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melanie klein trust

Melanie Klein Trust

Furthering the psychoanalytic theory
and technique of Melanie Klein

1882-1902 Childhood



Melanie Reizes is born on 30th March at Tiefer Graben 8, Vienna to Moriz (aged 54) and Libussa Reizes (née Deutsch, aged thirty). Her father Moriz comes from an orthodox Jewish family from Lemberg, Galicia (now Lvov, Ukraine), and her mother from Warbotz, Slovakia. Moriz trained as a doctor against his very conservative family's wishes; Libussa is an intelligent, attractive young woman. 

Melanie is the last of four children, joining six-year-old Emilie, five-year-old Emmanuel, and four-year-old Sidonie. The family moved to Vienna from Deutschkreutz, Hungary (now Burgenland, Austria) sometime between 1878 and 1882. 


When Melanie is three years old, Sigmund Freud, now 29, is in Paris studying hysteria and hypnosis with famous neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot.


Melanie's closest sister Sidonie dies of scrofula (tuberculous cervical lymphadenitis) at the age of eight. Melanie is four years old.

Freud leaves Paris and returns to Vienna.


The Reizes family inherit a considerable sum of money on the death of Moriz’s father. Melanie now five years old, the family move from their second home in Vienna, a shabby fifth-floor apartment in Borsegasse, to a much larger, more elegant apartment in middle-class suburb Martinstrasse.


When Melanie is nine years old, 35-year-old Sigmund Freud moves to Berggasse 19, Vienna, his home and consulting rooms for the next 47 years.


In the same year as his last child Anna is born, Freud publishes his seminal Studies on Hysteria.


At the age of 16, Melanie already has her sights set on studying at the gymnasium. She has long wanted to study medicine, now specifically psychiatric medicine. This year she passes her entrance exams.



At the age of 17, Melanie meets her future husband, Arthur Stevan Klein, four years her elder and a second cousin. Klein is studying to be a chemical engineer in Zurich. He proposes to Melanie soon after their first meeting; she accepts. The engagement spells the end of Melanie's medical ambitions.


Melanie’s father, Moriz Reizes, dies on 6th April at the age of 72. On 25th December, her eldest sister Emilie marries Leo Pick, a young doctor.

Freud publishes his fundamental work, The Interpretation of Dreams. Freud is to maintain throughout his life that it is his most important work of all. It forms the keystone of psychoanalytic thought and practice.


Melanie spends the summer with the Kleins in Rosenberg (in Slovakian Hungary, now northern Slovakia) while Arthur is in America.

Freud publishes On Dreams, a text which will critically influence Klein's psychoanalytic thinking.

Otto, Melanie’s first nephew, is born to Emilie Pick on 16th October.

Melanie returns home from Rosenberg around Christmas 1901.


On 1st December 1902 a second sibling, Melanie's adored older brother Emmanuel, dies in Genoa of heart failure, at the age of 25. His death comes after several years of aimless and indigent travelling around the Mediterranean. He has very probably been addicted to morphine and cocaine for some time, in addition to suffering from tuberculosis.