Gershon Hepner

Self-Transfiguration of Vienna’s Jewish Bourgeoisie

Faced by the rise of antisemitism and xenophobia Vienna’s Jewish bourgeoisie embarked on exploration of self. Upon whose heights they came across a serious acrophobia which they attributed to complex sexual frustration, finding that to fall off horses that the goyim thought were far too high was an experience that they paradoxically enjoyed, aesthetics for them not the only program on which they chose to rely, transformed by self-transfiguration thanks to Sigmund Freud.

Most ironic is the fact that Napoleon’s great-grandniece Marie Bonaparte enabled Sigmund to escape the city that did not vote “Nein!” and democratically Anschlussing with Deutschland caused him to flee the city her great uncle captured in 1809.

Marie Bonaparte, Freud’s avid French disciple (and Napoleon’s great-grandniece), put up much of the de facto ransom money to win his freedom. William Bullitt, the US ambassador to France who had also been treated by Freud, offered additional financial support if needed and made sure the Nazis were aware that American diplomats in Vienna were closely monitoring their handling of him. Freud’s friend and biographer Ernest Jones arranged for the Freud party to receive entry permits to Britain, an impressive feat given the growing reluctance of many governments to admit Jewish refugees.

About the Author
Gershon Hepner is a poet who has written over 25,000 poems on subjects ranging from music to literature, politics to Torah. He grew up in England and moved to Los Angeles in 1976. Using his varied interests and experiences, he has authored dozens of papers in medical and academic journals, and authored "Legal Friction: Law, Narrative, and Identity Politics in Biblical Israel." He can be reached at
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