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If Freud Celebrated Sukkot

If Freud Celebrated Sukkot

Jews around the world recently celebrated Sukkot, a joyous holiday that follows five days after the very solemn Yom Kippur; it has its roots as a harvest/agricultural festival. I won’t attempt to explain it in detail here; if you want to read all about it, including a discussion of how to pronounce it, here’s a link from Judaism 101.

The relevant part is that people construct little huts to commemorate the temporary dwellings built when the Jews wandered in the desert for 40 years. It’s traditional to dine in them during this week-long holiday, and some of them are quite elaborate, but they don’t have indoor plumbing.

I was delighted this morning to get an email from Hannah Landsmann, my very helpful contact at the Jewish Museum Vienna.  She wrote: “Last week we had a kids program at the  Jewish Museum where we talked about Sukkot and if and how Sigmund Freud would have celebrated it. The kids designed sukkot for Dr. Freud.”

She included this picture, replete with a green couch for therapy.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFreud wouldn’t have celebrated Sukkot — or any Jewish holiday — but he loved children and I’m sure he would have been very pleased by this rendition of his sukka.

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7 Things You Didn’t Know About Sigmund Freud, Including His Eyeglass Prescription

7 Things You Didn’t Know About Sigmund Freud, Including His Eyeglass Prescription

I’d be hard pressed to guess how many pages have been devoted to the life and times of Sigmund Freud. Hundreds of thousands? Millions? I’ve contributed more than a hundred here alone. But there are still a few things about the father of psychoanalysis that most people don’t know, 75 years after his death, details about hisContinue Reading »

And the Memoir Contest Winner Is…

And the Memoir Contest Winner Is…

First of all, thanks to all of you who participated in the win-a-great-memoir contest. Short and long, the family stories posted in the comments were great. I urge you to read all the them if you didn’t when you posted your own story or if you’re just checking in now. And the winner, chosen by Random.org,Continue Reading »

Contest: Tell Us About Your Family’s Journey, Win a Great Memoir

Contest: Tell Us About Your Family’s Journey, Win a Great Memoir

Besides changing their names, one of the greatest banes of family historians is that ancestors move around–and aren’t always considerate enough to leave accurate records of their new addresses. They move for a variety reasons–some to strike out and start a better life, others, like many of my relatives, to flee imminent danger. I’m often amazed at howContinue Reading »

Funny Freud Friday: Toying Around With History

Funny Freud Friday: Toying Around With History

Yes, it’s been a long time since I posted in the Funny Freud Friday category–or at all, come to think of it–but the timing was right. As a freelance writer, my budget doesn’t include the many Freud tchotkes I covet, so you can imagine how excited I was to find that I could use myContinue Reading »

Karl Lueger vs Sigmund Freud: A Disturbing Contrast in Vienna’s Legacies

Karl Lueger vs Sigmund Freud: A Disturbing Contrast in Vienna’s Legacies

For most of my week in Vienna, my experience of the city was so positive as to be a bit surreal.  I remembered Vienna from the early 1970s — the only time I’d visited before — as being gloomy and dour. I also imagined that, given what I’d learned over the last few years about my family’s history, I would beContinue Reading »

Dueling Desserts, Plaster Poets, & Sigmund Freud: Vienna’s Cafe Culture

Dueling Desserts, Plaster Poets, & Sigmund Freud: Vienna’s Cafe Culture

I’ve touched on the fact that my family members dabbled in sweets as well as meats in my last two posts, which involved my cousin Curt Allina, who lived across the street from Sigmund Freud and who later put the heads on PEZ. But the Kornmehl family also had a direct connection with a quintessentially VienneseContinue Reading »

More Amazing Austrian Inventions! PEZ & Freud, Revisited

More Amazing Austrian Inventions! PEZ & Freud, Revisited

Mea culpa. In my last post, I talked about my cousin Curt Allina, who lived across the street from Freud when he was a boy and who has been credited with putting the heads on the PEZ dispensers. It was subsequently pointed out to me that, in the context of that discussion, I mistakenly identified the following itemContinue Reading »

Fleischhauers, Freud & Pez: Vienna’s Famed Berggasse

Fleischhauers, Freud & Pez: Vienna’s Famed Berggasse

I was in Vienna’s Jewish Records Office last week — was it really only last week? — looking to fill in some key bits of my family history. When archivist Irma Wulz showed me the marriage records of my grandparents, Hermann Rosenbaum and Ernestine Kornmehl, I wasn’t especially surprised to learn that the wedding witnesses had been David Schmerling, Ernestine’s brother-in-law and also her first cousin, as wellContinue Reading »

Vienna Public Transit: A (Rather Wordy) Photo Essay

Vienna Public Transit: A (Rather Wordy) Photo Essay

This will shock and amaze all who know me and my tendency to take terrible pictures/break cameras but I didn’t do too badly this time, so I thought I’d post a few photo essays rather than try to write up all my experiences more formally. We’ll see. I suspect there will be more words than pictures, inContinue Reading »