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Biographical/Historical Information

Clara Michelson was born in Riga in 1881, growing up fluent in German, Russian and French. After high school, she took courses in sociology and philosophy with Georg Simmel, a well-known professor at the University of Berlin. She also attended lectures by Sigmund Freud in Vienna and acquired a deep knowledge of Adlerian psychoanalytical theory. She spent WW I in Moscow, Riga and in the Caucasus, returning to Berlin in 1921. In 1925, she moved to Paris working as a fiction writer and studying graphology and psychoanalysis. Clara failed to escape Paris when the Nazis occupied the city. In July 1942, Clara Michelson was arrested and sent to Auschwitz, where she was killed.

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Writer Clara Michelson (second from left), Leo Baeck Institute, F 24736.