) in Paris regarding the practice. As usual he is throwing himself into the study of things which interest him with enough enthusiasm for two young men but I have some concern that this would not be well received by his professors here in Vienna and I fear it may well interfere with the studies he is supposed to be undertaking. While his academic success has to be a source of pride and satisfaction for us, I do sometimes wonder if he still lacks that maturity which accepts the need for the dull grind of mastering the basics of medicine before galloping off into the newer, wilder and more speculative branches of the discipline!

Sigi also lectures me at length on the proposals of this Mr. Darwin (ed: Charles Robert Darwin 1809-1882 whose theory 'On the Origin of Species' had been published sixteen years earlier) which, as far as I can gather, hold that we humans are descended from the apes, and that the apes themselves along with all else are descended from worms. Not a pleasing picture I must admit, although even I am well enough aware of people in whom it is very easy to see the heritage of apes and in some even of worms! More significantly it is not a proposal one can in any way marry to the beliefs of our people, which I am well aware Sigi is distancing himself from, or even those of the Papists to which I know he is attracted. But Sigi is one of the new men to whom, where the beliefs of generations of our fathers run into conflict with the beliefs of science, it is science which must prevail. It pains me as I know it pains J(akob) but we do not fight it for it was a battle lost before we even knew it was to be fought.

Sigi's belief is that this heritage of the animals from which we are descended is still present in the dark and primitive corners of our minds and are the reason men rape, kill, and if hungry will fight like dogs over a scrap of food. It remains in women, too, although as our role in nature as child-bearers and nurturers is different so are our animal passions, it seems. The veneer of civilisation paints over these ancient monsters in our minds, hiding them even from ourselves to a large extent but, Sigi maintains, if these passions try to surface in an individual who struggles to suppress them the resulting conflict and its consequences can result in mental illness and insanity. Hypnosis it seems, by putting a patient's conscious mind into a state similar to anaesthesia, allows the physician to probe the proto-conscious mind for the source of these conflicts and once they have been recognized, physician and patient can deal with them.

Such, at least, I believe is the gist of what Sigi has been telling me, and surely these are terrible ideas for such a young man to be grappling with. I do not like them at all, yet I cannot deny that they make a horrible kind of sense and if recognizing such things might alleviate some of the undoubted misery of the world now merely caged away from our eyes in lunatic asylums perhaps such darkness must be braved. Such at least seems to be Sigi's view and I cannot deny the nobility of such a venture even if I quail from its execution.

More immediately worrying for me is that when referring to these primitive memories which lurk in the dark corners of our minds, Sigi also referred to memories of very young children which although forgotten by the conscious mind still trouble the sub-conscious of adults like, as Sigi described it, 'faint whispers from a dark, locked-and-barred basement', and perhaps seek to express themselves in and through dreams. I cannot help thinking that he laid special emphasis on this idea as though he half-expected some response from me. I am troubled by the thought that perhaps he does have 'whispers' of his own from those times when we, wrongly perhaps, believe infants have no comprehension of the world around them.

…..

I surprised S(igmund) and A(nna) in the drawing room today and as I entered they mutually stepped away from each other as though I had caught them with their heads together hatching some childish prank, and A(nna) could not prevent a most unbecoming blush. Yet Sigi is far too serious for such things, altogether too serious for his age, and A(nna) is surely too ladylike now to become involved in anything of that nature. Though it was momentary and I cannot be certain, I cannot rid myself of the impression that S(igmund) had his hand pressed to his sister's fanny through her skirts just as the door opened.

Perhaps I misjudge them both, that my fancies are altogether wrong. Yet if they are not what am I to do? I cannot openly accuse Sigi of molesting his sister for if I am wrong a more horrible falsehood is hard to imagine, and I am sure J(akob) would be devastated at the mere suggestion his beloved Sigi could do such a thing. I have prepared A(nna) for womanhood as thoroughly as any mother should and I am sure she would not countenance any man, let alone her brother, improperly touching her. Yet I cannot deny that at her age I was intensely curious as to the sensations one could find in one's body, and I did experience an intense, illicit thrill at the accidental brush of a handsome man's hand against my skirts in the vicinity of that bush between my legs. Had I possessed a fine, handsome, clever brother already a man would I not have been tempted to allow some little latitude within the safety of that relationship? I fear perhaps I would have.

Should I then blame S(igmund) for such an abuse of his sister if indeed it is the case? He must surely be quite familiar with the features of a woman's body both from his books and from the patients in the wards he is required to examine as part of his study, yet for sure there can be nothing of sexual arousal in that any more than there is in the sex-parts of those wretched worms he is investigating. Too, I am sure Sigi is always perfectly correct and proper with the young ladies he meets socially, and as a Jew his opportunities in that direction are anyway unhappily limited in today's Vienna, while I am certain he has never resorted to the women of the streets.

No, I will believe it harmless and do nothing, and it will pass.

….

S(igmund) has asked if he can practice his hypnosis on me. It is a truly terrifying prospect that makes my blood run cold yet I cannot in all conscience deny him. He complains that he has no other subject, for certainly the University would disapprove of any such practice and he is far from being able to practice medicine or any other therapy in his own right so I must accept this, and he assures me that it is safe – that the subject cannot be made to act in any way contra to his or her own will, and it can cause no damage to the intellect. He assures me that it merely removes from the patient's awareness the superficial constraints of society and what he called 'inhibitions' allowing the physician to access and identify the underlying and more honest thoughts and motives of the patient which even the patient himself might be unaware of.

He assured me that he had no desire to 'strip me bare' as he put it, which is in itself a troubling image for a mother to receive from her son, but merely to practice and refine the technique necessary to achieve a sufficiently 'comatose' state for those artificial inhibitions to be relaxed. Naturally, he told me, it would be necessary for him to test the state by probing my subconscious, whatever that means, but added with a laugh that surely there could be nothing dark or untoward in my animal self that I should feel constrained to reveal to him. However, he assured me perhaps sensing my alarm at any such suggestion, he would not in any case be intent upon probing my secrets to any such level but would limit himself to the most harmless and inconsequential of matters.

Nevertheless it troubles me, and I am ashamed that it troubles me. I really have no grounds to deny his request for to do so would surely be to express mistrust and a lack of faith in one's own son. I will do it for I must, and must trust him.

…..

When I made known to my Sigi my consent to his practicing his hypnosis on me so great was his joy, and so transparently honest his assurances that no harm at all could come of it, that I was both reassured, and even more deeply ashamed of my doubts.

…..

Today I watched Sigi from my window, in the yard with some of the girls. Little Dolfi was on the swing with S pushing her, higher and higher until she squealed with mock terror and R(osa) and M(itzi) looked on laughing. It should have been a picture to warm any mother's heart yet I could not help wondering if Sigi's hands were not lingering for perhaps a moment longer than was necessary on his little sister's waist and hips as he propelled her, and as he helped her to dismount it was surely unnecessary for his fingers to brush as they did what little bosom she has.

Oh, it is hard to decide if this is harmless and let it pass, or whether I should speak to Sigi, or perhaps even A(nna) about it, for would not Sigi find it easier to accept a rebuke from his eldest sister than from his mother while with the memory of S(igmund) and A(nna) herself in the drawing-room still fresh in my mind, perhaps a word to her to remind Sigi of his duty to his younger sisters would serve to remind her of his duty to his older ones also. Yet it is hard. Perhaps I should just content myself with observing as it may yet, after all, be nothing more than my imagination.

Fresh from my appointment with my son the physician and his hypnosis I must recall all that occurred for my own private posterity.

I had not mentioned it to J(akob) for fear he would consider it improper for me to attend upon my own son in his bedroom, which is of course also his study there being no other room available. Moreover I did not wish the girls to be aware of it and so it has been necessary to wait several days until circumstances should conspire to make the opportunity available. Sigi bade me wear clothing as loose and light as modesty permitted and agreed that my night attire would be suitable. Thus it was that in nightdress and gown that I attended him, a costume in keeping with the subterfuge of the head-ache which had forced me to my bed and enabled me to avoid joining J(akob) and the girls on their expedition to H&F G's soiree.

S(igmund) received me as solemnly as any physician a valued client, greeting me as 'Frau Freud', no less, and ushered me in. The drapes were drawn, although it was still early afternoon, and a single lamp turned low produced more shadows than light although the room was made quite bright by a fire in his hearth which was welcome for the outside air was damp and chill. A cloth draped over Sigi's bed seemed designed to disguise its purpose, and with his escritoire and table, his crammed and overflowing book-case, his chest and two chairs set before the fire the room was quite crowded. Nevertheless it was with every courtesy that he relieved me of my gown and saw me to the chair set nearest to the fire as though we were in the finest suite of rooms in the Schloss Schonbrunn.

Although he had bidden me to dress comfortably I will admit to having felt uncomfortable sitting before my own son in just my nightgown as it did seem highly improper, and perhaps it was an awareness of this discomfort which led him to seem somewhat distant and detached, and indeed highly professional, as he explained what he was about to do. He had taken the other chair which was set somewhat behind mine, and when as he instructed me I turned my gaze into the small flames of the fire he was well outside my sphere of vision.

He then began speaking in a low, even and quite beautiful voice, bidding me to relax my body and at all times attend to the play of the flames. I cannot now recall all that he said for I seemed to become lost in the warmth and flickering light of the fire and the even flow of his voice, and for certain it is a rare enough event in my life that I have nothing to do but sit and relax temporarily free of the cares and travails of running the household. Indeed, I fear I might even have dozed off, for I cannot be sure how many minutes elapsed before I became aware that Sigi had lifted my hand from my lap and with it in one hand was holding a hat-pin in the other above it.

I would feel no pain, he assured me as he pricked me on the wrist with the point, but I did. Nevertheless with my body still torpid I was able to show none even as he pricked me several more times and drove the pin into my flesh quite deeply. I felt a momentary shame at my pretending that his technique had been effective even as I did so to avoid disappointing him with its lack of success.

Seeming satisfied he gently replaced my hand in my lap and began questioning me in that same even, untroubled, beautiful voice. Was I happy in Vienna, he asked? I replied quite truthfully that I was sure I was happier than some yet not as happy as others, and observed lightly that I suspected one would find in that a co-relation with wealth, which he found amusing. He then asked which of my daughters I loved most.

This, of course had to be one of the trick questions he had warned me of, for what mother would confess to loving any one of her daughters more than the others. Thus I replied that I found A(nna) most attractive in her maturity yet P(aula) delightful in her innocence. R(osa) is elegant and beautiful while D(olfi) is caring and loving. And Mitzi? Ah, Mitzi is clever and artistic and I loved them all.

This he accepted without demure and he turned to other questions, relatively harmless ones about my friends which in the light of the serious demeanour of my son which seemed to far exceed his nineteen years, I felt able to respond to frankly and no doubt to some extent surprisingly to him, for I have never before felt able to discuss what some might uncharitably call gossip with him. I now fear he probably regarded this as a further sign that my 'inhibitions' had indeed been lowered by his hypnosis but in fact it was no more than my deciding able to treat him as the adult he had undoubtedly become.

Unexpectedly and shockingly he then asked me what my reaction would be were I to discover that A(nna) was no-longer virgin. This I immediately recognized was a trick question with a vengeance and one indeed that would test the lowering of my 'inhibitions'. Yet it occurred to me also that to react sharply to the question would uncover me as a fraud, and I was now so far committed in it that discovery would be deeply embarrassing for me and hurtful to Sigi. Thus I instantly let my shock go and was able to reply quite calmly that I would be deeply disappointed in her as she knew very well that even a hint of scandal let alone a pregnancy outside marriage would be catastrophic for her future prospects, and that I was confident she had more sense.

This Sigi again accepted without comment and moved on to a trivial question I was able to answer without commitment, but I fear my composure had been disturbed and I find it hard to believe he was not aware of it.

It was only after three or four further innocuous questions that Sigi suddenly asked me to tell him about Freiberg. (ed: the Freud family home at the time of Sigmund's birth, now Pribor, Czechoslovakia) His curiosity is natural, of course, for he was only three when we left but there is much that occurred in Freiberg which is painful for me to remember. Nevertheless perhaps because of my state of relaxation I seemed able to remember it more vividly than I have in years. His questions, too, were innocent enough and I am sure he must have received some tales of our brief life as a family there from E(manuel) and P(hilipp) during his time with them in Manchester. Even when he touched upon the matter of the dismissal of his beloved Nana I was able to reply steadily enough that it was for her theft from us and he dwelt no more of it.

By then much of the allocated hour had passed and declaring that he wished me to re-enter the hypnotic state as a prelude to my restoration he bid me regard the dying flames again and begin once again relaxing. It cannot be denied that it was such a pleasant experience that I readily acceded and indeed fell into another doze before Sigi woke me gently with a gentle touch to the shoulder.

As I rose and donned my gown he was clearly boyishly ecstatic with what he regarded with the success of his experiment, and I had even less of a heart to disillusion him by telling him that at all times were my 'inhibitions' firmly in place and that there was much I could have told him which I did not, particularly with regard to Freiberg. So guilty did I feel about this that when, enthusiastically, he begged for the opportunity to repeat the experiment I did not have the heart to deny him, although I did make request that he refrain from using the pin on me on a future occasion as the back of my hand where he had pricked me was by then aching quite uncomfortably.

…..

In the drawing room today and during a brief and innocent exchange between S(igmund) and M(itzi) my alarms concerning the relationship between Sigi and his sisters were again sounded. M(itzi) was embroidering, a pretty piece, and Sigi merely leaned over her shoulder to comment favourably about it, yet M(itzi)'s reaction to her brother's praise was quite surprising for as well as blushing and giving what I fear was a simper, she also gave him a single, unguarded glance containing what I can only describe as pure love.

Am I saying that a sister should not love her brother? Of course not. Yet there is love and … love, and there was an intimacy in Mitzi's momentary gaze on her brother which I fear seemed to me to belong more to that second category, for it was such as gaze as a newly-wedded, and sexually wakened, bride might lay upon her brave new husband rather than the fondness of a sister for a brother.

Or is this just a fancy? Do I project the unslaked desires burning in my own blood upon my daughters? J(akob) has been even less demanding than usual recently and I know that Sigi's return from Manchester with his tales of Philipp and Emanuel have stirred up the old resentment in that regard, leaving me even more unsatisfied – almost unbearably so at times. Is it just this fever in my blood which is painting the most innocent interchanges between my children with such gross indecencies? I cannot be sure.

…..

I must record what transpired during my second session of hypnosis with Sigi.

We proceeded as previously although as I had no wish to feign retirement to bed a second time I was more properly dressed. I did though at Sigi's request loosen all the buttons and ties of my dress and had foregone my more constricting undergarments. Again I was seated before the fire and again it was all too easy to let my cares wash away as Sigi bade me in his beautiful voice to relax and clear my mind as though my thoughts were simply little clouds burning off under the sun against the deep blue sky of a summer's day. I even drifted into that pleasant state where one dozes while remaining aware of one's surroundings, content to listen to the sounds of my son's beautiful voice while being unaware of what he was saying.

Then I was almost surprised to realize that not only was he asking me about Freiberg again, I was answering him, describing the streets and places I seemed to be wandering about in as part of my dreamlike state. I fear it was the pain of recollection that brought me to myself, for those days were so happy, and so full then of promise. Sigi, I believe, noticed this in me for he stopped interrogating me and instead began explaining that at the instigation of Professor Charcot he had been for some time endeavouring to identify and classify his very earliest memories. One in particular he asked that I explain to him.

Thus did I hear him describe it from his point of view – his view of my and J(akob)'s bedroom from the doorway, yet from a vantage point so low that he could not see the surface of the bed. Yet on the bed he could see me, naked and on one elbow looking back at him with behind me, looking over my shoulder and also naked, a man who even at that time he knew was not his father yet recognised was in his father's place.

The vision carried, he told me, a dreamlike quality which had for a long time led him to believe it had been no more than the memory of a confused dream, yet two things now dissuaded him from this. One, he told me as though it were of little matter, was his clear memory of my black pubic hair which had for many years after frightened and confused him for it was only since beginning his medical studies that he had discovered women even had pubic hair. The other was that having a few months ago in Manchester met his half-brother Philipp for the first time since their parting when he was an infant, he was sure he knew the identity of the naked man on the bed with me.

So it was out at last, and I knew only relief that I had no more to worry about his catching some rumour from Freiberg which would only make it worse than it was. Gazing at the fire I told Sigi of my love for his brother, and the catastrophe of his own unexpected appearance in the doorway to discover us with, far worse, his nurse at his back in pursuit of him and who saw us also.

So I told him that the story of his beloved Nana's stealing from us was false, designed to make it appear that any tales she might spread of my infidelity with P(hilipp) was mere malicious revenge for her dismissal. But spread they had, and reaching J(akob)'s ear he had believed them for surely he had already formed his suspicions, and so the cleavage in the family, with both P(hilipp) and E(manuel) moving to England while J(akob) and I fled the gossip in Freiberg for the anonymity of Leopoldstadt. (ed: the Jewish quarter in Vienna, after a short time in Leipzig.)

Oh what a flood of questions my confession to the fire provoked. Yes, E(manuel) too for he was a fine, handsome man, and even at times indulging them together for I had been a lusty 22-year-old with two sons older than me (Emanuel was 24 and Philipp 23 at the time) while my middle-aged husband was away for weeks at a time on his wool-buying trips. It had been P(hilipp) who had won my heart, but E(manuel) upon discovering our affair chose to take his brother's part against his father and it had been with no great reluctance that I had given him my body too when her frequent pregnancies barred him from his wife's bed.

I confirmed to Sigi that I have no doubt J(akob) is his father, for as he questioned me he revealed he had already worked out that he must have been conceived within a few days of our marriage (ed: 29 July 1855. Sigmund was born 282 days later. The standard period of pregnancy is 280 days.) and I was able to assure Sigi that I had not betrayed his father so close to our wedding.

I told him A(nna) could be J(akob)'s child or P(hilipp)'s or E(manuel)'s and in my heart I have always thought her Emanuel's as she is most like him in his ways. Poor Julius too could have been fathered by any of the three. (ed: Amalie's second son, born October 1857 but who only lived 6 months.) For Rosa I cannot be sure as her conception would have been in June. (ed: 1859. The Freuds left Freiberg in October that year.) E(manuel) at that time was with his wife so her father could be J(akob) or P(hilipp), and I like to think I can see Philipp in her. I assured Sigi that all my other children are J(akob)'s beyond doubt as I saw nothing more of P(hilipp) nor his brother after that August day when Resi's (ed: Theresa Wittek, Sigmund's nurse and 'beloved Nana') tales reached J(akob)'s ears and I have not been unfaithful to him since.

All this I told the fire at the prompting of Sigi's gentle questions, knowing only the relief of unburdening myself of this terrible secret – perhaps there is indeed much point in the Catholic practice of the confessional – and placing myself at the mercy of my golden Sigi for his judgment.

He was silent for a moment as though in reflection and then said sadly that he would have liked to have been Philipp's son.

I know well enough that he has little time for his father, who he regards as weak and more like a grand-father, (ed: Jakob would have been 60 at this time and had in fact become grandfather to Emanuel's first child even before Sigmund was born) and I suspect much of Sigi's rejection of his heritage is derived from J(akob)'s embracing of it. (ed: according to contemporary accounts Sigmund was sometimes ostentatiously unJewish) It is true also that had he been born but a week earlier or a week later P(hilipp) might indeed be his father, but there is too much of J(akob) in his features for this hope to be sustained and I saw no need to mention this.

I do not believe he was shocked by my revelations so perhaps some whispered rumour had already reached his ear which, together with his memory of discovering P(hilipp) and I, had prepared him for. I cannot imagine either P(hilipp) or E(manuel) in England disclosing this secret to him, for both are old enough to be his father and would surely not have entrusted this 19-year-old stranger who was their step-brother with such a secret.

However if he was discomforted it was not for long and in a voice as quiet, untroubled and even as it had been throughout, asked if when I had been with P(hilipp) and E(manuel) I had not been troubled by the thought that I was committing incest with them.

I had not, I told him I believe equally evenly, for though both men were my sons they were only so by marriage rather than by blood, and had not both in fact been older than I? Moreover both had clearly been untroubled by any concern that the young woman they were tumbling in bed was in the eyes of society their mother.

Sigi pondered this for some moments and then began to talk to rather than interrogate me. His subject was incest, and he expounded a view that its prohibition and the abhorrence with which it is viewed was purely the case of a social imperative of early transient tribal peoples being incorporated into a moral and religious code.

His arguments were too profound and intellectual for me, yet I recall him talking of Lot, whose children by his own daughters became the Moabites and the children of Ammon (ed: Genesis 19.36) and even Abraham, whose half-sister Sarah was also his wife (ed: Genesis 20.11). I also recall Nahor (ed: married his sister or half-sister. Genesis 11.29), Reuben whose case he compared with mine (ed: 'went into' his father's wife. Genesis 35.22) and Absalom (ed: 'went into' all his father's wives, in public. 2 Sam. 22) and from the books of the Christians, Herod (ed: married his sister-in-law. Mark 6.17) and Paul's apparent and remarkable approval of father daughter incest and marriage. (ed: 1 Corinthians 7.36?)

Also he called upon Pharaonic marriages between brother and sister, the apparent lack of any restraint upon incestuous relations among the idyllic islands and noble savages of the South Seas and the experiences of breeders of everything from cats to cattle to demonstrated that the taboo on incest has no biological basis. Some English academic has, Sigi claimed, declared the purpose of the taboo was merely to encourage inter-tribal co-operation and exchange. (ed: perhaps E.B. Tylor, 'Primitive Cultures', 1871) Even the Great Darwin was called in support of his thesis, who apparently has declared that in-breeding even between the closest of relatives only produced deleterious effects after several generations who have themselves been kept in restricted conditions of life, and that morals are simply another product of evolution along with the plants and animals rather than a matter of divinely inspired conscience. (ed: Darwin. "The Descent of Man", 1871)

Sigi's knowledge and depth of thought on this matter impressed me deeply although it is a subject far removed from the medicine he is supposed to be studying. Yet he revealed it has been proposed, of necessity secretly and in whispers by some in this new field Sigi is so powerfully drawn to, that desires of fathers for their daughters and daughters for their fathers, mothers for their sons and vice versa, and between brothers and sisters, are not only far more widespread than is acknowledged but are quite natural, and society's enforced denial of these desires and their branding as immoral and unworthy is the source of much unhappiness and mental distress.

He fell silent as though expecting some response from me, but I had none. What could I say, having admitted to joyfully indulging such desires with the sons of my husband, and thus my own sons. Could I deny my girlish feelings for my own father, and my knowledge that had he ever unleashed that warm and laughter I so loved and his fine manly strength on me I would have surrendered my newly-womaned body to him without regret or restraint? Is it not so that when I look at what a fine, confident, powerful man my little Sigi has become some small part of the glow of love and pride in my mother's heart for him is the desire of a woman to be possessed by a man?

Fortunately he did not force those admissions from me, but with a disparaging laugh as though at his own pomposity moved on to lesser matters and shortly after again lulled me into that delightful doze as a prelude to 'waking' me.

It seems he is under the belief that the subject of hypnosis retains no memory of what transpires during the treatment, for it is hard to credit anyone however skilled an actor could treat as though it had never happened such a deeply shocking revelation as he had just experienced. Yet on waking me Sigi was as warm and looked upon me as lovingly as he ever did, and as he had clearly chosen to keep me in ignorance of the fact that he was now possessed of all the facts that underlay our flight from Frieberg I really had no option but to follow suit.

Yet what followed was, perhaps, even worse than any disgust or horror he could have displayed at what he had uncovered. Instead, moving around before me and taking my hands in his own to face me, he informed me gently that he had made a diagnosis of a deep and hidden trouble within me, and asked me to confirm that all was not well sexually between his father and myself.

It is true, of course. J(akob')s age alone would militate against the full and passionate encounters in the bedroom a 40-year-old woman desires, but in our case J(akob)'s passions were well and truly doused by the knowledge of my involvements with his sons and since that time his use of me has been at best cold and unsatisfying, at worst no more than the actions of a man with a whore, which with some justification he believes me to be. And who am I to judge, who can have no concept of what it must feel like to be a man plumbing a wife while knowing his sons have also plumbed those depths. I know it was only J(akob)'s respect for our faith and his adherence to the Divine Command to multiply that brought him to couple with me at all after that time.

Taking my silence as an admission he nodded thoughtfully and advised me solemnly that were he in fact my physician he would undoubtedly diagnose hysteria and prescribe a course of pelvic manipulation to cause me to undergo hysterical paroxysm to rebalance my energies. He is not, of course, my physician yet he earnestly implored me to undergo the treatment for my well-being and offered to perform it upon me both for my benefit and his, it being a medical procedure which he needed to practice. I simply did not know how to reply to this and so, resuming his professional detachment, he assisted me to my feet, helped straighten my clothing and saw me politely from the room.

How can I refuse him, yet how can I permit it?

(ed: There is no doubt Frau Freud was aware, as most women of her age in her situation and in that period would have been, both what Freud had diagnosed and the nature of the remedy he was suggesting.

For most of the 19th Century and into the early years of the present century 'hysteria' was a catch-all diagnosis for many 'woman's problems', including faintness and swooning, depression, nervousness, insomnia, fluid retention, weight-gain, weight-loss, muscle spasm, shortness of breath, irritability, "irrationality", loss of or excessive appetite for food or sex, and a general "tendency to cause trouble". Based directly on the writings of the Ancient Greek physician Hippocrates, 19th Century medicine had rejected his belief that the disorders were caused by the uterus actually 'wandering about' inside the woman's body but nevertheless held that the underlying cause was an imbalance in the functioning of the various organs of the body which could be rectified by stimulating the uterus into proper functioning. The treatment usually prescribed to effect this stimulation was 'pelvic massage' intended to bring about 'hysterical paroxysm', in modern parlance genital stimulation leading to orgasm.

As a result, masturbating women to orgasm in their surgery was a substantial feature if not the actual mainstay of the practices of many wealthy and respected physicians throughout Europe and the US for the last half of the 19th Century and into the current one. Often it was performed by a midwife or nurse rather than the physician himself as it could be a lengthy procedure, and medical catalogues of the era contain many ingenious mechanical devices, such as the Chattanooga Vibrator of 1904, intended to achieve the desired effect.

Both the diagnosis and the technique would have been a standard feature of the curriculum at Medical Schools of the period, such as the University of Vienna attended by Freud.)

..

November

….

I know S(igmund) is waiting on my response to his plea to treat me but in the days since he made his diagnosis I have been unable to decide upon my response. But I must do so.

I have no real doubts but that Sigi is practising pelvic massage on his sisters, or at least his elder ones. I have no proof, but can there by any other explanation for A(nna) and R(osa)'s light step, their laughter, their confidence as young women, their regard for their brother? I hope not. Surely Sigi would take it no further with his sisters than a little medical attention for their well-being, lifting from them the lusts and temptations girls of their age are so prone to, sometimes with disastrous results. Mitzi too? Her flows have begun, and with them the urges of the woman. Is this the explanation of that unguarded look of love I intercepted? A shared secret as well as the confidence and trust of a patent and physician added to the love of a sister and brother?

It is not right. It is not proper than S(igmund) should handle his sisters so, even as a physician. Yet as I visualise the scene of Sigi so ministering to his trusting sisters I feel instead of the horror and disgust a mother surely should, a burning envy between my own legs.

It has been so long since J(akob) made any use of me, and my own attempts at self-treatment are so often unsuccessful, leaving me sore and frustrated. Can I have any doubt that Sigi means me well? Is only concerned for my well-being? Is it somehow worse that I should receive this clearly needed treatment from my son rather than some fat goyim physician from the Seitenstettengasse, to our mutual benefit? Why should I not do it?

….

It is done. Memory will need no reminding, but I will record it here lest I try in future years to pretend to myself it never occurred.

I attended upon S(igmund) in his bedroom/surgery. As before he greeted me solemnly as Fr. Freud and made light, inconsequential conversation as though to establish a remoteness between us. With a sensibility I should have known he would display despite his youth he had elected not to use his bed as a treatment couch but instead drawn his table into the centre of the room and covered it with a cloth. As he helped me climb onto the table my knees were weak to the point that he practically had to lift me like a helpless babe, but it was not fear that I felt. More a kind of dreamlike disbelief that it was happening – that I was allowing it to happen as though a small part of my mind was screaming at me to desist and withdraw from what S(igmund) was intending to do, yet the greater part of me was wilfully blind and deaf to it.

With great solicitation Sigi made me comfortable in the table, with cushions beneath my head, back and knees, and then covered my face with a light, rosewater-scented cloth, although whether that was to save my blushes or his I cannot say.

Next he uncovered me from neck to waist and with firm fingers probed my abdomen before announcing himself satisfied and moving onto my breasts, which he lifted and manipulated gently, and then was I glad of that cloth for sparing my blushes as I felt my nipples tingle to his touch and rear towards him as they had those long years before when he had been a babe eager to suck.

If he noticed this, as he surely must have done, he made no comment upon it but at length merely pronounced me in perfect health. Then he undid the laces at my waist and at his urging, still unable to believe I was doing what I was doing, I raised myself in order that he could draw my petticoat down, revealing myself to him utterly.

Humming quietly to himself, some new Strauss waltz I believe, he briefly examined my legs and feet and then without warning raised my legs and parted my knees, opened my groove and with dispassionate fingers examined the contents thereof.

Have I been denied so long that I would have responded to any man's touch as I did? Should I have responded to my own son's touch as I did? For I experienced paroxysm (ed. orgasm) almost as soon as Sigi's fingers touched my privates, and even now hours later I feel echoes of that delight surging through me at the memory.

He was gentle and obviously knowledgeable, and if I am correct in my suspicions he has been well taught and learned much from his sisters for he seemed to know exactly what folds of flesh in my groove needed to be touched, tweaked, kneaded and stroked in order to draw the desired responses from me, as though I was a Prinzessin Lilienweiß (ed: 'Princess Lilywhite', a glove-puppet character from the popular street "Kaspertheater" of the time, an Austro-German equivalent of 'Punch and Judy') while I moaned and writhed on the table in response to his ministrations.

If it is true that men continually manufacture their seed and must regularly eject it for their health (ed: an 'urban myth' dating back to Ancient Egypt and still current today.) could Sigi not be correct in asserting that woman, too, requires regular relief. In my case I surely had much catching up to do after my years of deprivation in J(akob's) bed for the paroxysm's poured from me like water from a broken dam.

I felt my waters gushing from me also – poor Sigi's fingers must have been soaked as was the cushion beneath my thighs, but I could no more prevent it than I could stop the delight's racking me. I heard Sigi saying "good" and "excellent" at my responses, which pleased me, and felt him at one point inside me, probing me deeply with two or perhaps three fingers while still working on that button in my crack with his thumb and the delightful sensations were so intense I nearly passed out, if I did not in fact. I cannot be sure.

At the end I lay panting, wrecked, sweaty and exhausted on the table, quivering as the delights still chased themselves up and down my body. For several moments S merely fondled me gently, stroking the hair around my privates much as he stroked his beard when thinking. Then he straightened the cloth across my face, which had I fear been much rumpled by my wriggling and gasping, and left me for a moment. I could not move, but guessed his intent when I heard water being poured and shortly after felt him clean up my stickiness with a cloth moistened with warm, rose-scented water. He dabbed at me gently, for surely I was swollen and still sensitive despite my exhaustion, removed and replaced the soaked cushion and then powdered me between the legs. Then with a dry cloth warmed from the fire he dried my body and breasts and straightened out my legs, for I lacked the strength even to close them for myself.

Only then did he remove the cloth from my face, and with it wipe my brow. I was still lying naked on the table, but with his sweetest, most boyish smile he looked down at me and with a murmured, "Thank you, Mama," kissed me lightly on the lips.

It was in itself a moment to warm any mother's heart and fill it with love, yet at the self-same moment he lay his hand gently on the hair covering my pubis and lightly slipped a finger between my legs to brush my secrets, still blood-gorged and tingling from his earlier attentions. It was unnecessary, a disturbing moment for it signified –what did it signify? A son should not touch his mother there. A son should not want to touch his mother there. Yet surely Sigi did it then to show that not only could he touch me there, he wanted to touch me there. And I? Did not my breath catch in my throat like a young girl allowing a man's hand between her legs for the first time? Did not my flesh want to rise to give a gentle kiss with those other lips to my own son's fingers? Did I not, by recognising it and permitting it, acknowledge and give consent to my son's carnal interest in me?

The moment passed and, brisk professional again, Sigi dressed me and helped me rise from the table. I said nothing, and by not commenting upon his lewd, over-familiar touch, surely sanctioned it. Yet considering what had just transpired, what my son had seen of me wriggling in sexual ecstasy, what could I have said that would not have sounded hypocritical and falsely modest? Like the paying patient in any physician's surgery I could do no more than accept his pretence that the indignity I had just suffered had not occurred, and take my leave with what little dignity I had left.

Yet as I did so Sigi warned me that the relief I had received from his treatment would not endure without a substantial, and unlikely, change in relations between his father and himself, but made it clear that he was very willing to repeat the treatment should I desire.

Oh, I admit I desire it now only hours later. I have a wonderful sense of well-being, of peace. I feel like the woman I have not felt for years. I itch to consummate that feeling, yet J(akob) would spurn any approach. Even were he as desirous as I he would spurn me as he still takes his revenge for that insult to him fifteen years ago. He can only take me at all by using me with disdain and were he to think I were receiving any pleasure from it would instantly desist even to his own discomfort, which merely feeds his cold anger.

Alas, S(igmund) has kindled a fire in me it would have been better to have left cold, and I believe he knows it. What will come of this?

December

I could no longer resist the burning in my loins and entreated Sigi to repeat his prescribed treatment, which he obliged me by doing.

There being no prospect of an empty house in the coming days in which to continue our pretence of doctor and patient we adjourned to the scullery during Hannah's (ed: the Freud's maid, apparently a distant relative of Amalie) absence. There I lifted my skirts and swooned as Sigi's clever fingers between my legs probed and tickled me to ecstasy. Surely A(nna) and R(osa) have experienced the same at their brother's hands for I have seen them both with him in the vicinity of the kitchen at other times, breathless and flushed, carrying that same scent of rosewater that issued from the kerchief with which he dried my privates after the treatment. Have I not even seen Hannah in the same condition, and smelled the same on her? Yet she like her cousins dotes on S(igmund), as does his mother, and surely we are a most happy harem. As mother I deplore it, as woman I yearn for it. Trapped between the two I dangle helpless like a hanged woman.

I entreated S(igmund) for another of his 'treatments'. Taking my hands in his and kissing me lightly he declared that I was ready for the next stage and bid me attend on him in his 'surgery' tomorrow when for an hour we will be alone in the house.

He would not enlarge upon what he meant by 'the next stage' but smiled knowingly. I have heard of no 'next stage' following on from pelvic massage in the gossip of the coffee houses and do not know what Sigi intends. He surely cannot mean…. No I cannot write it. No more could I permit it.

…..

Can I doubt it? Could I stand before G*d and say I didn't know what S(igmund). intended? No. The knowledge was in my heart and mind and I crushed it, refusing to let it emerge into the light of day, where it never belonged.

He welcomed me not as Fr. Freud but as Mama, and I stood meek as he undressed me and assisted me onto the table. I pretended all was as it had been before, physician and patient, although he did not cover my face and let me see the look in his eyes as he caressed my breasts and stomach and trailed lazy fingers in my cleft, and they were not the eyes of a physician. I lay quiet, unthinking, unable to think, fearing to think, as he woke the woman in me with all the skill gained with his sisters and cousin, and who knows who else, and I watched with my flesh singing with desire like a tuned violin as he disrobed and climbed to kneel between my spread knees on the table, his rod of man-flesh rigid and throbbing for me. Yes some part of me screamed no, this should not be. It was wrong, terribly wrong with my step-sons who were not of my flesh and great has been my punishment for that sin. How much more vastly wrong was this, with the son of my womb, how much more terrible G*d's judgement – yet I lay waiting, open to him and paralysed like a rabbit before the snake.

My golden Sigi leaned over me, his manhood readied and an inch from my gates, and he kissed me gently on the lips, his chest pressed to my breasts.

"Mama, you are a virgin again. Treasure the moment," he whispered and then as slowly as a surgeon surely cuts to the heart, he eased himself into me.

He was right, of course. He is always right. No matter how many men a women has had, that first penetration by her own son, that return to her womb, is so unlike any other that she is a virgin in that regard until it is done. And for so many women it is surely never done.

So wonderful was it, so magnificent, that I reared beneath him, clutching him and shuddering to such transports of delight as he reamed me. So long has it been since firm man-flesh last filled me to satisfaction, for J(akob) can barely raise his member now let alone sustain it, that I drank in the sensation like a thirsting man water almost forgetting that the man-flesh was my own son's. Yet I couldn't forget entirely, and the knowledge that the weight on my breasts, the rod in my vagina, the quivering desire in the strong hands clasping me was my own son's woke an outburst of love in me which added an almost unbearably sweet sublimity to the experience which surely should not have been had it been against G*d's command.

I felt my son seeding me and drank him in, responding to that powerful pumping at the gates of my womb with convulsions of my own. Then his tension relaxed as all men do at that time although not by one iota did that rod in me ease in size and urgency.

"Sa, Mama," he said, or something of the kind. "Do you not know now the truth of it?"

Do I? My golden Sigi's face smiling down at me with such love, flushed and sweaty with the results of his labours in me. Did I not feel such love in return, a great upwelling of the love a mother should feel for her son even as I rejoiced to feel his flesh in mine stirring again and his hot seed seeping into my womb.

If that first time had been a burning-out of urgent desires the second time was a simple pursuit of pleasure as he moved within me simply for the sake of the sensation, and I spread wide my legs and angled my hips seeking only to gratify myself on the thing within me. A second time he seeded me and I unashamedly rubbed myself on him seeking my own conclusion which he assisted me to find. Then, exhausted and panting like athletes I lay beneath him and he on me still coupled and sharing that glow of reward that follows the meeting of the flesh's demands.

At length he stirred and kissed me as a son his mother while our black pubic bushes were still entwined. Then wearily he slipped his shrinking member out of me and rolled off me and the table. I lay unable to move and unwilling to think as he recovered himself and then, with washbowl and cloth, washed first his member and then my privates. Only then did he cover my face with the rosewater cloth and I felt him flush his seed from my womb with warm water, bulb and a rubber tube.

He dried me and tidied up, and so exhausted, so numb was I that he had to close and straighten my legs on my behalf as though modesty was still a matter of concern for me. He dressed, first himself and then me as far as he could as I lay on the table, then he lovingly kissed me again and told me I had transcended society's chains and could now look down on it with loving sadness at its ignorance, like a Goddess.

I… Is it so? Do I not recall what occurred and feel instead of the guilt, disgust and shame my mind tells me I should, just a pure glow of love and joy? Have I broken G*d's command or merely, as S(igmund) believes, discarded a silly ordinance drawn up by men for purposes long forgotten and irrelevant? It is a question still beyond me. Is not the truth of it that I now know that my love for my son and his love for me is complete, without reserve, without boundary? Do I not feel like a butterfly that has left its dry, brittle shell on the ground beneath it and is now stretching its beautiful wings to the sun? Yes, it is what I feel now, but how will I feel tomorrow?

As I left him S(igmund) told me to let him know immediately should I find myself with child from our love as he was well versed in the proper action to take should that occur, but the sooner that action was taken the better. I'm sure it is so.

…..

Time has brought no answers. EL (?) visited today with her sons, of whom she is so proud and rightly too though neither is the equal of my golden Sigi, and as I sat there meek and proper watching S(igmund) pour the tea and make polite conversation did my guts not thrill at the memory of our coupling and his member moving in me, to the extent that I almost feared I would stain my petticoats on the chair. I wanted to ask E if she did not ever wonder what it would be like to feel that great ox of a son of hers between her knees, his member plunging into her and out, and even entertained the thought that she might in fact do so, for why shouldn't she? And how would I know if she did, for surely she would keep it as secret from me as I kept my secret from her.

As Sigi had prophesied it seemed to me so silly that she should deny herself that joy, for surely it is natural for a mother to contemplate it as she looks upon the man her son has become. Indeed would not a mother be doing a marvellous thing for her son should she do so, relieving him of the tensions only married men can legitimately release and lifting from him the temptation to resort to unsuitable women. Yet, as Sigi maintains, the inhibitions are strong and surmounting them too great a task for me.

For sure H (ed: one of EL's sons?) is well aware of women for I noted his eyes on R(osa) and even felt them on me and speculating. That I at my age should still be an object of desire to a boy in his teens does please me even if perhaps it shouldn't, and I have no doubt that were his mother to take him in hand and introduce him to the pleasures of the flesh both would gain tremendously from it. Yet, cowed mice as we are, we meekly obey the rules imposed on us by patriarchs now alien to us and long dead, and even deny our own honest feelings in order to please them. Or, rather, I did until Sigi taught me otherwise. Yet it is more than I can do to take the lesson to others. The secret musings of this book will have to do.

Sigi, it seems, was well aware of my thoughts for after they had departed he sought me out and led me to his room where, abandoning all pretence of physic, we coupled as eagerly as newly-weds. It was a dangerous thing, with R(osa), M(itzi), D(olphi) and H(annah?) still in the house, yet as I responded to him inside me by climbing the mountain of delight to paroxysm I felt I wanted every mother in the world to see us and understand. I must indeed be careful and watch my tongue.

(ed: it seems Amalie decided to watch her pen as well as the next entry is...

May

…..

A wonderful day for P(aula) as we celebrated her becoming bat mitzvah (ed: her 12th birthday, 3 May 1876). Although I know Sigi disapproves he gave no sign of it and was all smiles and songs and laughs, and the girls all doted on him. Even J(akob) was unusually relaxed but of course the occasion pleased him deeply and P(aula) at least he never doubts is his true daughter, and is now a Daughter of the Commandment.

…..

I woke in the deep night, certain that Sigi had spoken in my ear. However he was not in the room, the house was quiet and J(akob) lay like a log beside me.

I rose and made my way to the girl's room – why there? I do not know.

They were all there around P(aula)'s bed, waiting for me. I saw worry in their eyes but not surprise, and from the way they glanced at Sigi as though seeking assurance knew he had told them I would come, and would accept it.

Paula was naked on her bed, Sigi kneeling naked between her legs and waiting for me. He smiled and beckoned me in.

"Come," he said. "Help her."

I knelt beside P(aula) and took her hand. Watched as S(igmund) woke the woman in her, our new bat mitzvah, felt her clutch me at the brief pain as he penetrated her and then shared her joy and wonder as she experienced for the first time a man inside her, and the delightful, awesome sensation of receiving his seed.

How else should it be? Surrounded and supported by her sisters, held tenderly by her mother and taken for the first time into the garden of delight by a loving brother?

Such joy.

(ed: here the extract if not the journal ends.

There is much here of interest to the student of Freud. The extant literature nowhere suggests that his interest in sexual inhibitions, particularly concerning incest, as a basis for neurosis began as early as indicated here. Neither is there any mention of his studying, let alone practicing, hypnosis at this early stage. However as Amalie comments, both would have been anathema to the conservative professors at Vienna's University he was at that time studying under and he certainly would have been sensible not to have published either interest, which would anyway have been outside the standard medical course. Indeed caution would, and seemingly did, persuade him not to openly pursue both until he was well established and had obtained a reputation capable of bearing the resulting outrage from his peers.

Of course nowhere in his writing does Freud openly suggest that the way to overcome a neurosis arising from repressed incestuous desires is to indulge them, and for that period – and even today - it is unlikely that any psychologist or psychotherapist's reputation and perhaps even professional qualification would survive such advice. For it even to have been a practical form of therapy both parties to the proposed incestuous act, such as the father in the famous case of patient 'Miss O', would have to be willing to commit it and a psychotherapist would have needed to tread very carefully indeed to establish the possibility of this being the case while avoiding scandal. However a close study of Freud's case notes in the light of his views as revealed in this document might possibly suggest he might on occasion have carried it off.

It seems clear from Amalie's reference in the above to Freud's admission as to having had dreams about it and his drawing specific attention to her pubic hair which, as a child, would undoubtedly have confused and perhaps even frightened him, that his belief in infant sexuality was grounded in his experience of disturbing his mother in the sex act with her step-son Philipp when Freud himself was only three. This scenario would be familiar to any student of Freud, and now it seems that his description of the child being confused and frightened by witnessing the sex-act, with its failure to comprehend its nature and the apparent violence towards, even penetration of, its mother in the context of a loving act, the security of the family bed &tc. had a personal root. In Freud's case this would undoubtedly have been further confused by the identity of the man concerned – not his father but his brother!

It is interesting, but fruitless, to speculate to what extent his own desire to commit incest with his mother arose from that one event, perhaps waking in him a desire to emulate if not surpass his 'big' brother Philipp in his mother's 'affections', and how much to lay at the door of the desire to seduce the parent of the opposite sex he believed was inherent in all children - itself perhaps a consequence of this experience.

Equally impossible to answer is the question raised by the above as to whether Amalie submitted of her own free will and desire to Sigmund's seduction, was induced to do it through Sigmund's overcoming her inhibitions by persuasion and argument, or whether it was the result of post-hypnotic suggestion. His apparent incest with all his five sisters seems more gratuitous, and that their mother should be so untroubled by it even in the light of her own incest suggests to me that she was influenced by 'instruction' given to her by Freud during hypnosis. Her description of her part in, and reaction to, the events of the night of Paula's bat mitzvah speak to me very much of someone carrying out consciously a scenario dictated to them during hypnosis.

Amalie died in 1930 aged 95, but during her entire life whenever possible Freud visited her regularly every Sunday with flowers and was clearly devoted to her, even though those visits clearly caused significant neurosis in him evidenced by the acute anxiety and stomach pains which he reported preceded them. Whether their sexual relationship, and how it inevitably came to an end, had any part in that we are unlikely to know unless more of her journal surfaces. Or of course a similarly frank one by Freud himself which survived his destruction of his own personal papers in 1885 and again in 1907.

Freud's eldest sister Anna married Ely Bernays in 1883. Some three years later, after a half-hearted engagement spent largely apart in different cities, Freud himself married his sister-in-law Martha Bernays, thus emulating Herod whose action so scandalised the Jews. They had six children whom Freud declared were named "not according to the fashion of the moment, but in memory of people I have been fond of. Their names made the children into revenants." With the word "revenant," Freud was referring to his belief that a name results in the recreation of a previous person with the name. The only child of Freud to receive a decidedly Christian name was his youngest daughter Anna, who was also his favourite and who, unmarried, became Freud's nurse in the long illness of his later years.

Sigmund Freud died in England on 23rd September 1939, shortly after the outbreak of World War 2. His eldest sister Anna died in New York on 11 March 1955, aged 96. Rosa, Mitzi, Dolfi and Paula all died in Nazi extermination camps some time during 1942.)

Freud wrote,

"If a man has been his mother's undisputed darling, he retains throughout his life the triumphant feeling, the confidence in success, which not seldom brings actual success along with it. This is altogether the most perfect, the most free from ambivalence of all human relationships."