The Sorrows of Young Werewolf (eyeteeth) wrote,
The Sorrows of Young Werewolf

"In the Middle Ages they would have burned me. Now, they are content with burning my books."

This stix was inspired in part by actual events. First I thought of having Freud psychoanalyze Günter, but I don't think Günter would want to be psychoanalyzed by a Jew any more than Freud would want a Nazi as a patient. (Also, I think that to draw a person lying on a couch would take me about three hours.) Then I read about Anton Sauerwald, Nazi bomb-builder and trustee of Freud's estate. (How he ended up with the name Sourforest is left as an exercise for the reader. Maybe the name has something to do with the sorrel tree or sourwood, Sauerbaum in German.)

After Nazi Germany took over Austria, all Austrian Jews were ordered to declare all their assets. Freud, whom the Nazis already didn't like, and who was rich, got a trustee, or Kommandant: Sauerwald. What his superiors didn't know was that Sauerwald and Freud had an acquaintance in common: one of Sauerwald's former professors was friends with the doctor and used to play cards with him. They also didn't know that Sauerwald had read and admired Freud's works. So they didn't know that Sauerwald would be willing to stick his neck out for Freud in three very important ways.

First, Sauerwald didn't report several of Freud's secret bank accounts, even though he knew about them. He hid the evidence of these accounts in his own home. Second, though he had been ordered to burn them, he smuggled Freud's books to an Austrian library and hid them. And third, when word came down that the Freuds' home was to be turned into a museum dedicated to Aryan superiority over other races, Sauerwald signed the exit visa that enabled the family to get to England -- where they were able to make use of the money in the unreported bank accounts.

I wonder about Sauerwald, don't you? He was no Oskar Schindler -- I mean, he was a Nazi, and not just any Nazi, but a bomb-building one. But even if Freud bribed him for his various services, which wouldn't surprise me, he was running a big risk. I imagine that if his superiors had learned about the unburned books and the unreported cash he could have gotten into big trouble. And what did he think was going to happen to those unburned books? The Nazis were never going to decide that Freud's scholarship was great after all and we sure wish we hadn't burned his books and oh hey, here are some copies we missed!

So I suspect that on some level Anton hoped his side would lose. Maybe he was perfectly aware that he hoped his side would lose, but maybe it was just a niggling feeling in the back of his mind. My guys want to kill Freud; that can't be right, can it?

I think Günter is having a moment like that in this panel. I think maybe he's about to stick that copy of The Psychopathology of Everyday Life under his big Nazi coat and slip away.
Tags: günter the vampire nazi, sigmund freud, stix
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