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‘Vergänglichkeit’ and Death: a Comment on some Freudian Texts

This article addresses the problem of the impossibility of a psychoanalytic Weltanschauung through a reading of Freud’s texts on war, death and transience and with reference to Freud’s membership of the B’nai B’rith. The link with clinical material leads the author to conclude that Freud’s insight into human nature, while enthusiastic, lacks optimism.

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Freud and the Lodge “Wien” of the B’nai B’rith. On the Modernity of the Reflections on Jewish Identity

What are the characteristics of the Jewish identity when it is not inscribed in religious tradition? Reviewing the history of the international B’nai B’rith and Freud’s activities in the lodge “Wien”, his Jewishness and his Jewish identity are discussed in reference to (i) the goals of the B’nai B’rith “Wien” and its place in the traditions of the Enlightenment and of Jewish humanism as formulated by S. Ehrmann; (ii) the way in which Freud’s Jewish identity was perceived by his fellow brothers, E. Hitschmann and E. Braun. It is argued that Freud’s own perception of his Jewish ness matches with Braun’s, as well as with Ehrmann’s, view.