Object of the Month: March

Application for holiday by Sigmund Freud of 11 July 1884


For three years, from July 1882 to August 1885, Sigmund Freud worked as a junior doctor at various departments of Vienna General Hospital. He studied mental illnesses in great depth, became a lecturer in neuropathology in 1885, and continued to publish works on neurological topics after setting up as a general practitioner. In July 1884, at the time Freud made this application for a holiday, he was working at the 4th Medical Department for Mental Illnesses.


“Esteemed Management. The undersigned humbly applies for a holiday from his duties as junior doctor from 13 July up to and including 15 August and states the following grounds: 1) as far as he can judge, his weak health due to rheumatism and strenuous work requires respite for the purpose of recuperation and prevention. 2) Personal and family relations make it necessary for him to be present in a certain place for the aforementioned period. 3) The same designates D[octo]r[a]nd Mohr to cover for his departmental duties and rounds, while Dr. L. Schmeichler is so kind as to cover for his on-call duties. 4) He undertakes, in the event of a feared epidemic requiring the medical staff to be in full attendance, to return without delay. Respectfully a[nd] humbly Dr. Sigm[und] Freud, Junior Doctor 2nd Class of the 4th Medical Department”

Bearing a 50-kreuzer revenue stamp and the stamp of the hospital management and a three-line note of consent from the chief physician and subsequent notes for the files.


The sheet is currently on show in the exhibition “Freud and the Writers of Young Vienna”.


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