Freud’s Office at Berggasse 19, Vienna, 1938

Edmund Engelman

Edmund Engelman, the clandestine photographer who let the world glimpse the famous couch of Dr. Sigmund Freud.

Mr. Engelman, a native of Vienna and an engineer by training, was asked by a friend of Freud’s to make a pictorial record of the birthplace of psychoanalysis. He succeeded in doing so in 1938, days before the Freud family left Vienna for London after the Nazi takeover of Austria.

Freud had lived in a nondescript four-story apartment house at Berggasse 19 since 1891. Mr. Engelman surreptitiously took a series of about 150 pictures of his offices and living quarters, using only natural light for fear of alerting the Gestapo.

Mr. Engelman himself escaped Vienna months later. He reached the United States in 1939 but without the negatives, which he retrieved from Freud’s daughter Anna in London after World War II. They became the material for a book, ”Berggasse 19” (Basic Books, 1976).

NY Times

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