Freud: audio recording

Sigmund Freud on the BBC – 1938:

On December 7, 1938, the BBC came to Freud’s Maresfield Gardens home in London to record a short message. By this time his cancer of the jaw was inoperable and incurable, making speech difficult and extremely painful. A photograph of Freud was taken as he prepared to read the statement you are listening to now. After his long struggle with cancer grew intolerable, Freud asked his physician for a fatal injection of morphine. He died on September 23, 1939.

This is a transcript of the speech:

I started my professional activity as a neurologist trying to bring relief to my neurotic patients. Under the influence of an older friend and by my own efforts, I discovered some important new facts about the unconscious in psychic life, the role of instinctual urges, and so on. Out of these findings grew a new science, psychoanalysis, a part of psychology, and a new method of treatment of the neuroses. I had to pay heavily for this bit of good luck. People did not believe in my facts and thought my theories unsavory. Resistance was strong and unrelenting. In the end I succeeded in acquiring pupils and building up an International Psychoanalytic Association. But the struggle is not yet over.  –Sigmund Freud.


Freud's handwritten copy, with the Maresfield Gardens letterhead

Freud’s handwritten copy, with the Maresfield Gardens letterhead


4 thoughts on “Freud: audio recording

  1. Thank you for your comment, David. You’re right – but I’m afraid I haven’t been able to find anything, only a tantalising comment in the original handwritten copy of his speech (which I’ve now posted on the page – please see above) where he simply alludes to “A short sentence in German”!, which makes me think it may be a rather impromptu comment. I’ll keep looking – or I wonder if any of our regular Karnacologists can provide us with a transcription: a Freudian challenge!


  2. Pingback: Freud’s voice | peakmemory

  3. Pingback: Freud: audio recording of his voice | love+shyness

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