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12 January 2009

Visit the home of the father of modern psychology

During the final months before the outbreak of the Second World War, Sigmund Freud, legendary Austrian psychiatrist and founder of the psychoanalytic school of psychology left his native Vienna with his family and settled on a leafy street in South Hampstead. Following Nazi Germany's annexation of Austria, Freud, who was from a Galician Jewish background, and his family had received numerous visits from the Gestapo and he made the decision to leave for England so he could "die in freedom".

Just over a year later, in September 1939, following the return of oral cancer brought on by heavy smoking, Freud convinced his doctor and friend Max Schur to assist him in suicide.

What remains of the house in which he lived, largely preserved by Freud's daughter, Anna, has been turned into a small museum which gives a glimpse into his life and work, containing amongst other things Freud's library and study, preserved just as they were during his lifetime, his remarkable collection of antiquities, and his legendary psychoanalytic couch, on which his patients reclined.

The museum is a short walk from Finchley Road Tube, and entrance is £5. You can find out more at the website at http://www.freud.org.uk/.

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