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Internationaler Psychoanalytischer Verlag


At the end of World War I, it was uncertain whether publisher Hugo Heller could continue publishing the Internationale Zeitschrift für (ärztliche) Psychoanalyse and Imago. A project was then undertaken to establish a psychoanalytic publishing house independent of commercial interests: International Psychoanalytic Editions.

Creating the company was made possible by the generous support of Anton von Freund, a Budapest businessman and patient of Freud. In the fall of 1918, during the international psychoanalytic congress in Budapest, Freud was made aware of the existence of the grant, intended to promote scientific publication and the publication of professional journals edited by the International Psychoanalytical Association. In January 1919 Otto Rank became head of the company, now named the Internationaler Psychoanalytischer Verlag (International Psychoanlaytic Press). Other participants included Sigmund Freud, Anton von Freund, and Sándor Ferenczi. The goal for the publishing company was to ensure the publication not only of journals and other publications with small circulations but above all of an "official reference" (according to Freud's letter to the presidents of the psychoanalytic societies, Easter 1932), to stand out from the growing literature on pseudo-psychoanalysis. Subjecting psychoanalytic literature to peer evaluation seemed necessary not only in the German-speaking world but also in the English-speaking world, where Ernest Jones was active.

In 1920 Jones, together with Rank, created an English publishing branch of the Internationaler Psychoanalytischer Verlag, the International Psycho-Analytical Press. It published the International Journal of Psycho-Analysis and the International Psycho-Analytical Library series. Along with English-language authors, this press also published authorized translations of Freud's work by C. J. M. Hubback and James Strachey.

Working with other publishers, the Internationaler Psychoanalytischer Verlag helped produce books in Hungarian, Polish, and Italian. From its two psychoanalytic journals (Internationale Zeitschrift für [ärztliche] Psychoanalyse and Imago ), the publisher produced books in the following three series: ImagoBücher and Internationale psychoanalytische Bibliotek (Imago Books and the International Psychoanalytic Library), Neue Arbeiten zur ärztlichen Psychoanalyse (New Research on Medical Psychoanalysis), and Quellenschriften zur seelischen Entwicklung (Basic Writings on Mental Development).

The financial success of the operation was hampered by the runaway inflation after the First World War, which caused von Freund's grant to lose a considerable portion of its value. From the early 1920s, recurring economic crises were a constant threat to the venture. Finally, in 1923, poor financial circumstances caused the liquidation of the press in Great Britain; personal dissension between Jones and Rank about the future direction of the publishing house was also a factor in its decline.

Conflicts over Rank's revision of dream theory in his Das Trauma der Geburt und seine Bedeutung fürdie Psychoanalyse (The Trauma of Birth ), published by Internationaler Psychoanalytischer Verlag in 1924, led to his resignation from the editorial committee. Adolf Josef Storer took over from Rank and carried out a series of ambitious editorial projects: he founded the Psychoanalytische Bewegung (Psychoanalytic Movement), launched the Zeitschrift für psychoanalytische Pädagogik (Journal of Psychoanalytic Teaching), and began publishing a psychoanalytic almanac.

Unfortunately, the publishers were unable to weather the surrounding economic crisis. After Storer's resignation, Martin Freud took his place in 1932 and attempted, with his father's help, to save the company from bankruptcy. During Easter 1932, Freud wrote an urgent letter of appeal to members of the International Psychoanalytical Association to help save the company. Through the creation of a publishing committee and with donations from members, especially from Marie Bonaparte and Abraham Arden Brill, the company narrowly escaped ruin.

But the economic crisis was replaced by a political crisis following the rise to power of the National Socialists in Germany. Freud's writings were burned in May 1933, and psychoanalytic authors were gradually forbidden to publish in Germany. In 1936 the Leipzig inventory of the Internationaler Psychoanalytischer Verlag was seized, and its entire publishing program for Germany had to be canceled. Under these conditions the number of books published and sold declined sharply. Shortly after the beginning of the annexation of Austria into the German Reich in 1938, the Vienna publishing house was seized by the Gestapo and liquidated by an administrator.

Lydia Marinelli

See also: Almanach der Psychoanalyse ; Freud, (Jean) Martin; Freund Toszeghy, Anton von; Gesammelte Schriften Psychoanalytische Bewegung, Die ; Rank (Rosenfeld), Otto.


Hall, Murray G. (1985).Österreichische Verlagsgeschichte 1918-1938. Vienna: H. Böhlau.

Sigmund Freud Museum (Ed.). (1995). Internationaler psychoanalytischer Verlag, 1919-1938. Vienna: Sigmund Freud Museum.

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