Richard J. Garfunkel
August 16, 2007
Hello, and welcome to our program, “The Advocates” on WVOX-AM. My name is Richard J. Garfunkel, and I am the host of this weekly forum. This program is coming live from New Rochelle, the Queen City, located on the Long Island Sound, and it can also be heard streaming live on www.wvox.com. One can also call directly to the station at 914-636-0110. Our guest this morning is Ms. Lynne Lehrman Weiner, who is accompanied by her able husband Mr. John Weiner, a member of the greatest generation, who served his country, in the European Theater, with distinction during WWII, and returned a decorated Captain.
Our guest, Ms. Lynne Lehrman Weiner has been and remains a resident of Westchester County for many, many years, and throughout her long career she has been a freelance writer, a reporter, a newspaper editor, a member of the White Plains Human Rights Commission, a social activist, a NY State Democratic Committeewoman, an editor, a lecturer, a film producer and author. Lynn, whom I have known for over 35 years, is the daughter of Dr. Philip Lehrman and her book Sigmund Freud through Lehrman’s Lens, is based on 16 mm amateur films, which her father, the psychoanalyst Philip Lehrman took, during his analysis with Freud from 1928 through 1929. Almost fifty years his death and almost eighty years after a young Lynne Lehrman sat on the Freud’s lap, Lynne has authored a very private insight into a very private man. Lynne has been able to open up a rare and personal view of not only one of the most famous personalities of the 20th Century, but on the world of psychoanalysis and the lost Europe of the late 1920’s.
As I say each week, the mission of the “The Advocates” is to bring to the public differing views on current “public policy” issues. “Public policy”, therefore, is what we as a nation legally and traditionally follow. Over the years the “public policy” of the United States has changed or has been modified greatly. As an example “free public education” is the public policy of the United States. Also, over time, great struggles have ensued over control of the direction of “public policy.” For example: free trade versus protectionism, slavery versus emancipation, state’s rights versus Federalism, and an all-volunteer army or a draft.
Doctor Lehrman, who was born in Russia in 1895, and came to the United States at the age of ten, graduated from the Fordham College Medical School in 1918. He received his further training at St. Lawrence Hospital in Ogdensburg, NY and he was one of a small group that practiced and taught psychoanalysis in this country. He was also a professor at Columbia University and at NYU.
Lynn, did your father ever tell you why he was inspired to practice psychiatry, which was in that day, an almost unknown medical practice?
Who was Doctor A.A. Brill and how did he become associated with him?
Sigmund Freud, who was an Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist, and who co-founded the school of psychoanalytic school of psychology, is best known for his theories of the subconscious mind, the mechanics of repression and his redefinition of sexual desire as mobile and directed to a wide range of objects. He taught and developed therapeutic techniques that dealt with the values of dreams and saw these same dreams as sources into insights into unconscious desires. What directed your father to go to Vienna and see Freud, and who enabled him to be introduced?
(AA Brill, his correspondence with Freud, and after many years of writing him, he was accepted in 1928.)
So your father packed up you, your brother and your mother and went off to Vienna when you were a very young child, how long did you stay? (I must add that I knew your mother Wanda quite well, and as a young man, when my wife Linda and I visited, she always was a great conversationalist. Too bad I didn’t know her connection to Freud, I would have certainly asked her a question or two!)
When and why did he start to take home movies of Freud, and his contemporaries? Did Freud enjoy being filmed?
(The lighting was bad because it was the winter, and Freud seemed to be camera shy!)
What happened to the films, how did your father feel about them and how did you discover their existence?
This was about 1950, I believe, and just before he enlisted your help in editing all of this raw footage, you had another remarkable experience regarding film and a unique trip to Yemen. Could you tell us a bit about your trip to Israel with John, Operation Magic Carpet, the Alaskan Airlines, and Captain Robert McGuire?
(Beginning in early 1949 and for just over a year, Operation Magic Carpet, led by the WWII pilot Robert McGuire, Israel sponsored 380 flights to Yemen, over 1400 mile trip over hostile Arab territory to rescue between 40 and 50,000 Yemenite Jews.)
You also took the only films of this historic and unprecedented event, how did that happen, and how did you happen to have a camera with you?
What have you done with those films and have they been shown?
By the way this is WVOX Radio- 1460 Am on your dial, and you are listening to “The Advocates” with Richard Garfunkel, and his guests Lynne Lehrman Weiner and her husband. You can also hear this live-treaming on your computer at www.wvox.com. Lynn Lehrman is talking about her book, Sigmund Freud through Lehrman’s Lens, which will be coming out in English very soon, and her adventures in the young State of Israel, in 1949 and Operation Magic Carpet.
Lynne, please tell us how this project to put this film together, identify the personalities who were captured, and the subsequent literary effort began?
(Grant from New Land Foundation in 1985!Lynne and her father had put together a 20-minute version and they were locked away in the Freud Archives- Anna Freud and her concerns.Please let me correct some of these facts!)
There were other short film depictions of Freud made by Marie Bonaparte and Ruth Brunswick that mostly depicted Freud’s family life and were taken for private reasons, what happened to these films?
Freud remained a famous personage in Vienna up until the late 1930’s when the Nazis took control of Germany. Even though he was awarded by Germany, in 1930, the prestigious Goethe Prize for his contribution to psychology and German literary culture, the Nazis soon burned his books when they took control. Austrians were no less anti-Semitic and after the Anschluss, or the unification of Germany and Austria in 1938, Freud and his family became threatened by the Gestapo. They eventually escaped and traveled to London. Did your father stay in contact with Freud during those dangerous and threatening years? Is their any correspondence between them? If there is, is it available to be seen? (Correct and elucidate, especially, concerning Princess Marie!)
Meanwhile, why are the Austrians so interested in Freud after so many years? Is it guilt over their treatment of the Jews and one of their most famous sons? Or is it just a way to create another tourist landmark? What do you think?
Of course your work was first published in German and you have visited Vienna, what is your 21st Century perspective on all of this?