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London & Vienna: Freud’s World & A Family Reunion

London & Vienna: Freud’s World & A Family Reunion

There’s been a lot going on behind the scenes in the Freud’s Butcher universe, but it’s like the proverbial tree falling in the forest: If a blogger doesn’t post about events, did they really happen?

They did, and they will–and here’s the proof.

Psychology Today

I’ve made many forays into discussions of Freud’s life — in order to provide context for my family’s circumstances, it’s useful to explore those of the guy who lived upstairs from one of its members — but those were digressions from the main genealogy focus. Now some exciting things are happening with Freud and Vienna that warrant my undivided attention. Happily, I was given a platform to allow for that: My new Freud’s World blog on PsychologyToday.com.

Oscar Nemon, Freud, and Yofi, 1931. Courtesy of the Nemon Estate

My first story there, Did Vienna Repress Freud: A New Attitude in Austria, talks about the surprising way that Freud has been largely ignored in the city where he lived most of his life — one that the world associates with him. 

The second, written in the throes of royal wedding fever (so sue me, I succumbed), talks about the creator of the statue that will have arrived in Vienna by the time this is posted: Oscar Nemon: Forgotten Sculptor of the Royals and of Freud. Nemon deserves far more recognition than he has gotten. Perhaps the statue — and a new biography by his daughter, coming out in September — will help. More on that later.

An Upcoming Trip

The life trajectory of the man who occupied a flat above my great uncle’s shop mirrors that of several of my family members. Just as Freud went from Freiburg, a small town in the Austro-Hungarian empire, to Vienna and then to London when Vienna was no longer safe for the Jews, the aunt and uncle and cousins with whom my mother was closest went from Tarnow, Poland, to Vienna and then to London after the war. I have written about the Schmerling family many times. 

I’m very excited to report that I will soon meet several members of that family.

In brief: my great aunt Marie/Mitzi Kornmehl married her first cousin David whose family name was originally Kornmehl too. The story of how it became Schmerling is ongoing…

David and Mitzi had three children: Stella, the oldest, and the twins Hermione (called Herma by her daughter, Mimi by my mother) and Edith/Ditte. My mother was a bit younger than Stella, a bit older than the twins, but she played with all of them.

The twins with their matching hairbows are at the top of the page; here’s my mother and Stella and Flooki.

Flooki, my mother, Rita Rosenbaum, and her cousin Stella Schmerling

You may remember some of these pictures from earlier posts; they are among my favorites.

David had two brothers, Heinrich and Ferdinand, with whom he traveled to Vienna from Tarnow. Like many other things, their means of transportation there is under dispute–legend has it that they walked–but there is no question that the three were close. The brothers were separated when the war came; two of David’s children, the twins Herma and Ditte, went to London. Heinrich and his wife, Lilly, also moved to the UK; one of their two children, Flora, remained there, while the other, Erwin, moved to the US. 

Brothers David and Heinrich Schmerling,  Vienna, June 15, 1906 [?] The handwriting on the side: Gruß und Kuß von deinem lieben —??– (maybe Moritz), which means “Greetings and kisses from your dear…”

So…I will be meeting one of David’s two grandchildren, Herma’s daughter (my second cousin), along with several members of Heinrich’s family, both from the US and the UK branches–an amazing convergence of kin. I’ll report back.

Back to Vienna

And there’s more.

Because the London family reunion was planned for early June, I was able to piggyback on it a quick trip to Vienna for the unveiling of the aforementioned Freud statue and associated symposium, including a reception in the Freud Museum — to which I will be returning to give a talk about the Viennese members of the Kornmehl family on October 4

I can’t begin to tell you how exciting it is that I’ll be doing this. Well, I can begin, but I won’t do it justice. I’ll be discussing the talk in greater detail later. Still, if you think you might be in the neighborhood of Vienna in early October, mark your calendars now. 

 

Martha Solonche (1948-2018), May Her Memory Be a Blessing

Martha Solonche (1948-2018), May Her Memory Be a Blessing

This blog has become the occasional home for memorial pages of the recently departed who are not necessarily related to me, as well as the long departed who are. Its Jewish focus makes it particularly apt for the tributes to my friend Martha, who was a rabbi’s daughter and went to the Stern College forContinue Reading »

Writing Challenge Wrapup: Black Sheep & Single Genealogists

Writing Challenge Wrapup: Black Sheep & Single Genealogists

As the 2018 Family History Writing Challenge comes to a close, I observe that I solved a few mysteries; came up with several more; and reaffirmed the importance of genealogists who pass along stories rather than genes.  A Divorcee and a Bastard (That’s A Technical Term) It seems that my great uncle and aunt, AdolfContinue Reading »

What’s Freud Got to Do With It? An Earlier Look at My Family History

What’s Freud Got to Do With It? An Earlier Look at My Family History

In this home stretch of the family history writing challenge, I’ve been thinking about a time when I dipped my toes into the dark sea of my parents’ past–and then retreated. The Second Generation Revelation It was the late 1970s. I was working on a doctorate at NYU and seeing a therapist, Mildred,* for anxietyContinue Reading »

My Father’s Story: Remembering Paul Jarolim

My Father’s Story: Remembering Paul Jarolim

It’s the 23rd day of the Family History Writing Challenge and I see no reason to leave my father out; after all, he’s 50% responsible for my genes and 100% responsible for my name. His sister, my aunt Edith Jarolim, was my namesake. More relevant to this challenge: He had almost literally the same historyContinue Reading »

Commemorating Rita Rosenbaum

Commemorating Rita Rosenbaum

George Washington would have been 286 years old today. My mother would have been 105. The robbing of George (and, to be fair, Abe) of his own holiday in the face of the national commerce fest called President’s Day happened in 1971 but for the rest of her life, my mother was annoyed that herContinue Reading »

The Sweet in the Bittersweet Schmerling Story

The Sweet in the Bittersweet Schmerling Story

This is Day 20 of the Family History Writing Challenge, wherein I continue the story of the Schmerlings, who returned to Vienna after the war. I realize I’ve spent more time with other members of my mother’s family than I’ve spent with Adolf and Bertha Schweizer, the ostensible subjects of this challenge, but a biggerContinue Reading »

From Vienna to Tel Aviv and Back: Reparations Gone Awry

From Vienna to Tel Aviv and Back: Reparations Gone Awry

This is Day 19 of The Family History Writing Challenge. I’ll pick up where Day 18 left off, with Helene and Siegmund Kornmehl fleeing Vienna to Palestine. The context: I was describing the mystery of the late-life adoption of Erika by the subject of this challenge, Adolf and Bertha Schweizer, and went off on theContinue Reading »

Adoption Musings, Part 2: What Happened to Helene Kornmehl?

Adoption Musings, Part 2: What Happened to Helene Kornmehl?

On Days 18 of the Family History Writing Challenge, I turn again to a topic that I’ve touched on before: Nazi record keeping. In “Emigration Questionnaire Raises More Questions,” I discussed the agency created to “accelerate the forced emigration of the Austrian Jews and (starting in October 1939) to organize and carry out their deportation.” But it wasn’tContinue Reading »

Late Life Adoptions, Part 1

Late Life Adoptions, Part 1

This is Day 17 of the Family History Writing Challenge, the first of two about family adoptions.   The second story is odd on the surface — two adults adopting another adult who already has living parents –but I have a great deal of detail about it; that’s for tomorrow. This first is more traditional, butContinue Reading »