Martha Bernays

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Martha Bernays (1882)

Martha Bernays (26 July 1861, in Hamburg – 2 November 1951, in London) was the wife of Austrian psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud.

Bernays was the second daughter of Emmeline and Berman Bernays. Her paternal grandfather Isaac Bernays was a Chief Rabbi of Hamburg. Sigmund Freud and Bernays met in April 1882 and after a four year engagement (1882–1886) they got married on 14 September 1886 in Hamburg.[1]

Freud and Bernays’s love letters sent during the engagement years, according to Freud's official biographer Ernest Jones, who read all the letters, "would be a not unworthy contribution to the great love literature of the world." Freud and Bernays had six children: Mathilde (b. 1887), Jean-Martin (b. 1889), Oliver (b. 1891), Ernst (b. 1892), Sophie (b. 1893), and Anna (b. 1895). Bernays’s younger sister, Minna Bernays, is known to be one of Sigmund’s friends – it has also been speculated that she was Freud's mistress. This claim was controversial at first but the publication of a hotel log has prompted some Freud scholars, including his defender Peter Gay, to regard the conjecture of Freud and Minna having an affair as probably accurate.[2][3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Letters of Sigmund Freud; selected and edited by Ernst L. Freud, Basic Books, 1960; p. 7 ISBN 0-486-27105-6
  2. ^
  3. ^ Eysenck, Hans. Decline and Fall of the Freudian Empire. Transaction Publishers, 2004

External links[edit]