Anni Bergman, Therapist Who Listens to Children, dies at 102


Anna Emilie Rink was born on January 10, 1919 in Vienna. His father, Ernst, owned a factory. His mother, Marta (Haas) Rink, a homemaker, died of the flu when was 10; Both sisters died of the disease. His father died when he was 17. The family was well-off, and was cared for by a household staff consisting of a driver, a cook, and a nanny.

He left Vienna in 1939 and sailed from Italy to Los Angeles.

“When she told about her escape from the Nazis,” said her son Tobi, “people used to say how scary and frightening it was to be torn from home and thrown into an unknown world as a young woman. He always told people that, on the contrary, he was leaving a sheltered and oppressive world behind and embarking on a great adventure. He was going to America!”

In Los Angeles, Anni got a job as an au pair and assistant to Christine Olden, an Austrian psychoanalyst like Anni, and went to the University of California, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in music. (He would later receive a master’s degree from Bank Street College of Education.) Among the European expatriates who formed Olden’s circle was Peter , a Polish-born activist, publisher and writer who had worked to help people escape. Nazis. Anni and Peter fell in love and got married shortly after moving to New York City in 1943.

Anni worked as a music teacher at a progressive school in the East Village and wrote a starter book about kids playing the tape recorder. Peter opened a publishing company called Polyglot Press in a four-story brick mansion in Chelsea. When he bought the building, the family moved.

Dr. Bergman’s office was on the top floor, and he decorated it with zest and elegance, with floral wallpaper, brightly colored textiles, and shelves filled with books and other collectibles.

Being in his office with a riot of colors and objects “was like stepping into a magical world,” said Sebastian Zimmerman, a psychiatrist and photographer including Bergman. “Fifty Reduction” 2014 portrait book showing therapists in their so-called natural settings. Dr. Bergman explained that he envisioned his office as “a secluded world where have the freedom to express and explore themselves.”



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