Compiled by Sylvia Brinton Perera, Ron Whitmont, and Cathy Schaleger
December 5, 1912-Born Edward (Edie) Weissberg, the only child of Selma and Mordechai Weissberg, in Vienna Austria. Immigrants from a small village in Poland, his Orthodox Jewish parents kept busy in their fur shop: “Except for mealtimes my parents were always absent and I was left as far back as I can remember, in the care of hired household help, most of them were crude and coarse, who considered me a nuisance and pushed me around accordingly.”
1916-Began school in an all girl’s kindergarten with only one other boy enrolled, perhaps because he had contracted tuberculosis. He remembered receiving innumerable chest X-ray treatments and being sent to the mountains for a cure.
1918-Enrolled in a boy’s elementary school, where he began a lifelong friendship with Hans Schauder. He became passionately interested in music and reading classical literature from the age of 7 or 8. His mother was supportive of his education and gave him books on German mythology, Wagner scores, poetry and Shakespeare in German. These he loved, but he did so badly in school that his parents finally got him a tutor so he would not fail the Gymnasium. He resolved around age 13 or 14 to put his mind into schoolwork. Of his father he said: “Any interest of mine, such as reading, music etc. that was not strictly utilitarian, was suspect to him as “goyish”, and resisted. He wanted me to become an apprentice in his store and initially resisted any steps in my education, such as Latin school and music, as money consuming and needless. In this my mother was my ally. She was extremely ambitious for me and pushed for my education against my father.”
1923-1932-Gymnasium. His lifelong love of skiing, hiking, the mountains and the outdoors developed via an Alpine outing club at the Gymnasium. His love of opera and of argument also surfaced. He and Hans spent many hours in discussion, often bringing their differences to a trusted teacher to resolve. He and Hans were introduced to Anthroposophy by a third friend, they became Anthroposophists as teenagers. In the late 1920’s he gave up his dream of becoming a composer and conductor to study to become a doctor. He said: “From 1929 when I became 17 up to my leaving Austria, we lived in extreme insecurity and poverty. Quite frequently there was no money for the next days food or fuel. My father was reduced to trying to borrow the equivalent of a few dollars from neighbors for the next days needs. I earned money by tutoring, a good part of which I had to contribute to household expenses. On top of all this came Hitler and the threat to our very survival.”
1932-1936-Student at University of Vienna Medical School. At the University he became interested in the psychology of Alfred Adler, and somewhat active in Socialist politics. Continued tutoring in Greek Latin, mathematics and other subjects to offset expenses.
1936-Received his Medical Degree.
1936- 1937-Apprenticed with Karl König, MD, an Anthroposophical Homeopath, to begin learning homeopathy, as he felt disgusted with much allopathic medicine. With the rise of Nazism, his Jewish background and his socialist activities, König advised him to get out of the country.
1938-Emigrated to the United States. Sponsored by his father’s brother, Max Weissberg, he arrived in Brooklyn, New York on September 15th. Two weeks after his emigration, the Nazis issued a warrant for his arrest. After desperate urging from them, he filed an affidavit of support for his parents on November 30. He was employed at this time as a medical assistant to Dr. Reinstein in the Bronx. He was unable to raise sufficient funds to bring his parents to the United States, and after the war he learned from the International Red Cross that both perished at Auschwitz.
1939-Registered and licensed to practice medicine in the state of New York on April 22nd. Worked at a Milwaukee hospital for 3 months as an intern in an effort to gain medical licensure in the west. During the summer months he visited an Adirondak resort, where Gretchen Foltz overheard him playing the piano. She stopped to listen. They talked, went for a walk, and corresponded frequently over the next year.
1939-1941-Taught Homeopathy in a Denver, Colorado naturopathic and chiropractic school, from which he received honorary degrees in Chiropractic and Naturopathic medicine.
1940-Legally changed his name from Edward Weissberg to Edward Christopher Whitmont on April 22. Married Gretchen Foltz on June 20. Received an offer to become a partner in a joint practice in homeopathy in Lander, Wyoming, but did not receive a license to practice. Feeling that his work in the west was not going to be productive, he decided to give up the mountains and return to New York City.
1941-Began homeopathic practice in New York City, and started a homeopathic apprenticeship with Elizabeth Wright Hubbard. Studied medical dowsing with Guy Beckley Stearns. 1943-Son, Peter (Prospector), born in New York, NY in February. Naturalized as a United States Citizen on June 18th.
1946-Son, Martin, born in New York, NY in March.
1947-Moved his growing family to Pelham, New York.
Son, Andrew, born in New York, NY In June.
1947-1951-Taught Homeopathy at the Postgraduate School of the American Foundation for Homeopathy. Studied new physics, modern psychology, psychosomatics, literature, history, mythology, yoga, astrology and music.
1950’s-Began Jungian analysis with Frances Wickes, later M. Esther Harding, MD, then studied Analytic Psychology under Dr. Harding and Eleanor Bertine. Worked intermittently with Dr. Heier in Germany. He and colleagues Anneliese Aumuller and Edward Edinger shared dream material, working together until 1978. He also continued his homeopathy practice and published various articles on homeopathy which were later collected in “Psyche and Substance” in 1980. During summer trips to Europe to hike he worked with Dr. Heier, and twice met with Carl G. Jung at his home in Zurich, Switzerland. In the mid 50’s he stopped taking new homeopathic patients, continuing to prescribe for his established clients, while developing his practice as a Jungian analyst. He felt comfortable giving his analysands remedies when he felt they were called for. He began giving public lectures in Europe and the United States, presenting papers at international Jungian conferences and congresses, and teaching seminars in Jungian psychology at the Institute in Zurich.
1956-Began to publish articles on Jungian Psychology. (See bibliography).
Daughter, Catherine (Cathy) born New York, NY in August.
1958-Son, Ronald (Ron) born in New York, NY In March.
1962-Founded the C.G. Jung Institute of New York with Esther Harding, Edward Edinger, and others on the faculty, after a trip to Zurich to see how the Zurich Training Institute was run.
1960s-1970s-Practiced increasingly as a Jungian Analyst both in New York City, and after 1967, from his home in Irvington, NY. He taught at the New York Institute and served on its Board of Directors, becoming its President in 1978. His courses included Greek, Roman and Nordic mythology, dreamwork, the Western occult tradition, and clinical case supervision. His course lectures were published as “The Symbolic Quest” (1962).
1982-Published “Return to the Goddess”
1983-Separated from Gretchen, divorced a year later. Moved to Chappequa, NY.
1986-Moved to Sherman, Connecticut with life partner and Colleague Sylvia Brinton Perera. Continued his analytic practice and continued teaching. Received a citation from the State of New York for 50 years of medical practice. Served as a member of the Connecticut State Homeopathic Examining Board until 1992.
1988-Began giving seminars in German in Austria and Switzerland with a focus on teaching dreamwork to homeopaths.
1989-Co-authored and published “Dreams; A Portal to the Source” with Sylvia Perera.
1993-Was made a Fellow of the Society of Homeopaths, on September 19th, and awarded a Life Membership in the American Institute of Homeopathy. Published “The Alchemy of Healing.”
1995-1998-Taught a homeopathic seminar in Sherman, Connecticut for interested practitioners from several Northeastern states.
1997-Unwell, for the first time in his life, he experienced swelling of the face, rapid heartbeat and shortness of breath.
1998-Gave up his practice, and his teaching in March when diagnosed with cancer of the thymus, evidenced by a large tumor in the center of his chest.
August 23-September 17, treated at clinic in Germany for what he expected were alternative cancer therapies.
September 18-returned home gravely ill.
September 21, 1998-Died, at home with family in Timbertrails, Sherman, Connecticut.
Compiled by Sylvia Brinton Perera, Ron Whitmont, and Cathy Schaleger