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Five— The Image of the Hysteric
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Hysteria, Race, and Gender

Sigmund Freud's reading of the ancient Greek myth of the wandering womb, which, when lodged in the throat, created the globus hystericus , can serve us as a detailed example of the problems attendant to "seeing" the hysteric. It is well known that Freud, in the autobiographical account he wrote of the occasion some forty years after the event, recalled the bad reception that his initial paper on male hysteria had when he presented it before the Viennese Society of Physicians on 15 October 1886.[122] Returning from his work with Jean-Martin Charcot in Paris and desiring to present his newly acquired insights about male hysteria to his home audience in Vienna, Freud presented his paper. His powerful recollection was that his hearers thought that what he "said was incredible. . . . One of them, an old surgeon, actually broke out with the exclamation: 'But, my dear sir, how can you talk such nonsense? Hysteron [sic] means the uterus. So how can a man be hysterical?'"[123] Freud's angry memory was aimed at the narrow-minded claim of the Viennese establishment, that it, and it alone, had command of Greek. It was the young, French-trained Freud who knew that the concept of hysteria was tied to universals (which, at that point, he understood as trauma) and was not merely a reflex of the biological uniqueness of a subgroup. It was hysteria (the hallmark of the new science) that Freud wished to rescue from the crabbed claws of a Viennese medical establishment that could not even get its Greek correct, for hystera is the correct form of the Greek noun


The chart as the representation of the male hysteric in Japan, as in 
the image of psychic forces in H. Nishi, "[Male Hysteria Cured by 
Suggestion]," Chugai Iji Shinpo  405 (1897): 5-9; 406 (1897): 11-16, 
image on p. 9.
 (Bethesda, Md.: National Library of Medicine.)


The chart as the representation of the hysteric in Germany, as in the 
evaluation of operations on the heating of the hysteric in K. Rudolphy, 
"Ohroperationen bei Hysterischen,"  Zeitschrift für Ohrenheilkunde 
und für die Krankheiten der Luftwege
 44 (1903): 209-221, plate 17, 
opposite p. 220. 
(Bethesda, Md.: National Library of Medicine.)

for uterus. Thus the young Jew (and Freud understood himself from his exposure to the virulent "scientific" anti-Semitism of the Viennese University as a Jew) showed his command over not only the language of science (represented by Charcot's discourse on hysteria) but also the language of culture (Greek). (The significance of this factor will be shown in the course of this analysis.) Freud's understanding, like the understanding of his time, was that hysteria did not manifest itself as a disease of the womb but of the imagination. This did not absolve the female from being the group most at risk, however, for the idea of a pathological human imagination structurally replaced the image of the floating womb as the central etiology of hysteria. What was removed from the


category of hysteria as Freud brought it back to Vienna was its insistence on another group, the Jews, which replaced the woman as essentially at risk.

The idea of the hysteric was a central one for the imaginative world of Sigmund Freud as it was close to his self-definition. For at the close of the nineteenth century the idea of seeing the hysteric was closely bound to the idea of seeing the Jew—and very specifically the male Jew.[124] For if the visual representation of the hysteric within the world of images of the nineteenth century was the image of the female, its sub-text was that feminized males, such as Jews, were also hysterics, and they too could be "seen." The face of the Jew was as much a sign of the pathological as was the face of the hysteric. But even more so, the face of the Jew became the face of the hysteric. Let us quote from one of the defenders of the Jews against the charge of being tainted by hysteria. Maurice Fishberg's The Jews: A Study of Race and Environment (1911) states the case boldly: "The Jews, as is well known to every physician, are notorious sufferers of the functional disorders of the nervous system. Their nervous organization is constantly under strain, and the least injury will disturb its smooth workings."[125] The origin of this predisposition is neither consanguineous marriage ("the modern view . . . [is that they] are not at all detrimental to the health of the offspring") nor the occupations of the Jew ("hysteria [is] . . . met with in the poorer classes of Jews . . . as well as in the richer classes").[126] It is the result of the urban concentration of the Jews and "the repeated persecutions and abuses to which the Jews were subjected during the two thousand years of the Diaspora."[127] These influences, found at the turn of the century primarily among Eastern Jews, according to Fishberg show the predisposition of these specific groups of Jews to illnesses such as hysteria: "Organic as well as functional derangements of the nervous system are transmitted hereditarily from one generation to another."[128] It is not all Jews who are hysterics, but Eastern Jews, and primarily Eastern male Jews, according to Fishberg: "The Jewish population of [Warsaw] alone is almost exclusively the inexhaustible source for the supply of specimens of hysterical humanity, particularly the hysteria in the male, for all the clinics of Europe."[129] Here Fishberg, an American Jew, misquotes the French psychiatrist Fulgence Raymond, who had stated that Jews of Warsaw formed a major sector of the mentally ill of that city.[130] It was Fishberg's misquote of Raymond that became the standard view in German psychiatry.[131] It appeared within Freud's circle when Isidor Sadger noted at the 11 November 1908 meeting of the Vienna Psycho-


analytic Society: "In certain races (Russian and Polish Jews), almost every man is hysterical."[132] It is the male Jew from the East, from the provinces, who is most at risk for hysteria.

This view had been espoused by Charcot, who diagnosed on 19 February 1889 the case of a Hungarian Jew named Klein, "a true child of Ahasverus," as a case of male hysteria. Klein had a hysterical contracture of the hand and an extended numbness of the right arm and leg. It was Klein's limping that Charcot stressed. Klein "wandered sick and limping on foot to Paris" where he arrived on 11 December 1888. He appeared at the Salpêtrière the next day, "his feet so bloody that he could not leave his bed for many days." Klein "limped at the very beginning of his illness." Charcot reminded his listeners that the patient "is a Jew and that he has already revealed his pathological drives by his wanderings." His "travel-mania" could be seen in the fact that "as soon as he was on his feet again, he wanted to go to Brazil."[133] Klein also suffered from the standard numbness ascribed to the hysteric on half of his body. Wandering and limping mark the hysterical Jew as diseased, and diseased because of incestuous intermarriage.

H. Strauss of Berlin, in one of the most cited studies of the pathology of the Jews, provides a bar chart representing the risk of the Jews for hysteria.[134] It shows that male Jews suffer twice as often from hysteria as do male non-Jews. While it is clear that women still are the predominant sufferers from the disease, it shows a clear "feminization" of the male Jew in the context of the occurrence of hysteria. Freud's teacher, the liberal-Jewish neurologist Moriz Benedikt, also links the "American" quality of life with the appearance of hysteria, a disease that he understood as "a uniquely feminine nervous disease"—in men.[135] The struggle for life in the city causes the madness of the male Jew: "Mental anxiety and worry are the most frequent causes of mental breakdown. They are all excitable and live excitable lives, being constantly under the high pressure of business in town."[136] The reason for this inability to cope with the stresses of modern life lies in "hereditary influences," that is, their being Jews.[137]

And that is written on their faces, as on the faces of women. William Thackeray, in Codlingsby , his parody of Disraeli's novels, has his eponymous protagonist revel in the aestheticized sight of the "ringlets glossy, and curly, and jetty—eyes black as night—midsummer night—when it lightens; haughty noses bending like beaks of eagles—eager quivering nostrils—lips curved like the bow of Love" of the Jews.[138] "Every man or maiden," looks Jewish, but also looks feminine; "every babe or matron in that English Jewry bore in his countenance one or more of these


The Jewish hysteric, as represented by a chart from H. Strauss, 
"Erkrankungen durch Alkohol und Syphilis bei den Juden,"  Zeitschrift 
für Demographie und Statistik der Juden
, 4 N.F. (1927): 33-39; 
chart on p. 35. 
(Bethesda, Md.: National Library of Medicine.)


The idealized "Jewish face," in a drawing by the famed fin-de-siècle 
Viennese Jewish artist Ephraim Moses Lilien, is that of the female. In 
Maurice Fishberg,  The Jews: A Study of Race and Environment  
(London: Walter Scott Publishing Co., 1911), p. 95. 
Photo courtesy Wellcome Institute Library, London.


characteristics of his peerless Arab race." Codlingsby muses: "How beautiful they are!" when the jarring voice of Rafael Mendoza breaks his revery: "D'you vant to look at a nishe coat?" But the accent is not a true sign of the Jew's difference: "All traces of the accent with which he first addressed Lord Codlingsby had vanished, it was disguise: half the Hebrew's life is a disguise. He shields himself in craft, since the Norman boors persecuted him." The association between the falsity of the language of the Jews (which is not merely accented but duplicitous) is balanced by the "true" sight of the Jews—a factor that Thackeray parodies. What remains is that the "sight" of the Jew—the registration of the external signs of Jewishness—is a truer indicator of the nature of the Jew (or at least the perception of the Jew's nature in Thackeray's relativistic manner of representing the Jew) than is the mutable sign of the Jews' language, a language that is corrupted by as well as corrupting the world in which the Jew in the Diaspora lives.

Francis Galton actually tries to capture this "Jewish physiognomy" in his composite (i.e., multiple exposure) photographs of "boys in the Jews' Free School, Bell Lane." Galton provides types generated by multiple exposures. There he sees the "cold, scanning gaze" of the Jew as the sign of their difference, of their potential pathology.[139] It is in the Jews' gaze that the pathology can be found. This view is at least as old as Robert Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy , where Burton writes of the "goggle eyes" of the Jews, as well as "their voice, pace, gesture, [and] looks" as a sign of "their conditions and infirmities."[140] But it is not merely that Jews "look Jewish" but that this marks them as inferior: "Who has not heard people characterize such and such a man or woman they see in the streets as Jewish without in the least knowing anything about them? The street arab who calls out 'Jew' as some child hurries on to school is unconsciously giving the best and most disinterested proof that there is a reality in the Jewish expression."[141] The gaze of the non-Jew seeing the Jew is immediately translated into action.

The complexity of the Jewish response to this view can be measured in Joseph Jacob's discussion of Galton's finding of the absolute Jewish-ness of the gaze:

Cover up every part of composite A but the eyes, and yet I fancy any one familiar with Jews would say: "Those are Jewish eyes." I am less able to analyze this effect than in the case of the nose. . . . I fail to see any of the cold calculation which Mr. Galton noticed in the boys at the school, at any rate in the composites A, B, and C. There is something more like the dreamer and thinker than the merchant in A. In fact, on my showing this to an eminent painter of my acquaintance, he exclaimed, "I imagine that


Francis Galton's "composite" and "component" images of the Jew 
(here the Jewish male stands as representative for the Jew). Frontispiece 
to Joseph Jacobs,  Studies in Jewish Statistics  (London: D. Nutt, 1891). 
Photo courtesy Wellcome Institute Library, London.

is how Spinoza looked when a lad," a piece of artistic insight which is remarkably confirmed by the portraits of the philosopher, though the artist had never seen one. The cold, somewhat hard look in composite D, however, is more confirmatory of Mr. Galton's impression. It is noteworthy that this is seen in a composite of young fellows between seventeen and twenty, who have had to fight a hard battle of life even by that early age.

For the Jewish social scientist such as Jacobs the inexplicable nature of the Jewish gaze exists (even more than the "nostrility" that characterizes the Jewish nose) to mark the Jew. His rationale is quite different than that of Galton—he seeks a social reason for the "hard and calculating" glance seen by Galton, but claims to see it nevertheless. This view reappears within the medical literature in the work of Jewish physicians, such as Moses Julius Gutmann, who writes of the structure of the Jewish face, of its typical form, as being the result of a combination of features that produce "the melancholy, pained expression" (the nebbish face) that is associated with the Jew. For Gutmann, and others, it is the result of the "psychological history of the Jew."[142]


Sigmund Freud's own fascination for Galton's "family" photographs must also be stressed. For Freud the composite photograph is virtually the representation of the dream in his Interpretation of Dreams (1990). It is an obsessive metaphor, which recurs throughout the course of his work.[143] The centrality of this metaphor is a residue of Freud's earlier acceptance of Charcot's reliance on the act of seeing as the privileged form of diagnosis. It is not seeing the unique but rather the universal. And yet hidden within those claims for universality are the images of race which Galton produces parallel to his other composites, in which the eyes of the Jew (read: Sigmund Freud) and his gaze are pathologized. The clinical gaze of the Jewish physician now becomes the object of the gaze of study. The image of the eyes, found in the calculating glance of the hysteric and the epileptic, reappears in the context of race.

In Henry Meige's dissertation of 1893 on the wandering Jew in the clinical setting of the Salpêtrière, the image of the Jew and the gaze of the Jew become one.[144] Meige undertakes to place the appearance of Eastern European (male) Jews in the Salpêtrière as a sign of the inherent instability of the Eastern European Jew. He sketches the background to the legend of the wandering Jew and provides (like his supervisor, Char-cot) a set of visual "images of Ahasverus." He then provides a series of case studies of Eastern (male) Jews, two of which he illustrates. The first plate is of "Moser C. called Moses," a forty-five- or forty-six-year-old Polish Jew from Warsaw who had already wandered through the clinics in Vienna and elsewhere; the second plate is of "Gottlieb M.," a forty-two-year-old Jew from Vilnius, who likewise had been treated at many of the psychiatric clinics in Western Europe. Given the extraordinary movement of millions of Eastern Jews through Western Europe, beginning in the early 1880s, toward England and America, the appearance of these few cases of what comes to be called "Munchausen syndrome" should not surprise. Without any goal, these Jews "wandered" only in the sense that they were driven West, and that some should seek the solace of the clinic where they would at least be treated as individuals, even if sick individuals, should not make us wonder. What is striking is that Meige provides images and analyses that stress the pathognomonic physiognomy of the Jew—especially his eyes. The images gaze at us, informing us of their inherent hysterical pathology. The Jew is the hysteric; the Jew is the feminized Other; the Jew is seen as different, as diseased. This is the image of the hysteric with which the Jewish scientist was confronted. His "startle" effect was to see himself as the Other, as the diseased, but most important as the feminized Other, the altered form of his circumcised genitalia reflecting the form of that of the woman.


The "wandering Jew" as the model for the psychopathology of 
the Eastern Jew. From Henry Meige,  Étude sur certains 
néuropathes voyageurs: Le juif-errant a la Salpêtrière
(Paris: L. Battaille et cie., 1893), p. 17. 
(Bethesda, Md.: National Library of Medicine.)

No wonder that Jewish scientists such as Jacobs, Fishberg, and Freud—in very different ways—sought to find the hysteric outside of their own self-image. For that image was immutable within the biology of race. Fishberg quotes the accepted wisdom (in order to refute it for himself and project it onto the Eastern Jew) when he cites Richard An-


The image of "Moser C. called Moses," one of the modern "wandering Jews," 
gazes at the reader. From Henry Meige,  Étude sur certains néuro-pathes 
voyageurs: Le juif-errant a la Salpêtrièe
 (Paris: L. Battaille et cie., 1893), p. 25. 
(Bethesda, Md.: National Library of Medicine.)

dree: "No other race but the Jews can be traced with such certainty backward for thousands of years, and no other race displays such a constancy of form, none resisted to such an extent the effects of time, as the Jews. Even when he adopts the language, dress, habits, and customs of the people among whom he lives, he still remains everywhere the same. All he adopts is but a cloak, under which the eternal Hebrew survives; he is the same in his facial features, in the structure of his body, his temperament, his character."[145] And this constancy of character, with its de-


The physiognomy and the gaze of "Gottlieb M.," 
a forty-two-year-old Jew from Vilna, "proves" the 
psychopathology of the Jew. From Henry Meige, 
Étude sur certains néuropathes voyageurs: 
Le juif-errant a la Salpêtrière
L. Battaille et cie., 1893), p. 29. 
(Bethesda, Md.: National Library of Medicine.)

viant sexual nature, leads to the disease that marks the Jew, that leads to hysteria. Because the etiology of the Jew's hysteria, like the hysteria of the woman, was to be sought in "sexual excess."[146] Specifically in the "incestuous" inbreeding of this endogenous group: "Being very neurotic, consanguineous marriages among Jews cannot but be detrimental


to the progeny."[147] Jews (especially male Jews) are sexually different; they are hysterical and they look it.

The clinical gaze of the Jewish physician now becomes the object of the gaze of study. The image of the eyes attributed to the Jew reappears in the context of the science of race. It is this biological definition of all aspects of the Jew that helps form the fin-de-siècle idea of the Jew. The scientific gaze should be neutral. The scientific gaze should be beyond or above all of the vagaries of individual difference.[148] As George Herbert Mead put it: "Knowledge is never a mere contact of our organisms with other objects. It always takes on a universal character. If we know a thing, explain it, we always put it into a texture of uniformities. There must be some reason for it, some law expressed in it. That is the fundamental assumption of science."[149]

But race is but one of the categories of the visualization of the hysteric that played a role in shaping the image of the hysteric in the course of the nineteenth century. For the construction of seeing the hysteric took many different forms in providing a composite image of the hysteric, an image in bits and snatches, an image that revealed the "truth" about the hysteric's difference to him- or herself. The nosology of the "categories" of difference are really quite analogous to Charcot's construction of the visual pattern of the actions of the hysteric. One can argue that Freud's intellectual as well as analytic development in the 1890s was a movement away from the meaning of visual signs (a skill that he ascribes to Charcot in his obituary of 1893) and to the interpretation of verbal signs, from the crudity of seeing to the subtlety of hearing.[150] Charcot understands the realism of the image to transcend the crudity of the spoken word. In a letter to Freud on 23 November 1891 he commented concerning the transcription of his famed Tuesday lectures that "the stenographer is not a photographer."[151] The assumption of the inherent validity of the gaze and its mechanical reproduction forms the image of the hysteric. The central argument that can be brought is that this vocabulary of seeing remains embedded in Freud's act of understanding the hysteric, who must be seen to be understood. This is not present in the earliest papers on hysteria written directly under Charcot's influence, such as Freud's differential diagnosis of organic and hysterical paralysis written in 1886.[152] For Freud the rejection of Charcot's mode of seeing the hysteric is also a rejection of the special relationship that the Jew has with the disease. The theme of the specific, inherited risk of the Jew for hysteria (and other forms of mental illness) was reflected in the work of Charcot which Freud translated.[153] But even more so this general claim about the hereditary risk of the Jew was


linked to a diagnostic system rooted in belief in external appearance as the source of knowledge about the pathological. For the seeing of the Jew as different was a topos of the world in which Freud lived. Satirical caricatures were to be found throughout the German-speaking world, which stressed the Jew's physical difference, and in the work of Charcot (and his contemporaries) these representations took on pathological significance.

Indeed, Freud's purchase of a lithograph of Brouillet's painting of Charcot in August of 1889 can well be understood as a compensation of Freud's rejection of Charcot's mode of seeing and representing the hysteric. Indeed, it must also be understood as a compensation for his abandonment of his identification with the anti-Semitic Jean-Martin Charcot[154] —for whom Jews, as the essential "moderns," were at special risk as hysterics—and his new alliance with the provincial Jew Hippolyte Bernheim.[155] Such a movement parallels the abandonment of ideas of trauma—still for Charcot the cause of hysteria (in women as well as in Jews)—and its replacement with the etiology of hysteria in the psyche. As Freud states:

For [the physician] will be able to convince himself of the correctness of the assertions of the school of Nancy [Bernheim] at any time on his patients, whereas he is scarcely likely to find himself in a position to confirm from his own observation the phenomena described by Charcot as "major hypnotism," which seem only to occur in a few sufferers from grande hysterie .[156]

It is the scientific "observation," the gaze of the Jew rather than the gaze directed at the Jew, which marks the distinction between Charcot and Bernheim. Freud's conversion to Bernheim's mode of seeing the "usual" rather than seeing the "unique" also marks the beginning of his rejection of reducing the origin of hysteria to the single, traumatic event.

This returns us to the problem of defining the visual precursors for Charcot and for Freud. We must trace the image of the epileptic and the meaning of trauma—two clearly linked images in Freud's vocabulary of the hysteric—to see how Freud's reading of the hysteric is linked through these images of trauma to the central image of difference, the Eastern European Jews as hysterics (or perhaps more accurately, provincial Jews as parvenus, out of their minds because they are out of their natural place). It is the discourse on the relationship between trauma and hysteria that provides the key to Freud's—and many of his contemporaries'—ambivalence concerning models for therapy.

Trauma is not a neutral concept. There has been a general acceptance


of the historical model of the "railway spine," hysterical trauma resulting from railway accidents, as a means of understanding the traumatic nature of hysteria at the turn of the century.[157] Indeed, in much of the early work on hysteria these images haunt the literature. The hysteric is the sufferer from traumatic neurosis similar to that caused by experiencing a train accident, as outlined by Herbert Page in his classic work, Injuries of the Spine and Spinal Cord (1883), and accepted in toto by Charcot in his work on the neurosis of fright or shock. Both men and women are therefore equally at risk for such forms of psychopathology. Hysteria is thus merely the direct (brain or spinal cord lesion) or indirect (shock) result of trauma. And here the confusion between the models of hysteria evolved by Charcot and Hughlings Jackson must be stressed. For the traumatic event causes hysteria only in those who are predisposed to being hysteric (Charcot), but the lesion caused by trauma also releases those subterranean aspects of our earlier evolution held in check by the highest order of neurological organization (Hughlings Jackson). The Jew is predisposed to hysteria both because of hereditary and consanguinity (incestuous inbreeding) and, as we shall see, by the trauma of civilization as represented by the Jews' predisposition to the somatic diseases linked to hysteria, such as syphilis.

The fin-de-siècle image of trauma is one with modern civilization, with the train. As Sir Clifford Allbutt, Professor of Medicine at Cambridge University, stated in an essay in the Contemporary Review of 1895:

To turn now . . . to nervous disability, to hysteria . . . to the frightfulness, the melancholy, the unrest due to living at a high pressure, the world of the railway, the pelting of telegrams, the strife of business . . . surely, at any rate, these maladies or the causes of these maladies are more rife than they were in the days of our fathers? To this question . . . there is, I know, but one opinion on the subject in society, in the newspapers, in the books of philosophers, even in the journals and treatises of the medical profession.[158]

And thus the railroad, railway accidents, and the speed of modern life all collaborate to create the hysteric. But nineteenth-century "railway" medicine faced a dilemma that later faced Sigmund Freud. Trauma—such as involvement in a railway crash—is the cause of hysteria, but why do not all individuals who are involved in railway crashes become hysteric? This question was answered in part by the neurologist C. E. Brown-Séquard, who, as early as 1860, had argued that there were hereditary transmissions of acquired injuries, as in the case of "animals born of parents having been rendered epileptic by an injury to the spinal


cord."[159] This view quickly becomes a standard one in the literature on "railway spine."[160]

The image of the hysteric being at risk because of his or her inheritance limited the field from which the hysteric could be drawn. Thus the physician could, under most circumstances, see him- or herself as a separate category, as distanced from the hysteric as from the child of alcoholics or criminals. But not the Jewish physician. For the Jewish physician is at risk no matter which theory of hysteria one accepted.[161] Some views using the model of biological determinism had it that the Jew was at risk simply from inheritance; some views sought after a sociological explanation. But both views, no matter what the etiology, saw a resultant inability of the Jew to deal with the complexities of the modern world, as represented by the Rousseauean city. The trauma of "modern life" was closely linked to the image of the city. For nineteenth-century medicine (whether psychiatry or public health), cities are places of disease and the Jews are the quintessential city dwellers, the Americans of Europe. Richard Krafft-Ebing believed that civilization regularly brings forth degenerate forms of sexuality because of the "more stringent demands which circumstances make upon the nervous system," circumstances that manifest themselves in the "psychopathological or neuropathological conditions of the nation involved."[162] For him (and for most clinical psychiatrists at the turn of the century) the Jew is the ultimate "city person" whose sensibilities are dulled, whose sexuality is pathological, whose materialistic, money-grubbing goals are "American," whose life is without a center. It is also the city that triggers the weakness hidden within the corrupted individual. It is its turbulence, its excitement, what August Forel in The Sexual Question (1905) calls its "Americanism," that leads to illnesses such as hysteria:

Americanism.—By this term I designate an unhealthy feature of sexual life, common among the educated classes of the United States, and apparently originating in the greed for dollars, which is more prevalent in North America than anywhere else. I refer to the unnatural life which Americans lead, and more especially to its sexual aspect.[163]

This is an image seen by physicians of the period as "Jewish" in its dimensions. Jews manifest an "abnormally intensified sensuality and sexual excitement that lead to sexual errors that are of etiological significance."[164] Jewish scientists, when they address this question directly, seek for a developmental rather than a hereditary reason for this evident higher rate of hysteria. They seek out the two-thousand-year Diaspora as the origin of trauma.[165] But this does not free them. Given the views


of Brown-Séquard, there is really little escape no matter what the cause. The Jew becomes the hysteric and the hysteria is measured by the sexual abnormality of the Jew.

Thus when we turn to Freud's case studies, either in the collaborative Studies in Hysteria of 1895 or in his later and much more complex studies, such as his study of Dora (1905 [1901]), we face the question of Freud's (and Breuer's) representation of the Jew—of his "seeing" (or, perhaps better, "hearing") the Jew. In an earlier study I argued that the image of Anna O. in Breuer's case-study contribution to the Studies in Hysteria masked the "Jewishness" of Bertha Pappenheim.[166] In Freud's own contributions (such as the case of Katherina or Miss Lucy R.) there is the attempt to universalize the image of the hysteric through the citation—not of cases of male hysteria—but those of non-Jewish hysterics. But the common qualities ascribed to the hysteric and the Eastern, male Jew remain central to the representation of this nosological category for Freud.

This can be seen in a close reading of what has become the exemplary "case of hysteria" for our contemporary reading of the history of hysteria, Freud's case of Dora.[167] Seen by contemporary feminist critics, such as Hélène Cixous, as "the core example of the protesting force of women,"[168] it is also the classic example of the transmutation of images of gender and race (masculinity and "Jewishness") into the raceless image of the feminine. Freud used the case of Dora to argue not only for the necessary publication of case studies, but also for the needed masking of the analysand. The disguising of the identity of Dora is complete. There is no sign in the case study of the "racial" identity of Ida Bauer, the Eastern European Jewish daughter of Philip Bauer, whose syphilis was treated by Freud some six years before the beginning of Dora's analysis. Charcot (and Freud) had attempted to distance the diseases of syphilis and hysteria, and yet a relationship between the two patterns of illness remained. This omission, such as Josef Breuer's omission of his patient's "racial" identity in his narrative of Anna O.'s case, while including it in his case notes, masks a salient aspect of the case. We can best quote Freud in this regard, when he returns to the 1895 case of Katherina in 1924 and observes concerning his replacement of the relationship with the patient's father with the word "uncle": "Distortions like the one which I introduced in the present instance should be altogether avoided in reporting a case history."[169]

Perhaps as important for our reading of the suppressed aspects of the case of Dora (Ida Bauer) is the fact that her beloved brother Otto Bauer was one of the founders of the Austrian Socialist Party. His attitude toward his Jewish identity is of importance. For Austro-Marxism


advocated cultural-national autonomy for all people within the diverse Hapsburg Empire—except for the Jews. These Marxists saw assimilation as inevitable and positive, and they tied assimilation to a distinct distaste for Yiddish (and subsequently Hebrew) as linguistic signs of a negative separatism (a sign that took on positive meaning when ascribed to Czech or Hungarian as "national" languages). While Otto Bauer was an "Eastern Jew" himself, as he was born of Bohemian ancestry in Vienna, he was ambivalent about the idea of race. "Race" was an acceptable label for the other national groups, since it was associated by them with positive ideas of autonomy, but for the Jews (especially Eastern Jews) it was always a sign of the pathological.[170] Bertha Pappenheim, Breuer's Anna O., stated it quite baldly in an essay published at the turn of the century. Raised in an orthodox Jewish home, for her the German-language schools developed in the Eastern reaches of the Hapsburg Empire were "a stronghold, often conquered in battle, in the fight against the malaise from which Galician Jewry suffers as from a hereditary disease."[171] It is the cure of this hereditary disease that Freud undertakes in treating Dora (and thus treating an aspect of his own identity). This is, indeed, the hidden meaning of the development of the idea of transference and countertransference which is nascent in the case of Dora and why Freud's own understanding of this process is blocked in this case.

The centerpiece of Freud's study of Ida Bauer is, according to Freud's argument, the attempt to explain the origin of a case of hysteria through the analysis of the Oedipal triangle as perceived by a patient whose object of attraction is of the same sex. The complex relationships are between her father (Philip), her mother (Käthe), and Dora; the father's lover (Frau K.) and her husband (Herr K.), the attempted seducer of Dora, who has traditionally been the focus of the interpretation of the study. Much time and effort has been expended to understand Freud's complex misreading of this case. What is clear is that there are a number of misreadings by Freud in the text. Jacques Lacan pointed out one of the central ones: that the globus hystericus manifested by Dora is interpreted by Freud as the symbolic representation of orality within a specific context in the case study. The lover's seduction of the impotent father is described in Freud's analysis as an act of fellatio rather than being understood as cunnilingus.[172] This displacement is, however, not merely the shift of Freud's focus from the genitalia of the female to those of the male. Rather it is a double displacement—for the act of fellatio is also the emblematic act of male homosexual contact. What such a displacement means can be found if the "scientific" context of the meaning of the act of fellatio in the medical debates of the nineteenth


century are followed. Through such a contextualization we can outline Freud's understanding of the transmission of a "disease" (the collapse of language as represented by the symptom of the globus hystericus in Ida Bauer) as necessarily associated with the act of sucking a male's penis.

Let us begin with this misreading as a sign of Freud's representation of the idea of race in the guise of the representation of the feminine, as it replaces the male's genitalia as the object of attraction—and, therefore, sight—with the woman's. For Freud the act of seeing one's genitalia is one which is especially "feminine": "The pride taken by women in the appearance of their genitals is quite a special feature of their vanity; and the disorders of the genitals which they think calculated to inspire feelings of repugnance or even disgust have an incredible power of humiliating them, of lowering their self-esteem, and of making them irritable, sensitive, and distrustful."[173] The special quality of seeing the female's genitalia, genitalia normally understood by Freud as presence in the fantasy of their absence, points toward the other genitalia, the male genitalia, seen by the male, which when "disordered" points toward pathological nature of the male. But what is this disorder? In the case study it is, on one level, the origin of Ida Bauer's understanding about the diseased nature of her genitalia, the syphilitic infection of her father. One of the most interesting qualities ascribed to the father from the very beginning of the case study is the fact that he was syphilitic. The relationship between the physical trauma of syphilis and the image of the syphilitic is central to understanding the image of the hysteric which Freud evolves in his study. In the case of Dora's father, his "gravest illness . . . took the form of a confusional attack, followed by symptoms of paralysis and slight mental disturbance."[174] Freud diagnoses this as a case of "diffuse vascular affection; and since the patient admitted having had a specific infection before his marriage, I prescribed an energetic course of antiluetic treatment."[175] Four years later the father brings his daughter to Freud for treatment. Freud argues in a footnote for the retention of the relationship between the etiology of hysteria in the offspring and the syphilitic infection of the father. "Syphilis in the male parent is a very relevant factor in the etiology of the neuropathic constitution of children."[176] Here is the trauma—this case of hysteria is a form of hereditosyphilis transmitted by the father. Freud's emphasis on this line of inheritance is not solely because Ida Bauer's father had evidently (according to the account in the case study) infected her mother (and therefore his daughter), but because the general laws of the inheritance of disease which were accepted during this period argued that the son inherits the diseases of the mother (and therefore her father) while the daughter in-


herits the diseases of the father (and therefore his mother).[177] Freud later uncovers another sign of this biological predisposition in the fact that "she had masturbated in childhood."[178] This is the link that brings together the trauma (the syphilitic infection of the father), the mode of transmission (sexual intercourse with a circumcised penis), the Jewishness of the father as represented in his pathological sexuality, and the hysterical neurosis of the daughter. The merging of various forms of illness, from syphilis to hysteria, is through the model of inherited characteristics. The "real" disease is the degeneracy of the parent, and its manifestation in specific illness can vary from individual to individual.[179] Thus syphilis and hysteria are truly forms of the same pattern of illness.

One reading of the case would be to say that hypersexual Jewish males pass on their Jewish disease to their daughters in the form of hysteria. But this discourse is present in Freud's text only if we contextualize the meaning of syphilis within the context of Freud's self-definition as a Jew and that of his patient, Ida Bauer.

Freud creates very early on a differential diagnosis between tabes dorsalis (a label for one of the late manifestations of syphilis) and hysteria, at least when it appears in a woman who is infected with syphilis. He undertakes this in an extended footnote at the very beginning of the study in which he documents the central diagnostic thesis of this case study: that it is the ordered narrative of the patient about her illness which is disrupted in the hysteric. In other words, the hysteric lies: "The patient's inability to give an ordered history of their life insofar as it coincides with the history of their illness is not merely characteristic of the neurosis. It also possesses great theoretical significance."[180] The relationship between the sexual etiology of the hysteric and the hysteric's discourse represents the underlying shift from an image of race to one of gender (for as we shall see, the discourse of the Jew is a primary marker of difference). The counterexample is brought in Freud's notes, a case study of a patient who "had been for years . . . treated without success for hysteria (pains and defective gait)." She narrates her "story . . . perfectly clearly and connectedly in spite of the remarkable events it dealt with." Freud concludes this "could not be . . . [a case] of hysteria, and immediately instituted a careful physical examination. This led to the diagnosis of a fairly advanced stage of tabes, which later was treated with Hg injections (Ol. cinereum) by Professor Lang with markedly beneficial results."[181] Here the image of the "defective gait," which is one of the hallmarks of the "hysteric" in the nineteenth century (and the history created for this image at the Salpêtrière), recurs, only to be revealed


as the final stages of syphilis. The irony is that it is Joseph Babinski whose neurological work at the Salpêtrière provided the clue for such an analysis of the impaired plantar reflex[182] and Charcot himself, in his work on intermittent claudication, who provided the racial context for such impairment.[183] (And, indeed, there is a link of intermittent claudication to the image of the hysteric.)[184] In this case of Dora, it is revealed only at the very close of the case that one of Dora's primary symptoms was that "she had not been able to walk properly and dragged her right foot. . . . Even now her foot sometimes dragged."[185] Freud sees this "disorder, the dragging of one leg," as having a "secret and possibly sexual meaning of the clinical picture."[186] Freud interprets this as a sign of the "false step" that Dora had imaged herself to have taken during the attempted seduction by Herr K. at the lake. Later Felix Deutsch, who treated Ida Bauer after she broke off her analysis with Freud, observed with surprise that the "dragging of her foot, which Freud had observed when the patient was a girl, should have persisted twenty-five years."[187] This remained a central sign for her affliction, a sign that is not solely the association between the accident she had as a child and the bed rest that accompanied it. For the incapacity of gait is also a racial sign in Ida Bauer's Vienna and is associated with the "impairment" of the Jew. For it is the Jew, in a long Austrian tradition as old as the eighteenth century, who is at greatest risk in having both impaired gait[188] and syphilis. It is this image in the case of Dora that links the impairment of the syphilitic and the hidden image of the Jew.

The association of the syphilitic infection of the father and the neurosis of the daughter is linked by Freud in his analysis of the physical symptom of leukorrhea, or genital catarrh, an increased "disgust[ing] . . . secretion of the mucous membrane of the vagina."[189] Dora associates this with her lesbian "disgust" toward Herr K.'s attempted heterosexual seduction (in Freud's reading) and the feeling of his "erect member against her body."[190] Freud's conclusion is that for Ida Bauer "all men were like her father. But she thought her father suffered from venereal disease—for had he not handed it on to her and to her mother? She might therefore have imagined to herself that all men suffered from venereal disease, and naturally her conception of venereal disease was modelled upon her one experience of it—a personal one at that. To suffer from venereal disease, therefore, meant for her to be afflicted with a disgusting discharge."[191] Freud thus interprets one of two dreams narrated to him by Dora in terms of the connection among the "disgusting catarrh," the wetness of bed-wetting and masturbation, and her mother's compulsive cleanliness. "The two groups of ideas met in


Charcot's diagnostic category of intermittent claudication was used 
as a marker for racial difference. From P. Olivier and A. Halipré, "Claudication 
intermittente chez un homme hystérique atteint de pouls lent permanen,"  La 
Normandie Médicale
 11 (1896): 23. 
(Bethesda, Md.: National Library of Medicine.)


this one thought: 'Mother got both things from father: the sexual wetness and the dirtying discharge.'"[192] In the recurrent dream the connection (right word) is made through the symbolic representation of the "drops," the jewels that her mother wishes to rescue from the fire that threatens the family.[193] Freud interprets the "drops"—the jewelry [Schmuck ]—as a switch-word, while "jewelry" [Schmuck ] was taken as an equivalent to "clean" and thus as a rather forced contrary of "dirtied."[194] Freud stresses that the "jewels" become a "jewelcase" in the dream and that this term (Schmuckkasten ) is "a term commonly used to describe female genitals that are immaculate and intact."[195]

One can add another layer of misreading. As I have shown, there is a subtext in the hidden language of the Jews. In Viennese urban dialect, borrowed from Yiddish, Schmock has another meaning. Schmock even in German urban ideolect had come to be the standard slang term for the male genitals. The hidden meaning of the language of the Jews is identical to the lying of the hysteric, the central symptom of hysteria, according to Freud. This transference can be seen in Freud's early description of the discourse of two Eastern male Jews in a letter to his friend Emil Fluss on the return trip from Freiburg to Vienna in 1872:

Now this Jew talked the same way as I had heard thousands of others talk before, even in Freiburg. His face seemed familiar—he was typical. So was the boy with whom he discussed religion. He was cut from the cloth from which fate makes swindlers when the time is ripe: cunning, mendacious, kept by his adoring relatives in the belief that he is a great talent, but unprincipled and without character. I have enough of this rabble.[196]

The misreading of the text is a repression of the discourse of the male Eastern Jew—the parvenu marked by his language and discourse as different and diseased. Hidden within the female genitalia (the Schmuckkasten ) is the image of the male Jew as represented by his genitalia (the Schmock ). The replacement of the "Jewish" penis—identifiable as circumcised and, as we shall see, as diseased, by the "German" vagina stands at the center of Freud's revision of the identity of Ida Bauer.

In my study Jewish Self-Hatred , I have extensively shown that an ancient Western tradition labels the language of the Jew as corrupt and corrupting, as the sign of the inherent difference of the Jew.[197] This tradition sees the Jew as inherently unable to have command of any "Western"—that is, cultural—language (indeed, even the "holy language," Hebrew). The Jew is not only "not of our blood," as Monsignor Joseph Frings of Cologne expressed it in 1942, but also "does not speak our language."[198] For the acculturated Eastern Jew in Vienna, mauscheln ,


the speaking of German with a Yiddish accent, intonation, or vocabulary, is the sign of this difference. And this is the language of Freud's mother, Amalia Freud née Nathanson, the invisible woman in all of his autobiographical accounts. As Freud's son Martin noted, she was a Galician Jew from Brody who remained a typical Polish Jew, "impatient, self-willed, sharp-witted and highly intelligent." She retained the language, manner, and beliefs of Galicia:

[She was] absolutely different from Jews who had lived in the West for some generations. . . . These Galician Jews had little grace and no manners; and their women were certainly not what we should call "ladies." They were highly emotional and easily carried away by their feelings. . . . They were not easy to live with, and grandmother, a true representative of her race, was no exception. She had great vitality and much impatience.[199]

It is in the image of the mother that the qualities ascribed to the hysteric, to Ida Bauer, can be found. In suppressing the shift of language, Freud also suppresses the "hidden" reference to the "Jewish" penis. The hidden discourse of the Jew, hidden within the high German culture discourse, is ignored.

This "misreading" of the female for the male organ is in truth a "misseeing" of the genitalia as Freud traces the origin of Ida Bauer's knowledge of the act of fellatio, the "seeing" as well as sucking of the male member. Freud understands this "so-called sexual perversion" as being "very widely diffused among the whole population, as everyone knows except medical writers upon the subject. Or, I should rather say, they know it too; only they take care to forget it at the moment when they take up their pens to write about it. So it is not to be wondered at that this hysterical girl of nineteen, who had heard of the occurrence of such a method of sexual intercourse (sucking at the male organ), should have developed an unconscious phantasy of this sort and should have given it expression by an irritation in her throat and by coughing."[200] Freud reports that Dora's governess, to whom she was evidently as attracted as she was to Frau K., "used to read every sort of book on sexual life and similar objects, and talked to the girl about them, at the same time asking her quite frankly not to mention their conversations to her parents, as one could never tell what line they might take about them."[201] But it is clear according to Ida Bauer's account that she did not only "hear" about such sexual activity but learned about it in quite another way. Later in the case study, after Freud had begun to explain the homosexual attraction which Dora felt for Frau K., this narrative shifts.


After Dora's father writes to Herr K. to demand an explanation of his actions toward his daughter, Herr K. "spoke of her with disparagement, and produced as his trump card the reflection that no girl who read such books and was interested in such things could have any title to a man's respect. Frau K. had betrayed her and had calumniated her; for it had only been with her that she had read Mantegazza and discussed forbidden topics."[202] It is the book, a foreign book, that "infects" her, and makes her "sick," that is, "hysteric." Like her governess, Frau K. had used her to get access to her father. This "error" in Freud's image of the etiology of hysteria is a displacement of the image of the infected and the infecting onto the world of high culture—not "German" high culture (Bildung ), of course, but the medical culture of the sexologist.

Paolo Mantegazza (1831-1901) was one of the standard ethnological sources for the late nineteenth century for the nature of human sexuality. His three-volume study of the physiology of love, the hygiene of love, and the anthropology of love was the standard popular introduction to the acceptable social discourse on sexuality in late nineteenth-century Europe.[203] His importance for Freud should not be underestimated. One of a group of physician-anthropologists (such as Cesare Lombroso), Mantegazza had pioneered the introduction of the study (and enjoyment) of Erthroxylon coca and its derivative, cocaine, in the late 1850s. Following the publication of Darwin's Descent of Man , Mantegazza became one of Darwin's most avid correspondents (and sources), supplying Darwin with a series of "anthropological" photographs that Darwin used for his later work.

Mantegazza's work, like that of Charcot, emphasized the "seeing" of difference, a view that is epitomized in Mantegazza's basic study of physiognomy and expression of 1885. But for late nineteenth-century science the controversial centerpiece of Mantegazza's work is his trilogy on love and sex: Fisiologia dell' amore (1872), Igiene dell' amore (1877), and Gli amori degli uomini (1885).[204] Cited widely by sexologists from Cesare Lombroso, Richard Krafft-Ebing, Havelock Ellis, and Iwan Bloch to Magnus Hirschfeld, Mantegazza remained one of the accessible, "popular" sources for scientific knowledge (and misinformation) for the educated public at the turn of the century. It is clear that Ida Bauer could have read (and probably did read) either Mantegazza or similar texts, whether under the tutelage of her companion or on her own initiative. What is of interest is how Freud reads this contradiction in her account: Did she read them, or only hear about their content? What is inherently dangerous about Mantegazza from the standpoint of Freud's refusal to relate to the accusation that Ida Bauer had read him? If we turn to


the trilogy, it is clear (and Madelon Spregnether agrees[205] ) that the text that best fits the pejorative description of Herr K. is the final text in this series, on the anthropology of sexuality.[206] There one finds an extended discussion of "the perversions of love," including "mutual onanism," "lesbianism and tribadism," as well as "histories" of these practices. (However, there are similar discussions in the seventh chapter of Mantegazza's study on the "hygiene of love," which details the "errors of the sexual drive.")

Now this is clearly what Freud should have understood—given his reading—as of importance to Ida Bauer, but what in this volume would have been of importance to Sigmund Freud? If we turn to the chapter after the one on "perversions," we come to a detailed discussion of the "mutilation of the genitals," which recounts the history of these practices among "savage tribes" including the Jews. Indeed, it is only in Mantegazza's discussion of the Jews that the text turns from a titillating account of "unnatural practices" into an Enlightenment polemic against the perverse practices of that people out of their correct "space" and "time"—the Jews:

Circumcision is a shame and an infamy; and I, who am not in the least anti-Semitic, who indeed have much esteem for the Israelites, I who demand of no living soul a profession of religious faith, insisting only upon the brotherhood of soap and water and of honesty, I shout and shall continue to shout at the Hebrews, until my last breath: Cease mutilating yourselves: cease imprinting upon your flesh an odious brand to distinguish you from other men; until you do this, you cannot pretend to be our equal. As it is, you, of your own accord, with the branding iron, from the first days of your lives, proceed to proclaim yourselves a race apart, one that cannot, and does not care to, mix with ours.

It is circumcision that sets the (male) Jew apart. In his dissertation of 1897 Armand-Louis-Joseph Béraud notes that the Jews needed to circumcise their young males because of their inherently unhygienic nature, but also because the "climate in which they dwelt" otherwise encouraged the transmission of syphilis.[207] The Jew in the Diaspora is out of time (having forgotten to vanish like the other ancient peoples); is out of correct space (where circumcision had validity). His Jewishness (as well as his disease) is inscribed on his penis.

But what does circumcision mean for a Viennese Jewish scientist at the end of the 1800s? The debates within and without the Jewish communities concerning the nature and implication of circumcision surfaced again in Germany during the 1840s. German Jews had become


acculturated into German middle-class values and had come to question the absolute requirement of circumcision as a sign of their Jewish identity. Led by the radical reform rabbi Samuel Holdheim in Germany and responding to a Christian tradition that denigrated circumcision, the debate was carried out as much in the scientific press as in the religious one.[208] There were four "traditional" views of the "meaning" of circumcision since the rise of Christianity. Following the writings of Paul, the first saw circumcision as inherently symbolic and, therefore, no longer valid after the rise of Christianity (this view was espoused by Eusebius and Origen); the second saw circumcision as a form of medical prophylaxis (as in the writing of Philo but also in the work of the central German commentator of the eighteenth century, Johann David Michaelis); the third saw it as a sign of a political identity (as in the work of the early eighteenth-century theologian Johann Spencer); the fourth saw it as a remnant of the early Jewish idol or phallus worship (as in the work of the antiquarian Georg Friedrich Daumer—this view reappears quite often in the literature on Jewish ritual murder).

In the medical literature of the time, two of these views dominated. They were the views that bracketed the images of "health" and "disease." These views saw circumcision either as the source of disease or as a prophylaxis against disease—and in both cases syphilis and masturbation, the two "diseases" that dominate the case of Dora, play a major role. Mantegazza notes that "the hygienic value of circumcision has been exaggerated by the historians of Judaism. It is true enough that the circumcised are a little less disposed to masturbation and to venereal infection; but every day, we do have Jewish masturbators and Jewish syphilitics. Circumcision is a mark of racial distinction; . . . it is a sanguinary protest against universal brotherhood; and if it be true that Christ was circumcised, it is likewise true that he protested on the cross against any symbol which would tend to part men asunder." The opposing view of circumcision in the scientific literature of the time saw circumcision as a mode of prevention that precluded the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases because of the increased capacity for "cleanliness."[209] It is classified as an aspect of "hygiene," the favorite word to critique or support the practice. (This view is closely associated with the therapeutic use of circumcision throughout the nineteenth century as a means of "curing" the diseases caused by masturbation, with, of course a similar split in the idea of efficacy: circumcision was either a cure for masturbation, as it eliminated the stimulation of the prepuce and deadened the sensitivity of the penis, or it was the source of Jewish male hypersexuality.)

A detailed medical literature links the very act of circumcision with


the transmission of syphilis, so that the prophylaxis becomes the source of infection. The literature that discusses the transmission of syphilis to newly circumcised infants through the ritual of metsitsah , the sucking on the penis by the mohel , the ritual circumciser, in order to staunch the bleeding, is extensive and detailed.[210]

The metsitsah was understood by the scientific community of the nineteenth century as a "pathological" one, as it was labeled as the source of the transmission of disease from the adult male to the male child. In the establishment of the Viennese Jewish community during the course of the early nineteenth century the debate on the abolition of circumcision was heard as loudly as anywhere else in Central Europe. Isaac Noah Mannheimer, the rabbi of the Seitenstettengasse synagogue and the de facto "chief rabbi" of Vienna (although this title did not officially exist), while a follower of Reformed Judaism, opposed the more radical "reforms" of theologians such as Samuel Holdheim. He strongly advocated the retention of Hebrew as the language of prayer (even though he had preached in Danish during his tenure in Copenhagen) and opposed mixed marriages and the abolition of circumcision. (The link among these three central issues in the self-definition of Viennese Jewry at mid-century should be stressed.) While no compromise was found on the first two issues (Hebrew was maintained as the language of the liturgy and mixed marriages were not authorized), a striking compromise was found in the third case. Together with Rabbi Lazar Horowitz, the spiritual leader of the orthodox community in Vienna, they abolished the practice of the metsitsah .[211] Although Horowitz was a follower of the ultraorthodox Pressburg Rabbi Moses Sofer, the abolition of the metsitsah became a marker between the practices of Viennese Jewry (which did not permit it for "hygienic" reasons) and the tradition of Eastern Jewry, such as the Jews of Pressburg and Freiburg (where Freud was circumcised).

Here is the link between the emphasis on fellatio in Freud's reading of the case of Dora and the syphilis that haunts the image of the (male) Jew in the case. It is the male sucking the penis of a male in the act of circumcision. Especially in the Viennese debates concerning the retention or abolition of circumcision, this "act" played a special role. For Freud the act of fellatio would be a sign not only of "perversion" but also of the transmission of disease; it would also be a sign that incorporated his own relationship between his racial identity with his coreligionists and, indeed, with other male authority figures. Thus the act of the female sucking on the penis of the male, a "pathological" act as it represents the spread of disease (hysteria) to the daughter, is a sub-


limation of the act of the male sucking on the penis of the male and spreading another disease, syphilis. It also represents, in the period during which Freud was writing and rewriting the case of Dora, Freud's own articulation of the end of his "homosexual" (i.e., homoerotic) relationship with Wilhelm Fliess, whose theories about the relationship between the nose and the penis are echoed in this case study as well as elsewhere in the fin-de-siècle work of Freud.[212]

But reading Mantegazza, we can go one step farther in our analysis of Freud's understanding of the meaning of sexually transmitted disease and its relationship to hysteria. For Mantegazza introduces his discussion of the exclusivity of the Jews with the following discussion:

It is altogether likely that the most important reason that has led men of various ages and of varying civilizations to adopt the custom of cutting off the prepuce has been that it was felt to be necessary to imprint upon the human body a clear and indelible sign that would serve to distinguish one people from another and, by putting a seal of consecration upon nationality, would tend to impede the mixture of races. A woman, before accepting the embraces of a man, must first make sure, with her eyes and with her hands, as to whether he was of the circumcised or the uncircumcised; nor would she be able to find any excuse for mingling her own blood-stream with that of the foreigner. It had, however, not occurred to the legislator that this same indelible characteristic would inspire in the woman a curiosity to see and to handle men of a different sort.

The seduction of the Jewish woman by the Other—whether the non-Jew or the lesbian—is the result of the "seeing" of the difference in the form of the genitalia. The need to "see" and "touch" the Other is the fault of the circumcised (male) Jew, whose very physical form tempts the female to explore the Other. Here we have another form of the displacement of the act of touching (sexual contact) with the permitted (indeed, necessary) act of seeing, but given a pathological interpretation. The rejection of mixed marriage and conversion by even "godless" Jews such as Sigmund Freud at this time is a sign of the need to understand the separateness of the Jew as having a positive valence. The labeling of converts as "sick" becomes a widely used fin-de-siècle trope.[213]

Ida Bauer's act of seeing her father is the act of seeing the (male) Jew. Central to the definition of the Jew—here to be understood always as the "male" Jew—is the image of the male Jew's circumcised penis as impaired, damaged, or incomplete and therefore threatening. The literature on syphilis—which certainly played a role in Freud's understanding of her father's illness as well as that of the daughter—contains a substantial discussion of the special relationship of Jews to the transmission and


meaning of syphilis. For it is not only in the act of circumcision that this association is made—it is in the general risk of the Jews as the carriers of syphilis and the generalized fear that such disease would undermine the strength of the body politic. Central to the case of Ida Bauer is a subtext about the nature of Jews, about the transmission of syphilis, and about the act of circumcision.[214] Both are associated with the image of the hysteric. It is Jewishness that is the central category of racial difference for the German reader and writer of the turn of the century.[215]

For the Jew in European science and popular thought was closely related to the spread and incidence of syphilis. Such views had two readings. The first model saw the Jews as the carriers of sexually transmitted diseases who transmitted them to the rest of the world. And their location is the city—Vienna. Here the link between the idea of the Jew as city dweller, as the disease that lurks within the confinement of the urban environment, becomes manifest. The source of the hysteria of the city is the diseased sexuality of the Jew. This view is to be found in Adolf Hitler's discussion of syphilis in turn-of-the-century Vienna in Mein Kampf (1925). There he (like his Viennese compatriot Bertha Pappenheim[216] ) links it to the Jew, the prostitute, and the power of money:

Particularly with regard to syphilis, the attitude of the nation and the state can only be designated as total capitulation. . . . The invention of a remedy of questionable character and its commercial exploitation can no longer help much against this plague. . . . The cause lies, primarily, in our prostitution of love. . . . This Jewification of our spiritual life and mammonization of our mating instinct will sooner or later destroy our entire offspring.[217]

Hitler's views also linked Jews with prostitutes and the spread of infection. Jews were the archpimps—Jews ran the brothels—but Jews also infected their prostitutes and caused the weakening of the German national fiber.[218] But also, Jews are associated with the false promise of a medical cure separate from the social cures that Hitler wishes to see imposed—isolation and separation of the syphilitic and his or her Jewish source from the body politic. Hitler's reference is to the belief that especially the specialty of dermatology and syphilology was dominated by Jews, who used their medical status to sell quack cures.

The second model that associated Jews and syphilis seemed to postulate exactly the opposite—that Jews had a statistically lower rate of syphilitic infection—because they had become immune to it through centuries of exposure. In the medical literature of the period, reaching across all of European medicine, it was assumed that Jews had a notably


lower rate of infection. In a study of the incidence of tertiary lues in the Crimea undertaken between 1904 and 1929, the Jews had the lowest consistent rate of infection.[219] In an eighteen-year longitudinal study H. Budel demonstrated the extraordinarily low rate of tertiary lues among Jews in Estonia during the prewar period.[220] All these studies assumed that biological difference as well as the social difference of the Jews were at the root of their seeming immunity.

Jewish scientists also had to explain the statistical fact of their immunity to syphilis. In a study of the rate of tertiary lues, the final stage of the syphilitic infection, undertaken during World War I, the Jewish physician Max Sichel responded to the general view of the relative lower incidence of infection among Jews as resulting from the sexual difference of the Jews.[221] He responds—out of necessity—with a social argument. The Jews, according to Sichel, show lower incidence not only because of their early marriage and the patriarchal structure of the Jewish family, but also because of their much lower rate of alcoholism. They were, therefore, according to the implicit argument, more rarely exposed to the infection of prostitutes, whose attractiveness was always associated with the greater loss of sexual control in the male attributed to inebriety. The relationship between these two "social" diseases is made into a cause for the higher incidence among other Europeans. The Jews, because they are less likely to drink heavily, are less likely to be exposed to both the debilitating effects of alcohol (which increase the risk for tertiary lues) as well as the occasion for infection. In 1927 H. Strauss looked at the incidences of syphilitic infection in his hospital in Berlin in order not only to demonstrate whether the Jews had a lower incidence but also to see (as in the infamous Tuskegee experiments among blacks in the United States) whether they had "milder" forms of the disease because of their life-style or background.[222] He found that Jews had indeed a much lower incidence of syphilis (while having an extraordinarily higher rate of hysteria) than the non-Jewish control. He proposes that the disease may well have a different course in Jews than in non-Jews. The marker for such a view of the heightened susceptibility or resistance to syphilis is the basic sign of difference of the Jews, the circumcised phallus.

The need to "see" and "label" the Jew at a time when Jews were becoming more and more assimilated and therefore "invisible" in Germany made the association with socially stigmatizing diseases that bore specific visible "signs and symptoms" especially appropriate. Mantegazza's view links the act of "seeing" the Jew sexually with the defamed practice of circumcision. In the German empire of the late nineteenth century all of the arguments placed the Jew in a special relationship to


syphilis and, therefore, in a very special relationship to the healthy body politic that needed to make the Jew visible. (The central medical paradigm for the establishment of the healthy state was the public health model that evolved specifically to combat the evils of sexually transmitted disease through social control.) Western Jews had been completely acculturated by the end of the nineteenth century and thus bore no external signs of difference (unique clothing, group language, group-specific hair and/or beard style). They had to bear the stigma of this special relationship to their diseased nature literally on the skin, where it could be seen. Not only on the penis where (because of social practice) it could be "seen" only in the sexual act. And then, because of the gradual abandonment of circumcision, be "seen" not to exist at all!

Just as the hysteric is constructed out of the perceived ability to categorize and classify categories of difference visually, the syphilitic Jew has his illness written on his skin. The skin of the hysteric, like the physiognomy of the hysteric, reflects the essence of the disease. Thus the skin becomes a veritable canvas onto which the illness of the hysteric is mapped. Seeing the hysteric means reading the signs and symptoms (the stigmata diaboli ) of the disease and representing the disease in a manner that captures its essence. It is the reduction of the ambiguous and fleeting signs of the constructed illness of the hysteric (constructed by the very nature of the definition of the disease in the nineteenth century). If the idea of the hysteric is tied to the idea of the feminization of the healthy Aryan male, or his "Jewification" (to use one of Hitler's favorite terms), then the representation of the disease must be in terms of models of illness that are convertible into the images of the feminized male. But these images of feminization are also tied to other, salient, fin-de-siècle images of race. For Jews bear the salient stigma of the black skin of the syphilitic, the syphilitic rupia .

The Jews are black, according to nineteenth-century racial science, because they are "a mongrel race which always retains this mongrel character." That is Houston Stewart Chamberlain arguing against the "pure" nature of the Jewish race.[223] Jews had "hybridized" with blacks in Alexandrian exile. They are, in an ironic review of Chamberlain's work by Nathan Birnbaum, the Viennese-Jewish activist who coined the word Zionist , a "bastard" race the origin of which was caused by their incestuousness, their sexual selectivity.[224] But the Jews were also seen as black. Adam Gurowski, a Polish noble, "took every light-colored mulatto for a Jew" when he first arrived in the United States in the 1850s.[225] Jews are black because they are different, because their sexuality is different, because their sexual pathology is written upon their skin. Gurowski's


"German-Jewish" contemporary, Karl Marx, associates leprosy, Jews, and syphilis in his description of his archrival Ferdinand Lassalle (in 1861): "Lazarus the leper, is the prototype of the Jews and of Lazarus-Lassalle. But in our Lazarus, the leprosy lies in the brain. His illness was originally a badly cured case of syphilis."[226] The pathognomonic sign of the Jew is written on the skin; it is evident for all to see.

The pathological image of the Jew was part of the general cultural vocabulary of Germany. Hitler used this image over and over in Mein Kampf in describing the Jew's role in German culture: "If you cut even cautiously into such an abscess, you found, like a maggot in a rotting body, often dazzled by the sudden light—a kike! . . . This was pestilence, spiritual pestilence, worse than the Black Death of olden times, and the people were being infected by it."

"Plague" (Seuche ) and pestilence (Pestilenz )—a disease from without, which, like syphilis, rots the body—was the model used to see the role of the Jew. The syphilitic weakening of the racially pure Germans by the Jews was likened by Hitler to the corruption of the blood of the race through another form of "mammonization," interracial marriage:

Here we have before us the results of procreation based partly on purely social compulsion and partly on financial grounds. This one leads to a general weakening, the other to a poisoning of the blood, since every department store Jewess is considered fit to augment the offspring of His Highness—and indeed the offspring look it. In both cases complete degeneration is the consequence.

If the Germans (Aryans) are a "pure" race—and that is for turn-of-the-century science a positive quality—then the Jews cannot be a "pure" race. Their status as a mixed race became exemplified in the icon of the Mischling during the 1930s. The Jewishness of the Mischling , to use the term from racial science that is parallel to "bastard" (the offspring of a "Black" and a "White" "race"), "looks" and sounds degenerate. They can have "Jewish-Negroid" [jüdisch-negroid ] features.[227] And this is often associated with their facile use of language, "the use of innumerable foreign words and newly created words to enrich the German language in sharp contrast to the necessary simplicity of the language of Germanic students."[228] The Jew's language reflects only the corruption of the Jew and his or her discourse. It is the sign of the "pathological early development" of the Mischling , who, as an adult, is unable to fulfill the promise of the member of a pure race. The weakness, but also the degenerate facility, of the Mischling is analogous to the image of the offspring of the syphilitic. And thus we come full circle. For the Jew is contaminated


by hysteria, whether it is the result of the trauma of infection or of heredity. And this weakness of the race is hidden within the corrupted (and corrupting) individual. Thus Hitler's image of the Mischling is on the offspring of a "Jewish" mother and an "Aryan" father—hidden within the name and Germanic lineage of the child is the true corruption of the race, the maternal lineage of the Jew. And as Jews claimed their lineage through the mother (rather than through the father as in German law) the Mischling becomes the exemplary hidden Jew just waiting to corrupt the body politic.

The image of the Mischling , the person impaired because of his or her heritage, brings us back full circle to the world of Ida Bauer. For here we have all of these themes of Jewish disposition and racial diagnosis summarized. The images that haunt Freud's representation of Ida Bauer—her language, the sexual acts of her imagination, their source, the relationship between pathology and infection—are all "racially" marked (at least notionally) in turn-of-the-century medical culture. For Freud, abandoning the act of seeing, an act made canonical in the work of his anti-Semitic mentor Charcot, is an abandonment of the associations of sight within this discourse of sexual difference. The case of Dora is an example of the power over language, of Freud's control over the language of his text, which reveals him not to be an Eastern Jew. Like his critique of the bad Greek of his critics when he held his first talk on male hysteria in Vienna, Freud is the master of the discourse of science and culture. Freud is a scientist who uses language as a scientist. In introducing the question of the nature of Ida Bauer's attraction to Frau K. he remarks: "I must now turn to consider a further complication, to which I should certainly give no space if I were a man of letters engaged upon the creation of a mental state like this for a short story, instead of being a medical man engaged upon its dissection." The act of writing the story is the sign of his special control of a "neutral" language, one that, as we have shown, is hardly neutral when it comes to placing Freud, the Eastern male Jew, at its center of risk. The meaning of the act of seeing for the Jewish physician shows the inherent truth of Robert Reininger's claim that "Unser Weltbild ist immer zugleich ein Wertbild,"[229] that we construct our understanding of the world from our internalized system of values.

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Five— The Image of the Hysteric
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