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Bernfeld, Siegfried


BERNFELD, SIEGFRIED (1892–1953), psychoanalyst and educator. Born in Lemberg (Lvov), he studied at the universities of Freiburg and Vienna. A pupil of Sigmund Freud, Bernfeld was also influenced by Gustav Wyneken, the German educator and philosopher. He practiced and taught psychoanalysis in Vienna and Berlin and later in Menton, France. Leaving France in 1936, he settled in San Francisco, California. Bernfeld was active in Austrian and German youth movements, applying in practice the conclusions he drew from his psychoanalytic studies. During World War i, he organized the Zionist youth movement in Austria, and published the Zionist youth periodical Jerubaal in Vienna (1918–19). Among his other works of Jewish interest are Das juedische Volk und seine Jugend (1920). He was a founder of the Hebrew Paedagogium at Vienna and the Jewish children's home at Baumgarten. Bernfeld wrote extensively on a variety of topics. His examination of infant psychology and of Freud's childhood, and also his attempts at educational reform, are noteworthy.

add. bibliography:

K. Fallend and J. Reichmayr (eds.), Siegfried Bernfeld, oder die Grenzen der Psychoanalyse (1992), bibl.; J. Bunzl, in: N. Lassar (ed.), Juedische Jugendbewegungen (2001), 62–79; P. Dudek, Fetisch Jugend (2002).

[Shnayer Z. Leiman]

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