I Have Been Through This Before

In April 1939—as the result of a backdoor bribe—a 35-year-old lumber baron named Bruno Bettelheim was released from the Buchenwald concentration camp on the condition that he leave Germany and never return.

In addition to running his family’s sawmills, Bettelheim had earned a degree in art history and, like many Austrians of the time, dabbled in psychoanalysis and read a bit of Freud. His wife had once cared for an emotionally disturbed child in their home. When he arrived as a refugee in the U.S. he used these random details to remake himself as an expert in human behavior. A small man with a striking Viennese accent and manner, he believed he had valuable psychological insights from the 11 months he’d spent inside Dachau and Buchenwald.

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Very good read, very well done. ABN

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