Ghosts of Maresfield Gardens
Video duration: 7:00
watch video

The year is 1998. The ghost of Sigmund Freud materialises in his last home in North London for a final meeting with the ghost of his daughter, Anna. He has a confession to make which will alter the course of psychoanalytic history...



By Maksymilian Treister
(loosely based on an original script by Suzanne Treister)


Sigmund Freud- Maksymilian Treister
(father of Suzanne Treister)

Anna Freud (daughter)- June Treister
(mother of SuzanneTreister)


Date 1998. Inside the study of Sigmund Freud at 20 Maresfield Gardens, Hampstead, London, England (Freud's last home and now The Freud Museum)

Anna Freud, covered in a sheet-as a ghost-materialises in front of the red curtains at the back of the study. She moves slowly around to the desk and looks down at it whilst talking to herself.


Oh he was going to meet me here, where is he? Something that happened to him seventy years ago, he was going to tell me. Something he never told a living soul. I have been wondering so long what it could be?

Sigmund Freud materialises on the chair next to the couch (the chair he would sit on to avoid facial contact with his patients).

He is also covered in a sheet.


Anna, mein liebes Töchterchen!


It is so unbelievable to see you again Papa. You promised we would meet again and I have been waiting fifteen years for this moment.

They embrace and sit down together on the couch.

Freud I can tell you what first happened to me in 1886 when I was experimenting with hypnosis. It was ten years before you were born when Rosalind Brodsky came to se me for the first time.


Was she your girlfriend?


No, no, nothing of the sort. She was a time traveller.



What do you mean, time traveller?

Freud gets up and walks over to his desk and turns around to face Anna.


It was 1886, her first visit, and she told me that she lived in the 21st century, that she was an artist and worked at a research Institute and was sent back in time to be psychoanalysed by me. Of course I didn't believe in her time travelling delusions, but she intrigued me by her unusual dress adorned with very strange mechanical attachments and a large silver helmet covering half her face, so I agreed to hypnotise her.

It was over two and a half hours of a most shattering experience which I must admit was both confusing and inspiring in my research. The deep rootedness and the nature of what I believed were her delusions may have been responsible for some of the turns I took in my thinking.

Just wait a moment, I think I may have made a note about it.

Freud goes over to the book cases on the opposite side of the study and takes a book from the shelf. He studies the book for a moment and then replaces it on the shelf. He turns again towards Anna.

Yes, that's it...Under hypnosis she went back twenty three years to 1863, to a little staedtel in Poland called Pinsk where she lived with her family. The Brodsky's were the richest family in the town which was eighty percent Jewish. The Jews of Pinsk were Polish patriots and joined the insurrection against Russia to fight for the freedom of Poland. She described in detail the attacks of the Polish cavalry and how she was, during one of these attacks cut on the side of her face by a Russian sabre and fell off her horse. That is why she wore since a hat in the form of a helmet, covering the injured part of her face.

The insurrection was crushed by the Tsar and the Brodsky family deported to Siberia. She escaped on the way and found refuge with a family in Moscow. She was then twenty five years old and remained in hiding for several years. Afterwards she went to Paris where she earned her living as a painter. She was very successful and became friends with Chopin and other Poles who left Poland to avoid persecution.


But you said you were going to tell me about things that happened seventy years ago.


That is precisely the point. In 1928, seventy years ago, Rosalind suddenly appeared at my home again and she looked exactly the same, she still looked twenty five.


What do you mean? She would have been an old woman by then.


No, no, she was the same, and she described to me things that were to happen one hundred years later, about the decline of psychoanalysis, and that people of the future had to time travel back to the past if they wanted treatment.

I asked her all kinds of questions and she said that she felt sorry for me, that in eleven years time there would be a terrible war, the Jews would be persecuted and exterminated by their millions in gas chambers, and she warned me to escape from Vienna before it was too late. She said I should go to England.


We were going anyway to England.


Not necessarily.....and now mein liebes Töchterchen.....I have another surprise for you. We are going now to the 21st century. Rosalind Brodsky has invited us for dinner in her castle.....Follow me, we will prepare for the journey.

Anna gets up from the couch and joins Freud in the centre of the room. They walk together towards the red curtains and dissolve through them.