Friday, July 3, 2009

A metaphor.


I am associated with a weird de facto society of incredibly learned New York psychiatrists, most of whom I support financially. They are really the cream of NY's intellectual crop and I am kind of like their mascot or maybe, if I want to flatter myself, their muse.

Responding to some undisclosed stimulus, one of these doctors said to me recently, "remember what happened to Vienna when the Nazis expelled the Jews. It went from the leading city in the world in art, music, medicine and psychiatry to a small European backwater of faded glory."

Some agencies, if I may be so ego-centric, expel creative minds because those minds are out-of-step with their surroundings.

That's all I'm going to say right now.

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Here is a short list of some leading Jews who were forced out of Vienna by the rise of Nazism:

Physicians: Julius Tandler, Emil Zuckerkandl, Ernst Fuchs, Josef Breuer, Carl Sternberg, Julius Schnitzler, Ludwig W. von Mauthner, Ernst Löwenstein, Robert Bárány, Otto Loewi, David Gruby, Josef Halbans, Adam Politzer, Viktor E. Frankl and Leopold Freund are but a few of the names that made a mark in the realm of science - Bárány (1914) and Loewi (1936) were both awarded the Nobel Prize for medicine.

Of course, there was also Sigmund Freud, his pupil Alfred Adler and Viktor Frankl, the founder of logotherapy.

In Law, Hans Kelsen wrote the Austrian constitution.

In science, there was Siegfried Marcus (whom some say invented the automobile), the physicists Lise Meitner, Wolfgang Pauli (Nobel Prize 1945) and Felix Ehrenhaft, the biochemist Max F. Perutz (Nobel Prize 1962), the botanist Julius von Wiesner, the chemist Otto von Fürth and the astronomer Samuel Oppenheim as well as Fritz Feigl, Leo Grünhut and Edmund von Lippmann.

In music there was Gustav Mahler, Arnold Schönberg, Egon Wellesz, Erich Korngold and Alexander Zemlinsky, Oscar Straus, Emmerich Kalmán, Leo Fall and Edmund Eysler.

In Literature: Arthur Schnitzler, Hermann Bahr, Hugo von Hofmannsthal, Richard Beer-Hofmann, Peter Altenberg, Karl Kraus, Jakob Wassermann, Alfred Polgar, Franz Werfel, Stefan Zweig, Franz Kafka, Friedrich Torberg, Hans Weigel, Elias Canetti, Hugo Bettauer, Fritz Hochwälder, Josef Roth, Felix Salten, Hilde Spiel, Jura Soyfer and Vicki Baum.

In Philosophy: Ludwig Wittgenstein, Karl Popper, Martin Buber and Josef Popper-Linkeus.

And in Film: Billy Wilder, Fred Zinnemann and Otto Preminger.

3 comments:

Tore Claesson said...

Most of these guys were also rather creative well up in age and kept their minds sharp. Unlike advertising creatives who of course turn stupid and useless and incompetent some time around 35 or so.

geo said...

I suppose that's another forced expulsion: the over 35s.

Teenie said...

Although he's a neurologist, do yo happen to know Oliver Sacks? He's a brilliant writer and, I do believe, grew up in a Jewish family in England before moving over to the U.S.

And dang on the 35 limit--I just passed the 36 mark. I still look 32--does that count...?