Sigmund Freud’s BOGUS British Passport
It could have been a great global news story to find the passport of Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis. But the story took another direction.
Via my website, I always get plenty of reader requests. Family members searching for personal ID documents, asking where they can find passport copies of relatives, or wanting to know if their old passport has some value. But sometimes also strange requests come in. Some time ago, I had a guy asking, “Can you organize for me, my wife, and my three children EU passports?” I replied that he misunderstood my website about passport history and not “organizing” documents.
But then you also have stories like this. A British lady emailed me that she has the passport of Sigmund Freud and wanted to know if there is a collectors market for it and asked me to estimate its collectors’ value. So I asked for more details and pictures, and of course, if it is a real thing, we are talking here about a serious collector value of such a significant personality.
The first pictures came in, and it was an old British passport, issued somewhere in 1933 or 1934. The condition of the document was bad, and strangely almost all dates of stamps in the passport were unclear readable or not readable at all. The passport picture of Freud looked surprisingly impressive. Firstly I ignored the blind stamp on the passport picture.
But I recognized on some pages some post-WWII stamps, and how is that possible when Freud died in 1939? (Freud had been a heavy cigar smoker all his life. In 1939, after his cancer had been deemed inoperable, Freud asked his doctor to help him commit suicide. The doctor administered three separate doses of morphine, and Freud died September 23, 1939.)
I asked more questions and pictures, and it became clear that this document was a BOGUS document.
However, even as a Bogus document, this Sigmund Freud passport has something. The strange combination of pre-and post-war stamps, his picture, even a visa of Zaire (!), and a stamp of Federal Germany (!). An absolute curiosity, and I want it for my archive as it’s such a strange thing! Here are some pictures of Sigmund Freud’s BOGUS British passport – enjoy!
Psychology’s most famous figure is also one of the most influential and controversial thinkers of the twentieth century. Sigmund Freud’s work and theories helped shape our views of childhood, personality, memory, sexuality, and therapy. Other major thinkers have contributed work that grew out of Freud’s legacy, while others developed new theories out of opposition to his ideas.
In 2001, Time Magazine referred to Freud as one of the most important thinkers of the last century. A 2006 Newsweek article called him “history’s most debunked doctor.” While his theories have been the subject of considerable controversy and debate, his impact on psychology, therapy, and culture is undeniable. As W.H. Auden wrote in his 1973 poem, In Memory of Sigmund Freud,
“…often he was wrong and, at times, absurd,
to us, he is no more a person
now but a whole climate of opinion.”
But here are some facts about Freud’s passport.
On March 21st, 1938, the Nazi secret police, “GESTAPO,” visit Sigmund Freud’s home in Vienna, Austria. They confiscated his passports and other travel documents, preventing him from being able to leave Austria legally. Freud had long resisted any attempt to get him out of Austria and away from the Nazis, even after the Anschluss on March 15th and the incorporation of Austria into Nazi Germany. After his daughter Anna is detained and interrogated by the Gestapo; however, Sigmund Freud finally realizes that he needs to leave is if he and his family are to survive. Sigmund Freud’s BOGUS British Passport