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Lunchtime Lecture: Freud’s War

Past event archive
20 February 2020, 13:15

Ondaatje Wing Theatre

Tickets: £4 (£3 concessions and Gallery Supporters)

Walter Freud, Courtesy of David Freud

Walter Freud, Courtesy of David Freud

Immerse yourself in history, art and culture at our popular Lunchtime Lectures. Doors open at 12.45. Lectures begin at 13.15 and last approximately one hour.

Writer and historian Helen Fry charts the story of the Freud family following their departure from Austria as refugees. In partnership with Insiders Outsiders Festival.


Despite his worldwide reputation as the father of modern psychology, Sigmund Freud’s security in his native Vienna changed overnight when Hitler’s forces annexed Austria. It was after becoming refugees that the Freuds’ story takes a fascinating turn. Following their dramatic escape from Austria, Sigmund’s son Martin and grandson Walter enlisted in the British Forces. Walter had spent a year in internment in Australia, transported there on the infamous troopship Dunera. He returned to England to enlist in the British army. In 1943 he volunteered for Special Operations Executive and was dropped behind enemy lines back into Austria. Using previously unpublished family archives, Helen Fry opens a window onto the Freud family, focusing primarily on the secret wartime exploits of Walter Freud.

Historian Dr Helen Fry has written numerous books on the Second World War with particular reference to the 10,000 Germans who fought for Britain, and British intelligence, espionage and WWII. She has written over 25 books, including Freuds’ War; Churchill’s German Army, and The London Cage. Her latest book The Walls have Ears: The Greatest Intelligence Operation of WWII was the Daily Mail’s Book of the Week and became a No.1 in UK Politics as well as European History, and British 20th century History.  Helen has appeared in numerous TV documentaries. She is an ambassador for the Museum of Military Intelligence, and a founding trustee of Trent Park Museum Trust.