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Sigmund Freud - psychologist and world changer

The Viennese psychologist and doctor Sigmund Freud opened the door to the human soul for us. He is the founder of psychoanalysis and dream interpretation. Read here how it came about

Sigmund Freud

  • Life data: May 6, 1856 to September 23, 1939
  • Nationality: Austrian
  • Quote: "You cannot enjoy the present without understanding it and not understand it without knowing the past."

Due to his psychoanalysis, the Viennese Sigmund Freud is considered one of the most influential thinkers of the 20th century.

How Sigmund Freud lived

Sigismund Schlomo Freud was born on May 6, 1856 to Jewish parents in Freiberg in Moravia. When his father's business went bankrupt due to the economic crisis, the family moved to the capital of Austria a little later. In Vienna, Freud attended grammar school from 1865, after which he completed a medical degree with top grades. From 1881 he was employed as a doctor in the Vienna General Hospital in the field of neurophysiology (medicine of the nervous systems).

From 1885 he first devoted himself to hypnosis, with the help of which he wanted to penetrate the unconscious areas of the human soul. He wanted to understand the human brain and find out what was going on there. Due to several mistakes that happened to him in this regard, he quickly turned to other methods.

Now he focused entirely on dream interpretation. From 1886 Sigmund Freud worked at the first public children's hospital in Vienna and as a teacher at the University of Vienna. At the same time he married his long-time girlfriend Martha Bernays, with whom he later had six children.

How Sigmund Freud changed the world

In the 1890s, Freud made the most important discoveries. In 1889 he discovered that there is something unconscious in the human soul that is responsible for our actions. He first spoke of psychoanalysis in 1896.

His work "The Interpretation of Dreams" appeared three years later, in which he proved that every dream contains unconscious wishes.

The id, the ego and the superego

A little later he also explained that the human psyche consists of three parts: The It (awakens the instincts), dem About me (brings conscience into play) and that I (weighs up between id and superego). According to the Freudian model, the constant struggle between these instances determines all human action. If one part is more pronounced than the other, mental illness quickly develops.

Sigmund Freud achieved his breakthrough as a scientist with this theory. He published numerous books on psychoanalysis and dream interpretation until the 1930s and received significant honors for them.

But Freud paid little attention to his own health. He smoked up to 20 cigars a day and contracted palatal cancer in 1922.

When the National Socialists came to power in 1933, many of his works fell victim to the book burning. They were only partially restored later. Sigmund Freud fled to London, where he committed suicide on September 23, 1939 due to serious cancer.