Children of Famous Parents: Psychiatrist Dr. Sigmund Freud

About the children of famous father of modern psychiatry Dr. Sigmund Freud, biography of the kids.


Freud had 3 sons and 3 daughters, all of whom were overshadowed by his genius. He was a lenient, liberal, loving father--affectionate, but not demonstrative. His work was so demanding that the children were raised largely by their mother, Martha, but in a harmonious atmosphere.

Martin (b. 1889- ), the eldest son, has described his childhood in Vienna around the turn of the century as idyllic. In 1957, he wrote candidly, "I have never had any ambition to rise to eminence . . . I have been quite happy and content to bask in reflected glory . . . I believe that if the son of a great and famous father wants to get anywhere in this world he must follow the advice given to Alice by the Red Queen--he will have to go twice as fast if he does not want to stop where he is. The son of a genius remains the son of a genius, and his chances of winning human approval of anything he may do hardly exist if he attempts to make any claim to a fame detached from that of his father." Martin's only claim to fame was as a devoted son; he headed his father's publishing firm, handled his father's finances and legal affairs.

Anna (1895- ), the youngest child, was her father's favorite. By no Freudian slip, he once referred to her as "my only son, Anna." They were extremely close, their communication almost telepathic. In Freud's last years, Anna, a practicing child psychoanalyst in her own right, was her father's nurse, companion, secretary, coworker, and shield against the intrusions of the world. In 1935, during a period of illness, Freud wrote that "the one bright spot in my life is the success of Anna's work."

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