Berggasse, Vienna, June 4, 1938

Scene on the Freud Birthday Cake: Freud's armchair in transport.

Even as late as 1938, Freud was determined not to leave Vienna, which had been his home for nearly 80 years. He did not change his mind until his daughter Anna was arrested by the Gestapo. He was able to escape to London with the support of influential expatriate friends in Vienna. Freud managed to take along his collection of antiques and the furnishings of his study and consulting room - including the couch.

Before the authorities let him go, they insisted that he sign a declaration stating that his family had not been mistreated. Freud signed and added the following commentary:

"I can heartily recommend the Gestapo to anyone."

Radio play on this scene [308 KB]

Details from various biographical scenes on the birthday cake in the exhibition.